Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft is testing a new way for Windows 11 users to install free apps and games

Microsoft Store update

New Insider builds of Windows 11 are usually about Microsoft testing out new features of the operating system, but sometimes the company tries something a little different. This is something that is true of the latest Canary release, build 25330, and Dev release, build 23424.

In both of these new releases, there are important changes to the Microsoft Store. The latest version of the app gives Insiders a new way to install free apps and games faster than ever.

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Microsoft fixes Azure BingBang bug that allowed Bing search hijacking and leaked private data


Microsoft has addressed a serious flaw in Azure Active Directory which was dubbed BingBang by the security researchers that discovered it.

The vulnerability not only made it possible to manipulate Bing search results, but also to access private data from Outlook, Office 365 and Teams. The issue stemmed from an Azure misconfiguration; it dates back to January this year, but Microsoft has only just plugged the hole.

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Microsoft releases experimental Windows 11 Build 25330 to the Canary Channel

Canary build

As well as releasing a new Windows 11 build for Insiders in the Dev Channel, Microsoft today also introduces a new flight to its experimental Canary Channel.

Build 25330 won’t be offered to Insiders with Arm64 devices, and it comes with a selection of changes and improvements.

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Microsoft releases Windows 11 Build 23424 with evolved widgets board

Windows Insider Dev Build

Last week, Microsoft rolled out a Windows 11 test build to the new Canary Channel, which (among other things) introduced an evolved widget board that sports a larger canvas (up to three columns), with dedicated sections for widgets and feed content.

Testing for this clearly went well, as today as the software giant makes it available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

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Watch 23 years' worth of programs failing to respond in Windows (from Windows 2000 to Windows 11) in just two minutes

In a nostalgic trip down memory lane, YouTube channel Nobel Tech has created a video showcasing the evolution of the infamous "This Program is Not Responding" Windows error message over the years.

The video starts with the prompt in Windows 2000 and takes viewers on a journey through time, ending with the message that shows up in the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 11.

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Microsoft is bringing a new Registry Preview utility to PowerToys


This year has seen the addition of a veritable smorgasbord of tools to the PowerToys utility collection -- and the pace shows no sign of slowing. Recent arrivals include Mouse Jump and Paste As Plain Text, and next in line is a handy registry utility.

PowerToys developers are currently working on a new tool called Registry Preview. Designed with power users in mind, this upcoming module will make it possible to preview the effects of importing a .reg file into the registry as well as providing registry editing options.

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Microsoft is preparing to bring ads to AI-powered Bing Chat

Bing Chat

In a move that will come as a surprise to just about no one, Microsoft has announced that it is "exploring" the idea of adding advertising to its GPT-4-based Bing Chat.

The company is framing the addition of ads to the AI-powered chat bot as a means of "driving more traffic and value to publishers from the new Bing". Microsoft says that it is seeking to do this by, among other things, "pioneering the future of advertising".

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Microsoft Defender caught issuing false warnings about safe URLs

Microsoft Defender on a laptop

Microsoft has confirmed an issue with Defender which resulted in users being shown warnings about URLs that were entirely safe. The emails advised admins that "a potentially malicious URL click was detected", with affected users complaining that legitimate URLs, such as Zoom meeting links, were being flagged up as dangerous.

In addition to the false positives, the "View alerts" link included in the warning emails sent out to admins failed to provide any further information that could prove useful.

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Microsoft's Windows 12 plans revealed

Windows 12

Adoption of Windows 11 may well be much slower than Microsoft would have hoped or expected, but this isn't stopping the company forging ahead with its successor. The project is currently dubbed CorePC, but it is being referred to by many as -- naturally -- Windows 12.

What can be expected from Windows 12? Leaks from sources close to the company mean that plans for the next generation of the operating system have been exposed. Predictably, Microsoft is said to be leaning heavily on AI as it looks to modernize Windows. There is also a strong focus on security and faster delivery of updates on the cards.

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Microsoft releases KB5023778 update for Windows 11 bringing fixes, taskbar improvements and Start menu notifications

Windows 11 keyboard

Microsoft has released a new cumulative update for Windows 11 22H2 that sees the arrival of Microsoft account notifications in the Start menu. There are also new features and improvements in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

The KB5023778 update is a preview of the update that will be released more widely next Patch Tuesday, and as such it is an optional update that you will need to manually install. Installing KB5023778 not only adds Start menu features, but also updates the taskbar search box, adds new functionality and fixes a large number of issues that have been found in Windows 11.

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Microsoft unveils Security Copilot, its next-gen AI-powered weapon against cyberthreats

Microsoft security copilot

Microsoft today announced Security Copilot, a new tool designed to bring its next generation AI to cybersecurity.

The software can quickly detect and respond to threats, and also gain a better understanding of the threat landscape. In addition, Microsoft says it "will learn from existing intelligence, correlate threat activity, and make more informed, efficient decisions at machine speed".

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Microsoft has rebuilt Teams from the ground up to make it faster and less resource-hungry

Avatars for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has launched a public preview of the new Microsoft Teams app for Windows. The app is the result of a "reimagining of Teams from the ground up", with the focus very much being on performance. It is being heralded as "the new era of Microsoft Teams" and sees the app not only performing better, but also being simplified to improve ease-of-use.

At the same time, the company has also started the rollout of Avatars for Microsoft Teams. The new feature gives users a different way to present themselves in online meetings -- a highly customizable 3D avatar instead of video.

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Microsoft is working on a new way for you to clean up the Windows 11 taskbar and system tray

Smashed clock

Very much at the heart of Windows 11, the taskbar has been one of the most controversial and disappointing elements of Windows 11. One of the biggest complaints users have is that it cannot be moved from the bottom of the screen, but there are also many people who are unhappy that it is busy and overpopulated.

We recently learned that Microsoft is going to introduce a new option that will enable users to display seconds in the system tray clock, but now there is good news for anyone who craves a cleaner, more minimalist look.

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Microsoft has hidden Cloud PC references in Windows 11 as a hint of future Windows 12 features

White cloud in a pink sky

The Windows Insider program is one of the best places to gain access to the latest features and options, but there are sometimes some hidden gems that serves as signposts of what's to come. The latest Dev build is a good case in point.

References were spotted in Windows 11 build 23419 to Cloud PC thanks to the arrival of the settingshandlers_cloudpc.dll file. There are even entries in Settings that make it clear that Microsoft is betting big on Cloud PC, but it remains to be seen whether this ends up in Windows 11 or Windows 12.

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Microsoft fixes serious privacy vulnerability in Windows 11 Snipping Tool... but not for everyone


Earlier this week we learned about a worrying security and privacy flaw in Windows 11's Snipping Tool screen capture app. The way the software saves cropped screengrabs means that it is possible to "uncrop" images, potentially exposing sensitive information.

Acting quickly to address the problem, Microsoft has fixed the vulnerability with a new update. There is just one problem -- the update is not available to everyone, leaving unknown numbers of users at risk.

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