Microsoft Weekly: Windows 11 goodies, Exchange Y2K22 and Pluto security

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We’re at the end of another week, which means it’s time to recap what has been going on in Microsoft’s worm over the past few days. With the end of the holiday season, the news feed is back to normal and there is a lot to cover, including an Exchange anomaly, some Windows 11 updates, and a few CES announcements. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Weekly Recap for January 1-7.

Windows 11 Updates

Windows 11 written in the middle on a red and purple background

It’s been a pretty interesting week for Windows 11 users. Dev Channel users have been treated to build 22526, which brings a lot of changes including new ALT + TAB experience, indexing more file locations and a long list of bug fixes that you can review in detail here.

Meanwhile, the revamped Notepad has started rolling out to beta channel insiders. This iteration of the classic app features a dark mode, Mica material theme, and rounded corners. There are a few known issues that you should check out here. There were also non-conflicting reports of the rollout of the redesigned Media Player app for the uninitiated, and while we haven’t been able to confirm this yet, we have a workaround to install the software. on a general version of Windows 11. If you want to give it a try, keep in mind that this is an unofficial workaround and will replace Groove Music, so please do so at your own risk.

We also explained that there are five configurations of Surface devices that still haven’t received Windows 11 driver packages, even though they support the operating system. On the other hand, Windows 10 Enterprise customers should be aware that Microsoft has released an out-of-band update for certain configurations to resolve Remote Desktop server accessibility and performance issues. Read more on this topic here.

Exchange Server Y2K22

Exchange Server Bug Y2K22

The New Year ushered in a rather unwanted issue in the form of a Y2K22 bug on Exchange servers around the world. Essentially, this was due to a massive issue with the date processing failing because the new chosen value “2.201.010.001” exceeded what servers are capable of processing under the current Int32 data type. As a result, the malware check engine crashes and as a result, emails and messages got stuck in transport queues on Exchange 2016 and 2019 servers with event log errors. application 5300 and 1106 (FIPFS). Microsoft eventually released a fix, but it caused quite a bit of disruption, which was even more problematic due to the holiday season around that time.

The release of Visual Studio 2022 17.1 Preview 2, which contains a host of improvements related to Git, .NET, C ++, and more, may be of interest to businesses and individual developers. Other notable features include line staging, support for multi-repository configurations, color tabs, and branch office management operations. Find out all the details here.

Pluto and CES announcements galore

Microsoft and Qualcomm with a handshake logo and the demon Mark Zuckerberg

While CES obviously isn’t a Microsoft-focused event, there are understandably a lot of announcements that relate to Microsoft in one way or another. An example of this year’s CES is Qualcomm and Microsoft joining forces to design custom augmented reality (AR) chips that are lightweight and energy efficient, in the hope that they will drive adoption of the metaverse.

AMD also took the stage to unveil its Ryzen 6000 Rembrandt range of mobile APUs. While the highlight of this announcement was the move to the RDNA 2 architecture, another notable feature is that these are the first processors to support Microsoft’s Pluto security. If you are not aware of its meaning, check out our explainer here.

Interestingly, ASUS has announced the ROG Flow Z13 (2022), which many may consider a serious competitor to Microsoft’s Surface lineup due to its form factor, gaming capabilities, and connectivity. No official pricing has yet been revealed, but the 2-in-1 will be available in Q1 or Q2 2022.

And while it’s not a CES revelation, Google plans to improve interoperability between Android and Windows devices through Fast Pair. Google is working with Acer, HP, and Intel to let you sync your compatible devices, allowing for quick setup of Bluetooth accessories, syncing text messages, and letting you share files with Nearby Share. These features are expected to arrive on some PCs this year.

Development channel

Under the projectors

Burn my Windows 7 header

This week, reporter Dean Howell took a look at a project called Burn My Windows, which basically lets you enable classic Linux desktop effects like burning windows on Gnome 3x and Gnome 40x. The open source initiative is already on version 7 and contains a number of cool effects including Matrix, T-Rex Attack, and TV Effect. If that tickles your imagination, check it out here.

Logout

Chrome 97 logo with spy keyboard and crossed swords against Firefox and Safari

The most interesting news this week comes in the form of the release of Chrome 97. While a new version of Chrome is not unexpected, what is more interesting is the “improvement “Keyboard API, which allows web application authors to detect your keyboard layout. It has faced a lot of backlash from Apple’s WebKit development teams and Mozilla’s Firefox who have cited privacy concerns, claiming that this API exposes a fingerprint surface that can be used to identify you and keep up with you, especially if you are using a keyboard layout that is rare in an area. As such, the API change has been rated as “harmful” by Apple and Mozilla, and will not be implemented in Safari and Firefox, respectively.


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