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New Windows 11 test build includes promised features

Windows Insider testers in the Beta and Release Preview channels now can kick the tires of some of the new features that Microsoft officials have promised to roll out to mainstream users in February.
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Credit: Microsoft

As of today, Windows Insider testers in the Beta and Release Preview channels now can kick the tires of some of the new features that Microsoft officials have promised to roll out to mainstream users in February.

Windows 11 build 22000.526 (KB5010414) includes a bunch of fixes. It also includes previews of the weather widget, which will be on the left side of the task bar; the ability to share open application windows directly from taskbars to a Teams call; and the ability to instantly mute and unmute Teams calls from the taskbar. Today's test build also includes a feature that Microsoft ended up cutting from Windows 10 21H2 just before it rolled out: Windows Hello for Business Cloud Trust.

Microsoft's blog post explains Hello for Business Cloud Trust this way:

"This is a new deployment model for hybrid deployments of Windows Hello for Business. It uses the same technology and deployment steps that support on-premises single sign-on (SSO) for Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) security keys. Cloud Trust removes the public-key infrastructure (PKI) requirements for deploying Windows and simplifies the Windows Hello for Business deployment experience."

Build 22000.526 also adds the requested ability to see the clock and date on the taskbars of connected monitors. It includes a substantial number of additional fixes that are detailed in the blog post.

Microsoft officials said a couple of weeks ago that they planned to release several new features in February to Windows 11 users -- well ahead of the Windows 11 22H2 feature update expected around October this year. 

Officials said mainstream Windows 11 users (not Insider testers) will get a public preview of Android apps on Windows 11, taskbar improvements with call mute and unmute, easier window sharing, and the weather icon on the taskbar. (Plus, users will get the redesigned Notepad and Media Player apps in February.) 

Microsoft plans to deliver these various features to users' PCs using its Feature Experience Pack, Online Service Experience Pack, and Web Experience Pack mechanisms, officials said.

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