Microsoft pushes ahead with controversial move in Windows 11 – having Copilot appear immediately after startup

Remember that Microsoft was previously testing an idea whereby Copilot automatically launches by default when Windows 11 first boots?

Well, Microsoft is pushing ahead with rolling out this feature more broadly, and some of the Windows Insiders who test preview builds aren’t too happy about this.

A quick bit of background here: The functionality to enable Copilot to appear on the desktop when Windows 11 first starts up was brought in with preview releases of Windows 11 back in January.

However, this only happened on a very limited basis with testers in the Dev channel initially, but now Microsoft is expanding the rollout of the feature, as MS Power User noticed – as did various testers posting on X (formerly Twitter).

Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager on the Windows Insider team, addressed some of the eyebrows being raised on X, noting that Microsoft had previously released this feature in build 23615 and that it had been temporarily disabled – but was now back in build 26100 from last week.

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LeBlanc then spoke to the Windows team and returned with another post to clarify that in fact the rollout of this Copilot functionality was actually re-enabled back in February in both Canary and Dev channels, but that what’s happening now is that the deployment of the feature is being expanded.

Whatever the case, it’s clear Microsoft is pushing forward with this concept of having Copilot appear on the desktop when you first turn on your PC.

However, as before, this is only happening for certain users depending on the type of monitor they have – meaning those with a display big enough to handle the Copilot panel appearing in this way. That means a monitor with at least a 27-inch screen and a pixel width of 1920 (with Full HD resolution being 1920 x 1080, of course).

Analysis: The risk of feather ruffling

Clearly enough, this is one of those features which is set to ruffle more than a few feathers. Making it so that Copilot is right there by default on the desktop from the get-go will obviously increase the visibility of the AI for Microsoft, and the amount of usage it gets thereafter.

Presumably that’s the idea, but the equally obvious risk is that having Copilot operate in a more in-your-face manner when the Windows 11 PC boots up is going to provoke the ire of some users.

That said, Microsoft is limiting it to larger monitors, and there is a switch to turn off this feature in Settings, and we can reasonably assume that’ll be carried through to release – if this Copilot auto-boot idea makes it through testing to finished builds of Windows 11, and it may not. Depending on feedback, Microsoft might end up abandoning it.

However, the feature progressing to a wider rollout seems to suggest that it will be a keeper for Microsoft. We’ll know for sure if it turns up in the Beta channel, and the Release Preview channel after that – at the latter point, it’s almost certainly going to make the cut for release.

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Microsoft pushes out emergency fix for Windows Server mess

Microsoft is addressing the problems caused by the January 2021 Patch Tuesday updates – with more updates. 

The company has issued an emergency out-of-band (OOB) update to address bugs that forced domain controllers to reboot endlessly, broke Hyper-V, and rendered ReFS volumes inaccessible while showing them as RAW file systems.

“This update addresses issues related to VPN connectivity, Windows Server Domain Controllers restarting, Virtual Machines start failures, and ReFS-formatted removable media failing to mount,” Microsoft explained in the update catalog. 

Patches breaking things

All of the patches, issued for different versions of the Windows OS, can be found in the Microsoft Update Catalog. Some can also be obtained through Windows Update, but being labeled as optional, Windows admins need to manually check for updates if they want to take this route.

The updates listed below, however, can only be obtained through the Update Catalog: 

Issuing patches for Windows has been nothing short of a roller coaster recently. Earlier in January 201, a patch issued for Windows 10 and Windows 11 broke the software’s built-in VPN tool, preventing it from establishing a connection. 

The only way to rid the system of the bug is to uninstall the patch altogether, which also meant exposing the systems to known vulnerability issues. One such issue was recently found (and fixed in that same patch) in the HTTP Protocol Stack. The flaw allows a malicious actor to execute arbitrary code, remotely, without much user interaction. 

There’s yet no malware abusing this flaw out there, but being extremely dangerous, it’s only a matter of time before one is discovered. To protect vulnerable devices, disabling the HTTP Trailer Support feature will suffice. 

Windows admins will need to carefully weigh the benefits and the downsides of installing, as well as uninstalling, these patches, until Microsoft sorts all of the problems that have piled up in recent times. 

Via: BleepingComputer

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