It’s that time of the week again when we recap everything that’s happened in the world of Microsoft in recent days. In this edition, we have many Windows 11 2022 Update bugs to discuss, along with details about recent releases and app updates. Without further ado, let’s dive into our weekly roundup from October 1 through October 7.
Windows 11 2022 update issues galore
Throughout the week, we’ve heard reports of tons of bugs and issues with the Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2). For starters, Microsoft has confirmed throughput performance degradation of up to 40% when copying large files weighing several gigabytes or more over SMB. That said, some users may also experience this reduced performance when copying local files. In fact, some users have also reported that their copy speeds have been reduced by more than half. The good news is that Microsoft seems to have figured out the cause of the slowdown, so we should expect a fix very soon.
Another issue plaguing some Windows 11 customers is that they cannot install the 2022 update on workstations with dynamic disks. People with these setups are greeted with error 0x8007001. There’s not much for customers to complain about, as Microsoft has already issued public notices that dynamic disks have been deprecated in Windows.
That’s not all. Microsoft has also notified IT administrators that the rollout of Windows 11 2022 Update via provisioning packages is currently paused. Interestingly, Windows Autopilot is not affected by this issue.
We’ve also heard of Windows 11 version 22H2 customers experiencing connectivity issues when using Remote Desktop. These include random disconnects and freezes, but Microsoft is investigating this as well.
Maybe it’s not such bad news that many systems aren’t ready for Windows 11 despite Microsoft’s accelerated rollout for 22H2, huh?
Widgets (and more!)
Microsoft also rolled out Windows 11 build 25217 on Dev Channel a few days ago. In addition to fixing issues with the taskbar and keyboard input being optimized for tablets, this release also introduces support for third-party widgets. This is something Microsoft first mentioned a few months ago, but developers can finally take advantage of this capability. Microsoft has also released detailed documentation on how to start creating them for Windows 11.
Build 25217 also features an updated Microsoft Store experience for better discovery and improved performance. There is also a hidden feature that allows users to reposition the Search button on the taskbar and you can enable it by following our brief guide here.
Additionally, Microsoft has also previewed a new Teams Chat experience on Windows 11. It focuses on video calls and gives you a preview of your video when you open the Chat app. It is currently only available to certain Insiders on build 25217.
While we’re talking about build 25217, it’s worth noting that the same build number has also been made available for Windows Server Insider Preview, but as usual there’s no dedicated changelog.
Prior to rolling out Build 25217 to the Dev Channel, Microsoft also released Build 252112.1010 (KB5019342) in the same ring to test the pipeline. Additionally, it made build 22621.608 (KB5017389) available for the release preview channel with a tabbed file explorer, suggested actions, new taskbar overflow menu, and more. There are other hints that some features of Windows 11 version 22H2 might also be carried over to version 21H2 for those who don’t want to upgrade.
In related news, it looks like Windows 10 version 22H2 is about to be released as ISO links for the build have been spotted online. No one is quite sure what improvements, if any, it will bring, but there could be some improvements to Defender.
And for those following the Windows 11 project on Lumia, they would be disappointed to know that the project has apparently reached the end of the line due to Microsoft’s updated ARM v8.1 requirements with the Windows 11 2022 update.
Updates to Outlook and other apps
Microsoft made some improvements on the Outlook front this week. He started testing deployment links in Outlook. This means that rich, actionable map previews will be displayed in Outlook whenever someone attaches selected URLs. You can then take appropriate action directly from the map preview without opening the URL. Of course, this doesn’t work magic, with web and app developers having to make changes to their respective portals.
Microsoft also fixed a bug in Outlook that caused the app to crash or become unresponsive on startup. The crash fix is now available in Current Channel Release 2209 (Build 15629.20156) and Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview) Release 2208 (Build 15601.20158).
PowerToys 0.63 is also live and a key improvement this time around is that the size of the installer has been reduced by over 30%. Meanwhile, Microsoft Edge 106 is available in the stable channel with better security and policy updates. And PolyBase has a new version in SQL Server 2022 offering new features such as data virtualization, querying data where it resides, and using REST APIs.
In third-party updates, Vivaldi 5.5 comes with task panel, faster address field, support for Snap layouts in Windows 11, improved email and calendar integration, and more .
Speaking of updates, it’s also worth pointing out that the Surface Pro X got Dolby Atmos support and improved performance in the October 2022 firmware update. Finally, the purported specs of the entire Surface Laptop 5 have been leaked online and it looks like AMD Ryzen fans are out of luck, check out the details here.
When it comes to gaming, you might be interested to know that you might get slightly better performance by disabling certain security features in Windows 11, but do so at your own risk and weighing the potential benefits. Still, it’s at least worth knowing that apparently 25% of Steam gamers are now on Windows 11.
Meanwhile, Xbox players will want to check out this week’s deals with gold headlined by To fall and Max Payne franchises, Game Pass additions with A Plague Tale: Requiem, Contempt, Chivalry 2, as well as three Xbox Free Play Days titles. You might even be able to pick up some cheap Xbox controller variants on Amazon or pick up some really cool hardware through the Xbox + Doritos + Rockstar Energy partnership. As per usual, don’t forget to check out this weekend’s PC game deals handpicked by Neowin News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe while you are here.
A new version is also present in the Xbox Alpha Skip-Ahead ring. It comes with fixes for several issues including abrupt audio clipping and force feedback not working with some racing wheels used to play racing games. There is also a fix for local languages to be used throughout system software where they previously weren’t.
And while the company continues to be under strict investigation in the UK, Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has now been approved in Brazil.
Under the projectors
Earlier in the week, I wrote an op-ed claiming Microsoft’s latest changes to the Windows 11 Taskbar in Insider Preview prove that simplicity just for simplicity’s sake isn’t always worth it.
Meanwhile, forum member Adam Bottjen wrote an editorial complaining about the unreliability of ctrl c + ctrl v in Windows. Although some of our readers apparently never had any issues with this, many readers echoed Adam’s sentiments.
Adam also wrote a handy guide on how you can quickly navigate to the search bar in a browser without using a mouse in his latest edition of Warwagon’s Tech Tip Tuesday.
Fellow editor Paul Hill also wrote three guides last week. The first is to use a tool that can clean up a lot of your Reddit activity in minutes.
And the second guide details how to do much the same on Twitter (What are you trying to hide, Paul? *wink wink*).
Finally, the last guide explains the process to earn Google Play credits or PayPal money with Google Opinion Rewards.
As we log off for this week, I want to draw your attention to not one, but two interesting stories from the week. The first is a look inside an early version of Windows 8 with a significantly different task management app, IE 9, and a multi-monitor setup. This version was never made public.
Meanwhile, the second piece is about an entrepreneur settling a trademark dispute with Microsoft over the “Word Windows” product. The product has now been renamed “Word Window” with both parties happy with the rebranding, catch up on all the juicy details here.
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