Windows 11 - First look

silversurfer

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Microsoft has released a servicing update today with a new Windows 11 build 22616.100 (KB5014650) to the Dev and Beta Channel insiders. The new build does not bring anything new to the table as it is a cumulative update with which the company is testing its servicing pipelines as it is often known to do. Microsoft has been frequently releasing servicing updates now as the Dev Channel builds are beaming with new and upcoming features.

The full announcement says:
We are starting to roll out Cumulative Update Build 22616.100 (KB5014650). This update does not include anything new and is designed to test our servicing pipeline for builds in the Dev and Beta Channels.
 

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Microsoft released two new Insider builds for the company's Windows 11 operating system this week. The first, Windows 11 build 25115, marks the beginning of the development of the 2023 feature update for Windows 11: Windows 11 version 23H2.

The second build was released to the Windows 11 version 22H2 Beta channel. Windows Insiders have a short time period in which they may move from the Dev version, which is now on version 23H2, to the Beta version, which remains on 22H2.
 

plat1098

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Currently staying on the Beta Insiders. Must have glossed over a prev. preview update that caused the .Net Framework 3.5 version to disable for many running the Released 11. Luckily, things are working fine in build 22621.1--what little I use of it. Do miss the systray--all my icons are naked and out in the open. Hopefully, Microsoft brings the system icon tray back in a future build.

systray missing.png
 

mlnevese

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Currently staying on the Beta Insiders. Must have glossed over a prev. preview update that caused the .Net Framework 3.5 version to disable for many running the Released 11. Luckily, things are working fine in build 22621.1--what little I use of it. Do miss the systray--all my icons are naked and out in the open. Hopefully, Microsoft brings the system icon tray back in a future build.

View attachment 266584
It's been working once more for the last two or three builds... check if it wasn't turned off in preferences.

Tas.jpg
 

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How to bypass the Microsoft Account requirement during Windows setup​

Bypass 1: OOBE\BYPASSNRO​

This bypass is the easiest option right now, as it requires just a few steps during setup to skip the Microsoft account creation.

Here is how it works:
  1. Disable the Internet connection before starting setup, e.g., by disconnecting the LAN cable or disabling Wi-Fi.
  2. Windows will display a "Let's connect you to a network" or similar screen. The upcoming Windows 11 version 22H2 does not allow you to skip this anymore to create a local account.
  3. On the screen, use Shift-F10 to open a command prompt window.
  4. Type OOBE\BYPASSNRO and hit the Enter-key.
  5. Windows will reboot and return to the "Let's connect you to a network" screen. Only this time, you may select "I don't have Internet" to skip this.
  6. Then you select "Continue with limited setup" to then create a local account during setup.

Bypass 2: Use a banned email address​

Microsoft has banned email addresses that were used too often in the account creation process. You may use this to your advantage, as it allows you to skip the Microsoft account creation or sign-in phase during setup.

Here is how this method works (thanks Neowin):
  1. Select Sign-In when asked to create or sign-in to a Microsoft account during setup.
  2. Use the email address no@thankyou.com.
  3. Type any password on the next screen.
  4. Windows will display "Oops, something went wrong" on the next screen.
  5. Clicking Next opens a screen that allows you to create a local account.
  6. You can assign a password to the account, or leave it empty.

Closing Words​

There is a chance that Microsoft is removing the bypass options in future versions of Windows. New bypasses may be found, which we will add to this guide.

For now, users have several options to skip using a Microsoft account during setup.
 

silversurfer

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Microsoft is actively tweaking the User Interface (UI) of Windows 11 to bring it in line with the WinUI design aesthetics. In the latest Windows 11 Build 25115, the Shut Down dialogue box as well as the WinRE have undergone a facelift.
 

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What is new in Windows 11 22H2, the first feature update for the newest OS
Microsoft is now getting ready to ship Windows 11 22H2, the first feature update for the operating system introduced last year. Unlike many previous Windows 10 updates, version 22H2 comes with a massive list of notable improvements and new capabilities. Here is your comprehensive list of all the changes Microsoft prepared for Windows 11 users in version 22H2.

Table of contents:
  1. Start menu and taskbar improvements.
  2. File Explorer improvements and window management.
  3. Various noteworthy UI changes.
  4. Moving from Control Panel to Settings.
  5. Redesigned Task Manager.
  6. Improvements for the Settings app.
  7. Accessibility.
  8. Annoyances.
  9. Closing words and poll.
Note: Microsoft is yet to announce the release date of Windows 11 22H2. Reputable sources claim the update will be released to manufacturers on May 24, 2022. We will update this article once we have official word from Microsoft.
 

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Microsoft is apparently working on a new application for Windows 11 dubbed "Designer" and multiple images of the preview version of the app have leaked out. Prolific Windows leakster and Twitter user WalkingCat, who also recently shared the alleged RTM date for Windows 11 22H2, spotted it.
 

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  • ARM64 devices will be able to update to this build.
  • We are releasing ISOs for this build – they can be downloaded here.
  • This build includes some general improvements and fixes.
 

mlnevese

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If my years as a Windows Insider taught me anything, it is you shouldn't touch the Dev Channel unless you are ready to deal with weird bugs. Even Beta Channel is not much safer as the recent problem with the program icons in the task bar demonstrated. :)
 
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rain2reign

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I keep noticing the increasing amounts of articles referring to "unpopular features". These websites and communities fail to understand that their own audience compromises of at least 60% to 70% of people working in IT or having a severe interest in technology. While Microsoft's primary targeted audience has long since shifted to the grand global majority.

Their targeted audience is not, ghacks, some tech forum or people working/interested(hobby?) in technology and software. It's popularity based on tracked (meta)data of used functions, the bing search engine embedded into the taskbar etc... It's popular with the grand silent majority, not the "obscure" 20% whom known what they are doing.

Not saying I belong in the majority group, because I do not. I am with the unhappy few, but it's becoming quite off-putting with how more vocal, and entitled, those places have become.
 
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Microsoft updates Windows Subsystem for Android with new features and Android 12.1​

Microsoft today announced a big feature update for Windows Subsystem for Android, which is responsible for running Android apps on Windows 11-based computers. The most notable changes include moving to Android 12.1, a redesigned Settings app, better integration with Windows, and improved input.

The latest version of Windows Subsystem for Android (2204.40000.15.0) is now available in the Microsoft Store on computers enrolled in the Dev channel of the Windows Insider program. Here are the changes. [...]
 

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Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 22H2’s new desktop spotlight feature early
If you were wondering that you’d have to wait for Windows 11 version 22H2 to get any major new features, then we have some good news for you.

When Microsoft announced Windows 11 for consumers and businesses, officials said they would release only one big update each year. Some people were worried that they’d have to wait for 12 months for new features to arrive on their desktop.

As you’re probably aware, Windows 11 is much more modular than Windows 10 and Microsoft can deliver updates to existing features like Windows Settings outside the major feature updates. This means that Experience Packs alongside the cumulative updates will be bringing a range of new features and minor additions.

Microsoft has already released Windows Subsystem for Android outside the feature update cadence and a new update is now rolling out with support for Windows 11 22H2’s desktop spotlight functionality.

For those unfamiliar with ‘Spotlight’, it is a Bing-powered feature that automatically changes the background of your lock screen. Spotlight, which has been around since the release of Windows 8, replaces the static wallpapers with high-def images provided by Microsoft.

Spotlight is a fun feature, but it only worked on the lock screen until now. Microsoft has listened to the feedback and is adding Spotlight support to the desktop with Windows 11 Build 22000.706, which is an optional preview update currently available in Release Preview Update.

This update will begin rolling out to everyone in the production channel in a few days and it doesn’t require version 22H2.
 

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Microsoft's Panos Panay reiterates that Windows 11 is all about quality​

Today, at Computex 2022, Panos Panay, in a discussion with Nicole Dezen, CVP of Device Partner Sales at the company, re-iterated on this idea once more stating that quality of the OS was still the highest priority for the Windows 11 development team. He said:
[..] And it (Windows 11) has the highest quality scores. Here's the most important thing for our team, quality, quality, quality. People using it are finding the quality in the product, which has just been awesome. That also translates to product satisfaction. It is the highest product satisfaction of any version of Windows we've ever shipped. You kind of see that.

 

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Android apps on Windows 11 are coming to five more countries​

Back in October 2021, Android apps on Windows 11 finally made their way to Windows Insiders. After months of testing, they became available in preview form for the OS too, but only in the U.S.
Today, Microsoft has announced that it is expanding this program to more countries. Windows 11 users in five more countries will now be able to take advantage of Android apps. These include France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. Although Microsoft hasn't outlined a concrete timeline, it has noted that this should happen by the end of this year.