Microsoft Weekly: Windows Server headaches, new builds, and retail enhancements

Microsoft Weekly logo in middle with Windows logo with angry emoji on left and volume UI with vomiti

The second week of 2022 has gone by which means that it is time once again to recap everything that happened in the world of Microsoft in the past few days. This week, we have quite a lot of Windows updates content to go through - including some Windows Server concerns -, some Edge enhancements, and Microsoft's endeavors in the retail space, among many other things. Find out about all of this in our weekly digest for January 8 - January 14.

Windows updates... and headaches

patch tuesday promo

This week was Patch Tuesday which means that there were updates available for all supported versions and SKUs of Windows.

Starting off with Windows 7 and 8.1, KB5009610 and KB5009624 were released, respectively. There are some minor improvements here and there but you are recommended to look at the known issues and their associated workarounds before you pull the trigger.

Meanwhile, Windows 10 received KB5009543 for versions 20H2, 21H1, and 21H2, bumping up the builds to 19042.1466, 19043.1466, and 19044.1466, respectively. This update fixes an issue related to Japanese Input Method Editors (IME) and enhances the overall OS security, but there are some known issues that you should check out too.

Windows 11 also received KB5009566, which essentially packs the same improvements as Windows 10 above. There is a known issue related to color rendering in image editing programs - which is something we provided coverage on -, but Microsoft is working on a fix.

While that is all fine and dandy, the situation was much more complicated on the Windows Server front. Windows admins are reporting major issues with multiple versions of the OS including domain controller boot loops, Hyper-V not starting, and Resilient File System (ReFS) volumes being inaccessible. Although there have been conflicting reports that Microsoft has pulled the January Patch Tuesday update causing the issues, the official communication Neowin has from the company so far is that an investigation is still going on. There's no knowing yet as to when a fix will be released.

Windows 11 builds

windows 11 inside preview written next to a virtual laptop running Windows 11

This week, Microsoft released Windows 11 builds to multiple Insider channels. The most notable one is build 22533 for the Dev Channel. It packs multiple changes including a new flyout UI for hardware indicators for volume, brightness, camera privacy, and more. You can now uninstall the Clock app and take advantage of the new Calls experience in the Your Phone app too. Thankfully, Microsoft has released ISOs for the build as well, but there are a number of known issues that you should be aware of before you update your machine.

In the same vein, Microsoft rolled out build 22000.466 to the Windows 11 Beta and Release Preview channels too. It contains a huge number of improvements including enhancements to the reliability of ARM64 applications, fixes for VPN profiles, and predictive pre-rendering in Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer mode, among many other things. Check out all the details here.

Talking about preview software, Microsoft Edge in Canary now has Thumbnail view for PDF files and Acrylic and Mica effects too. Version 99 of the browser recently hit the Dev Channel as well with a bunch of security enhancements that you can read more about here. Finally, Microsoft also released version 0.53.3 of PowerToys that fixes issues related to performance and crashing.

Retailers rejoice

Cloud-shaped object stating Microsoft Cloud hanging from the ceiling at a Microsoft event

Microsoft revealed that its Cloud for Retail service will hit general availability on February 1. The cloud vertical offers purpose-built solutions for the industry, allowing companies to unify all their data sources to get a single view of the customer and then leverage from AI and the data at hand to make informed business decisions.

That's not all when it comes to the retail industry though. Microsoft partnered with Zebra to enable the general availability of the Teams Walkie Talkie app on a range of the latter's devices. Integration with Zebra Reflexis was enhanced too. Other enhancements in this domain include improvements to Viva apps and the availability of scheduled virtual queues in Teams. Find out all the important details here.

While we are talking about retail, do check out the new LTE-capable Matte Black Surface Go 3 that Microsoft revealed earlier this week. If reports are to be believed, Microsoft will be refreshing several Surface products in 2022 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the brand.

Dev Channel

Cortanas face a halo ring in space

Under the spotlight

A screenshot of volume overlay in Windows 10 with a vomiting emoji next to it

As discussed, Microsoft has finally updated the legacy volume flyout in its latest Dev Channel build for Windows 11. I shared some of my complaints about why such a minor and cosmetic change took Microsoft over a decade to implement. Read more of my thoughts here.

Logging off

A brain on a stand

This week's most interesting news item is about Samsung's breakthrough in Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) "brain-mimicking" technology. Up until now, MRAM has been difficult to utilize due to low resistance which makes it more power-hungry than other technologies. Samsung has now finally been able to overcome this hurdle, which is a major breakthrough. Find out all the details on this topic in our coverage here.


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