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Microsoft Weekly: Windows bugs, GPT integrations, and taking screenshots

Microsoft Weekly graphic with Prt Scn key on the left and a ladybug on the right

This year is going by fast, we are already in the middle of April. With the end of yet another week comes a new edition of Microsoft Weekly where we discuss everything important that happened in the world of Microsoft within the past few days. This time around, we have news items related to a few Windows bugs, upcoming features for the OS, and GPT integrations. Without further ado, let's dive into our latest digest!

Windows bugs

A modified red Windows 11 logo indicating a known issue

Microsoft had a lot of updates regarding bugs and their respective fixes, where available, during this week. We will start off with a bug related to Task Manager handles in Windows 11 Canary build 25336. In a nutshell, the software fails to terminate handles, resulting in them accumulating and causing severe system slowdowns and crashes. The good news is that Microsoft has identified the root cause of the issue and is working on a fix.

The Redmond tech firm has also shared a fix for an out-of-box-experience (OOBE) BitLocker problem in Windows 10 and Windows 11, where the encryption feature does not automatically resume even after it hits its reboot count parameter. And speaking of OOBE, Microsoft has rolled out an update for Windows 11 22H2 and 21H2, as well as for all supported versions of Windows 10 to improve compatibility with unsupported use of the registry.

As it is fixing bugs across the OS, Microsoft has seemingly pushed a buggy SecureBoot update (again) alongside this month's Patch Tuesday. It contains issues that the company is still investigating according to its health dashboard it has published some guidance for the BlackLotus security vulnerability though. Another update to ensure domain controller (DC) hardening against a Kerberos security flaw has now been pushed back to June, later than the initially planned date of April 11.

There are two Windows Insider releases that can be lumped into this section as well. The latest Release Preview build 22000.1879 is out for the original Windows 11, it contains lots of bug fixes. On the other hand, there is also Dev Channel build 23435 that's out with a new "Gallery" view in File Explorer, but it's quite buggy.

Moreover, Mozilla has resolved a 5-year-old Windows Defender bug in Firefox which was causing high CPU usage in Windows Defender and its Antimalware Service Executable (MsMpEng.exe) real-time protection service when using the browser. On a related note, Microsoft has also released Defender updates for Windows install images.

While the final two items we mention next aren't really bugs, they might appear as issues to many due to their behavior and nature. Some Microsoft 365 users have been unable to send or receive emails following a recent policy change from Microsoft that meant that your 5GB OneDrive storage now includes Outlook usage. And lastly, there's a new capability in Edge Canary that allows you to detach your Sidebar and have it docked as a vertical Taskbar to the side of your screen. Some might consider it annoying, especially since there appear to be some limitations, but the good news is that it is optional.

GPT integrations

Bing logo on the top with hearts on both sides and SwiftKey Start and Skype logos on the bottom

As has been the case for the past couple of months, Microsoft's AI endeavors once again accounted for a lot of headlines on Neowin in the past week. A major update in this section is that Microsoft announced lots of new and improved integrations of Bing Chat with its other services. These include SwiftKey, Skype, and Microsoft Start. A Redmond executive also hinted that third-party plugin support for Bing Chat is in the works and it seems that so is a Compact View for Bing.

That's not all though. The latest Edge 114 release in the Dev Channel features tighter integration with Bing Chat in the side pane while Edge 113 Beta sports better security and a new updater for macOS.

Edge isn't the only Microsoft app getting even more supercharged with AI either. The Premium version of Microsoft Teams is getting AI-generated intelligent meeting recaps sometime later this month. It is also scheduled to receive controls to restrict profanities in live captions, along with Speaker View, over 20 Snapchat Lenses, and animated backgrounds to play around with during informal meetings. With all of this goodness arriving on Teams soon, it is also worthwhile to mention that Teams Free (Classic) has shut down. The Redmond firm has recommended customers transition to the new Microsoft Teams (Free) but none of their existing data and chats will be carried over.

Finally, even PowerToys - which received a minor update this week - is netting integration with ChatGPT (along with a built-in Launcher). This implementation is currently in progress but it's early days so there's no concrete release date as of yet.

New ways to take screenshots in Windows and other features

A illustration of a backlit Print Screen key

Microsoft is gearing up to change the standard way of taking screenshots. When you press the Print Screen key on your keyboard, rather than silently taking a screenshot, the system will launch Snipping Tool. It is important to note that this behavior was present in a disabled state in Windows 10 but has become enabled by default in the latest Windows 11 Beta build 22624.1546, which means that it will be rolled out generally to everyone else sooner rather than later too. And while it's not directly related, the updated Microsoft Surface app also features a new way to take screenshots.

But circling back to Insider releases, the Windows 11 Beta Channel also netted build 22624.1610 to resolve a registry compatibility issue, among other things. The Dev Channel build 23435 mentioned in the first section also contains a hidden and disabled behavior for Windows 11 Search and if you are intrigued, you can find out how to enable it here.

In the same vein, Windows 10 Release Preview build 19045.2908 restored the search box in the Taskbar while Windows 11 Release Preview build 22621.1631 added animations to the Widgets in the Taskbar. Lastly, the Windows 11 Canary Channel bagged build 25336.1010, but it's just a dummy release to test the servicing pipeline.

There were other non-Insider releases too, thanks to Patch Tuesday. Windows 10's latest KB5025221 release brought security fixes and a known issue while Windows 11's rollouts for version 21H2 and 22H2 introduced lots of new improvements that you can read more about here. These Patch Tuesday updates also made Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) a built-in implementation for select SKUs of Windows. A new version of Windows Subsystem for Android was also made available, it brings support for Picture-in-Picture mode for Android apps.

Finally, if you like to mess around with Windows installations and ISOs, Tiny11's developer has created a bootable Windows 11 live DVD, dubbed "live11". In a similar vein, third-party utility EverythingToolbar has also received an update with some fixes and new features.

Git gud

The Steam Deck console running Windows 11

Perhaps the headliner of the Microsoft gaming news this week was that the company is reportedly working on a "Handheld Mode" for Windows 11 running on handheld consoles/PCs, like the Steam Deck. This leaked UX aims to resolve issues related to poor controls in non-Steam games, lack of display and UI optimizations, and more.

There are several Xbox OS updates to talk about too. The latest Alpha Skip Ahead release packs tons of new features, including improvements to captures. The recent Beta update also sports some of the same capabilities as well as improvements to Discord Voice. Meanwhile, the April update, now generally available, features a revamped search interface and a new adjustable active hours option. Interestingly, Microsoft has halted Insider testing of the upcoming and revamped Xbox Home experience, saying that the feedback so far hasn't been positive.

Over on the games side, Microsoft has confirmed that its upcoming platform exclusive from Arkane, Redfall, won't feature a 60FPS mode at launch on Xbox, to the disappointment of many - you can still have a go at nabbing a Redfall-themed Xbox Series X from Microsoft if this doesn't bother you though. And if you're into purchasing merchandise from a more peaceful game, Minecraft now has an official cookbook with over 40 recipes. Speaking of hardware, you can also purchase new colors for a custom Elite Series 2 Controller from Xbox Design Lab.

Lastly, we will round up news items related to subscription services and deals. Ubisoft+ has landed on Xbox consoles while 40 more countries now have access to PC Game Pass. Additionally, Games with Gold subscribers can now grab Peaky Blinders: Mastermind and Deals with Gold customers can save lots on As Dusk Falls, Forza Horizon, and more. People who look forward to the Xbox Free Play Days promotion can net major discounts on two popular titles while PC purists can peruse the latest Weekend PC Game Deals, curated by our News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Dev Channel

A man with HoloLens 2 on his head

Under the spotlight

Windows 95 start menu button

We published several original pieces during the week. The first was by News Reporter John Callaham who took a trip down memory lane to talk about the history of the Start menu and his personal experiences with it.

A screenshot of Windows 11s Start menu

On a related note, News Reporter Taras Buria published a guide on how to remove the controversial Recommended section from the Start menu.

windows 11 annoyed

Taras also went ahead and compiled a list of the top 10 apps that solve what he calls Windows 11's "inconveniences". See here if you share his viewpoint and find the listed apps useful.

Windows 12 concept image with a skeptical emoji

Meanwhile, I also published an editorial theorizing what Windows 12 could look like and if it's going to be an incremental update to Windows 11 versus something major.

Folder creation

Lastly, forum member Adam Bottjen published a handy guide for Windows beginners, detailing the process of creating a folder.

Logging off

LipIO tongue gesture control device

Our most intriguing news item of the week is about a smart device called LipIO that uses our tongues to control various connected devices and engage in virtual hands-free activities. It can detect lots of input gestures such as the sliding of the tongue, pressing both lips against each other, and touching the lip with your tongue at a particular point. While this may have a use-case for the disabled community, researchers behind the project have emphasized utilities like a lip-based guitar tuner, the ability to open your smart door while your hands are occupied, and even gaming. Read more about the wacky tech here.

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