Surprise Windows 11 update fixes some of our biggest issues – here’s how to get it

Microsoft has just released a much-publicised Windows 11 update that finally brings Android apps to your PC, but the company has also slipped out a surprise update. Windows 11 Build 22557 brings some really cool new features – and addresses many of our complaints.

Unlike the recent update, which is available to all Windows 11 users, and had a blog post from none other than Microsoft’s Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices, Windows 11 Build 22557 has only been released on the Nickel Release branch. This is an active development branch that allows developers to get access to early versions of the operating system to help ensure their apps and products work well with the update.

Usually, we wouldn't pay attention to these kind of updates, but this one is noteworthy as it gives us an idea of what will be coming in Windows 11’s major update later this year, which is currently known as Windows 11 22H2.

It also brings some tweaks and fixes to Windows 11 that many of us have been waiting for since the operating system’s launch last year.

Start menu showing pinned apps organized into folders.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

New features coming to Windows 11

One of the biggest features that’s arrived in Windows 11 Build 22557 is the ability to drag and drop files onto an app in the Taskbar in order to quickly open the file in the chosen app. It’s a handy feature in previous versions of Windows that many people use every day, so the fact that it wasn’t included in Windows 11 frustrated a lot of users.

Adding app shortcuts to the Windows 11 Taskbar is also getting easier, as you’ll be able to drag and drop apps from the Start menu to the Taskbar, automatically pinning them there.

The Windows 11 Start menu is also getting updated, and will get support for folders. Again, this is a handy feature that has been present in previous versions of Windows, and its absence in the latest version was certainly perplexing.

Folders in the Windows 11 Start menu will can be created by dragging and dropping one app onto another, and these folders can be named for easier organization.

As we expected, Focus Assist is getting a big overhaul. In the new update, it’s now just called “Focus” and will allow you to easily mute notifications from some apps and start a “Focus Session” with a focus timer and calm music from Spotify. This allows you to minimize distractions when you need to focus.

Microsoft has also introduced a useful accessibility feature known as Live Captions which cleverly displays subtitles for any audio content you play.

Live captions (launched from Quick Settings Accessibility flyout) generating captions for a video playing in the web browser.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Other tweaks include the ability to pin files to the Quick Access part of Windows Explorer (which yo can already do with folders), and integration between Windows 11 and services such as OneDrive and Office.com have been improved.

Snap Layouts for quickly organising your desktop have got a new design and animations, and the useful Task Manager tool has got a visual makeover as well to better fit in with Windows 11’s aesthetic.


Analysis: should you download this Windows 11 update now?

Windows 11 Build 22557 certainly sounds like a feature-packed update that will address many of our problems with the operating system. But how do you get the update right now – and should you?

As we mentioned earlier, this is a preview build for developers, and that means you can’t just go into the Windows Update tool and find it there.

Instead, you’ll first need to sign up to the Windows Insider Program and then choose to join the Dev channel. You can find out more about doing this at Microsoft’s Windows Insider website.

Once signed up, you should be able to download and install Windows 11 Build 22557.

However, we recommend that you think carefully before doing this. As exciting as the new features sound, because this is an early build there will likely be bugs and unfinished features that could cause problems for your computer.

So, for most people, we’d recommend holding on tight until the official release of Windows 11 22H2 arrives, which will be some time in the second half of 2022. This will hopefully give Microsoft a chance to iron out any problems, making the wait for these much-needed Windows 11 improvements worthwhile.

Via Windows Latest

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Cisco fixes major security flaws in Webex on Windows and Mac

Cisco has addressed two high severity vulnerabilities in its Webex video conferencing software that could have allowed unprivileged attackers to run programs and code on vulnerable systems.

The two vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2020-3263 and CVE-2020-3342, affect Cisco Webex Meetings Desktop App releases earlier than version 39.5.12. and all Webex users should update their software to the latest version to avoid falling victim to any potential exploits.

In an advisory concerning the arbitrary program execution flaw affecting Webex's Windows client, Cisco provided more details on the vulnerability and explained what an attacker could do to a user's system following a successful exploit, saying:

“The vulnerability is due to improper validation of input that is supplied to application URLs. The attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading a user to follow a malicious URL. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause the application to execute other programs that are already present on the end-user system. If malicious files are planted on the system or on an accessible network file path, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the affected system.”

Webex vulnerabilities

Cisco also patched a remote code execution vulnerability in Webex's Mac client that was caused by improper certificate validation on software update files downloaded by the software.

The vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code with the same privileges of the logged in user on macOS. In a separate advisory, Cisco explained how an attacker could exploit the vulnerability, saying:

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading a user to go to a website that returns files to the client that are similar to files that are returned from a valid Webex website. The client may fail to properly validate the cryptographic protections of the provided files before executing them as part of an update.”

Cisco has since fixed both of these vulnerabilities with the release of version 40.1.0 of Webex for Windows and version 39.5.11 of Webex for Mac. Windows and Mac users can update their Cisco Webex clients by following these instructions while admins can update both versions of the client by following this guide.

Via BleepingComputer

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