Microsoft Weekly: Google’s love, crippled SSDs, and a new version of the dev channel


We’re at the end of another week, and it’s time to recap all that has happened in the Microsoft worm. It has been an exciting week due to some surprise announcements, Infinite halothe campaign’s release and a major release for the Windows 11 Dev Channel. Let’s dive into all of this and more in our weekly recap from December 4-10.

Google loves Windows

A Google logo on the left and a Windows logo on the right with a heart in the middle

In a surprise announcement, Google took the stage at the Game Awards to reveal that Google Play games will arrive on Windows 10 and Windows 11 next year. The company was keen to point out that this is an independent business and has not partnered with Microsoft or any other entity in that business.

It’s also interesting to know that since this feature is coming to Windows 10 as well, we now know that Google will not be using Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), a technology exclusive to Windows 11. The company announced that its solution will be available sometime in 2022 and will allow users to seamlessly switch between games on different devices. While the availability of Android apps on Windows through Google Play has yet to be confirmed, the chances of that happening have also increased significantly in light of the recent announcement.

We also learned of the failure of Microsoft’s attempt to bring Xbox AAA games to iPhone as individual apps that can be streamed through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Due to Apple’s App Store policies, the company had asked Microsoft to publish each game individually instead of offering an app that acts as a library of the many games available to stream. Based on the email exchanges, it appears that Microsoft considered giving in to Apple’s demands before deciding to release the capacity via the web.

SSD issues

WD Blue SN550 with snail on top

During the week we brought attention to an issue that is causing SSD slowdowns on Windows 11. This has been observed in our own testing and reported by others as well. Although Microsoft said it fixed these issues in an update, we didn’t notice any significant performance gains on our test setup.

Performance actually seemed to be a major concern for Microsoft this week. The company released a new tool called Microsoft-Performance-Tools for Linux-Android to measure browser performance on Linux and Android. With the toolset, you can analyze the trace, record traces, allow them to access them programmatically, and even integrate it with Windows Performance Analyzer for a graphical interface for easier analysis.

In a similar vein, it has deployed a new capability called Detached Elements in DevTools with Edge 97, allowing developers to spot memory leaks in real-world applications. This can help debug and investigate performance degradation due to document object model (DOM) leaks.

In fact, Microsoft has also announced native support for the OneDrive sync client on Mac and Windows on ARM, which will hopefully lead to performance gains as well.

Oh, and remember Alder Lake’s DRM bug on Windows 10 and 11? All games have now been patched except Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Fernbus simulator.

A little love for Windows 11 too

Windows 11 screenshot of the leaked version and logo

Despite the holiday season ahead, it’s nearly impossible to get by without hearing about Windows 11 during the week. We actually had two releases this week, although only one of them is worth talking about.

Starting with build 22518 for the Windows 11 Dev Channel, we’ve gotten a whole bunch of features and UI changes. Microsoft is exploring a new entry point for widgets on the left side of the taskbar rather than the right, there is new voice accessibility capability, as well as some changes to the context menu in File Explorer . The update also includes a host of other improvements and bug fixes, so check out the full list here. Interestingly, the version is not available for ARM64 PCs due to a bug.

Microsoft has also deployed Windows 11 build 22518.1012 (KB5009380), but this is only a minor update to test the maintenance pipeline in the development channel. It does not bring new abilities. That said, the dev chain has received a revamped notebook that features rounded UI elements, a dark mode, and the Mica material theme.

The Surface Laptop Go also received the December firmware update. It is also believed to improve battery life if you are using Windows 11. And if you are a Windows 11 user, you might want to know that the third-party tool ThisIsWin11 has been updated to allow users to uninstall broken windows. updates.

Development channel

The Visual Studio logo on a purple background

Under the projectors

Screenshot of the Halo Infinite campaign

Neowin editor-in-chief Pulasthi Ariyasinghe published his review of Infinite halo Campaign and praised her for providing an enjoyable fight, an intriguing storyline, and an interesting sandbox element. Check out his review here.

This is a screenshot of Chorus from Xbox Series X

Journalist Asher Madan took a look at Deep Silver Chorus on Xbox Series X, calling it “one of the biggest surprises of 2021”. He also praised the dynamic gameplay, mentioning that he was addicted to it. If that sounds interesting to you, take a look at his piece here.

This is a screenshot of Serious Sam 4 on Xbox Series X

Sadly, Asher hasn’t had such a positive experience with Serious Sam 4 on Xbox Series X, which he calls a bad port. This is mainly due to performance issues when many enemies appear onscreen simultaneously, which is quite common in the game. Check out more of his thoughts here.

Windows Sandbox running in Windows 10

Finally, I posted a guide on how to activate Windows Sandbox in certain configurations of Windows 10 and Windows 11. This is an extremely useful feature that allows you to check for suspicious files in a sandbox environment. If that’s okay with you, read Neowin’s brief guide here.


Apple AirTag attached to several accessories and featuring different engravings

Our most interesting story of the week is not directly related to Microsoft, but deserves to be known in this ever-changing technological world. It seems that car thieves are getting more and more sophisticated and are using Apple AirTags in their heists. Canadian police have reported a handful of cases where thieves hid Apple AirTags in a dark location in the car, then used them to track potential victims, allowing them to commit a major car theft in the harshest environment. auspicious. If privacy and security are your concern, check out our coverage on the subject here.

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