Microsoft Weekly: Windows 11 reviews, Edge improvements and app updates

It’s early September and the end of another week of 2022, which means it’s time to sit down, relax, and read Microsoft Weekly. This is our regular news digest meant to keep you up to date on everything that’s been happening in the world of Microsoft over the past few days. This week’s edition includes plenty of Windows 11-related news (as always), and some on Microsoft Edge and cybersecurity. Find out more in our latest summary covering the period from August 27 to September 2!

Windows 11 review

Start Menu in Windows 11

We’ll start this section with the former head of Microsoft user design “shocked” by the company’s implementation of the Start menu and associated Windows Search functionality. These comments were made publicly on Twitter by Jensen Harris, who left Microsoft in 2014 after a 16-year tenure. Harris pointed out some glaring inconsistencies and claimed that an ad for Bing Wallpaper at the top of the search bar actually looked like a virus. His review of Microsoft’s software and current design practices is quite lengthy, but you can find all the details here.

Even though Microsoft appears to be faltering on the design front, the company is making gains on the backend. A Microsoft engineer recently detailed how SMB compression is dramatically improved in Windows 11. And if you’re preparing for OS version 22H2 on an Intel PC, don’t forget to grab the latest Wi-Fi drivers as well. fi.

Talking more about Windows 11, Oracle VirtualBox finally supports it as a host operating system in its latest release. If you like to mix and match operating systems, you might also be interested to know that the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) recently received its August 2022 update – as version 2207.40000. 8.0. The update includes Amazon Appstore improvements and bug fixes for the app restart issue, among other things.

Another thing that might interest you is the discovery of an older version of Windows 10 that contains hints of how long Microsoft had been planning for the stringent hardware requirements of Windows 11.

To top it all off, several Insider builds were also rolled out this week. The Windows 11 dev channel received build 25193 with Xbox subscription management in Settings, as well as many File Explorer and Start menu improvements. Meanwhile, the usual hidden and A/B testing features also include restoring the new tablet UI and half-baked tray area.

The beta channel also generated build 22621.590/22622.590 with improvements for File Explorer, OneDrive, and Robocopy. Finally, Windows Server vNext Preview Build 25192 is also available, but as usual there is no changelog.

Microsoft Edge builds

An illustration of developers working on improving the Edge browser

It’s not just Windows that got all the releases, Microsoft Edge also got some updates this week. Browser version 105 landed on the Stable Channel this week. This isn’t a particularly big update, but it does include some improvements to the cloud site list management experience for IE mode as well as security enhancements.

A Dev release has also landed in the form of build 106.0.1363.0. It’s a nifty update that includes improved policies for Efficiency mode and also fixes a bunch of bugs.

When it comes to the latest browser market share numbers, Edge has remained essentially flat. There was a 0.05 percentage point increase, but that’s well within the margin of error. Overall, Microsoft Edge is still a distant second in the browser race with its 10.91% market share. Google Chrome leads the pack with 67.33%.

Speaking of browsers, it is also worth knowing all the features of Microsoft Excel in August 2022. This includes multiple platforms including web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Application updates and cybersecurity

A logo for Microsoft Exchange with a laptop computer and a grim reaper icon

Microsoft revealed a TikTok bug this week, evidently after first sharing it privately with ByteDance and fixing it before announcing it publicly. The Android version of TikTok was affected and allowed attackers to access user accounts with one click and without their knowledge. Fortunately, the vulnerability has now been fixed.

Another interesting thing that happened is that Microsoft announced that it will allow IT admins to re-enable Basic Authentication for Exchange Online until the end of this year. This contrasts with his previous announcement where he said Basic Authentication will be phased out for everyone starting next month and everyone will need to migrate to Modern Authentication (OAuth 2.0) by then. without exception.

Moving on to app updates, you should know that Microsoft To Do is now rolling out to Outlook for Windows. Meanwhile, Office for iOS now supports PowerPoint slides in portrait mode as well as a toggle option for dark mode in Word. The Redmond tech giant is also rebuilding the Stream mobile app from the ground up with a beta now available.

On the cloud side, Microsoft has agreed to change its licensing terms to allow for greater competition from smaller cloud providers in the European Union (EU). Its Azure VMs powered by the Ampere Altra ARM processor have also started rolling out.

Finally, there are also a few hardware-related upgrades to talk about. A new report has suggested Microsoft may merge its Surface Pro and Surface Pro X into a single lineup. Along the same lines, promotional photos of the new keyboard, mouse and stylus for the upcoming Surface Studio 3 have also been leaked. Finally, the Surface Duo 2 source code indicated that Microsoft may be considering a hardware-only Wi-Fi model. The cellless Surface Duo concept has yet to become a reality.

Git Gud

A graphic showing Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard

Microsoft faced a slight setback this week when the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised widespread concerns over its mega acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The regulator cited the potentially anti-competitive nature of the deal, saying Microsoft must address its concerns within days or face a more detailed “phase 2” investigation by an independent panel of experts.

Another piece of bad news that landed in Microsoft’s camp in recent days is that couch co-op has been canceled entirely and Season 3 has been delayed to March 2023. You can check out the updated roadmap here.

Shift for good news now though. The Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan is now official. It allows up to five members to share the benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for €21.99/month in Ireland, which is great bang for your buck given that an individual membership costs €12.99/ month.

If you love streaming Xbox games from the cloud, you might be happy to know that Windows 11 Insiders can now stream games to the cloud right from the Controller Bar. In related news, Microsoft announced that it is switching to the CBL-Mariner Linux distribution to host its Xbox storefronts on all platforms due to the operating system’s clear long-term roadmap. Windows 11 is the operating system that is becoming popular among gamers, it now holds a 24% market share according to Steam’s latest hardware survey.

To conclude this section, we have the latest deals with gold headlined by Bioshock and Cities: SkylinesSeptember’s Games with Gold featuring Thrillville and The gods will falland as usual, this weekend’s PC game deals hand-picked by editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Development Channel

An image combining light and dark macOS Ventura wallpapers

Under the projectors

iodine screenshots

Neowin co-founder Steven Parker donated a repurposed Galaxy Note10 from a company called iodized. The product has a rather interesting pitch where it offers you your privacy by essentially “ungoogle” you. It’s a rather intriguing option if you’re privacy-conscious, check out Steven’s thoughts here.

Picture of QNAP TS-233 power supply box and Ethernet cable

Meanwhile, Neowin’s Christopher White reviewed the QNAP TS-233, which he described as a two-bay NAS for “modest” needs. If you’re tech-savvy and looking for cheap local storage solutions, read Christopher’s article here.

Technical advice Aero Shake

Finally, Neowin forum member Adam Bottjen – also known as “Warwagon” – wrote a guide on how you can enable Aero Shake on Windows 10 and Windows 11. This may be a handy feature for some, find out if you’re one of those people by taking a look at Adam’s play here.

Logout

Microsoft Teams and no Internet logo on a Chinese flag

Our most interesting news this week is quite unusual. Microsoft has announced that Teams users in China may face a degraded experience throughout the the whole month of september. This is due to a maintenance window in which Microsoft is upgrading the dedicated network used by Teams users in China. In the meantime, Teams users in the region will have to rely on the usual internet infrastructure used across China, which can lead to performance degradation. There is a rather strange workaround, you can find out what it is here.


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