Microsoft Weekly: Windows bugs, taskbar improvements and games in Teams

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It’s the end of the week again, and it’s time once again to recap everything big that’s happened in the Microsoft verse over the past few days. This time around we’ve got stuff related to Windows bugs (again), some nifty Windows 11 improvements – including the taskbar – and games in Microsoft Teams (!), among other things. Without further ado, let’s dive into our weekly roundup for November 12-18.

Windows bugs

Windows teal logo on dark blue background

As has been the running theme for the past few weeks, several bugs in Windows have once again been discovered, but many have also been fixed.

We’ll start with an issue related to Kerberos authentication failures for Windows Server instances with the Domain Controller (DC) role. This was introduced due to this month’s Patch Tuesday and caused various error messages when logging in, printing, and logging in using Remote Desktop. However, the good news is that Microsoft has already fixed the issue via out-of-band (OOB) updates which must be downloaded and installed manually through the Update Catalog. The company also advised customers to roll back any other changes they might have made to work around the issue.

Then we also learned about a Direct Access bug affecting Windows 10, 11, Server 2019 and Server 2022. Direct Access is a feature that allows Windows users to access corporate networks without traditional VPN connections, providing organizations with a constant connection whenever there is one. internet works. However, you may experience problems using Direct Access if you temporarily lose Internet connection. For now, Microsoft has applied a Known Issue Rollback (KIR) patch.

Another issue fixed this week was related to Nvidia GPU usage readings being extremely disabled on Windows 11 version 22H2. Several users reported GPU usage readings of around 100% even though the hardware was completely idle. The culprit was a bug in the Desktop Window Manager (DWM), which was fixed in the GeForce 526.98 driver update.

Finally, there was also a bug in Windows 10 that caused the taskbar to suddenly disappear, making the system unresponsive. However, there is also good news here, as Microsoft rolled back the problematic code changes through KIR.

Taskbar improvements and other Windows perks

A screenshot of build 25211 of the Windows 11 desktop with the taskbar context menu open

After a relatively long wait, the Dev Channel received a new release this week in the form of Build 25247. This is a significant update that restores accuracy to the clock seconds in the bar. system status from the taskbar, as we said before. There are tons of other changes too, including the ability to access Windows Studio effects from Quick Settings, power recommendations in Settings, better theming and process filtering in Task Manager. , And much more.

The start menu in this version will also recommend websites to you, but you can bet this “feature” will be very controversial. Perhaps something that will be more palatable to Insiders will be a minor redesign of some sections of the Settings menu, as well as more details for Win32 apps. Some of our readers are already complaining about the rumored return of the taskbar’s “never combine” ability and dark mode switching through Action Center that doesn’t make a difference in this release.

A few other versions have also been released in the past few days. Build 25246 has been rolled out to Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview. As usual there is no dedicated changelog but there is a known issue. Microsoft has detailed all the changes present in the latest version of Windows Holographic, namely the 22H2 version as well.

Meanwhile, the Windows 11 release preview generated build 22621.898 (KB5020044). While it has a fairly lengthy changelog, one notable item is a warning in the Settings app when you’re low on OneDrive storage, along with recommendations to buy more. Windows 10 also recovered KB5020030 with builds 19042.2311, 19043.2311, 19044.2311, and 19045.2311. It fixes several annoying bugs, including issues with Microsoft Store update failures, printers, and daylight saving time, and also makes some changes to the taskbar.

Other relatively smaller updates include Jump Lists for the Microsoft Store and a November Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) update with camera improvements, Chromium 106, and support for MPEG2 decoding support. And as it does from time to time, Microsoft has once again reminded customers that with support for Windows 8.1 ending in a few months, now is the time to upgrade to Windows 11.

Games in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams logo surrounded by shapes in the different Teams logo colors

Microsoft turned quite a few heads a few days ago by revealing that games are coming to its Teams software. Naturally, these are casual games like Minesweeper, Lonelyand Wordament, not AAA titles. These games are made available through the Games for Work app and Microsoft hopes they can be used as a way to break the ice between hybrid and online teams, and also increase the bonds within a team. .

While we’re on the subject of Teams, it’s perhaps also worth pointing out that Microsoft has announced a lower cost Teams Shared Device license for enterprise customers who don’t want all the features or the premium price associated with the Teams Rooms license. .

Microsoft 365 customers using the Office mobile app heavily will also want to know that Microsoft is killing two features, namely “File Transfer” and “Share Nearby” in its redesign of the app. Both abilities will hit the chopping block on December 31, 2022, but the Redmond tech giant pointed out that there are better workarounds already, so there’s no need to worry.

Along the same lines, Microsoft also announced that following the deprecation of Basic Authentication in Exchange Online, the next legacy feature it kills is the ability to authenticate via the Autodiscover protocol for Exchange Online. . The phased deactivation process has already begun.

On the other hand, a software coming back from the dead is SwiftKey for iOS. The app was supposed to be removed from the App Store on October 5th for undisclosed reasons, but it looks like Microsoft has changed its mind again, with the company saying it’s “investing heavily in the keyboard.” It’s a little weird, to say the least, given that both announcements came with very little explanation.

Git Gud

Xbox Series S Bundle - Golden Hunter

On the gaming front, we mostly have deals and promotions news due to Black Friday fast approaching. Microsoft is offering a new Xbox Series S – Gilded Hunter Bundle and several other discounted Xbox items through the Unwrap Thrills sale. And if you decide it’s a good time to sign up for an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you’ll also get a three-month free trial for Apple TV+ and Apple Music.

Speaking of Xbox Game Pass, several new titles have arrived on the service, including Repentance, Dune: The Spice Wars, Somerville, The oil spill, and others hit Xbox Game Pass. Meanwhile, Games with Gold subscribers can grab Dead end job free. On the other hand, the Xbox Free Play Days promotion has NBA 2K23, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Strikerand Galactic Deep Rock available at massive discounts.

The Xbox November update is also live. This is a pretty big update with improved Discord voice capabilities, sale notifications, upgrades to cloud gaming, and a whole lot more. Meanwhile, you can also expect an invitation to Xbox’s Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead ring in the coming days – if you fall into Microsoft’s good graces, that is.

On a final note, Minecraft has received the Soccer Celebration DLC while Rare is revamping sea ​​of ​​thieves‘ PVP encounters with on-demand action. And if you’re a PC purist, you might want to check out this weekend’s PC game deals curated personally by our editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Development Channel

An image showing Rufus creating a Windows 11 installation USB

Under the projectors

Circular sign with advertisements written on it and a slash on it angry emoji on the right and Windows 11 l

A few days ago, I wrote an op-ed discussing the merits and demerits of Microsoft’s implementation of ads/recommendations/advice in Windows 11. If you’re interested in this topic, read it here.

A Windows 11 logo next to a Chrome logo

Meanwhile, journalist Taras Buria has written a guide on the process of enabling suggested actions with Chrome in Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25247.

Tech Tip Tuesday Mouse

And as usual, forum member Adam Bottjen wrote a Tech Tip Tuesday guide where he explains how you can make the mouse cursor larger and easier to find on your Windows PC, which is a nifty trick to know if the default appearance of the cursor bothers. you.

Geekom IT11 Mini PC

Finally, Neowin co-founder Steven Parker posted his first impressions of the GEEKOM IT11 MiniPC ahead of its full review. It’s a pretty neat machine with a Black Friday discount and if you have any questions about the hardware and its performance, be sure to ask Steven in the comments section so he can answer them in his full review in the next days.

Logout

A skull overlay on a Macbook

Our most interesting news from the past week also has a rather surprising revelation. According to a recent study, about 50% of macOS malware comes from a single app. The app in question is MacKeeper, which ironically advertises itself as a way to “keep your Mac clean and safe effortlessly”. However, as the researchers discovered, this also makes it an excellent attack vector for malicious actors due to the extensive permissions it has on the system it is installed on. As always, this is also a reminder to only download content from trusted and verified sources, and to keep your machine updated so that it is more secure against security threats.


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