Windows 11 has never been so popular – but is a fresh surge of installations coming from a place of love or mere tolerance?

Windows 11 is creeping up on its three-year anniversary since launch, and the OS has apparently hit an all-time high for users – almost 30% of all Windows PCs now run Windows 11, at least according to one analytics firm.

That may not seem like a lot – frankly, it isn’t – but it’s at least a marked improvement in recent times, where Windows 11’s adoption has actually slightly dropped, and this is certainly a positive sign compared to the cold reception that the operating system initially received.

Neowin flagged that Statcounter’s most recent monthly report shows Windows 11 at 29.7% of market share, with Windows 10 still currently enjoying a large majority of 66.1%. 

Normally, when a new operating system drops, it’s widely adopted. Still, if we’re celebrating a high of 30% nearly three years on from release, that’s obviously not a great indication that Windows 11 is being welcomed with open arms – despite all its extra perks and AI features, which are continuously being added.

That begs the question: Why are so many people reluctant to move to Windows 11? For starters, the more demanding system requirements that rule out older CPUs and machines without TPM are a hard barrier for adoption when it comes to some PCs.

Windows 11 laptop showing Copilot

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Furthermore, since its launch, Windows 11 has suffered more than its fair share of poor updates and buggy behavior. Plus, the OS is slowly turning into a conduit for ads that you can’t escape in some cases. Also, there’s just not a lot of difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 for people who aren’t really that fussed about AI or Copilot (and Copilot is in Windows 10 anyway, even if all of Microsoft’s various AI features aren’t). 

Could this small victory for Windows 11 – which represents a monthly uptick of just over 2% in Statcounter’s figures – simply be the result of people buying new machines? You’d be hard-pressed to find a new Windows desktop PC or laptop that isn’t running Windows 11, and downgrading your system is just not worth the effort for many (or may not even be possible). Especially given that Windows 10 isn’t far off its End of Life anyway (that rolls around in October 2025).

It might be the case that we’ll have to wait until Windows 12 eventually debuts and hope that it’s a big enough improvement to get Windows 10 users to jump ship and skip Windows 11 – although, again, system requirements are likely to prove an insurmountable hurdle for some older PCs.

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Windows 11’s controversial Recall feature hasn’t just been ditched from Copilot+ PCs – Microsoft’s reportedly stripped it out of test builds of the OS

Microsoft has seemingly pulled its Recall feature – the AI-powered search that screenshots your PC activity and has caused controversy aplenty – not just from Copilot+ PCs at launch, but now from Windows 11 test builds, too.

If you cast your mind back to a week ago, June 14, Microsoft came forth with an announcement that Recall had been withdrawn from Copilot+ PCs, where it was supposed to be in ‘preview’ at launch, and would instead be available to preview in the “Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks.”

In other words, Windows test builds – but of course, the mention of the ‘coming weeks’ suggests that testing of the feature won’t happen immediately in the Canary channel (or other preview channels for that matter).

Still, as Tom’s Hardware observes, Recall functionality was present in build 26236 in the Canary channel – with well-known leaker Albacore uncovering new pieces of functionality – and then, on the day of the launch of Copilot+ PCs, that build had its rollout paused by Microsoft.

Following that, build 26241 emerged in Canary testing, and as Tom’s makes clear, it has no sign of the Recall feature – it has all been stripped out.

Analysis: Recall won’t be ready until it’s ready – and that’s a good thing

Really, then, this is to be expected. As we noted above, Microsoft has said Recall is going into testing, but only in the coming weeks, hinting it’s still a little way off reaching that point. But it’s still interesting to see that Microsoft has stripped it out completely in the Canary channel, after pausing the preview build which had the feature (albeit with changes discovered by Albacore that were hidden in the background).

To us, this indicates that it might be a bit more of a long haul than Microsoft suggests for Recall actually going live even in test builds of Windows 11. But frankly – if this turns out to be the case – we think that’s something to be grateful for, being very much of the opinion that Recall likely isn’t remotely ready yet.

If Microsoft is taking the time to pull it completely, and really get the Recall house in order, before deploying it to Windows 11 testers, that’s a good sign. It’s a kingpin AI feature for Copilot+ PCs, after all, so Microsoft needs to get Recall right, and if that takes time, all well and good as far as we’re concerned.

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Annoying Windows 11 bug that distorted videos playing in Chrome or Edge browsers has finally been squashed

Perhaps one of the most annoying bugs in Windows 11 has finally been addressed and fixed by Microsoft in the latest update for the OS.

The glitch in question caused visual distortions in videos in Chromium-based browsers for some Windows 11 users, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

The level of distortion changes from user to user, going by reports, but usually includes grey static and general nuttiness when you’re trying to watch a video in your browser! It sounds pretty nasty for those affected.

According to Windows Latest, the issue occurs mostly on PCs with Nvidia graphics cards, and speculation holds that the corruption may be related to Chromium power management. Thankfully, the June cumulative update (KB5039212) has finally squashed the bug, so it shouldn’t bother Windows 11 users any longer. 

A support document from Microsoft states: “This update addresses an issue that distorts parts of the screen. This occurs when you use a Chromium-based browser to play a video.”

The June update for Windows 11 also tackles issues with glitchy or unresponsive taskbars and problems some users had with their PC failing to return from hibernate mode.

Windows Latest tested the fix for visual glitches with videos and reported that it solves the bug. That’s good to hear and means that we have some sort of confirmation that the fix works, so hopefully if you’re experiencing the issue, you should soon see it resolved. 

This nasty browser-related bug has been around for quite some time now, and while I’m glad that the issue has finally been cured, it is rather odd that it’s taken this long. As to why, well, I can only guess the issue was more complex to address than it seems at face value, but at any rate, it’s not the first time we’ve had to wait for ages to get a Windows problem resolved.

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Report: The Apple Vision Pro 2 has been put on ice

The Apple Vision Pro recently celebrated its first birthday, but the headset may already be losing momentum – a new report suggests that Apple has now halted work on its high-end successor.

According to The Information, Apple has “told at least one supplier that it has suspended work on its next high-end headset.” The reason for the move? A contributing factor is apparently that analysts and supply chain partners “have flagged slowing sales of the $ 3,500 device.”

That reported drop in sales is something we also heard last month from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, but it doesn't mean Apple is throwing in the towel on its 'spatial computing' headset. 

The Information's sources suggest that the company “is still working on releasing a more affordable Vision product” that'll have fewer features than the current model and will land “before the end of 2025”.

Apparently, Apple's original plan for its Vision line was to split it into 'Pro' and standard models, just like the iPhone. This move doesn't necessarily mean the end of that 'Pro' model, with The Information stating that “it's possible that Apple could resume work on a high-end Vision product down the road.” However, it could have major implications for the mixed-reality headset space.

Rumors have been growing about a high-end Meta Quest Pro 2 and a Samsung XR/VR headset, while Meta also announced in April that its Horizon OS from the Quest series will open up to new headsets from Lenovo and Asus. Given that the Vision Pro remains the flag-bearer for high-end mixed-reality experiences, this rumored move from Apple could potentially deflate the space and hit those projects.

A reality check for the Vision Pro?

Lance Ulanoff wearing Apple Vision Pro

(Image credit: Future)

We recently learned at WWDC 2024 that the Apple Vision Pro will finally be getting a global launch in several countries in late June, plus some cool new visionOS 2 tricks

That doesn't suggest that Apple is slowing development on its 'face computer' – and it's important to note that this report from The Information is still only speculation. But the decision would tally with other recent Apple moves, like the reported cancelation of the Apple Car project, and a $ 3,500 (or £2,800 / AU$ 5,300) headset continues to be a hard sell in economically challenging times.

TechRadar's Editor at Large Lance Ulanoff recently summed up the Vision Pro conundrum by stating, “I love Apple's revolutionary headset, so why do I hardly ever use it?“. The problems, aside from the price tag, are that its incredible capabilities don't make the headset lighter or compensate for the “plain weirdness of wearing a computer on your face.”

It seems that Apple's next move will be fixing those issues with a cheaper, lighter Vision headset sometime next year. Only then can it create the upgrade path to a Vision Pro 2 or a Vision Pro successor, which will hopefully be retrieved from the cryogenic chamber that Apple has reportedly placed it in – for now.

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If your Windows 11 taskbar’s been acting weird, you’re not seeing things – but don’t worry, there’s a fix

Windows 11 just received a new update and there’s some good news for those who were experiencing weird and buggy behavior with their taskbar.

Namely that the frustrating taskbar bug – where it can vanish, before reappearing – is now fixed with the cumulative update for June 2024, as Microsoft makes clear in the support document relating to the upgrade.

Microsoft notes: “This update addresses a known issue that affects the taskbar. It might briefly glitch or not respond. It might also disappear and reappear.”

To rewind a bit, this glitchy behavior was actually introduced by the optional update Microsoft ushered in at the end of May 2024 (and we've seen a similar issue in recent times, too).

When the problem became known, Microsoft was swift to act, and fired up a rollback for devices that had installed this preview update for May. This was implemented via a ‘Known Issue Rollback’ meaning Windows 11 users didn’t have to take any action installing another patch – the fix was put in place automatically (as Neowin spotted).

So, those who were worried about this bug carrying over to the June update – after all, May’s optional update is June’s cumulative update, but in testing – well, you needn’t fret. The problem is now fully resolved (or at least Microsoft says it is).

Useful new features are also part of the June update

What else is present in the new June update for Windows 11? It also delivers the long-awaited drag-and-drop functionality for File Explorer’s address bar, changes to Account Manager in the Start Menu, a refreshed Linked Devices page in the Settings app, built-in QR code generation for links, and many security-related tweaks. 

We would always recommend that you make sure that you have Microsoft’s latest Patch Tuesday update installed, as these patches address the latest security risks and known exploitable vulnerabilities.


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Meta’s own store has leaked the Meta Quest 3S – which could be the cheap VR headset you’ve been waiting for

We might know the name of Meta’s next VR headset, as its own store has leaked the existence of the Meta Quest 3S.

Rumors have been swirling for some time that Meta is working on a cheaper version of the Meta Quest 3 – which has been called both the Meta Quets 3S and Meta Quest 3 Lite by people claiming to be in the know. The most recent leak revealed that it’s essentially the Quest 3’s brain (the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset) inside the Quest 2’s bulkier body.

It seemed likely Meta might want to launch a cheaper VR headset, as the Quest 3 is a lot pricier than the old Oculus Quest 2. We think it’s worth the added cost, but it comes in at $ 499 / £479 / AU$ 799 instead of the $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 the 2 was at launch (and the $ 199.99 / £199.99 / AU$ 359.99 it is currently) which is a fairly hefty price increase.

Now Meta has all but confirmed the Meta Quest 3S is on the way by listing it as one of its headsets in the Quest Store.

The Alo Moves Quest Store page with the Meta Quest 3S name listed

(Image credit: Future / Meta / Alo Moves)

First spotted by UploadVR (and we’ve verified it), if you head to the Alo Moves XR page you’ll see that the app “Supports Meta Quest 3S, Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2.” Upload VR says it also appears on several other store pages – suggesting it’s not simply an error on the Alo Moves developer’s part – but we’ve not been able to spot it on any of the ones we’ve looked through. 

It’s possible many of these pages have already spotted and fixed the mistake, and we expect the Alo Moves reference to the 3S will disappear soon too.

Either way, this is as close to an official confirmation as we’ll get until Meta makes a proper announcement – something we had expected would happen soon as part of this year’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, a gaming-focused event that usually lands in June or July.

That official announcement is still going to be important as while this leak does seemingly confirm a Meta Quest 3S is on its way, it doesn’t tell us any details about what we can expect from the device. Yes, leaks have strongly hinted at a more affordable XR device but we won’t know for sure until we hear the details from Meta directly.

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Google may have been storing your incognito browsing data and now they’ve agreed to delete it

Bad news: Google's apparently been storing your Chrome incognito browsing data.

Good news. They've finally agreed to delete it.

In a court document filed Monday (April 1) and spotted by BGR, Google has agreed to settle a nearly four-year-old class-action suit that challenged Google's private browsing (a.k.a. “Incognito Mode) data collection policies.

The original lawsuit claimed, “Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy…even when Google users launch a web browser with 'private browsing mode' activated…Google nevertheless tracks the users’ browsing data and other identifying information.”

Google didn't entirely deny the claims, stating in 2020 that while incognito browsing mode data isn't saved locally, “websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”

Now, the search giant has, in principle at least, agreed to several adjustments in its messaging, data collection, and storage practices. However, if you thought this class action lawsuit might result in a small check arriving on your doorstep, you may be disappointed. The filing states that there will be “no release of monetary claims,” though individuals retain the right to sue Google for damages.

Among the changes Google will agree to when it appears before a judge on July 30:

  • Deletion or remediation of all collected data
  • Rewrite its incognito browser disclosures
  • Google must add, for the next five years at least, the ability in incognito mode to block third-party cookies by default.
  • Google has to delete private-browsing detection bits.

Google Chrome Incognito Mode splash page

You probably want to read this splash page before browsing in incognito mode. (Image credit: Future)

While this is probably good news and a big deal (Chrome currently has over 65% browser market share), the fact that incognito browsing never meant what you thought it did might be unnerving for some users.

Now, no one is judging what you browse in incognito mode but it's probably good guidance to stop assuming that whatever you see while browsing in that mode is not being detected or “seen” in some way by others.

It's not that random people or Google employees are looking at your browser history, Instead, Google's been doing what it always does, acting as a data middle-man to enable ad-targeting and some continuity in your browsing experience either by Google or through partners who use cookies to ensure that what you see on subsequent pages reflects what you were looking at on the page before.

While the filing notes that Google has already undertaken some of these changes, it's not clear if the messaging on the incognito splash pages has changed.

At the top, it reminds you that others using the same device won't see your browsing history and it notes that Chrome doesn't in this mode store browser history, cookies, and form information. It also notes, however, that your activity might be visible to the sites you visit, someone in control of your account (a school or employer), and your ISP.

It's not clear if the changes Google's set to make will impact any of that.

As for how Google feels about all this, the settlement notes that “Google supports final approval of the settlement, but disagrees with the legal and factual characterizations contained in the Motion.”

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macOS has been riddled with bugs lately – but the new macOS 14.4.1 update has just fixed the most notorious one

The last few weeks have been plagued with bugs and oddities for users who updated their Mac devices to macOS Sonoma 14.4, including a particularly thorny issue that functionally broke a lot of users' USB hubs. A new update, macOS 14.4.1, has just been released to address the most notorious issues – so you’ll want to update your system as soon as possible. 

According to TweakTown, the update was released yesterday to the public and will resolve an issue that affected USB hubs connected to the monitors people were using with their Macs. Discussions on Reddit threads and Apple’s support forums indicated that while the problem might not have been incredibly widespread, it was still affecting a decent number of people.

While Apple hasn’t released any formal statements about the issues, it’s good to see Apple swoop in and provide a quick, no-frills solution for the issue. The new update doesn’t offer any new features besides the bug fixes, so if you’re worried about possibly catching another macOS bug from it you can assume there’s likely nothing else to go wrong with such a targeted fix.

Call the exterminator!

Sonoma 14.4 hasn’t just been plaguing users' USB hubs, it’s been taking down printers as well. While the printer issue hasn’t been reported as widely as the USB breakdown, it’s still another unwelcome bug that arrived courtesy of the update. 

The update has also been reported to be deleting previously saved versions of files in users’ iCloud Drives, effectively deleting people’s backups if they moved files out of iCloud. Normally, when you save your files in iCloud Drive all the edited versions of your file are saved for future reference, but thanks to yet another bug in Sonoma 14.4  these previous versions could be erased – which might mean all your work is gone. 

Hopefully, another upcoming update will address these issues alongside the USB hub bug, but we’ll have to wait and see if that is the case. There’s no indication so far that the new update deals with all the currently reported issues – but you’re better off updating your system just in case. 

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Forget the Apple Car – Porsche has been using the Apple Vision Pro with its record-breaking new Taycan

Porsche has just unveiled its most dynamic Taycan so far – the Porsche Taycan Turbo GT. This takes the Taycan Turbo S, gives it more power, reduces the weight and primes it for the track. There are two versions of the new car, the Taycan Turbo GT and the Taycan Turbo GT with Weissach package, which loses the backseats and gains a rear wing to make it a record-breaking track car. 

The unveiling of any new Porsche model wouldn't be complete without some mention of its performance credentials and a portion of the launch presentation included coverage of a record-breaking lap from the Laguna Seca raceway in California. 

It seems that Porsche CEO Oliver Blume couldn't make it to The Golden State himself, so instead, he watched it using Apple Vision Pro. Cut to Tim Cook congratulating Porsche on their record-breaking new car, one of many examples of Porsche and Apple's strong ongoing partnership.

Blume wasn't just watching a video feed on Apple Vision Pro, however. He was in a full-on spatial computing mode, virtual track map, multiple windows of telematics, video feed from the car on the track – even the driver's heart rate was displayed. A celebration of cutting-edge tech at a corporate level? You bet. 

an image of the Apple Vision Pro being used with a Porsche virtual cockpit

(Image credit: Porsche / Chris Hall)

“What an amazing experience it was to join the team virtually along with Apple Vision Pro. Thanks to our custom race engineer cockpit app, it felt like I was right there in Laguna Seca with Lars [Kern, Porsche development driver],” said Blume.

“It has been great to bring the best of German engineering and Apple's inspiring product innovations together.”

Cue Tim Cook's surprise cameo. “Congratulations to you and the Porsche team on the new record you set with this incredible new vehicle. It's these kinds of extraordinary milestones that show the world what can happen when a team of incredibly dedicated people come together to break new ground on a big idea,” said Cook.

“Porsche has always been known for excellence,” continued Cook, “and we're proud to see a number of our products play a role in what you do. And it's so great to see Apple Vision Pro helping reimagine track experiences.”

The mutual backslapping continued for a little longer, before Blume dropped the next nugget: “We appreciate the great partnership we have established over the years, starting with the My Porsche app on Apple CarPlay and now we're taking it one step further with Porsche's Apple Vision Pro race app to bring the best user experience to our employees and customers.”

The appearance of Apple Vision Pro went virtually unnoticed, however. There was no mention of any Apple Vision Pro app in the press materials and when asked at the launch site in Leipzig, there was no more information forthcoming. Porsche it seems, aren't saying any more about it.

Chalk it down as the ultimate tease perhaps: there doesn't seem to be a name for the app that was used – Oliver Blume himself referred to it in two different ways – but it does demonstrate that Porsche and Apple are continuing to work on technologies together beyond Apple CarPlay and the customisation of the Porsche digital displays.

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Windows 11 users rejoice – the case of the disappearing taskbar has been solved

Earlier this month, some Windows 11 users noticed that their taskbar was behaving strangely and disappearing following a recent update – and it looks like Microsoft has now released a fix for the annoying bug.

A new preview build has been released in the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program this week that looks like it’s bringing fixes for multiple reported issues, including the taskbar problem, which saw it appearing as a blank space for some users, before slowly reloading. 

The Windows Insider Program is a Microsoft-run community for professionals and Windows enthusiasts who would like the most up-to-date information about new developments, and the ability to try new features and versions of Windows in order to provide feedback ahead of their release to the wider user base. 

BetaNews also writes of another taskbar-related error that’s apparently been plaguing users for weeks: whenever they would load Windows 11, it would take several seconds for the taskbar to appear. 

These sorts of task-bar related issues are annoying for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that it becomes a lot harder to start and run applications, and limits the user’s ability to actually engage with the OS, since the Windows 11 taskbar is such an essential part of the operating system’s user interface. 

A woman sitting at a computer and smiling

(Image credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock)

The nature of the Beta Channel update

The newly-created fix is only available in the Beta, Dev, and Canary Channels of the Windows Insider Program for now. This means that Microsoft is still testing and collecting feedback about the build, and it will probably take a couple of weeks before it makes its way to the Stable Channel (through which most users get updates that are in their final iteration and deemed ready for release by Microsoft). BetaNews speculates that this release could fall on March’s Patch Day which is March 12, 2024.

At the moment, the build that’s currently available in the Beta Channel doesn't introduce any major new features, and the focus of this update is specifically the fixes for the reported issues above. Other updates in the preview build, according to an official Windows Insider Blog post, include a new badge for Widget notifications to notify users when there are unread Widget notifications, and higher quality Widget icon images that should appear sharper. 

While Windows 11’s taskbar problems did take a little while to be addressed by Microsoft, and seems the vocal backlash finally got the company to spring into action, it’s good that the problems seemed to have been finally fixed. If you absolutely cannot stand the faulty taskbar behavior, you can join the Windows Insider Program (which is free), and then join the Beta Channel.


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