This week saw the announcement of a time frame for game streaming availability on Windows, the usual Patch Tuesday patches, and a number of cloud-related announcements. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of December 6 – 12.
Game streaming on Windows
Following quite the silence from Microsoft’s side, the company finally confirmed this week that Xbox game streaming is coming to Windows 10 and iOS in the spring. As folks may recall, the initial plan was to bring streaming through xCloud to Windows 10 “in 2020” as announced at X019.
Moving on to news that’s not quite as far away, Minecraft RTX is now out of beta and available for Windows 10, Gears 5: Hivebusters is a new story expansion that’s set to drop December 15, and the Quadra Turbo R from Cyberpunk 2077 is now available in Forza Horizon 4.
In even more availability news, Sea of Thieves: Festival of Giving has returned with holiday events and Gilded Voyages, an update from 343 Industries has now put Halo Infinite’s launch in the fall 2021 window, Microsoft Flight Simulator has been revealed to be coming to Xbox Series X|S in summer 2021 – skipping the Xbox One entirely -, and Master Chief and the Blood Gulch map are now in Fortnite.
For folks subscribed to Game Pass, Yakuza 3,4, 5, and 6 remasters, Skyrim, Among Us, and more are coming to the service in the near future, with Code Vein, My Friend Pedro, and others launching on the service in a matter of days.
Finally, it wouldn’t be fair to overlook the confirmation of a long-standing rumor, which was finally proved to be correct during The Game Awards event. Microsoft’s The Initiative studio has indeed been up to something all these years, and that something is a reboot of Perfect Dark. It’s still early in development, so there’s no date for it as of yet.
A Tuesday of patches
As is tradition, the second Tuesday of the month brings in Microsoft’s patches for the various supported Windows operating systems. In the case of Windows 10, these patches are:
- May 2020 Update / October 2020 Update (2004/20H2): KB4592438, builds 19041.685 / 19042.685 – contains security updates for Edge Legacy and Office products.
- Known issues: The same system and user certificate loss bug is still present, as is yet another IME bug, this time related to Kanji characters.
- May 2019 Update / November 2019 Update (1903/1909): KB4592449, builds 18362.1256/18363.1256 – identical changelog to versions 2004 and 20H2.
- Known issues: The same system and user certificate loss bug, as with the above versions.
- October 2018 Update (1809): KB4592440, build 17763.1637 – supported for Enterprise and Education SKUs.
- April 2018 Update (1803): KB4592446, build 17134.1902 – identical SKU support as with version 1809.
- Creators Update (1703): KB4592473, build 15063.2584 – supported for Surface Hub only
- Anniversary Update (1607): KB4593226, build 14393.4104 – supported only for the LTSB version.
- Windows 10 RTM (1507): KB4592464, build 10240.18782 – supported only for the LTSB version.
On the subject of Windows 10 updates, it’s worth pointing out that version 1903 is no longer supported after today, and that Microsoft has paused the Windows 10 Team 2020 Update for Surface Hub 2S following complaints.
Moving to Windows 7 and 8.1, the former of which is supported only if you are a business paying for Extended Security Updates, we see the following:
- Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2: KB4592484, KB4592495 (security – only) – corrects the DST start date for the Fiji Islands, fixes a security vulnerability by preventing apps running as a SYSTEM account from printing to FILE: ports, as well as adding a number of security enhancements to Windows components.
- Known issues: The same CSV bug that’s been plaguing the OS for months now is still there.
- Windows 7 SP1, Server 2008 R2 SP1: KB4592471, KB4592503 (security-only) – fixes a security vulnerability by preventing apps running as a SYSTEM account from printing to FILE: ports, as well as adding a number of security updates to other Windows components.
- Known issue: The update may show up as Failed in Update history or you may get the error “Failure to configure Windows updates” during setup.
Flipping over to the Insider side for a second, Microsoft has announced that Windows on ARM PCs can now run x64 apps on the Insider Program, courtesy of build 21277.
Microsoft actually released two builds to its Dev channel, the one above and 20277. The latter is from the fe_release branch, which means it doesn’t contain any new features, just two small fixes. Exactly why Microsoft chose this rather convoluted way of pushing out builds, muddying up the whole idea of the Dev channel, is something we don’t yet have an answer to.
Moving on to the cloud, Microsoft is planning to build a renewable Danish data center, which is set to generate 200,000 jobs. This is no doubt in an effort to further expand the availability of its services, such as SharePoint, which now has 200 million users in the cloud.
While we’re on the subject, the company has announced a slew of other developments in the sector, including the general availability of Azure Digital Twins – which allows for the digital recreation of physical environments -, a new Top Secret cloud in Azure Government, and the GA phase of the company’s next-gen Azure Stack HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) solution.
Power BI has gotten some enhancements of its own, with the Premium version adding full report attachments for report subscriptions, large model support, a number of new Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication, as well as an Azure Cosmos DB Connector, among other things.
- Teams now has a Public Preview program.
- The new Xbox Family Settings features now let up pause screen time for your kids.
- The Meet Now and screen sharing features are now available for Teams on phones. Breakout rooms and new together mode scenes are also rolling out to all versions.
- Dark mode for OneDrive on the web will begin rolling out in January.
- PowerToys version 0.27.1 is now out, with bug fixes.
- Surface Laptop Go gets its first firmware update, improving Windows Hello.
- Microsoft has formed partnerships to ensure reliable delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as joining Amazon’s The Climate Pledge, and launching the ACTS initiative to detect and curb corruption.
- Here’s how you can create recovery media for your Windows 10 PC, as well as how to backup your files and reinstall Windows 10 off of that recovery media.
We end the column with what else but some Edge news.
For one, version 88 is now available in the Beta channel adding the sleeping tabs feature and History improvements, with the first Edge 89 build landing in the Dev channel.
If you’re running the Canary builds, there’s a new accent color option for themes – currently hidden behind a flag – as well as the option to restrict updates on metered connections. The latter feature is thankfully, not hidden.
Last but not least, Microsoft has issued a warning about a malware campaign that’s infecting Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. The exploit is part of the Adrozek family of browser modifiers that’s been active since May of this year.
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