Microsoft Weekly: Windows 10 is getting new features again, Patch Tuesday updates, and more

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In this episode of Microsoft Weekly, we look at the first Patch Tuesday updates of 2024, a sudden rebirth of Windows 10, a lot of hardware announcements at CES 2024, fresh new Windows 11 preview builds, and a bunch of neat app updates.

Table of contents:

  1. Windows 11 news
  2. Updates are available
  3. Gaming news
  4. A blast from Microsoft’s past
  5. Random fact about Microsoft

Windows 11

Here we talk about everything happening around Microsoft’s latest operating system in the Stable channel and preview builds: new features, removed features, controversies, bugs, interesting findings, and more. And of course, you may find a word or two about older but still supported versions.

The first Patch Tuesday update roundup is now available for download on supported Windows 10 and 11 versions:

In addition, Microsoft released KB5034440 and KB5034441 to fix a security flaw in WinRE that can lead to BitLocker encryption bypass. The tech giant also updated its Microsoft Printer Metadata Troubleshooter Tool with an RCE vulnerability patch.

wi-fi 7 logo

Do you remember last week’s story about Windows 11 “version 24H1” with Wi-Fi 7 support teased by Dell? The new Wi-Fi standard and devices to support it are upon us, with Wi-Fi 7 being locked in by Wi-Fi Alliance. That means the governing body is now certifying devices to support the latest and greatest Wi-Fi standard. Windows 11 still does not support Wi-Fi 7, so expect an update to resolve that in the near future.

Windows Insider Program

Here is what Microsoft released for testing this week:

Notable changes in the latest preview builds include support for 80Gbps USB4 for the upcoming laptops powered by Intel’s 14th Gen processors and a rather odd change that automatically opens Copilot when Windows starts. Luckily, the latter is only available as an experiment on multi-monitor setups with the primary display larger than 27 inches in diagonal.

Speaking of the Copilot, the company revealed more details about the recently announced Copilot key. As it turned out, that key is not mandatory, and manufacturers are free to select where to place it on their keyboards.

windows copilot key

Interestingly, Windows 10 is about to get some developer love back. Microsoft said it would add the new lock screen weather widget to Windows 10. Moreover, according to a new report, Microsoft plans to reopen the Beta Channel for Windows 10 users, letting them try new features before the public rollout.

Windows 11s lock screen with a weather widget

Updates are available

This section covers software, firmware, and other notable updates (released and coming soon) delivering new features, security fixes, improvements, patches, and more from Microsoft and third parties.

It looks like Notepad will soon get another big update. As spotted by users, the app is about to get an AI treatment called “Cowriter,” with options to rewrite the text, make it shorter, make it longer, change the tone, and change the format. Microsoft has yet to announce the feature, so expect more details soon.

Microsoft notepad

The File app, our favorite third-party alternative to the stock File Explorer, received a new feature update under version 3.1. It introduced a tray icon, smart archive extraction, better drag-and-drop support, improved sorting, and more. The update is now available for download from the Microsoft Store and GitHub.

Files version 31

Microsoft has a new PowerToys release. Version 0.77 introduced a new “Command Not Found” module and various additions and fixes for existing tools. Future PowerToys updates will bring additional enhancements, such as the ability to change language and better update notifications.

Also, Microsoft released Dev Home 0.9 with one major change: Windows 10 support. Those sticking to the good old Windows 10 can now use Microsoft’s latest Dev-focused application and its capabilities.

Other notable updates released this week include the following:

And here are the latest drivers released this week:

Finally, check out this week’s Microsoft 365 Roadmap Weekly with the latest additions of upcoming features for productivity apps from Microsoft. Plenty of changes for Microsoft Teams users, video translation on Stream, and more.

On the gaming side

Learn about upcoming game releases, Xbox rumors, new hardware, software updates, freebies, deals, discounts and more.

NVIDIA prepared plenty of gaming announcements for this year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. Besides a trio of new graphics cards, NVIDIA revealed several improvements for its cloud gaming service, GeForce NOW. It will soon let you pay for a daily pass for $3.99 or $7.99, use G-SYNC with compatible monitors, stream in higher resolution on Android (up to 1440p), and, of course, new titles to play, such as critically acclaimed Diablo IV and Overwatch 2.

With the release of the initial RTX 40 SUPER lineup, NVIDIA discontinued the original RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 Ti.

The NVIDIA GeForce NOW logo

Gamers can also expect a flood of old games remastered with modern technology. NVIDIA revealed its plans to launch RTX Remix open beta on January 22, giving mod-makers a chance to resurrect old DirectX 8 and 9 games with the latest gaming tech, such as PBR textures, ray tracing, DLSS, generative AI textures, and more. Need for Speed Underground 2 Remastered? Yes, please!

Speaking of ray tracing, look out for ray-tracing-based effects coming to Diablo IV on PC in March 2024. A bunch of upcoming games will also get DLSS 3 support, such as Half-Life 2 RTX, Horizon Forbidden West, Layers of Fear, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and more.


On the “red side,” AMD has unveiled its first desktop Ryzen 8000 processors, but do not let the name fool you. Ryzen 8000G chips are still based on the Zen 4 architecture. The biggest change is that these are the first desktop parts with dedicated AI-accelerating hardware or NPU. The integrated graphics on this is also very capable, which, according to AMD, can outperform NVIDIA’s discrete GTX 1650.

If that does not sound nor look impressive or tempting, here is a new GPU from AMD: the RX 7600 XT is now official with its generous 16GB of video memory to eat 1080p for breakfast and even take on 1440p gaming for $329.

AMD Ryzen 8000G lauch at CES 2024

Finally, on the blue side, Intel unveiled the rest of its 14th Gen processors for desktop computers, giving potential customers more choice when building a PC powered by Intel’s latest chips. The company also revealed new 14th Gen HX and U series laptop chips.


Moving from hardware updates to game updates, here is some good news for those still playing Bethesda’s Starfield: the next update will be the biggest one so far, and the studio promises over one hundred fixes and improvements to make your gaming experience better.

Starfield

Forza Motorsport is another Microsoft-owned title in need of some improvements. Turn 10 Studios said it will use player feedback to address multiple complaints and make the recently launched simulator better.

Minecraft Legends is no longer supported. Mojang announced that the game will no longer receive new content updates, pulling the plug on the title in less than a year since its launch in April 2023. However, the studio is open to exploring other ideas for more potential spin-offs of the popular sandbox game purchased by Microsoft in 2014.


Xbox fans should mark January 18 on their calendars. Microsoft has scheduled the Xbox Developer Direct event, which is expected to showcase some upcoming games, such as Avowed, Hellblade II, Ara: History Untold, and more. We might also see Bethesda’s upcoming Indiana Jones game there.

Xbox Developer Direct

Finally, Paramount revealed the full and final trailer for the upcoming second season of the Halo TV show.

Deals and freebies

If you are looking for something new to play without ruining your wallet, check out this week’s Weekend PC Game Deals issue covering Ubisoft specials, a sailing freebie from the Epic Games Store, various bundles, and more.

Sail Forth

Here are more gaming-related stories published this week:

A blast from Microsoft’s past

John Callaham’s weekly “Look back” series provides throwbacks into the past, detailing the company’s products, partnerships, mishaps, and successes from years ago.

This week’s blast from the past is about the company’s canceled plans to publish an MMO game based on Marvel Comics. Also, with plenty of CES 2024 news flooding your news feed, here is a brief look back at some wacky concepts and ideas Razer showcased at CES in the past. Tri-screen laptops, a gaming chair with a curved 60-inch OLED monitor, a modular gaming desk, a gaming projector extending your primary display, and more.

project esther

Random fact about Microsoft

And here is a randomly selected piece of trivia about the company, Windows, and other Microsoft-made things.

Some think Windows is Microsoft’s oldest and longest-standing product. However, that is not true. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the oldest brand the company owns and still supports and develops. Windows, in fact, is three years younger than Microsoft Flight Simulator, which was initially released for MS-DOS in 1982. This year, the company is expected to release a new version called Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.

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News Article Courtesy Of Taras Buria »