Microsoft Weekly - June 13 2021 - weekly recap

A game streaming stick from Microsoft, some nice vertical tab improvements, and even the usual Patch Tuesday updates were revealed or confirmed in the last seven days. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of June 6 – 12.

Game streaming devices

Xbox Logo white on dark blue background with green outer glow

It’s not much a surprise that off the back of its rather successful hardware launch last year, as well as the debut of Xbox game streaming (formerly Project xCloud), Microsoft has been looking to expand its reach.

There were previous rumors of a Chromecast-like streaming solution that the firm was working on, but this week, the company came out and actually confirmed it. It mentioned that it’s working closely with TV manufacturers to integrate the “Xbox experience” into these devices, allowing folks to leverage their Game Pass subscriptions for cloud gaming.

Furthermore, echoing previously outlined ambitions, Microsoft wants to launch at least one first-party Xbox game every quarter. This is certainly possible with the gaming arm’s ever-increasing focus on first-party studios (which just this year officially grew to 23 thanks to the ZeniMax acquisition going through).

In terms of other bits of news, Project Acoustics 2.0 has been announced, which allows for the simulation of immersive acoustics in 3D environments, and integrates with engines like Unity and Unreal. Microsoft’s Project Acoustics 2.0 supports deployment across Windows, Xbox, Android, and macOS.

Moving onto game news, players making use of Fallout 76 Battle Royale mode will have just a few more months to enjoy this variant of the game, as it’s scheduled for shutdown in September. To prepare for this, you can go ahead and pick some of the games that are currently on sale, like Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, GreedFall, and others, as part of the Deals with Gold initiative.

Last but not least, if you have any Game Pass installation errors, make sure to check for updates, as Microsoft has released an optional patch to fix the aforementioned issues.

We’ll be able to see what else the company has in store in terms of games later today, as the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase kicks off at 10AM PT.

Vertical tabs

Microsoft Edge logo monochrome on dark background

For folks running the Chromium variant of Edge in the Beta channel, version 92 has begun rolling out, adding various improvements to vertical tabs. Among said improvements is the ability to turn the feature off for different open windows, as well as to hide the title bar when vertical tabs are enabled.

Those in the Dev channel got to play with Edge 93.0.910.5 which includes support for automatic HTTPS, font rendering improvements, improved inking experiences, and other enhancements targeted at those running the browser on a Mac.

Patch Tuesday

Windows logo teal on dark blue background

As is tradition, the second Tuesday of the month has rolled around, signaling that it’s time for Microsoft to push out its usual set of patches to supported versions of its operating systems.

If you’re on Windows 10 v2004 (May 2020 Update), 20H2 (October 2020 Update) or 21H1 (May 2021 Update), you’ll be receiving the same update, KB5003637, with the build numbers changing to 19041.1052, 19042.1052, and 19043.1052, respectively. The revision number at the end is identical due to the three updates being built essentially on the same codebase.

The above contain mostly security and file management improvements.

Those running Enterprise, Education, or IoT Enterprise variants of 1909 (November 2019 Update) will receive KB5003635, bumping the build number up to 18363.1621 and containing mostly the same updates as the newer versions of Windows 10. There is one additional fix here though, for a bug which prevented folks from signing into some Microsoft 365 desktop apps after installing the May 11, 2021 update.

There are of course some other supported variants, like Enterprise and Education SKUs of 1809 (October 2018 Update) – receiving KB5003646 and bumping the build number up to 17763.1999 -, as well as the LTSC variants of 1607 (Anniversary Update) and 1507 (Windows 10 RTM). The latter two will get KB5003638 and KB5003687, bumping the build numbers up to 14393.4467 and 10240.18967, respectively.

Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 got their very own update in the form of the monthly rollup found under KB5003671 (with KB5003681 being the security-only update). Not to be forgotten, businesses paying for ESUs got KB5003667 (or KB5003694 for the security-only variant) for their Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1 systems. All the updates just mentioned carry the same known issues that have been there for months.

Last but not least, Microsoft pushed out build 21390.1000 to Dev channel users to test its servicing pipeline. The firm does this either when a new version of Windows is close to release, or, for this special case, when it wants to hold back the visuals of Windows codename Sun Valley (or Windows 11, or whatever it ends up being called) for the event on June 24. We’ll probably hear more on that date at 11 AM.

Dev channel

  • Windows Virtual Desktop is now Azure Virtual Desktop, and has added some has new features.
  • Natural language queries and dictation have been added to Outlook on iOS.
  • Microsoft Search will soon be able to go through Teams meeting transcriptions.
  • OneDrive will run natively on M1 Macs later in 2021.
  • A Teams bug caused users to be prompted to a select a certificate, an issue which has now been resolved.
  • Those using the Teams Public Preview are now able to have two 7×7 video grid pages during calls.

Logging off

We end things with a guide related to fonts, and a small reminder of what’s coming later today.

The words custom and font in various fonts and colors

Whether it’s a Photoshop project that requires it, or a mere PowerPoint slide deck, a custom font can definitely spruce things up.

In case you’re looking to install such a font, our very own Usama Jawad has put together a guide, detailing the places you can go to obtain these fonts, the ways to install (or indeed uninstall them), as well as highlighting the fact that they can be installed on a per-user basis, among other things.

And since it’s June 13, we really should highlight that the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will take place later today. It’s expected that we’ll see a brand-new look at Halo Infinite, as well as updates and new title announcements from across the Redmond giant’s 23 studios. We may even hear about some new studio acquisitions, if prior years are any indication.

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase kicks off today at 10AM PT (that’s 1PM ET, or 6PM BST).

Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.

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