Microsoft Weekly: Windows Builds, Software Issues, and Cyber ​​Threats

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We’re at the end of the last week of July, and there’s still time to browse all the latest important news from the world of Microsoft. This week, we’re going to talk about a bunch of Windows versions, various software issues, as well as some growing cybersecurity threats. Find out about them and more in our weekly roundup from July 23 to July 29.

Windows releases

The Windows 11 logo with the original wallpaper in the background

We will start with news about the arrival of build 25169 in the Dev Channel. This contains a cool feature called “multi-app kiosk mode” where an IT admin can configure a device to run a selection of apps and block all other functionality. If you’re wondering what the use case would be, it’s more for frontline and retail workers, or those in education sharing a single machine. That said, there are also other improvements that are geared more toward regular consumers in this release, such as improvements to Windows Spotlight and the Settings app.

Meanwhile, the beta channel has been getting some love in the form of releases 22621.440 and 22622.440. As usual, the former has new features disabled, while the latter has them enabled. The main difference this time around is that one version has the taskbar overflow while the other does not. The shared feature set includes dynamic content for taskbar widgets and a bunch of other general fixes and improvements.

The release preview channel has also not been forgotten. It actually received builds for two versions of Windows. Windows 11 got build 22621.317 (KB5015885) with some fixes while Windows 10 got build 22H2. If you’re wondering how to get the latter, check out the guide linked in the Into the Spotlight section of this article.

We’ve also heard other confirmations that Windows 11 version 22H2 is set to launch in September and that Microsoft plans to launch 10th Anniversary Surface devices in October. This is in addition to Microsoft’s first in-person event, Ignite, since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, Windows Server vNext has also received preview build 25169, but as usual there is no changelog.

And if you’re a Mac user looking to dip your toes into the world of Windows, you might want to check out the recent VMwareFusion 22H2 Tech Preview. This virtualization software now lets you run Windows 11 alongside macOS, with support from Apple Silicon and Intel. Likewise, if you’re a Rufus user, you’ll want to take a look at the beta update which introduces the ability to create a local offline account and copy regional settings from the current Windows installation.

Software issues

Bug symbols in red in the middle on a dark background

We’ll start this section by talking about Microsoft confirming that a KB5014666 for Windows 10 – released late last month – is breaking printing…again. Essentially, this causes Windows 10 to show duplicates of a single printer with a “Copy1” suffix. More importantly, applications that refer to a specific printer by name cannot print a document. Although Microsoft is still investigating the issue, it has released a few workarounds.

There is also an issue in Edge Collections where it is not syncing across devices. Microsoft is working on the issue and has pledged to fix it in the next version of Android as well as Edge 104 next month. In related news, the Redmond tech company also explained how it fixes performance issues in its Edge browser with cache compression.

As for troubleshooting, Microsoft is also working to reduce cold boot time on Xbox consoles. This is done by reducing the duration of the startup animation by five seconds, which should lead to an overall increase of up to 25% in startup performance. That said, these changes won’t take effect until you set your console to power-saving mode. Those in standby mode will not be able to enjoy it.

Google is taking on another matter when it comes to setting Windows’ default app. The Chrome maker clearly thinks that Microsoft’s process for changing default browsers is a bit cumbersome. He’s working on a new tool that lets users do the same for Chrome through a one-click process, just like Mozilla’s implementation for Firefox.

Finally, the latest Windows 10 update KB5015878 fixed some DirectX 12 issues and improved the overall OS upgrade experience. So, if you are using Windows 10, check the changelog here before installing the update.

Cyber ​​threats

unlocked red digital padlock representing cyber security

As for cybersecurity news, Microsoft has released some details on how it is preventing a new strain of malware called Knotweed from infecting Windows devices in the financial and legal sectors. He revealed these details to highlight the threat posed by private companies selling cyber weapons. In this case, the origin of Knotweed is linked to the Austrian company DSIRF, which, according to its website, is a security and analysis company.

In related news, security researchers have also reported a new threat in which LockBit ransomware actors abuse Windows Defender to load Cobalt Strike beacons as payloads. You can find more details here.

In the meantime, if you’re an Azure customer, you might find it interesting to read about how Microsoft manages and protects against cloud security threats. The company has outlined its process at a high level, which should be fascinating reading for anyone involved in this space or considering becoming an Azure customer.

Speaking of Azure, Ubuntu Confidential Virtual Machines (CVMs) are now available on Microsoft’s cloud platform. Ubuntu 20.04 is the only Linux distribution to support CVMs at this point, so be sure to select it if you’re launching a new VM on Azure and need the enhanced security offering.

Finally, if you’re an iCloud for Windows user, you’ll be happy to know that the app can now generate two-factor authentication (2FA) codes directly on Windows.

Gud Git

Games with Gold August

Microsoft has unveiled its upcoming Games with Gold deals, and you can see them in the graphic above. At this point, it’s important to stress once again that Microsoft is getting rid of Xbox 360 games in this offering in October. Be sure to claim any games you care about as they become available in the coming months.

That said, there are plenty of deals on Xbox storefronts if you’re looking to buy games. This week’s deals with gold are headlined by jurassic world and Assassin’s Creed franchisees. There’s also an Xbox Ultimate games sale going on that’s drastically slashing some of the price of Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, and more. Then there are the Xbox Free Play Days with WWE 2K22, Generation Zeroand Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker.

Finally, our PC purist readers will once again want to check out this weekend’s PC game deals, curated by our editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Development Channel

Excel logo on green background

Under the projectors

PayPal

This week’s edition of Tech Tips Tuesday explains how you can check PayPal for old “active” payments. This is an important thing for users of the service to know, so be sure to check out the Warwagon forum member’s guide on the subject.

An illustration showing Windows 10 version 22H2

Meanwhile, our reporter Taras Buria has been extremely busy with the guides lately. His first guide explains how you can get Windows 10 version 22H2 right now. The update is extremely minor, but if you like those pesky version numbers, you might be interested in installing it.

Windows 11 promo

Another guide explains how you can enable taskbar overflow in Windows 11, a feature that hit the beta channel this week. It’s useful to know this, especially if you keep a lot of apps open.

The Settings app in Windows 11 with the Windows Spotlight theme highlighted

There is also a guide on how to enable the new Windows Spotlight theme offered by the latest Windows 11 dev channel build 25169. You would need this information if you are on the dev channel and this feature does not have was not automatically offered.

The MyPhone application and its numeric keypad

Finally, Taras also wrote some of his thoughts on a third-party utility MyPhone that lets you make phone calls directly from your PC, whether you’re using an Android, iOS, or Windows Phone (!!!) device. Check the details here.

Logout

A ghost blanket replying to messages and another ghost blanket with a prohibition sign

Undoubtedly the most entertaining news story this week concerns a Filipino politician seeking to criminalize the art of ghosting. According to the ridiculous bill submitted to the Philippine House of Representatives, ghosting is “emotional cruelty” that occurs “for no apparent justifiable reason but only to cause emotional distress to the victim.” The bill is unlikely to pass into law, but if it does, the politician has already hinted that the punishment for the ghosts could be community service.


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