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Microsoft Details Windows 11 Servicing Schedule

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Windows-11-Logo-Microsoft

Microsoft has recently been explaining how Windows 11 will be updated. We know that the platform will receive a single annual feature upgrade instead of Windows 10’s twice-year bumps. Microsoft has also confirmed there will be a Long-Terms Servicing Channel (LTSC) Windows 11 variant, but not for a while. Now, the company is detailing how the platform will be serviced.

Servicing updates are the rollouts Microsoft does that focus on keeping Windows stable, secure, and functional. For example, its monthly Patch Tuesday cumulative updates. The concept sometimes seems ironic considering patches often cause as many problems as they solve. Still, it is a servicing schedule Microsoft says will continue moving forward.

So, Patch Tuesday updates will continue on Windows 11 as Microsoft continues to push its “Windows as a service” idea. I think that concept took something of a hit with the launch of Windows 11, considering Windows 10 was once billed as the last ever Windows.

Updates

Gripes aside, Microsoft says the monthly updates will bring optional cumulative releases, out of band patches, security updates (Patch Tuesday), servicing stack upgrades, and more. That means Patch Tuesday’s once per month and then optional update packages also once a month.

Starting with Patch Tuesday, those updates will continue to launch on the second Tuesday of each month. These are automatic updates and come with security fixes, while non-security fixes are also included.

Optional updates will arrive at a different time of the month with C and D updates landing on the third and fourth weeks of the month. Microsoft says these updates will be smaller than they have been on Windows 10.

This update schedule will begin once Windows 11 launches, which is expected to happen in October.

Tip of the day: By default computer names in Windows 10 tend to be quite plain. By default, they tend to be ‘WIN’ or ‘Desktop’, followed by a string of random letters and numbers. We show you how to change your PC name with Settings, Command Prompt or PowerShell to make it more easily identifiable.

Source Winbuzzer
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Windows Server

Microsoft Confirms Patch Tuesday Fix is Causing Windows 10 Printer Issue

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Windows-10-Laptops-Microsoft

Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away. As is usually the case, Microsoft’s Path Tuesday – this time July 2021 – designed to patch holes in services is also causing problems. As is now customary, Microsoft’s security patches are causing some Windows features to misbehave. This time, printing through smart card authentication is not working on some systems.

Update KB5004237 arrived in the July 2021 Patch Tuesday package. Microsoft says the update says scanning is also affected on those system. Ironically, the patch fixes printing issues related to USB connections.

While it did fix the USB problem (CVE-2021-33764 vulnerability), it is now causing other issues in the form of a new bug. It seems the issue is causing Domain Controller servers to have problems. These act as barriers for handling authentication requests.

Widespread

Smart cards seem to be causing the problem, while regular user and password authentication appears to be working. Microsoft points out the problem may cause some prints to fail:

“After installing updates released July 13, 2021 on domain controllers (DCs) in your environment, printers, scanners, and multifunction devices which are not compliant with section 3.2.1 of RFC 4556 spec, might fail to print when using smart-card (PIV) authentication.”

This issue covers a broad selection of Windows client and server versions:

  • Client: Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 2004; Windows 10, version 1909; Windows 10, version 1809; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016; Windows 10, version 1607; Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB; Windows 8.1; Windows 7 SP1
  • Server: Windows Server, version 20H2; Windows Server, version 2004; Windows Server, version 1909; Windows Server, version 1809; Windows Server 2019; Windows Server 2016; Windows Server 2012 R2; Windows Server 2012; Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; Windows Server 2008 SP2

Microsoft is now looking into a temporary workaround while working on wider fix.

Tip of the day: Fast startup (a.k.a hiberboot, hybrid boot, hybrid shutdown) is a power setting that adjusts the OS’ behavior when it starts up and shuts down. Though it is unlikely fast startup will seriously harm your computer, there are a few reasons you might want to disable it following our tutorial.

Source Winbuzzer
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Windows Server

The Practical 365 Update: S2, Ep 23 – We discuss Windows 365, SharePoint Server “SE” and Viva licensing

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Windows 365 – is it a game changer?

Windows 365 is coming on the 2nd of August and it is a new SaaS (Software as a Service) way to buy VDI from Microsoft. We discuss what it is in comparison to other solutions, like AVD and where it makes sense to use.

You’ll find more about Windows 365 in my article last Friday – Windows 365 Announced and Azure Virtual Desktop Gains New Features (practical365.com)

SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

SharePoint’s back. Back again – but for the last time, perhaps? What appears to be an evergreen version of the on-premises collaboration platform arrives for download this week – with no 2022 label like Windows Server, but a simple “subscription edition” tag. Buy it, keep subscribing and keep getting new features. If you’re using Software Assurance or similar anyway, this will most likely make a lot of sense. We discuss this -and wonder if we’ll here about an Exchange and Skype for Business equivalent soon?

A new day for SharePoint Server – SharePoint Server Subscription Edition preview

New and improved features in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition – SharePoint Server

Viva Licensing Announced at Microsoft Inspire

The Practical 365 Update: S2, Ep 23 – We discuss Windows 365, SharePoint Server “SE” and Viva licensing

One question on everyone’s minds since Viva was announced was licensing. What part of Viva will cost extra, and what will be included within the E3 and E5 suite. For now, at least, Viva Connections is included (which makes sense) but Insights, Learning and Topics will be $4 extra each. We’d assume there’s deals to be done with Microsoft on this – and that Insights licensing is to light-up the “workplace analytics” features, rather than the already included MyAnalytics/Insights features that mostly already exist for users today. Viva Learning is an interesting one and divisive – we don’t know if it includes any learning platforms, or acts as the gateway to them. Paul makes a great point though on the podcast – for $48 a year for a user it might prove to be extremely good value if employee takes one more course that they wouldn’t have without the product.

Source Practical365

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Azure MediaWindows Server

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe Review

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Whether you need to convert or merge existing video files or just want to rip your favorite YouTube videos for watching them offline – WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe can master all those tasks with just a few clicks.

We have put WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe to the test to find out if can hold up to its promise of being that fast and versatile as they say.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is available as a free trial version for Windows and macOS. If you decide to purchase a full license, they currently offer a discounted price of $29.95 with their “15th Anniversary Sale”.

Input source selection

Getting started with WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is straightforward. You either select a local video file from your PC, online videos, or pictures as an input source in case you want to create a slide-show video from a set of images.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Select Source

When using the video downloader, you will have to paste the respective video URL from YouTube or any other supported site.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - paste URL

Besides YouTube, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe supports more than 1000 other video sites, including Vevo, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Break, and Metacafe.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - supported video sites

For some sites such as YouTube, you will be able to select one of the various online versions of your video for downloading. If you want WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe to also convert the video into another format, you have to click “Auto convert” in this selection dialogue.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Video Download - select source format and quality

Output Profiles and Settings

Then you can choose one out of countless presets for different devices and formats and decide if you prefer extra fast or high-quality conversion.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Video Download - select output profile

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe supports batch processing. You can download and/or convert many videos at once and even merge them into one single file. After adding videos, you can change the conversion settings for each one by clicking on the cogwheel symbol.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Video Download - conversion settings

There you can change video quality settings such as codec, frame rate, bit rate, resolution, audio setting, or if needed the previously selected output profile.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Output Profile

If needed you can use the built-in editor to trim, crop or expand the source videos and even add subtitle files for embedding them in the output video.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Editor

If you chose pictures as source files you can add background music and select interval or overall time for your video slideshow.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - Editor - slideshow video settings

Downloading/Converting

Clicking the big RUN button on the lower right starts the download/conversion-procedure. You might want to activate the “Hardware Acceleration” options as this will make WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe substantially faster. If you want to “Merge” your videos into just one file, you will have to mark the respective checkbox.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - start download and conversion

A status dialogue will show you the current progress and give you a remaining time estimate. If your PC has a high-end GPU, conversion can be up to 47 times faster. If you are converting many longer videos at once and without GPU , you might want the option “Shut down computer when conversion completed” comes in handy.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe - download and conversion status

Verdict

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is a straightforward video downloader/converter with nice extra features such as GPU support, slideshow creation, and merging. If you often download online videos its broad support of basically all video sites is very helpful. Many competitors offer much less and focus just on YouTube and at best offer Vimeo and a few other bigger video sites extra.\

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 10 21H2 Preview Update

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Windows-10-Laptop-Premium

Late on Tuesday evening, Microsoft sent out its newest Windows build to the Windows Insider Program. Specifically, this was Windows 10 Insider 21H2 build, which is landing on the Release Preview Channel. This Windows build is known as 19044.1147 and further prepares Windows 10 for the 21H2 build later this year.

Microsoft points out this build represents a good time for Insiders not on Windows 10 21H2 to make the jump. The update is available through the company’s “seeker” feature. This allows Insiders to install by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and choose to the relevant build.

In terms of what Windows 10 build 19044.1147 brings to the 21H2 party, it is not a lot. Microsoft is already into winding down any new features on the preview to focus on stabilization ahead of release. Of course, we can also not forget Windows 11 will be the focus of new features moving forward.

Still, Microsoft says the following is now part of Windows 10 21H2:

“We added a new policy that creates generic strings and removes branding-specific terms, such as “Windows” or “PC”, for IoT Enterprise editions. For example, we changed “computer” to “device”. Instead of “Getting Windows ready,” we changed that to “Getting things ready” and so on. These generic strings are displayed on a user’s screen when an update is in progress.”

A Strange Journey

Windows 10 21H2 has been on something of a weird journey since arriving in preview late last year. It was originally thought to be “Sun Valley”, an update that brough numerous changes to the platform, including a design overhaul.

Sun Valley eventually became Windows 11, which was announced last month. That introduction cast some doubt over the future of Windows 10 21H2. While it was clear the update would still arrive – Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until 2025 – it was not known what features would be included.

Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed 21H2 will launch in October. Last week, the company added details about what changes to expect.

Specifically, Windows 10 21H2 will bring some new features to users, including passwordless improvements for Windows Hello for Business. Elsewhere, Microsoft will add WPA3 H2E support, GPU compute for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments.

Tip of the day: Hard drives are getting faster and more affordable every day, but unfortunately, their moving parts will always make them loud and mean their power draw isn’t insignificant. This can be a particular issue for those with laptops, leading many to wonder how to turn off a hard disk after it reaches an idle state. In our tutorial we are showing you Windows 10: How to Turn off Hard Disk after Idle to Save Power .

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft’s Windows 11 SKUs Revealed by Bluetooth SIG

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Start-Menu-Windows-11-Dark-Mode

Microsoft’s new Windows 11 platform is currently in preview and launching to all users starting this fall, provided their hardware is compatible. It is widely expected Microsoft will distribute Windows 11 SKUs in a similar way to Windows 10, covering home and enterprise users.

Today we have some confirmation regarding which Windows 11 SKUs Microsoft will offer. This has come from Bluetooth SIG, which has listed Bluetooth certifications for Windows 11.

Here are the SKUs we will be getting:

Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Pro for Education, Windows 11 Pro for Workstations, Windows 11 Education, Windows 11 Enterprise, and Windows 11 Mixed Reality.

While the specifics of each Windows 11 SKU are not yet known, it seems Microsoft is following the SKU output it did for Windows 10. However, it will be interesting to see the details of each SKU and if they differ in what they offer.

Windows-11-SKU-List-Bluetooth

Changing the Landscape

I am interested to see what differences there will be between Windows 11 Pro Education and standard Windows 11 Education. I am guessing something related to Microsoft Teams and security features, but Microsoft has not yet confirmed.

Another aspect worth paying attention to in the coming months is the pricing of each Windows 11 SKU. Sure, Windows 10 users can upgrade for free, but there are situations where an SKU will need to be purchased. For example, upgrading from one SKU to another.

I will be surprised if Microsoft keeps the pricing for Windows 11 the same as Windows 10, with a small increase likely.

If you want to know more about Windows 11, check out our news hub where we go in-depth on all the changes, requirements, and more.

Tip of the day: Do you know the built-in repair tools SFC and DISM of Windows 10? With many problems they can get you back on track without loosing data and using third-party programs. In out tutorial we show you how to use them.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Confirms PrintNightmare Flaw Affecting Windows Print Spooler

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Microsoft is cautioning Windows users about a vulnerability located in Windows Print Spooler. Deemed a critical flaw, the bug is known as PrintNightmare and Microsoft has confirmed two CVE’s for the problem.

Discovered by security researchers at Sangfor, the issue escalated when the group accidentally sent out the proof-of-concept (PoC). Armed with the knowledge of how to exploit the flaw, threat actors could engage in remote execution code attacks to gain system-level privileges.

Considering the potential, this is a critical flaw, although Microsoft has yet to officially rate the bug. Sangfor insists the leak of the PoC was an accident. It seems the company believed a patch already existed for the vulnerability.

The confusion comes from Microsoft rolling out fixes for other flaws in Windows Print Spooler this month. Sangfor deleted the test but it had already been forked and put online, including on Microsoft’s own GitHub.

Microsoft Confirmation

After several days, Microsoft has now confirmed PrintNightmare and written about it. Microsoft is warning about the zero-day and says it is already being exploited in the wild. With a successful attack, hackers could control a system, including creating accounts, having full admin access, change information, install programs, and view/copy files.

“Microsoft is aware of and investigating a remote code execution vulnerability that affects Windows Print Spooler and has assigned CVE-2021-34527 to this vulnerability. This is an evolving situation and we will update the CVE as more information is available.

A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.”

Microsoft points out the flaw affects most all versions of the Windows platform, another sign this is a critical vulnerability. The company is no working on a patch. In the meantime, Microsoft suggests disabling Windows Print Spooler or inbound remote printing.

Tip of the day: Whether you’re planning an upgrade, tuning CPU timings, or just curious, it’s handy to know information about your RAM. In our tutorial, we show you how to check RAM speed, type, and size using several built-in Windows 10 tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Account Will be Needed for Windows 11 Installs

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Windows-11-Desktop-WinBuzzer

In an ideal world, Microsoft would like every Windows installation to be from a user with a Microsoft Account, but that’s not the case. Over the years, the company has tried several tactics to entice users to sign for a Microsoft Account when installing Windows. With the launch of Windows 11, Microsoft has opted for a much more direct approach.

According to PCWorld, Microsoft is ditching the pretense and will simply force Windows 11 users to have a Microsoft Account. In other words, it will be impossible to install Windows 11 without holding an account with Microsoft.

An exception will be made for Windows 11 Pro users, who can avoid using a Microsoft Account to install the platform. It is also worth noting once the setup process is over, users will be able to switch back to a local account.

Other platforms operate similarly. For example, users must have a Google Account to use Chrome OS, let alone set it up. Of course, the major downside of setting up a Microsoft Account if you do not want to is Microsoft will collect your personal data even if you only use the account for installation.

Demands

However, while I get that some people may not like this tactic, it makes sense from Microsoft’s perspective. The company wants to bring people into its ecosystem, and not just Windows. So, that means Office applications, cloud syncing, Microsoft Teams, and the Microsoft Store.

A Microsoft Account is necessary for all those aspects of the experience.

In terms of system requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft points to the following:

  • A modern 64-bit processor. Windows 11 is only a 64-bit platform, with no 32-bit version.
  • 1Ghz clock speed
  • 2 cores
  • 64GB drive
  • 4GB RAM
  • UEFI, Secure Book capable & TPM 2.0
  • 9-inch display with 1366×768 resolution
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x

There is also a webcam requirement coming into effect in 2023 and requirements around Bluetooth. An earlier demand for OEMs to include TPM 2.0 support could be relaxed upon request, Microsoft has said.

Tip of the day: Due to the various problems that arise with microphones, it can often be necessary to perform a mic test, but those wondering how to hear yourself on mic in Windows 10 are often left stumped. Microsoft’s OS doesn’t make it especially intuitive to listen to microphone playback or play the microphone through speakers. In our tutorial we show you how to hear yourself on mic with just a few clicks

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

How to Get Windows 11 Insider Preview

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In this post, I will show you how to get Windows 11 insider preview on your Windows 10 computer. Windows Insiders can download the Windows 11 preview build 22000.51.

Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview build to the Dev Channel. If you are already a Windows 10 insider ensure you change the channel from Beta to Dev to get Windows 11.

Windows 11 will be released coming later this year. If you’re excited, there are some things you can do meanwhile to get ready. The first thing that you can do is perform Windows 11 PC health check.

In my previous post, I covered on how to run Windows 11 PC health check to determine if your computer can run Windows 11.

I will be upgrading my Windows 10 21H1 to Windows 11 insider preview build 22000.51. The insider builds are unstable, so before you install the preview builds, keep that in mind.

New to Flighting Windows 11 Insider Preview Builds

Windows 11 has got new system requirements. If you are new to flighting Insider Preview builds, I would recommend reading the Windows 11 minimum system requirements.

Secondly, you must register for the Windows Insider Program on the web or directly via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program.

You must then opt in your PC to flight Insider Preview builds via Settings. The screen will guide you through what options are available based on the hardware specifications for your PC.

Already flighting Insider Preview builds

If you are already a Windows insider and have been using preview builds, you shouldn’t find it difficult to get Windows 11 insider preview build.

The only place where you can get stuck is while verifying the minimum system requirements. Especially the TPM 2.0 requirement for Windows 11. Yes, the TPM 2.0 should be enabled before you install or upgrade to Windows 11.

Your PC does not meet minimum system Requirements for Windows 11

So, I decided to get Windows 11 insider preview on my computer. To my surprise on the Windows Insider Programme screen, I saw the following message.

Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Your channel options will be limited.

This shouldn’t be the case because my computer meets the minimum Windows 11 system requirement. But wait, there was something missing which was causing this issue.

Your PC does not meet minimum system Requirements for Windows 11
Your PC does not meet minimum system Requirements for Windows 11

As I mentioned earlier, your computer must comply with all the system requirements listed for Windows 11. In my case, the TPM wasn’t enabled on the computer. That’s simply because Windows 10 never had such a requirement.

Windows 11 Trusted Platform Module Requirement
Windows 11 Trusted Platform Module Requirement

Enable TPM for Windows 11

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a microchip designed to provide basic security-related functions, primarily involving encryption keys.

The TPM comes installed on motherboard of a computer, and it communicates to the system by using a hardware bus

Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0 to be enabled. There is an easy way to check TPM status from command line. In my case, I had to go into BIOS and enable TPM from settings.

As an end user if you don’t know how to enable TPM, you can either refer to the motherboard manual or search for steps to enable TPM online.

Once you enable the TPM, reboot your computer and login back. Now run the command tpm.msc to launch the TPM management console on local computer.

Now check the Status and you see the TPM is ready for use. You are good to proceed to get Windows 11 insider preview build.

Enable TPM for Windows 11
Enable TPM for Windows 11

Select Windows Insider Settings as Dev Channel

There is one last setting that you need to verify under Insider settings. If you have selected Beta Channel or Release Preview channel, you will not get Windows 11 insider preview.

In other words, you must select Dev Channel to get Windows 11 insider preview. That’s because Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview build to the Dev Channel only.

So under the Windows Insider settings, select Dev Channel. You must restart your computer after you change the insider settings.

Select Windows Insider Settings as Dev Channel
Select Windows Insider Settings as Dev Channel

Get Windows 11 Insider Preview

To get Windows 11 insider preview build on your Windows 10 computer, click Start > Settings > Windows Update and check for updates.

Now you should see Windows 11 Insider preview 10.0.22000.51 downloading on your computer. Ensure the computer is connected to internet throughout the upgrade process.

The Windows 11 insider preview downloads and installs.

Get Windows 11 Insider Preview
Get Windows 11 Insider Preview

Your computer will present the restart window. You can restart your computer and complete the Windows 11 insider preview install.

Get Windows 11 Insider Preview
Get Windows 11 Insider Preview

The upgrade process was smooth, and I did not encounter any issues on my home PC. After installing Windows 11 insider preview, you can verify the version by running winver command.

Get Windows 11 Insider Preview

Source prajwaldesai

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Windows Server

Microsoft Brings Windows 11 Design Changes to Office Apps

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Office-Insider-Windows-11-Apps-Design

Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 11 in preview to the Insider Program through the Dev channel. As expected, the new Insider Preview highlights many of the features Microsoft announced last week, although Android app support comes later. It also adds some stuff Microsoft did not mention at the Windows 11 launch.

Specifically, the design refresh we seen brought to the platform overall is also extending to the native Office applications. Users getting the latest Office Insider release can see new aesthetics for Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Project, Access, Visio, and Publisher.

As you might expect, the new Office apps design borrows heavily from the new UI of Windows 11. That means rounded corners on the window and even the ribbon on apps. Microsoft’s new neutral color selections are also visible, while there is now an ability to automatically switch themes.

At the moment, the new look is reserved for Beta channel testers on the Office Insider Program. Microsoft has not yet added the design changes to Visio, Publisher, Project, or Access but they are coming. Automatic theme changing is currently only in Microsoft Word, but will also come to Access later.

Known Issues

As with all previews, Microsoft is erring on the side of caution and warning of a few issues with this early phase of testing. Some of the issues Microsoft confirms include:

  • “The team’s focus has been on primary app surfaces like the ribbon and document canvas. As a result, there will still be some color and style inconsistencies across different UI surfaces. The backstage (i.e. File menu) is not yet updated.
  • There is currently a bug with animations in our apps on Windows 11, which can make transitions look less polished.
  • The Mica background effect has not yet been added to our apps. It will be coming in a future update.
  • The preview gallery for Data types and Shapes have a color bug in dark grey theme. Please expand the gallery to view contents while we resolve this issue.
  • There is a bug where the document title appears misaligned within the title bar.”

Tip of the day: The Windows default font these days is Segoe UI, a fairly simple and no-nonsense typeface that’s used across many of Microsoft’s products. However, though some like this subdued style, others look to change Windows font to something with a bit more personality.

Thankfully, Microsoft does let you change Windows fonts, but it doesn’t make it particularly easy. I our tutorial we show you how to change system font in Windows 10, or restore it again if you don’t like the changes.

Source Winbuzzer

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