It’s the end of yet another week and that means that it’s time again to recap everything important that happened in the Microsoft universe in the past few days. This time, we have Patch Tuesday, some Outlook news, and a few bugs to discuss. Read on for our weekly digest for August 6 – August 12!
This week hosted the second Tuesday of the month, which means that it was Patch Tuesday week for Windows users. As always, cumulative updates featuring patches and security fixes were rolled out for supported versions of Microsoft’s operating systems.
Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 received KB5016679 and KB5016683, respectively. The improvements between them are shared as both fix issues in troubleshooters and Local Security Authority Server Service (LSASS). Interestingly though, Windows 7 contains known issues but Windows 8.1 does not. It is important to note that Windows 7 Patch Tuesday updates are now only offered to those paying for extended security update (ESU).
Meanwhile, Windows 10 netted KB5016616 that fixes some printing and security issues. There are three known problems in this build to be aware of too, but Microsoft has offered mitigations for each of them.
In the same vein, Windows 11 received KB5016629 with some security patches and general improvements. There is one known issue applicable to IT admins, so those interested can check it out here. Interestingly enough, Windows 11 Release Preview Insiders with version 22H2 were also offered the same update.
Patch Tuesday isn’t all that was offered to Windows devices, though. Windows 11 Dev Channel Insiders got build 25179 which brings tabbed File Explorer for all, input enhancements, and even ISOs. That said, those who prefer ISO installations should know that downloading Windows ISOs from Fido scripts in Rufus no longer appears to be possible. In fact, the developer is seeking help from others in the matter.
But going back to the topic of Insider rollouts, Windows 11 Beta Channel Insiders got their hands on builds 22621.575 and build 22622.575. As has been the case lately, the former comes with certain new features disabled by default while the latter has them toggled on. You can find both changelogs here.
It’s also worth noting that build 25179 was also released for Windows Server vNext users. As usual, there is no changelog, but there is one known issue that IT admins should be aware of.
A new Outlook
Microsoft has announced that after testing via an opt-in experience with a subset of users for the past few months, it is now ready to move Outlook apps to a new location for everyone soon. Rather than showing them horizontally below folders, Microsoft will be moving them to the left navigation panel. According to the company, this will offer vertical space to fit more apps and will result in a consistent design. The immediate user feedback has been mixed, to say the least.
Oh, and speaking of Outlook, Microsoft has confirmed that there is an issue in Outlook Desktop which results in frequent crashes. While the firm investigates the issue, it has offered some workarounds.
After a bunch of contradictory statements, Microsoft finally confirmed this week that Microsoft 365 access is not being cut off for Office 2016 and 2019 next year after all. While the customers in this space might encounter degraded experiences in this space after October 2023, their access won’t be blocked.
And coming over to smaller app updates, Office for iOS 2.64 Beta received text highlighting improvements in PowerPoint, new functions in Excel, and Scribble support. Meanwhile, Skype Insider version 22.214.171.124 netted improved message quoting and a bunch of bug fixes. And it appears that Microsoft PowerToys is getting a new Screen Ruler tool pretty soon, have a look here.
Vulnerabilities, bugs, and issues, oh my!
This week, we learned that a lot of Windows 11 and Windows Server CPUs containing Vectorized AES (VAES) instruction are susceptible to “data damage”. Although Microsoft has also rolled out patches, it has noted that you may experience performance degradation with regards to BitLocker, TLS in load balancers, and disk throughput for a period of one month after installing the updates. AES-based operations may be slower by a factor of two as well. You can find out the scope of the problem and affected CPUs here.
Another interesting bug disclosed by a Microsoft employee themselves is that the Microsoft Store could apparently not display a count of more than 2,000 reviews. Although this odd cap has now been removed, the Principal Architect lead of the Microsoft Store Rudy Huyn hasn’t revealed why it existed in the first place.
Furthermore, those using Windows 8.1 through Windows 11 might experience problems installing the Security update for Secure Boot DBX. The update will fail to install with error code 0x800f0922 and while Microsoft is investigating the issue, it has suggested updating the UEFI BIOS.
In more news related to bugs, Microsoft has also notified Windows 10 and 11 users of problems when opening XPS documents. Besides the inability to open XPS and OXPS documents in non-English languages, XPS Viewer stops responding and starts hogging CPU and RAM resources until it crashes upon reaching 2.5GB of RAM usage. This has apparently been happening since the June 2022 and Microsoft is now actively working to resolve it.
In some pieces of good news, Microsoft is finally fixing weather accuracy in Windows Widgets. This has been cited as a problem by tons of users recently, and it’s good to know that the company is finally active on this front. Furthermore, August’s Patch Tuesday has also resolved the Secure Boot GRUB vulnerability, find out all the details here.
We’ll start this section off with some news about Microsoft accusing Sony of paying off developers to stop games from landing on Xbox Game Pass. On the other hand, Sony cited concerns that a successful acquisition of Activision Blizzard could lead to players abandoning PlayStation consoles in favor of Xbox. These revelations are just the latest in Microsoft’s ongoing and massive $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
In more enterprise gaming news, Unity has tapped Microsoft as its cloud partner as the two leverage from Azure to allow developers to build more compelling real-time 3D experiences. Customers of Parallels Desktop will be pleased to know that version 18 of the virtualization software brings tons of gaming improvements too. Furthermore, yet another video of the alleged two-toned white and black Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 has surfaced, but the jury is still out on when Microsoft will officially unveil it.
Meanwhile, those on the lookout for sales should take a gander at the Xbox Ultimate Add-on Sale headlined by Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. And those who have a preference for PC gaming should check out our weekend deals, personally curated by News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.
Under the spotlight
As he does every week, forum member Adam Bottjen – also known as “Warwagon” in the forums – published his Tech Tips Tuesday article where he introduced some of our readers to a nifty way to locate desktop icons with ease.
Meanwhile, News Reporter Taras Buria wrote a guide on how you can enable a new taskbar animation in Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25179. Although it doesn’t add utility, some might like it for its aesthetics.
I published two companion editorials on the topic of Windows 11. The first was about the top five smaller features that I really like in Windows 11, you can read it here.
On the other hand, the second piece went in the opposite direction and I talked about the five relatively minor things that I dislike in Windows 11.
Since tabbed File Explorer is now available for everyone in the Windows 11 Dev Channel, I also thought that it would be fun to discuss my personal thoughts on how Microsoft can truly take advantage of this interface, read my views here.
Finally, our resident reviewer Christopher White argued that Amazon’s $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot isn’t really about spying on you, despite what some online fearmongering would have you believe. You can check out Christopher’s thoughts on the topic here.
Our most interesting piece of news this week relates to Telegram CEO Paul Durov slamming Apple for blocking the company’s app update for two weeks just because it doesn’t want Telemoji on its platform. If you’re unsure what the term means, it’s basically a new take on conventional emoji and an attempt to breathe new life into them by animating them through high-quality vectorized versions. It’s unclear why Apple is on the warpath against Telemoji, but it has requested Durov to remove the specific capability from Telegram.
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