This cringeworthy Microsoft Teams feature could soon be forced upon you

Microsoft is readying an update for collaboration platform Teams that will allow admins to change the way meetings are displayed for all attendees.

As explained in a new entry to the company’s product roadmap, meeting hosts will soon be given the option to enable Together Mode for all participants. The update is still under development, but should take effect by the end of May.

Launched in the summer of 2020, Together Mode for Microsoft Teams brings all attendees into a shared virtual background, with the goal of “making it feel like you’re sitting in the same soom with everyone else”.

Together Mode

Together Mode in Microsoft Teams. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Together Mode in Microsoft Teams

Although the ambition behind Together Mode is a noble one, the execution leaves plenty to be desired. In this writer’s opinion, the virtual background filled with floating heads only serves to emphasize the fact a meeting is not, in fact, taking place in-person.

While Microsoft’s AI system does a decent enough job of cutting out each person’s home office background, and some people will get on with the feature better than others, there’s an welcome strangeness to the final result.

The idea that meeting hosts should be able to dictate that everyone uses the feature is particularly strange. While there’s something to be said for operating on a level playing field, some users are bound to find the feature more helpful (or unhelpful) than others, which makes a blanket policy counterproductive.

However, not all of Microsoft’s attempts to introduce variety to the way Teams meetings are displayed have been quite so divisive.

Last year, the company rolled out a series of new presenter modes designed to help Teams users flex their presentation style to the occasion. Standout Mode, for example, seats the presenter’s video feed in front of the slide deck, while Reporter Mode places content above the shoulder in the style of a news broadcast.

The features were an example of the way in which virtual backgrounds and clever positioning of content can legitimately improve the quality of video meetings, delivering on Microsoft’s stated ambition to “help presenters deliver content more professionally and offer meeting participants dynamic experiences”.

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This cringeworthy Microsoft Teams feature could soon be forced upon you

Microsoft is readying an update for collaboration platform Teams that will allow admins to change the way meetings are displayed for all attendees.

As explained in a new entry to the company’s product roadmap, meeting hosts will soon be given the option to enable Together Mode for all participants. The update is still under development, but should take effect by the end of May.

Launched in the summer of 2020, Together Mode for Microsoft Teams brings all attendees into a shared virtual background, with the goal of “making it feel like you’re sitting in the same soom with everyone else”.

Together Mode

Together Mode in Microsoft Teams. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Together Mode in Microsoft Teams

Although the ambition behind Together Mode is a noble one, the execution leaves plenty to be desired. In this writer’s opinion, the virtual background filled with floating heads only serves to emphasize the fact a meeting is not, in fact, taking place in-person.

While Microsoft’s AI system does a decent enough job of cutting out each person’s home office background, and some people will get on with the feature better than others, there’s an welcome strangeness to the final result.

The idea that meeting hosts should be able to dictate that everyone uses the feature is particularly strange. While there’s something to be said for operating on a level playing field, some users are bound to find the feature more helpful (or unhelpful) than others, which makes a blanket policy counterproductive.

However, not all of Microsoft’s attempts to introduce variety to the way Teams meetings are displayed have been quite so divisive.

Last year, the company rolled out a series of new presenter modes designed to help Teams users flex their presentation style to the occasion. Standout Mode, for example, seats the presenter’s video feed in front of the slide deck, while Reporter Mode places content above the shoulder in the style of a news broadcast.

The features were an example of the way in which virtual backgrounds and clever positioning of content can legitimately improve the quality of video meetings, delivering on Microsoft’s stated ambition to “help presenters deliver content more professionally and offer meeting participants dynamic experiences”.

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Warning: this fake Windows 11 upgrade is filled with malware

Security researchers have found a fake Windows 11 upgrade website that promises to offer a free Windows 11 install for PCs that don’t meet the minimum specifications, but actually installs data-stealing malware.

Windows 11 has some… interesting… requirements to run, and its most famous demand is for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 support. This has led to perfectly capable, and powerful, PCs and laptops being unable to upgrade to Windows 11, as they did not meet the minimum specifications.

Understandably, this annoyed people with relatively new hardware that couldn’t upgrade to the latest version of Windows, and many looked at ways of circumnavigating the TPM 2.0 requirement to install Windows 11 on their unsupported devices.

It’s these people that this new threat is targeting, as Bleeping Computer reports.

Looking legitimate

While the website’s address (URL) should be a red flag (we won't mention it here), as it’s clearly not a Microsoft website, the actual website itself does look like it’s an official Microsoft website, using logos and artwork that makes it difficult to tell it apart from a real Microsoft page.

However, as security researchers CloudSEK discovered by clicking the ‘Download now’ button, the website downloads an ISO file that contains malware.

This malware, called ‘Inno Stealer’, uses a part of the Windows installer to create temporary files on an infected PC. These create processes that run and place four additional files on your PC, some of which contain scripts that disable various security features, including in the Windows registry. They also tweak the built-in Windows Defender anti-virus, and remove other security products from Emisoft and ESET.

Other files then run commands at the highest system privileges, while yet another file is created in the C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Windows11InstallationAssistant folder, and it’s this file that contains the data-stealing code, named Windows11InstallationAssistant.scr. This then takes information from web browsers, as well as cryptocurrency wallets, stored passwords and files from the PC itself. This stolen data is then sent to the malicious users who created the malware.

Pretty nasty stuff.


Analysis: Be careful what you wish for

Hacker

(Image credit: Pixabay)

The scale of the infection here, and what it’s able to steal from you, is very scary, but the good news is that it’s easy to avoid.

No matter how desperate you are to install Windows 11, you should only download ISO files from sources you are absolutely certain are legitimate. While the makers of this malware have put in a lot of work to make the website look legitimate (like many so-called ‘phishing’ attacks), there are some tell-tale signs, such as the aforementioned URL, which highlights that this is not a genuine Microsoft website.

If your PC is eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade, you’ll be alerted via Windows Update, a tool that’s built into Windows operating systems. This is the safest way to ensure you are downloading and installing a genuine copy of Windows 11.

If your PC isn’t eligible, due to not meeting the TPM 2.0 requirements, then there are some safer ways to install Windows 11 without TPM anyway. But we don’t really recommend any of them, especially as Microsoft is making it harder to run Windows 11 on unsupported systems, which could mean you miss out on important updates, security fixes and features in the future.

Above all, however, you should never attempt to download and install a Windows 11 ISO file from any website that isn’t run by Microsoft itself.

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Windows 11 updates are failing to install with this weird error

Windows 11 users are reporting some installation failures when trying to update the OS, with an uninformative error not throwing much light on the cause of the apparent problem – although it’s an issue that Microsoft is ‘closely monitoring’.

Windows Latest reports that an error code 0xc1900101 is being produced for some folks when trying to update, and the operating system then rolls back to the previous build with no further details on the cause of the issue being provided.

This is apparently happening mostly with preview builds of Windows 11, and other error codes have been witnessed as well, Windows Latest notes, but the aforementioned one is the most commonly seen and reported on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub.

One user posted to the Hub: “All my physical machines updated ok, but on a virtual machine running either Hyper-V, VMWare, or VirtualBox, it almost gets to the end of the update, and then rolls back. Worse, on VMWare and VirtualBox, the virtual machine software crashes at the end of the update.”

Another observed: “Mine has the same problem. The first time I update the pc to the latest build it showed an error about my graphics driver so it rolled back. I was suspecting that the windows update corrupted my graphic driver as after rolling back my graphics card was not working, it just works after I reinstall driver. I reinstall the update later and it was a success.”

Microsoft has confirmed that it knows about the error which it describes as a ‘generic’ failure and an area that the company is watching closely.

Microsoft advised one affected user: “Thanks for taking the time to report this – error code 0xc1900101 is a generic error displayed when an update fails and rolls back for some reason. This is an area we monitor closely and can have different root causes depending on which build you were attempting to upgrade to and your setup.”

No firm advice was given, then, as to how someone might get around this gremlin in the works, but Microsoft does say that users should try updating to the very latest preview build (if they were attempting to upgrade to a previous version, of course).


Analysis: Some possible workarounds, but the waiting game might be best

There are various theories about the cause of this – and similar – update failure errors, including suggestions of app compatibility or driver issues (as we saw above), or even low disk space. But as Microsoft mentions, this is a ‘generic’ error and one which could have a number of different causes.

If you encounter this problem, aside from making sure you are attempting to install the very latest build, there are a few things you can try. It certainly won’t hurt to ensure that you aren’t running low on drive space, and maybe run a disk clean (it’s a good idea to do this periodically anyway). Also, we’ve seen another user report that disabling their antivirus resolved the installation failure of a recent preview build, and there are some further suggestions of potential action to take in this thread from the Microsoft Tech Community.

What’s also worth noting here is that this error has been a problem in the past, for example with Windows 11 preview build 22504 (back in November 2021). At the time, Microsoft’s advice was that users “may want to pause updates until we release a fix”, although in the past Microsoft has also said that those encountering this error code with Windows 10 should try to install the update again after a clean boot (find instructions here – and interestingly as observed above, another potential mitigation mentioned is to disable your antivirus temporarily).

In short, while you may get some joy from the potential solutions floated in the links above, your best bet might be to simply wait for the issue to resolve itself, providing you don’t have an urgent need to get the update in question up and running.

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Windows 11 updates are failing to install with this weird error

Windows 11 users are reporting some installation failures when trying to update the OS, with an uninformative error not throwing much light on the cause of the apparent problem – although it’s an issue that Microsoft is ‘closely monitoring’.

Windows Latest reports that an error code 0xc1900101 is being produced for some folks when trying to update, and the operating system then rolls back to the previous build with no further details on the cause of the issue being provided.

This is apparently happening mostly with preview builds of Windows 11, and other error codes have been witnessed as well, Windows Latest notes, but the aforementioned one is the most commonly seen and reported on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub.

One user posted to the Hub: “All my physical machines updated ok, but on a virtual machine running either Hyper-V, VMWare, or VirtualBox, it almost gets to the end of the update, and then rolls back. Worse, on VMWare and VirtualBox, the virtual machine software crashes at the end of the update.”

Another observed: “Mine has the same problem. The first time I update the pc to the latest build it showed an error about my graphics driver so it rolled back. I was suspecting that the windows update corrupted my graphic driver as after rolling back my graphics card was not working, it just works after I reinstall driver. I reinstall the update later and it was a success.”

Microsoft has confirmed that it knows about the error which it describes as a ‘generic’ failure and an area that the company is watching closely.

Microsoft advised one affected user: “Thanks for taking the time to report this – error code 0xc1900101 is a generic error displayed when an update fails and rolls back for some reason. This is an area we monitor closely and can have different root causes depending on which build you were attempting to upgrade to and your setup.”

No firm advice was given, then, as to how someone might get around this gremlin in the works, but Microsoft does say that users should try updating to the very latest preview build (if they were attempting to upgrade to a previous version, of course).


Analysis: Some possible workarounds, but the waiting game might be best

There are various theories about the cause of this – and similar – update failure errors, including suggestions of app compatibility or driver issues (as we saw above), or even low disk space. But as Microsoft mentions, this is a ‘generic’ error and one which could have a number of different causes.

If you encounter this problem, aside from making sure you are attempting to install the very latest build, there are a few things you can try. It certainly won’t hurt to ensure that you aren’t running low on drive space, and maybe run a disk clean (it’s a good idea to do this periodically anyway). Also, we’ve seen another user report that disabling their antivirus resolved the installation failure of a recent preview build, and there are some further suggestions of potential action to take in this thread from the Microsoft Tech Community.

What’s also worth noting here is that this error has been a problem in the past, for example with Windows 11 preview build 22504 (back in November 2021). At the time, Microsoft’s advice was that users “may want to pause updates until we release a fix”, although in the past Microsoft has also said that those encountering this error code with Windows 10 should try to install the update again after a clean boot (find instructions here – and interestingly as observed above, another potential mitigation mentioned is to disable your antivirus temporarily).

In short, while you may get some joy from the potential solutions floated in the links above, your best bet might be to simply wait for the issue to resolve itself, providing you don’t have an urgent need to get the update in question up and running.

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I got married this week, and these five iOS apps helped reduce our stress levels

April 14 was the day that I became a married man. And during the two years spent arranging it, there were a few apps on iOS 15 that we constantly used to make sure everything was paid for, and perfectly scheduled to play its part on the day.

Planning a wedding involves tasks that you would never expect to have to sort out – from agreeing on the music that would play while you sign the marriage certificate, to checking if the right tree logs for the table have been picked up by the best man.

If we didn't have our iPhones and apps at hand, we may have had to hire a wedding planner to avoid the multiple moments of stress we would have inevitably had.

But thankfully, there were five apps that helped us manage big chunks of the wedding that I was not expecting when I proposed back in 2020.

Notes

iOS 15 Wedding Notes

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple's Notes app is one I've relied on since the first version of iOS. It's simple, useful, and has always helped remind me of what's needed to be done for certain tasks.

For the wedding, its usefulness went to another level, thanks in part to the ability to manage notes with someone.

Having both of us add and remove checklists across the two years helped a bunch, especially when an update can appear as a push notification.

Things 3

Things 3 Wedding list on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While we had been arranging the wedding since 2020, tasks didn't really ramp up until the beginning of this year, which is where a to-do app came in.

Having tried other apps in this category, such as OmniFocus, Things 3 won out thanks to the quick actions of its Today screen. I could add and remove sudden jobs, and they'd also display in a helpful widget on my iPhone.

It's not just available on your iPhone for $ 9.99 / £9.99 / AU$ 11.99, it's also available on the iPad for $ 19.99 / £19.99 / AU$ 24.99, and on the Mac priced at $ 49.99 / £29.99 / AU$ 59.99.

Being reminded to pay for a photo booth or to decide on types of flowers in Things was a big help. In fact, it was so helpful I've expanded it to other aspects of my life, including my job at TechRadar, and hobbies like, embarrassingly, weekly Fortnite challenges.

Shazam

iOS 15 Shazam Playlist

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Spotify and Apple Music are two apps I've constantly used for the last decade. I still pay for iTunes Match, which is a yearly service that allows me to host all the music content that I owned on my iPod.

For the wedding itself, we found Spotify useful in arranging the entire playlist from start to finish, mainly due to the ability to have collaborative playlists.

This allowed us to add and remove songs in a playlist as we pleased, with our initials letting each of us know who added the most embarrassing song of the evening.

However, Shazam was most useful in helping us discover artists and tracks that we never would have considered. Going to wedding fayres and shops we heard a lot of music and by using Shazam to discover what the titles were, we could add them to our Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

It's a handy app that can help bolster your music library on whichever music app you use, without being intrusive.

A recent update also allows Shazam to be set up as a shortcut in Control Center on iOS 15, which saves you time before the track stops playing.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds Classic on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

For me, managing a wedding is the equivalent of spinning 50 plates while standing on one leg, and reciting the alphabet backward in Spanish.

And that can lead to moments where you just want to escape the planning and the picking, and the paying, and just play a game instead.

This is where I decided to revisit some games thanks to Apple Arcade, and I rediscovered Angry Birds. It was an ideal pick for alleviating some of the frustration that occurred with some suits in February.

The game's maker, Rovio has also re-released the original game on iOS and Android, which I promptly downloaded. Flicking the irate fowl across four worlds on my iPhone 13 Pro turned out to be a great stress reliever while I was on a train to sort out the suits again or deciding on the right type of chairs for the reception.

Monzo Pots

iOS 15 Monzo Pots

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Weddings cost money – lots of money. If you want to make sure that the location or items you had your heart set on for years can be part of your special day, you're going to hear the word deposit a lot until the big day arrives.

It's also a great lesson in managing your funds, which is where a feature from Monzo came in handy for us. Pots are a way of moving money into sections that can't be used by your debit card. They're essentially saving methods without creating a savings account.

You can lock a pot to stop you from withdrawing any money from it, alongside naming it whatever you wish and setting it with a picture. If you want, you can set any transactions to round up the payment to the nearest unit, with the spare change being sent to this pot.

It removes a worry about how much you have ready for the wedding or other saving goals, alongside making sure it's safe from temptation.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

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I got married this week, and these five iOS apps helped reduce our stress levels

April 14 was the day that I became a married man. And during the two years spent arranging it, there were a few apps on iOS 15 that we constantly used to make sure everything was paid for, and perfectly scheduled to play its part on the day.

Planning a wedding involves tasks that you would never expect to have to sort out – from agreeing on the music that would play while you sign the marriage certificate, to checking if the right tree logs for the table have been picked up by the best man.

If we didn't have our iPhones and apps at hand, we may have had to hire a wedding planner to avoid the multiple moments of stress we would have inevitably had.

But thankfully, there were five apps that helped us manage big chunks of the wedding that I was not expecting when I proposed back in 2020.

Notes

iOS 15 Wedding Notes

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple's Notes app is one I've relied on since the first version of iOS. It's simple, useful, and has always helped remind me of what's needed to be done for certain tasks.

For the wedding, its usefulness went to another level, thanks in part to the ability to manage notes with someone.

Having both of us add and remove checklists across the two years helped a bunch, especially when an update can appear as a push notification.

Things 3

Things 3 Wedding list on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While we had been arranging the wedding since 2020, tasks didn't really ramp up until the beginning of this year, which is where a to-do app came in.

Having tried other apps in this category, such as OmniFocus, Things 3 won out thanks to the quick actions of its Today screen. I could add and remove sudden jobs, and they'd also display in a helpful widget on my iPhone.

It's not just available on your iPhone for $ 9.99 / £9.99 / AU$ 11.99, it's also available on the iPad for $ 19.99 / £19.99 / AU$ 24.99, and on the Mac priced at $ 49.99 / £29.99 / AU$ 59.99.

Being reminded to pay for a photo booth or to decide on types of flowers in Things was a big help. In fact, it was so helpful I've expanded it to other aspects of my life, including my job at TechRadar, and hobbies like, embarrassingly, weekly Fortnite challenges.

Shazam

iOS 15 Shazam Playlist

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Spotify and Apple Music are two apps I've constantly used for the last decade. I still pay for iTunes Match, which is a yearly service that allows me to host all the music content that I owned on my iPod.

For the wedding itself, we found Spotify useful in arranging the entire playlist from start to finish, mainly due to the ability to have collaborative playlists.

This allowed us to add and remove songs in a playlist as we pleased, with our initials letting each of us know who added the most embarrassing song of the evening.

However, Shazam was most useful in helping us discover artists and tracks that we never would have considered. Going to wedding fayres and shops we heard a lot of music and by using Shazam to discover what the titles were, we could add them to our Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

It's a handy app that can help bolster your music library on whichever music app you use, without being intrusive.

A recent update also allows Shazam to be set up as a shortcut in Control Center on iOS 15, which saves you time before the track stops playing.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds Classic on iOS 15

(Image credit: TechRadar)

For me, managing a wedding is the equivalent of spinning 50 plates while standing on one leg, and reciting the alphabet backward in Spanish.

And that can lead to moments where you just want to escape the planning and the picking, and the paying, and just play a game instead.

This is where I decided to revisit some games thanks to Apple Arcade, and I rediscovered Angry Birds. It was an ideal pick for alleviating some of the frustration that occurred with some suits in February.

The game's maker, Rovio has also re-released the original game on iOS and Android, which I promptly downloaded. Flicking the irate fowl across four worlds on my iPhone 13 Pro turned out to be a great stress reliever while I was on a train to sort out the suits again or deciding on the right type of chairs for the reception.

Monzo Pots

iOS 15 Monzo Pots

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Weddings cost money – lots of money. If you want to make sure that the location or items you had your heart set on for years can be part of your special day, you're going to hear the word deposit a lot until the big day arrives.

It's also a great lesson in managing your funds, which is where a feature from Monzo came in handy for us. Pots are a way of moving money into sections that can't be used by your debit card. They're essentially saving methods without creating a savings account.

You can lock a pot to stop you from withdrawing any money from it, alongside naming it whatever you wish and setting it with a picture. If you want, you can set any transactions to round up the payment to the nearest unit, with the spare change being sent to this pot.

It removes a worry about how much you have ready for the wedding or other saving goals, alongside making sure it's safe from temptation.

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This Google Sheets update should stop you messing up formulas at last

Google Sheets is looking to help spreadsheet users everywhere with the launch of a new tool that will let you write formulas faster and better.

The company has launched “intelligent corrections” for formulas in Google Sheets, context-aware fixes that it says help you improve and troubleshoot many different kinds of formulas.

“Now, you can write formulas faster and with higher confidence with formula corrections,” the company wrote in a Google Workspace blog post announcing the news.

Google Sheets formulas

Going forward, when writing a formula into Sheets, the new feature will analyze it and see if any improvements could be made. If so, a suggestion box will appear with details on a new version that can replace the current formula, including the ability to accept or reject it.

Google says the new addition can help with a number of common formula issues, including VLOOKUP errors, missing cells in range input, and locking ranges when applying formulas across cells.

The new feature is rolling out now, and will be enabled by default for all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts. It can be disabled if it proves too much of a hindrance, by going to Tools > Enable formula corrections or from the three-dot menu of the suggestion dialog box.

The announcement follows a similar update in August 2021 which saw Google Sheets introduce intelligent formula suggestions, with the program able to offer ideas based on the data in question and the user’s initial input.

Google said that the new formula suggestions will make it easier to write new formulas accurately and help make data analysis quicker and easier.

The company also recently revealed that it was increasing the cell limit in Google Sheets from up to five million cells to up to ten million cells.

The new limit isn't just for newly-created files either, but also existing and imported files, meaning you can expand to your heart's content. 

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Microsoft could soon improve this divisive Windows 11 feature

Windows 11 looks like it might soon support third-party widgets, as another clue that they could be imminent has popped up courtesy of an eagle-eyed Twitter user.

FireCube did some digging and spotted that the widget manifest has been updated to reference downloading widgets – tiny apps that provide at-a-glance info, such as the current weather, or local traffic – from the Microsoft Store.

See more

The text informing users that they can “download new widgets and widget updates in Microsoft Store” is another piece of evidence that the eventual plan is to let developers put their third-party widgets in the Store, and allow Windows 11 users to download whatever they want.

The widgets panel would then be more useful, of course, with a bigger range of options and plenty more scope for customization, compared to the current situation where people can only use Microsoft’s own widgets in the panel.

As Windows Central, which spotted this, points out, its own Zac Bowden – a prolific source of Microsoft leaks – has previously said that the widget panel is expected to be getting third-party efforts, plus new features, and indeed that developers have already been briefed as to how third-party widgets will function. Previous leaks have pointed to third-party widgets being inbound, too.


Analysis: Expanding the widget panel in more ways than one

Bowden made those comments in December 2021, four months ago now, and with this latest spotting of a nugget of evidence that Microsoft is preparing to implement third-party widgets, it seems a firm enough possibility that they will debut at some point in 2022.

Would that be with the big H2 2022 (Sun Valley 2) update? Maybe, but given that Microsoft has been adding stuff to Windows 11 as and when it likes so far this year – witness the recent arrival of some big interface changes outside of major feature updates – then maybe this clue turning up now is a sign we could be installing third-party widgets in the OS sooner rather than later.

As for the other plans Microsoft has for the widget panel, at its recent Windows 11 reveal, we did catch a glimpse of a full-screen panel; so that could be in the pipeline too (and it’d provide more screen real-estate to populate with third-party widgets).

The widget panel is, of course, a divisive feature, and some folks really don’t appreciate it, viewing it as a rather pointless element of the UI. Its usefulness is certainly limited in its current form, being restricted to Microsoft services (like OneDrive, for example, and the likes of MSN weather).

Opening up the ability to add a huge range of new widgets from all over the shop would certainly help to make the panel a more compelling feature for Windows 11, and markedly improve the perception of this part of the interface.

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This new PDF tool might be the best way to keep your confidential data safe

Foxit has announced the release of Smart Redact – an AI-powered tool that can detect and redact sensitive information contained within PDF documents. 

The new tool promises to provide businesses with a more efficient way to stay compliant with global data laws and regulations like GDPR. Now, firms can search and hide sensitive data without having to exit the PDF editor and disrupt the workflow. 

Smart Redact comes as an optional add-on. However, it’s built directly into Foxit PDF Editor – considered one of the best PDF readers for Windows – so unlike other PDF plugins, you won’t need to install it. You just need to switch it on. 

 Smart, sensitive, secure

Privacy-conscious Foxit users are no strangers to redaction. The PDF editor, which we champion as one of the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives, included the option to manually locate and mark text, images, areas, and even whole pages for redaction. 

Now, Foxit claims that Smart Redact “builds upon the redact capability in PDF Editor by expanding the number of automatic sensitive data pattern searches, including those without static patterns, such as person names, organization names, personal roles.”

Alongside the AI tool, user profiles are also now available. Profiles let you set certain types of confidential data that are always to be obscured. That means you won’t have to constantly search and scrub protected information across multiple documents and document types, as Smart Redact will automatically do it for you. 

With cybersecurity front of mind, Smart Redact is TAA compliant and SOC 2 Certified. Data transferred between the software and the Foxit cloud server deploys AES-256 encryption. 

Frank Kettenstock, Foxit CMO, said “By leveraging artificial intelligence, Foxit Smart Redact dramatically improves the productivity of knowledge workers involved in redaction. Users will save time and reduce the potential for errors.”

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