February 17: More Microsoft news and rumors

February 17, 2023

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Here are more latest news and rumors about Microsoft and its products.

Smart snapping features on Windows 11

A Windows Central report claims that Microsoft is now working to bring new smart snapping features to Windows 11. Specifically, the plan will reportedly allow Snap Layouts to remember app groups, making it possible to restore them instantly with a click. Additionally, the plan is also said to include OCR technology to allow searching of apps when in the Snap Assist view.

Split Screen is now in stable channel

In January, Microsoft was spotted testing a new “Split screen” feature for the Edge browser. Now, it is in the stable channel. Users interested in trying the feature can find this in Microsoft Edge 110.0.1587.46 and newer. Nonetheless, note that it is not yet activated by default, which means manually enabling it on edge://flags. The split screen feature is expected to be generally available in April 2023.

Free Play Days

Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can now play Far Cry 6 and NBA 2K23 for this week’s Free Play Days. The games will be available until Sunday, February 19, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Minecraft and Crocs partnership

There is a special Minecraft x Crocs footwear collection now available at the Crocs online store, featuring five pairs of Minecraft-inspired Crocs. The footwear comes with Minecraft-themed Jibbitz charms that are available in two sets: a 5-pack of flat charms and an exclusive 13-pack of 3D charms.

Windows 11 on Mac computers with Apple M1 and M2 chips

A new support document reveals that Windows 11 can now run on Mac with Apple Silicon. The document shows two ways Windows 11 can be run on Mac: via the software-as-a-service solution Windows 365 and Parallels Desktop.

More Windows 11 Insider build releases

Aside from Windows 11 Insider Beta Build 22621.1325 and 22623.1325, Microsoft is also releasing today the Windows 10 Build 19045.2670 and Windows 11 Build 22000.1639 to the Release Preview Channel. Both get a bunch of fixes, but the Windows 11 Build 22000.1639 will also get an advanced auto-learning feature for facial recognition.

More AI Bing issues

Microsoft already addressed the issues revolving around the odd behavior of ChatGPT-powered Bing. However, a new problem arises as news outlets air their concern, claiming they are not being compensated while OpenAI is using their articles to train the AI tool.

“Anyone who wants to use the work of Wall Street Journal journalists to train artificial intelligence should be properly licensing the rights to do so from Dow Jones,” Jason Conti, general counsel for News Corp.’s Dow Jones unit, told Bloomberg. “Dow Jones does not have such a deal with OpenAI.”

February 2023 Patch Tuesday and other issues

For its February 2023 Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released cumulative updates for Windows 10 and Windows 11. For Windows 10, KB5022834 and KB5022840 will be given to the system’s versions 22H2, version 21H2, version 21H1, and 1809. Meanwhile, Windows 11 users will have KB5022845 and KB5022836 for versions 22H2 and 21H2.

Microsoft’s February 2023 Patch Tuesday security updates address 77 flaws in total. The updates also fix three actively exploited zero-day vulnerabilities, namely the CVE-2023-21823 (Windows Graphics Component Remote Code Execution Vulnerability), CVE-2023-21715 (Microsoft Publisher Security Features Bypass Vulnerability), and CVE-2023-23376 (Windows Common Log File System Driver Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability). Nine vulnerabilities are labeled as “Critical” due to remote code execution.

Unfortunately, Microsoft recently said that some updates released in this month’s Patch Tuesday are now causing issues in Windows Server 2022.

“After installing KB5022842 on guest virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server 2022 on some versions of VMware ESXi, Windows Server 2022 might not start up,” the company explained. “Only Windows Server 2022 VMs with Secure Boot enabled are affected by this issue. Affected versions of VMware ESXi are versions vSphere ESXi 7.0.x and below.”

The issue is now under investigation, and VMware’s documentation details the temporary solution for the problem.

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