It’s the end of yet another week and it’s time to recap all the major events that took place in the Microsoft-verse over the past few days. This time around, we have news on Windows features like the taskbar and LAPS, rumors of Samsung dropping Google as the default search engine, and tons of app updates. Without further ado, let’s dive into the latest weekly digest from April 16th to April 21st!
Windows Taskbar and LAPS
You may recall that earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) is now a built-in feature in Windows via the latest Patch Tuesday update. However, users have discovered some bugs that arise when both versions of LAPS (Legacy and Patch Tuesday) are installed on a machine. The company has detailed some workarounds, but it’s unclear when a more permanent solution will be available. For now though, it looks like Microsoft has fixed the Local Security Authority (LSA) protection bug recently introduced in Windows 11. In related news, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 have also introduced patches for MMIO Stale Data Vulnerabilities.
In terms of Insider builds and upcoming features, Microsoft is apparently trying to bring back a popular taskbar feature in Windows 11, in the form of the “Never Collapse” option. It’s in the latest Dev Channel build 23440 (which also brings improved Start Menu recommendations) but is currently hidden with no way to enable it. Instead, if you’re on Dev Channel build 23435, you can instead try the new hidden smart window snapping feature or OOBE customization options and if you’re on Canary build 25336.
That’s not all when it comes to Insider Builds though. Canary build 25346 adds Content Adaptive Brightness Control (CABC) features while Beta Build 22624.1616 (KB5025308) brings improvements to Windows Update and File Explorer. Additionally, Windows Server vNext build 25346 brought with it a few known issues.
Moreover, you should also check out the recently released Microsoft utility called Update Health Tools for Windows 10 and Windows 11. It is delivered by KB4023057 and aims to improve the Windows Update experience. However, if you also want to try third-party utilities, check out the latest version of DisplayFusion, it now supports Windows 11 but has lost support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.
Rumors of Samsung Quitting Google
A surprising rumor emerged this week that Samsung is considering dumping Google Search as the default search engine on its phones in favor of Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing. While the report caused quite a stir in the tech world, especially considering that the possibility of this happening has caused “panic” within Google, another report later denied the rumor. gave He claimed that eliminating Google Search is also not an option for Samsung because in most major markets, such as the US, OEMs who want to install the Google Play Store on their devices can also set Google Search as the default search engine. must be configured as Either way, the actual situation is still unclear and none of the aforementioned parties have commented on the veracity of the rumours.
But speaking of companies parting ways with each other, Microsoft has decided to stop using Twitter as an advertising platform, possibly because of Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s expensive API. Because of the costs. In true Chaos Musk fashion, and apparently angered by Microsoft’s move, the executive threatened to sue the Redmond tech firm for illegally using Twitter data to train its AI models. Without proof, of course.
Speaking of AI models, Bing Chat now has LaTeX support for better formatting of math formulas while SwiftKey for both Android and iOS has gotten the ability to get rid of the Bing button — though, for some reason. , Microsoft has also deleted the support forum. The app itself. The company is looking to add Copilot generative AI capabilities to Viva to boost employee productivity.
Microsoft is also supposedly moving towards AI hardware. It is reportedly building its own AI chip with the codename “Athena” and the next Surface PCs will also host neural processing units (NPUs) inside. A few rumors about the upcoming Surface devices have also started circulating, and if that interests you, check them out in detail here.
Several app updates were sprinkled throughout the week for Microsoft services. Let’s start with Microsoft Edge. The company’s premier browser received a new version 114 dev build that included improvements for workspaces and some minor fixes on Android. Additionally, users have discovered that Microsoft is finally adding AVIF support to Edge soon, which means the browser will follow in the footsteps of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The feature can currently be enabled via a flag in the Edge canary.
Several Microsoft 365 apps and services also received updates. OneNote Beta has netted Scratch Out for gesture erasure in Windows 11, Outlook users can now send long links in emails, and Microsoft Word has better compatibility with Kindle devices.
There were some updates for other services as well. Microsoft Translator gains support for the Lower Sorbian language. Interestingly, the language is not even supported by Google Translate and is considered critically endangered with less than 7,000 speakers globally. Finally, Microsoft has also launched Babylon.js 6.0, which adds Havok physics for web browser-based graphics.
Microsoft had a bit of a tumultuous week in the gaming space this week. It follows that Halo Infinite’s Former creative director Joseph Staten, who just left Microsoft, actually left his post to lead Netflix’s AAA gaming initiative. It also looks like someone else. Hello Director Frank O’Connor has also jumped ship.
Still good news for the Xbox community though. South Africa has approved Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard, and we’ve also learned that the studio’s highly anticipated title Diablo IV Both the Xbox Series X and S will run at 60fps. also for different rings). Earlier, the company also celebrated Earth Day with new sustainable projects.
What’s more, PC gamers will be happy to know that Microsoft brings with it Direct Storage 1.2 to boost performance across a range of hardware. Another interesting revelation also suggests that Microsoft is working on a “franchise sequel” that could take a decade to develop, most likely referring to the edited title here. The Elder Scrolls VIwhich is currently in very early stages of development.
Meanwhile, those following our deals and services updates should know that you can get plenty of Xbox titles for up to 90% off in ongoing deals with Gold and Spotlight sales. Hosting Xbox Free Play Days. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed And Rogue Book While Xbox Insiders can try Crash Team Rumble Closed beta this weekend. Finally, a handful of games including Red Fall Xbox Game Pass is headed your way, but if you’re a PC purist, check out this weekend’s PC game deals curated by our News Editor Plasthi Aryasinghe instead.
Under the spotlight
News reporter John Callham posted some pieces that took a trip down memory lane. The first is about Microsoft’s first PC hardware product, the Z80 Softcard, released in 1980. The Apple II PC add-on hardware was a commercial success and at one point generated half of Microsoft’s total annual revenue.
John’s second piece appeared on US Tax Day and took a look at it. Tax AvoidersA 1982 title for the Atari 2600.
Additionally, John also wrote a piece on his top 10 anticipated Xbox games of the year, see his list here!
Finally, forum member Adam Botgen published a guide that provides tips on how to give your computer enough time to prepare after bootup, which is good to know, especially For those still putting off clunky hard disk drives (HDDs).
Our most exciting news of the week is undoubtedly the upcoming first-person shooter, unrecorded, which can be operated from the perspective of the body cam. The reason why it is making headlines is because it looks very realistic with very realistic movements and graphics. In fact, it was so realistic that many people dismissed his gameplay video as fake. That is, until a developer posted a video of the game running in Unreal Engine with “no clip” mode enabled. Needless to say, hype for the title is at an all-time high, but there is an ongoing debate online that claims that exposing younger audiences to overly realistic violent video games is not a good idea.
If you want to receive a weekly digest of news from Neowin, we have a newsletter that you can sign up for via the ‘Get our newsletter’ widget in the sidebar, Or through this link.
Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all at this link.