New Windows 11 test build adds Smart App control, better Microsoft 365 account management

Microsoft is looking to improve app security and to make Microsoft 365 account management easier in Windows 11 via new features in the latest Dev Channel test build.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft's newest Windows 11 test build adds a new Smart App Control security feature; improved Microsoft 365 account management; and a handful of other new features. Microsoft made this new build, No. 22567, available to Dev Channel testers on March 2.

Smart App Control is a security feature that Microsoft is enabling on Windows 11 to block untrusted or potentially dangerous applications. Testers can manually turn on SAC in the Windows Security app under the App & Browser Control section. This feature will only work on devices that apply Build 22567 and higher via a clean install. Officials said they will provide more details about this feature "in the future." 

Microsoft also has made the Microsoft 365 subscription management capability more visible under Settings > Accounts as of today's build. In addition, in the subscription card area, Microsoft is enabling users to see their subscription payment information and be notified when their methods need updating through payment details. 

For those who aren't Microsoft 365 subscribers, Microsoft plans to provide information on free capabilities and services they still can access via their Microsoft Account on the "Your Microsoft Account page. These kinds of free services include access to Office Web apps and the ability to view OneDrive storage. It sounds like an ad for moving to a Microsoft 365 subscription to get more functionality will be on this page, as well.

Microsoft plans to use its Online Service Experience Packs to bring additional functionality under Settings > Accounts going forward, according to today's blog post.

Microsoft will be highlighting the ability to link Android phones to PCs using the Your Phone app by making a QR code available as part of the device setup (OOBE) for Windows 11 as of this build, It also is changing Windows Update to try to schedule updates at a specific time of day to save on carbon emissions -- but only when PCs are plugged-in and "regional carbon intensity data" is available from its partners electricityMap or WattTime.

There are a large number of other fixes and updates in Build 22567 which are itemized in Microsoft's blog post. As Microsoft notes, those running Windows 10 who try to upgrade directly to 22563 or higher in the Dev Channel may get an install failure error code but can bypass this using the instructions in the blog post. Microsoft officials also note they plan to release new ISOs in the next few weeks.

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