Microsoft Weekly: Android on Windows, malware signed WHQL and versions 21H2


It’s the end of the week, which means it’s time to take a look at what’s been going on in Microsoft’s world over the past few days. Windows 10 was primarily Microsoft’s goal in terms of new releases, but as we know the upcoming version 21H2 is just an activation package, so don’t raise your expectations too high. More interestingly, the Windows Subsystem for Android finally landed on the prerelease versions of Windows 11. In the cybersecurity realm, we also discovered that Microsoft had digitally signed a driver that was actually malware that could do bad things. ravages. Find out more about it in our weekly recap from October 17-22.

Windows built

Windows 10 logo with the November 2021 update written below in blue

After giving Windows 11 all the attention over the past few weeks, Microsoft has finally decided to give Windows 10 a little love. The company has released versions 19043.1319 and 19044.1319 for Insiders running version 21H1 or 21H2 respectively. , in the Release Preview ring. Both versions have identical change logs, which makes sense because 21H2 is just an activation package for 21H1 after all. Tons of bugs have been fixed, including those that prevented subtitles from showing on certain streaming sites or video playing apps. Improvements have also been made to the memory leak and ransomware protection department. However, you probably won’t notice any front-end improvements if you install any of these versions.

If you thought version 19044.1319 will be the launch version of Windows 10 version 21H2 – when it is finally released – you would be wrong. Microsoft has finally revealed that version 19044.1288 is a candidate version for this deployment and is now available for those in the Release Preview ring. The company has also published ISOs. The improvements proposed in 19044.1319 will be provided in the next Patch Tuesday update. Although a firm release date has not been disclosed, Microsoft has referred to version 21H2 as the “November 2021 Update,” but also said that of the three notable features promised for the update, a new Windows Hello for Business deployment method dubbed “trust in the cloud” won’t be ready for prime time. You can read more about what to expect from the Windows 10 November 2021 Update in our guide here.

Windows 11 also received some love in the form of build 22483 for the Dev channel. It fixes some bugs related to search and settings, but also introduces new ones to search, taskbar and startup. ISOs are also available for installation. Just a few hours ago, Microsoft released Windows 11 build 22483.1011 (KB5007484) to the development channel, but this is just an update to test the maintenance pipeline, it doesn’t show any changes.

Android on Windows

android apps on windows 11

Windows 11 lacked support for Android apps, although the feature was heavily touted when the operating system was unveiled in June. However, it looks like the general public will be able to get their hands on it as soon as the ability is finally rolled out in the beta channel this week. Those using the Insider series versions can install the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), download the Amazon App Store, and give Android apps a boost on Windows 11.

Microsoft has also released development tips for those who want to test how their Android apps work on Windows 11. It is important to understand that this is a preview release, so some issues are to be expected. Microsoft has previously noted that you might see weird visual artifacts with some apps on ARM64, performance may vary with concurrent apps, and apps coming out of modern standby will experience issues. It’s also worth noting that the Amazon App Store currently only supports a handful of apps curated by Microsoft and Amazon. It is likely that more apps will emerge as they go through the validation process of both companies. There is also a workaround to install Google Play services on Windows 11, but do so at your own risk.

While Android supports Windows, Microsoft recommends developers who want to take advantage of the latest features of Windows apps to migrate out of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and opt for the Windows App SDK instead. Windows App SDK combines the capabilities of Win32 desktop apps as well as UWP.

Microsoft signed malware

Microsoft logo on the left on a blue background with a padlock on the right on a black background

Something that turned heads this week was the discovery of malware that was signed by Microsoft … sort of. Basically, a driver called “FiveSys” went through Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification, and Microsoft quickly signed it digitally. It was later discovered that Fivesys is actually malware in disguise, leading many to question the process behind Microsoft’s program. The company typically checks the driver packages sent by its various vendor partners through the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP).

It has been revealed that the Fivesys rootkit behaves as follows:

The purpose of the rootkit is simple: it aims to redirect Internet traffic in infected machines through a custom proxy, which is taken from a built-in list of 300 domains. Redirection works for both HTTP and HTTPS; the rootkit installs a custom root certificate for HTTPS redirection to work. In this way, the browser does not warn of the unknown identity of the proxy server.

In terms of other key features, the associated white paper also mentions that the rootkit blocks changes to the registry and also attempts to block access by its competitors to an infected system.

This is not the first time that something like this has happened. A malware called “Netfilter” was also validated by Microsoft in June, probably in the same way.

Infinite halo, Forza Horizon 5, and the game galore

Halo Infinite played on an ultra-wide monitor

There has been a lot of notable news related to the game this week. Microsoft revealed more details about the PC version of Infinite halo. The game will come with support for ultra-wide and super-ultra-wide screens, and features like FOV sliders, dynamic resolution adjustment, triple key assignment options, and model shift control. weapons are also coming.

The developer also mentioned anti-cheat mechanisms, but hinted that user privacy would be respected and not implemented in a way that negatively inhibits the overall gaming experience. Integration with the social features of Steam and Discord was also confirmed, and was therefore linked to Razer Chroma RGB. Local dedicated server hosting will also be a feature on PC, and any other PC or console connected to the local network will be able to join the old school LAN parts.

Microsoft also revealed that it is partnering with AMD for ray tracing support – which is not included in the launch version of the game -, and it has launched a Infinite halo-RX 6900 XT theme to celebrate this partnership. That said, the material is not available for sale and will likely be offered via giveaways on social media to evade scalpers.

In other news, Forza Horizon 5 turned gold and the size of the game is north of 100 GB on all platforms. Sea of ​​Thieves crossed the 25 million player mark and celebrated the milestone with free in-game goodies. Tons of games including Outriders, Age of Empires IV, and Dragon ball fighterz are heading to Xbox Game Pass soon, and gamers have also Microsoft Flight Simulator GOTY Edition to wait in November.

Xbox Series X owners were treated to 4K dashboards, night mode, and quick settings changes. And if you’re in the mood for gaming, Microsoft also has a decent Xbox Shocktober sale.

Development channel:


Voice typing in Windows 11

In this week’s Closer Look, I discussed voice typing in Windows 11 and how it is a significant upgrade from its Windows 10 offering. Microsoft has updated the user interface to follow the design language of Windows 11, but perhaps the most notable change is the fact that the functionality is now powered by Azure Speech services, which means that it supports features such as automatic punctuation and tons of other languages.

You can read my thoughts on voice typing in Windows 11 here and check out our ongoing Closer Look series here.

And if you want to try Android apps on Windows 11, check out Neowin’s how-to guide here.

Did you miss any of the previous columns? Discover them all on this link.

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