Windows 11 2022 Update

Microsoft released the “first major update” for Windows 11 on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, as Windows 11 nears its first anniversary. According to a blog posted by Microsoft, the Windows 11 update focuses on four key areas:

● Making the PC easier and safer to use for everyone
● Empowering people to be more productive
● Making Windows the best place to connect, create and play
● Delivering added security, management, and flexibility to the workplace

Microsoft is committed to making computers more accessible. An added accessibility feature includes system-wide live captions to automatically generate captions from any form of audio content on Windows 11.

Windows 11 also includes snap layouts which have become a game changer for multitasking by helping users optimize their applications and documents. In addition, Microsoft introduced Focus sessions and Do Not Disturb to assist in minimizing distractions.

Advanced artificial intelligence features significantly improve the new Windows Studio camera and audio effects. The Voice Focus, background blur, eye contact, and automatic framing features can assist users in conference calls and content creation.

According to Microsoft, “Windows 11 provides layers of hardware and software integration for powerful, out-of-the-box protection from the moment you start your device – and we’re
continuing to innovate.” For example, within the Windows 11 update is the launch of Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen will alert users when their login credentials are entered on a malicious application or website.

The Windows 11 2022 is packed with many subtle changes that all come together to boost
productivity and empower creativity. The changes include enhancements to the file explorer, photo applications, taskbar overflow, and much more.

Microsoft Windows users can access the new features by updating and restarting their
computers. To begin the update for Windows 11 2022, users can go to the start menu, select settings, then choose update and security from the list of options. Next, users are taken to the menu, where they can update and restart their computer immediately or schedule the restart.

Updating to Windows 11, users can experience all the newly added and improved on applications to increase productivity while protecting from known vulnerabilities.

Windows 11 Gets New Taskbar Overflow Option

Are you the type of person who is in the habit of keeping all their apps open?  If so, you’re going to love a recent addition to Windows 11.

In a bid to make finding your open apps easier, once you’ve run out of room on the Windows Taskbar, they’ve introduced a new “taskbar overflow” feature.  It’s a three-dot menu that appears when there’s no more space on the taskbar that hides all the other apps you are running that don’t have room to be displayed there.

This is a vast improvement over the Windows 10 overflow, which only shows the most recent app that has been used or has been opened.

If you’re not a power user, you probably won’t even notice the change. If you are, once you give the new feature a try you’ll probably wonder how you ever got along without it.  In our view, it’s right up there with tabbed browsing.  It’s something that doesn’t seem at first glance like it would make much of a difference, but its impact is profound.

There has been quite a lot of that kind of thinking going into the design of Windows 11, and we have to say we’re impressed by the way the new OS is shaping up so far.  If this and other small but important innovations are any indication (and we absolutely believe that they are) then Windows 11 is going to be an absolute game changer when it’s released.

Kudos to Microsoft for really going the extra mile both in terms of updating and modernizing the overall Windows aesthetic and also for putting their collective thinking caps on and coming up with solutions to problems that really detract from the overall user experience.  Keep up the good work, and Windows 11 is going to be amazing.

Microsoft Resolves File Explorer Freezing Bug In Windows 11

Recent Windows 11 updates have been problematic in several ways.  That’s not the end of the world, but it has been more than a little frustrating for those in the test group getting a first look at the new operating system.

One recently introduced bug has been a sore spot for Windows 11 users.  The File Explorer will randomly freeze and the only way to get use of it is to reboot the system.

Thankfully, that issue has been resolved as of the KB5015882 update.  If you’re in the test group and have been pulling your hair out because of that issue, you’ll want to grab the update referenced above right away.

Note that this release is separate from the one the company pushed out on Patch Tuesday.  This one does not contain security updates.  You’ll only find bug fixes and performance updates here, with the Windows Explorer fix being the headliner of the bunch.

Although the fix to Explorer is the main reason you’ll want to get this update, it does have some other goodies to offer as well.

These include:

  • An option to receive urgent notifications when “Focus Assist” is turned on. The Focus Assist feature is like a Windows Do Not Disturb mode that typically hides notifications.  This addition gives you some flexibility that will allow urgent notifications to filter through.
  • A new “auto update” feature that gives you the option to upgrade your system to a newer version of Windows 11 at startup if your device is eligible
  • Fixes an issue that displays a non-closeable blank window when you hover over the search icon on the taskbar.
  • And fixed a bug that had prevented certain troubleshooting tools from opening.

All in all, it’s a solid update and well worth grabbing at your next convenience.

RDP Brute Force Attacks Blocked By Windows 11

A small but important feature was recently incorporated by the Windows 11 design team.  A new Account Lockout Policy enabled by default has been added.  This policy automatically locks user accounts (including Admin accounts) after ten failed sign-in attempts.

The account remains in a locked state for ten minutes, requiring users to wait that amount of time before they can try again.

The addition was made in a bid to prevent or at least minimize the risk of brute force attacks being made against systems. This is used in instances where different passwords are tried in rapid succession until an attacker gets a hit and is given some level of access on a target system.

It’s an excellent change because many human operated ransomware attacks rely on simple, brute force methods. Statistics gathered on the subject by the FBI indicate that between 70 to 80 percent of network breaches are because of brute force attacks.

The above describes the default settings, but Admins will have a great degree of flexibility in terms of deciding the exact policy.  The number of unsuccessful attempts before lockout can be varied. The lockout duration can be varied. The option to disable Admin accounts can be toggled on or off. Of course, the entire policy can be disabled if an Admin so desires.

Interestingly, Windows 10 has a similar lockout policy but it is not enabled by default, which is the important change here.

We regard this as another of those small but important changes that the Windows 11 team is making designed to make the new OS better, safer, and more secure than anything that Microsoft has released previously.

Kudos to the Microsoft engineers who are working tirelessly to ensure Windows 11 is a smashing success.  If the preview we’ve gotten to this point is any indication, it certainly will be!

Windows 11 Apps Are Being Tested For Kiosk Mode

There’s interesting news in the world of Windows 11 development.  Microsoft recently began testing a new Kiosk feature that will enable IT administrators to limit which applications users can use while logged into their user profiles, blocking all other functionalities.

Even better is that the kiosk approach allows you to create multiple different apps and access configurations for different user classifications on a single device.

This approach also unlocks the door to use Windows 11 machines in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Selective blocking of pop-ups and toasts that lead to a cluttered UI and diminish the overall user experience
  • Locking down the Start Menu such that it only shows allowed applications
  • And limiting access to the Windows Settings menu to selected pages defined by the Admin

If the new feature piques your interest, you can start playing around with it right now by joining the Windows Insiders team and joining the Dev channel.

Once you do, you’ll have access to the detailed instructions on how to toggle the feature on and configure it.  All you’ll need to do is to install the latest build, which is Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25169.

Whatever your opinion is after testing it out, you can leave feedback by pressing WIN +F to access the Feedback Hub under Security and Privacy, then Device Lockdown.

Although this is the latest intriguing addition to Microsoft’s new and improved operating system, there have been a whole raft of additions like this in recent months. So if you decide you want in on the action, you’ll have all sorts of new features and capabilities to explore and play with, most of which will add value to your whole business.

The bottom line is Microsoft really seems to be trying to pull out all the stops here.  We think you’ll be impressed.

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