When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Microsoft Weekly: Windows security, Edge leakage, and the end of Windows 10

Microsoft Weekly graphic with Edge Cant logon on the left and a red Windows 10 logo on the right

It's Saturday, which means that it's time yet again to recap all the important news of the past few days from the world of Microsoft. This was an absolutely jampacked news week as you'll soon find out with items about Windows security, Microsoft Edge, and the end of Windows 10. Find out more in our latest digest covering April 23 - April 28!

Windows security

Windows logo on a black background with red circles

Windows security was a hot topic in our news coverage this week. Microsoft released various PowerShell scripts to help IT admins identify if recent patches have mitigated security flaws in their Windows 10 and 11 environments. It also shared a timeline covering the next few months of Windows hardening for various protocols including Netlogon and Kerberos.

However, the firm continues struggling with existing security issues in its operating systems. It confirmed yesterday that the latest Patch Tuesday update has broken Local Account log-in on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, a workaround has been issued. It has also cautioned about interop issues in its Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) but has recently fixed most, if not all of them, too. IT admins can also leverage an unofficial third-party GUI tool to manage both versions of LAPS, at their own risk. Another problem related to Local Security Authority (LSA) protection in Windows Defender has been patched too.

Additionally, Microsoft revealed more details about the security features present in its revamped Teams desktop app. It might interest some of you to know that the firm is considering unbundling Teams from its Office suite of apps to appease EU regulators and also empower Teams users on Android to disable automatic firmware updates.

And if you like to mess around with Windows installations, you might want to check out AtlasOS, which is a third-party, lightweight version of Windows 10 that's supposedly better for gaming. It received updates during this week and is set to get back Windows Defender soon too, with the developer making a seemingly tall claim that AtlasOS will be even more secure than the official Windows 10. But if you'd rather mess with your existing installation at a smaller scale, you can check out Wintoys for Windows 11 instead.

Edge leakage

A melted Microsoft Edge logo with a cant inscription

Edge and Microsoft's other browser-related efforts found themselves in the news a lot throughout this week, for both good reasons and bad. For starters, someone made a rather startling discovery that Edge is apparently leaking all the websites you visit in the browser to the Bing API, even if you don't use Bing. Microsoft is still investigating this claim and has promised swift action once its findings are complete. Brave has also decided to stop using the Bing API to serve search results and its search index is now 100% independent.

We also learned that Microsoft has started to insert ads for the new AI-powered Bing in the search bar if you visit Google Bard through Microsoft Edge. Bing Chat itself received a few updates this week to further decrease the disengagement rate and improve answers for traveling and cooking questions.

Talking more about browsers, Windows 11's Mica effect is slated to arrive in Chrome soon. Moreover, the latest Edge Dev 114 update has added several fixes and a shortcut for toggling Sidebar. A recent Canary build is also making it easier to tweak Windows 11-style rounded corners in Edge. In fact, Microsoft has announced that Edge users will soon be able to disable some unnecessary features as well.

There were other items to cover in the Microsoft 365 sector too. All Microsoft 365 apps and services will begin using the more neutral "cloud.microsoft" domain soon. Microsoft has also been improving its Microsoft 365 apps and services themselves in recent days. It has detailed all the improvements it made to Excel in April, added the Accessibility ribbon to Outlook for Windows, integrated the Today tab in the latest Skype Insider build, and is implementing a way to make it easier for Outlook mobile users to reply to emails on time.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Loop can now be tested via personal accounts on iOS and Android while Microsoft Designer is now available in full via a public preview. Something that will displease Windows Weather app customers though is that Microsoft has decided to infest it with MSN news content, which is ludicrous, to say the least.

The end of Windows 10

A black-and-white stock Windows 10 walppaper with a shutting down script on it

Microsoft announced earlier this week that version 22H2 is the last version of Windows 10. What this means is that while customers using the OS will continue receiving minor improvements and security updates until October 14, 2025 (and beyond if you're an LTSC customer), there will be no more feature updates. In addition, Microsoft has also announced that the LTSC version of Windows 11 will arrive in the latter half of next year. Windows 10 recently received April's non-security preview update with lots of improvements too.

Another thing being discontinued is Microsoft-branded mice, keyboards, webcams. The remaining accessories will only be sold until current supplies last, after which Microsoft will focus only on Surface-branded accessories.

In more end-of-support news, the Steam client has started "End of Life" alerts for some users as it will be dropping support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on January 1, 2024. Roughly 2% of Valve's user base utilizes these three operating systems, which means that the vast majority won't be affected.

Windows 11 continued to be Microsoft's focus of attention when it came to operating system releases this week. Apart from the expected April non-security preview updates for Windows 11 version 21H2 and 22H2, there were a few Insider releases too. Windows 11 Beta build (KB5025303) fixed LAPS and ReFS issues, and added new Widgets. Meanwhile, Canary build 25352 brought a new widget picker experience.

Some may also find it interesting that Microsoft is looking to make Rust a part of the Windows 11 kernel due to the numerous advantages it offers in writing safer and more optimized code. But in terms of what's available generally right now, we have Phone Link for iOS and guidance for how to get Windows 11 updates faster. And if you're still on the fence about giving Windows 11, make sure to try out the Redmond tech firm's latest evaluation virtual machines for the OS.

Git gud

The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard logos

Microsoft faced probably its biggest roadblock yet in its bid to purchase Activision Blizzard when the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to block its deal, citing potentially reduced competition in the cloud gaming space. As Activision stock tanks, Microsoft has decided to appeal the decision, with president Brad Smith calling this initial outcome "bad for Britain".

Although another report claimed that Microsoft may close the deal without the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) approval, that rumor was based on the UK CMA giving its blessing in the first place. Now that this hasn't happened, it's unlikely that the purchase will close anytime soon. For now, Microsoft's acquisition has been approved in Ukraine and the firm has signed yet another 10-year cloud gaming deal with a European firm too (Nvidia GeForce Now will continue to get Xbox games despite this setback too). Activision's CEO Bobby Kotick fully expects the CMA's decision to be reversed following the appeal.

In other gaming news, there have been a few Xbox Insider builds to fix game art issues and other bugs. And if you're eagerly awaiting Redfall, you can build themed Xbox controllers based on the game through Xbox Design Lab. Similarly, if you reside in London or NYC, you might want to check out the dedicated gaming zones that Microsoft has built with Samsung.

Coming over to game updates, Flight Simulator World Update XIII is now available, it targets Oceania and Antarctica. Quantum Break fans will also be pleased to know that the title is back on digital storefronts and is available on PC Game Pass for the first time too. Meanwhile, Grounded players can tackle wasps as a new foe, with the game also being Steam Deck verified now. And in a major win for accessibility, Turn 10 Studios has announced that it is working on tons of accessibility options for the next Forza Motorsport, allowing blind players to enjoy the game as well.

Finally, talking about the deals and promotions currently going on, Xbox Free Play Days is offering four games, namely Crusader Kings III, Hell Let Loose, Don’t Starve Together, and Leap. May's Games with Gold have also been announced and they are Hoa and Star Wars Episode I Racer. And if you're on the lookout for games on the cheap, check out the latest Xbox Deals with Gold and this Weekend's PC Game Deals, curated by our News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Dev Channel

A spouting whale emoji

Under the spotlight

windows server 2003

News Reporter John Callaham took a look back at Windows Server 2003, which launched 20 years ago this week. It was the server version of Windows XP and is reportedly still being used in some enterprise environments. Read more about its interesting, but brief, history here.

microsoft adventure

John took another trip down memory lane this week as he reminisced about Microsoft's first PC game, simply called Microsoft Adventure.

An illustration showing a Windows PC next to a laptop

Meanwhile, News Reporter Taras Buria penned a guide about how you can use a Windows laptop or a tablet as a secondary monitor.

onilne form tab

Finally, forum member Adam Bottjen published his latest Tech Tip Tuesday guide explaining how you can quickly fill an online form with ease.

Logging off


Our most interesting news item for this week involves someone building a ChatGPT client in Java that is capable of running on Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11. It's called JavaGPT and weighs in at just 6MB. While it's doubtful that it has any real-world use considering that you can just access the service from a browser, it's interesting to see experiments like these from time to time. Find out more details about the open-source Java utility here.

Neowin Newsletter promo banner

If you'd like to get a weekly digest of news from Neowin, we have a Newsletter you can sign up for either via the 'Get our newsletter' widget in the sidebar, or through this link.

Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.

Report a problem with article
Terramaster f2-223 NAS
Next Article

The Terramaster F2-223 brings home media streaming and backup on the cheap

dollar flight club
Previous Article

Save 94% on a Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus+ lifetime subscription