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Announcing Windows Community Toolkit v7.1

Announcing Windows Community Toolkit v7.1 The Windows Community Toolkit has another update filled with improvements and features! We’re thrilled to announce version 7.1 is available today! Made possible again with the support and contributions of our developer community. If you are new to the Toolkit, the Windows Community Toolkit is a collection of helpers, extensions,…

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Announcing Windows Community Toolkit v7.1

The Windows Community Toolkit has another update filled with improvements and features! We’re thrilled to announce version 7.1 is available today! Made possible again with the support and contributions of our developer community.

If you are new to the Toolkit, the Windows Community Toolkit is a collection of helpers, extensions, and custom controls. It simplifies and demonstrates common developer tasks for building UWP and .NET apps for Windows. The toolkit is part of the .NET Foundation. You can download our Sample App playground to discover and try Toolkit components before getting started on a project.

This update includes authentication helpers, Microsoft Graph controls, the easiest way to add Shadows to your app in XAML, a new RichSuggestBox control, and more! We even have a preview of source generator support for our MVVM Toolkit library.

We’ve had a lot of exciting news this year too. Be sure to catch up on what we’re doing with the Windows App SDK in our previous post about our WinUI 3 release here (back when it was still called Project Reunion). We’ll have more updates for this in the future – WinAppSDK has just released their 1.0 Preview 1 release so as they reach their 1.0 release, stay tuned here for updates. We’ve also expanded our organization to work with the MAUI Community Toolkit and will be splitting our .NET specific libraries to their own .NET Community Toolkit soon, read all about that here.

As always, please be sure to read our release notes here. See more details of these changes and new features below.

Microsoft Identity Authentication Helpers, OneDrive Storage, and Microsoft Graph Controls – Shane Weaver

New and improved for 7.1, our Microsoft Graph offering is moving out of its prior preview phase and has been overhauled and streamlined with new helpers and providers for authenticating with Microsoft Identity and calling Graph APIs. We received a lot of great feedback from the community that we hope will help devs hit the ground running, authenticating users, and calling Microsoft Graph APIs!

Also, be sure to check out our full ContosoNotes sample which shows how these APIs can be leveraged and create a great experience for users across their applications and devices.

Authentication Providers 

In this release we are introducing a variety of new authentication packages:

Package Description
CommunityToolkit.Authentication Core constructs for supporting authentication aware applications.
CommunityToolkit.Authentication.Msal Authentication provider based on the official Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL) for .NET SDK.
CommunityToolkit.Authentication.Uwp Authentication provider based on the native account management APIs in Windows.

The MsalProvider available in the *.Msal package is .NET Standard 2.0 and works across multiple systems. This provider is better for supporting cross-platform or complex authentication scenarios. For UWP apps, try the WindowsProvider for a lighter-weight package.

Graph Powered Controls and OneDrive Helpers

Next, we are re-introducing our Graph controls and helpers in the form of two new packages:

Package Description
CommunityToolkit.Graph Extensions and helpers for making adhoc Graph requests, leveraging the official Graph SDK for .NET.
CommunityToolkit.Graph.Uwp Windows specific helpers and controls for facilitating authentication flow and visualizing Graph data.

The *.Graph package includes Graph powered extensions and helpers for interacting with the Graph SDK for .NET and making authenticated requests to Graph APIs:

  • Extensions – Call GetClient() or GetBetaClient() on any IProvider instance to get access to a pre-configured GraphServiceClient on demand.
  • OneDriveStorageHelper and UserExtensionStorageHelper – New helpers for storing settings and file data in Graph based storage locations, such as OneDrive or open extensions on the Graph User object.

Meanwhile, the *.Graph.Uwp package has user controls and helpers for enhancing Graph powered UWP apps:

  • Controls – LoginButton, PeoplePicker, and PersonView (GraphPresenter is still experimental.)
  • ProviderStateTrigger – A StateTrigger for detecting when the global authentication provider has been signed in.
  • ElementExtensions.IsVisibleWhen – Extension on FrameworkElement for declaring element visibility behavior in response to authentication changes.

Attached Shadows – Chris Blackman and Michael Hawker

Move over DropShadowPanel and hello Attached Shadows! Attached shadows make it even easier to add this great depth effect to your app, now without having to modify your layout! They’re even used in the Microsoft Store App!

DropShadowPanel is one of the Toolkit’s most popular controls, but its big issue is that it needs to wrap around the content you want to have the shadow on. This makes adding shadows later in development tricky as it affects how you’ve laid out an entire element.

Now with an attached shadow, you can sprinkle them in afterward wherever they’re needed. They can even be applied in styles to update multiple elements in your app at once! And they even hook into the new XAML Animation system we shipped last release, so everything works seamlessly together!

There are two types of these attached shadows in this release: the AttachedCardShadow and the AttachedDropShadow. Read our documentation here which outlines where it is best to use each type of shadow.

AttachedCardShadow using Win2D

The AttachedCardShadow is a rectangular-based shadow (which supports rounded corners) that can be applied directly to an element without the need for any other configuration. It should be your new go-to shadow option if you don’t mind the Win2D dependency it requires.

AttachedDropShadow using Composition

The AttachedDropShadow supports masked shadows for transparent images, shapes, and text. It uses the composition layer, so it’ll work with any UWP app. It has inherited the implementation of DropShadowPanel, but it works a bit differently. Be sure to check out our documentation and samples to learn more.

RichSuggestBox – Tung Huynh

The RichSuggestBox is a RichEditBox that provides the additional functionality of being able to select tokens from a list of suggestions, like ‘@’ mentioning someone in a chat message or tagging a document to include in a note. It provides a similar pattern that our TokenizingTextBox control provides, but instead of just being for a set of fixed elements it allows for more free-form text input sprinkled with metadata.

WinUI 2.7 and other Improvements!

We’ve updated to base on control packages on the new WinUI 2.6 and 2.7 update which also includes updated styles. We’ll continue to update our control styles with the new design guidance over time.

On The Horizon

MVVM Source Generator [Preview] – Sergio Pedri

The MVVM Toolkit now has support for source generators (in preview). This makes the library more flexible, easier to use, and even more efficient!

Following is a small sample of some source generator attributes in action. On the left-hand side is the original hand-written example using the MVVM Toolkit, as you would today. On the right-hand side is how you can use the new attributes to automatically generate the exact same code!

You can already see the impact Source Generators can have to save you from having to write extra “boiler-plate” type code! 🤯

This brand-new feature is being developed with the same original core principles of the MVVM Toolkit in mind: being modular and “à la carte”. This means source generator support is bundled with the MVVM Toolkit, but still being completely optional: you’ll be free to use it everywhere, mix & match as needed, or ignore it altogether; it’s entirely up to you!

Here’s a breakdown of the new features:

  • The [ObservableProperty] attribute creates a super compact way of creating an observable property from just a field and annotation. [AlsoNotifyChangeFor] can also be used to raise a change notification for another dependent property.
  • The [ICommand] attribute will let you annotate methods in a ViewModel and generate all the corresponding command properties. This includes support for generic commands and asynchronous commands: just annotate an async method returning a Task!
  • You can also annotate a class with [INotifyPropertyChanged][ObservableObject][ObservableRecipient], or [ObservableValidator] to inject all the boilerplate code needed to use those MVVM helpers while still inheriting from other base classes! You can also use this to mix together inheriting from ObservableRecipient and then add the [ObservableValidator] attribute to combine all APIs from both classes.

There’s more planned for the future, both in terms of new features and performance improvements!

Introducing Toolkit Labs 🧪

As the Windows Community Toolkit has grown, we’ve raised the bar on the quality of our code and the process we use for vetting new features being introduced. This helps our community know they’re getting quality items in each of our releases, but it can slow down the pace at which we can innovate.

Innovation has been the life of the Toolkit. Rapidly prototyping ideas, gathering community feedback, and shipping things folks need have been instrumental to how the Toolkit works. For this reason, we’re introducing “Community Toolkit Labs”.

Labs will be a place where we can incubate and work on new features in a safe space outside our normal code base and ship cycles. It’ll be easier to get started working on code and collaborating with others before having to worry about the docs, samples, and tests required to ship a fully fleshed-out idea and feature within the Toolkit.

In the future, we plan to have a centralized Labs repository for smaller features and controls to be proposed, incubated, and worked in with the community. Be on the lookout for more info about this new space in the future.

We will have a dedicated NuGet feed for Toolkit Labs in our public DevOps package feed. You can find out more about these types of Preview Feeds on our Wiki.

We may also have larger ideas that have their own repository underneath the Labs banner, like the first ones we’re introducing today…

Intelligent APIs – Amrutha Srinivasan

“Intelligent APIs” is a project whose goal is to make machine learning easier for developers to leverage in their applications without needing ML expertise! By just importing a NuGet package and calling a function, we want developers to be able to build intelligent app experiences without needing to deal with the complexities of creating and using machine learning models on Windows.

We are currently experimenting with this concept by wrapping two existing state-of-the-art models into NuGet packages. They enable the developer to add image classification and object detection capabilities quickly and easily into their projects with a single function call.

Find out more about how to get started with Intelligent APIs here.

Gaze Controls – Harish Kulkarni

These new Gaze Controls can empower users whose primary form of input is to use their eyes. These controls have been designed for Gaze interaction first above other forms of input. They include a FilePicker, a Keyboard, and a Scrollbar. Find out more or contribute to their dedicated repo here.

Windows App SDK Previews (formally Project Reunion)

As you hopefully know, we have been shipping versions of the Toolkit that work for WinUI 3 alongside their releases as part of the Windows App SDK. We have released a version of the toolkit which works for Desktop apps with .NET for the Windows App SDK 0.8.4 release. Find out more details on how to try this out here, as a reminder these WinUI 3 based packages use CommunityToolkit.WinUI.* as the root vs. Microsoft.Toolkit.UWP. We’ll have more info about the upcoming 1.0 release support in the future and plan to ship an update that includes our 7.1 changes as well.

Get started today!

There’s a ton of fixes, other helpers, and improvements across the board from our community this release, so be sure to visit our release notes for all the details!

As a reminder, you can get started by following our docs.microsoft.com tutorial or preview the latest features by installing the Windows Community Toolkit Sample App from the Microsoft Store (it links to each doc page too). If you would like to contribute, please join us on GitHub and checkout our Wiki! To follow the conversation on Twitter, use the #CommunityToolkit hashtag or join us in our UWP Community Discord channel!

Happy coding! 🦙/>

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Microsoft

Update to Windows Subsystem for Android™ on Windows 11

Hello Windows Insiders, Today we are shipping an update for Windows Subsystem for Android™ on Windows 11 starting with Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This update (version 2204.40000.15.0) includes several exciting new features and improvements such as updating to Android 12.1, major Windows integration improvements, and a new Settings app experience! What’s New Update…

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Hello Windows Insiders,

Today we are shipping an update for Windows Subsystem for Android™ on Windows 11 starting with Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This update (version 2204.40000.15.0) includes several exciting new features and improvements such as updating to Android 12.1, major Windows integration improvements, and a new Settings app experience!

What’s New

Update to Android 12.1!

We have updated the experience to Android 12.1! This update may cause some apps to fail to launch (see the known issues below for more details).

Optional Diagnostic Data

With this update, telemetry collection (optional diagnostic data setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app) is now off by default. To help us make Windows Subsystem for Android better and provide useful telemetry about Android app usage, please enable this setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app!

Advanced Networking

Networking for Windows Subsystem for Android on newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+) has been improved to enable Android apps to connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC. With advanced networking, you can play your favorite content on a speaker on the same network, or set up a security camera (or other smart home device) with a compatible Android app.

Settings app redesign

The Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app has been redesigned and updated in a huge way. We’ve redesigned the app from the ground up, now with clearer settings groups, grouped navigation and an all-around cleaner user experience. We’ve also added a diagnostic data viewer where you can examine all the diagnostic data collected by the Subsystem, and configuration options in the new compatibility settings to turn on fixes for specific apps such as forcing apps to be non-resizable or enabling swipes for arrow keys.

Improvements to Windows integration

We’ve made some great improvements to Android apps integrating with Windows in this update. For newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Windows taskbar icons will now show which Android apps are currently using microphone, location, and other system services in the system tray, and an auto-hidden taskbar will now correctly hide/show when Android apps are running. Android toasts will now be reflected as Windows notifications, and the Window title of an Android app will now reflect the Android activity title. Also, for newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Android apps will not be restarted when your devices come out of connected standby but will instead pick up where you left off.

Improvements to camera in Android apps

Many camera updates are being shipped in this update. The camera orientation is now fixed to natural orientation, and issues with incorrect camera preview, bugs with letterboxing and squishing of the camera feed have now been addressed.

Improvements for input devices

Mouse and keyboard support in Windows Subsystem for Android has been improved, with fixes such as improved scroll-wheel support, fixes for the onscreen keyboard focus and fixes for the Android software keyboard displaying correctly.

Full Changelog

  • Windows Subsystem for Android updated to Android 12.1
  • Advanced networking on by default for newer x64 Windows builds
  • Updated Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app: redesigned UX and diagnostics data viewer added
  • Simpleperf CPU profiler recording now works with Windows Subsystem for Android
  • Windows taskbar now shows which Android apps are using microphone and location
  • Improvements to Android app notifications appearing as Windows notifications
  • Reduced flicker when apps are restored from minimized state
  • Apps are not restarted when devices come out of connected standby on recent Windows builds
  • New video hardware decoding (VP8 and VP9)
  • Fixes for on-screen keyboard in apps
  • Fixes for full screen Android apps and auto-hidden Windows taskbar
  • Windows Subsystem for Android updated with Chromium WebView 100
  • Added support for Android NetworkLocationProvider in addition to GpsLocationProvider
  • Improved general stability, performance, and reliability

Known Issues

  • Instability with camera on ARM devices
  • Instability printing via Android apps
  • Some apps rendered at lower resolutions may lay out incorrectly
  • Some VPNs may not work with Advanced Networking. If you use a VPN and find Android apps do not have network connectivity, please disable Advanced Networking in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app
  • Some apps that were previously available might be missing from the experience, fail to launch, or function incorrectly for various known issues. We’re working with our partners to address these issues as soon as possible.

Giving feedback

If you are having issues with Windows Subsystem for Android™ – please file feedback via Feedback Hub under Apps > Windows Subsystem for Android™. For more information about troubleshooting and submitting feedback: Troubleshooting and FAQ for mobile apps on Windows.

Thanks,
Windows Insider Program Team

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HP launches hybrid-ready Windows 11 PCs and its most thermally advanced gaming laptop

If you’re looking for a Windows 11 PC built for working in a hybrid environment, check out the new HP Spectre x360 13.5-inch 2-in-1 laptop. HP also launched its most thermally advanced gaming laptop ever with the OMEN 16 and debuted its first Victus 15 Laptop for emerging gamers. The HP Spectre x360 PC has…

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If you’re looking for a Windows 11 PC built for working in a hybrid environment, check out the new HP Spectre x360 13.5-inch 2-in-1 laptop. HP also launched its most thermally advanced gaming laptop ever with the OMEN 16 and debuted its first Victus 15 Laptop for emerging gamers.

The HP Spectre x360 PC has the latest in audio and visual advancements, as well as a touch display that will be familiar to smartphone users. When your Windows 11 PC comes with a touchscreen, you’ll be able to take notes or sketch with an optional digital pen and use multi-finger gestures, pinch-to-zoom, double tap, and press and hold for quicker navigation – and to create and easily manipulate drawings and other content. The digital pen, touchscreen and voice typing capabilities of Windows 11 make it easier to work the way you prefer with features such as Snap Assist and multiple desktops.

HP Spectre x360

When you collaborate with others or do pitches on-screen, you’ll do it with a 5MP IR intelligent camera for picture-perfect clarity [1]. Backlight Adjustment autocorrects video images in any environment where you may be taking a call [2], while bi-directional AI noise reduction, directional beamforming mics and quad speakers complete a superior sound experience for your calls and chats on Microsoft Teams.

Engineered on the Intel Evo platform with up to 12th Gen Intel Core Processors [3], the Spectre x360 is expected to be available May 19 at HP.com for a starting price of $1,249.99. [4]

HP’s OMEN 16 is the latest addition to the OMEN ecosystem. This Windows 11 PC laptop runs cooler thanks to an added fourth thermal exhaust port and fifth heat pipe, as well as 5% quieter compared to its previous generation, so gamers can stay fully immersed in their favorite titles [5].

HP OMEN 16

The newest titles come to life with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU and the latest MAX Q technologies or AMD Ryzen RX 6650M. Clear levels faster than ever with up to an Intel Core i9-12900H series processor or AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX Mobile Processors. Avoid untimely memory bottlenecks with up to 32GB DDR5 4800 MHz and take advantage of speedy access to vital files with up to 2TB PCIe Gen4x4 SSD.

Action on the screen flows across the up to QHD 165Hz IPS panel with 3ms response time and 100% sRGB. Experience low blue light with Eyesafe display certification by TÜVRheinlan and an auto brightness sensor that work to keep eyes fresh while playing for extended periods [6].

The OMEN 16 is expected to be available by this summer via HP.com and at Best Buy for a starting price of $1199.99. [7]

If you’re new to gaming, check out the newest addition to HP’s gaming-on-the-go lineup: the Victus 15 Windows 11 laptop. Victus introduces gamers to an accessible but elevated gaming experience built with OMEN’s DNA.

As the second entry in the Victus line of laptops, the Victus 15 features three color options (mica silver, performance blue and ceramic white), all with a standard backlit keyboard printed with the distinctive font found on OMEN devices.

You can multitask between gaming, surfing, editing and more with this 15-inch display. Visuals have never moved quicker with graphics powered by up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU with 2nd generation ray tracing power or AMD Radeon RX 6500M. Gameplay options include up to an Intel Core i7-12700H processor or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Mobile Processors along with up to 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz memory.

Wide rear vents add a visual flair on top of enhanced thermal efficiency, bolstered by four-way airflow and a two-heat pipe design to keep things running cool during gameplay.

The Victus 15 is expected to be available by this summer via HP.com and other retailers for a starting price of $799.99. [7]

Find out more about HP’s consumer and gaming PCs.

[1] 5MP refers to the image sensor active pixels. The actual image capture pixels depend on the app and/or aspect ratio selected.

[2] Enabled from GlamCam in HP Command Center.

[3] Select skus qualify as an Intel Evo Platform. Multi-core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering, branding and/or naming is not a measurement of higher performance.

[4] Pricing and availability subject to change without notice.

[5] Based on HP Internal Testing in April 2022 comparison between the new OMEN 16 and 2021 OMEN 16. New OMEN 16 configuration with Intel Core i7-12700H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB RAM. 2021 OMEN 16 configuration with Intel Core i7-11800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB RAM. 2022 OMEN 16 balanced mode (CPU 35W+ GPU 80W) 40 dBA; 2021 OMEN 16 balanced mode (CPU 35W+ GPU 80W) 42 dBA.

[6] Eyesafe Display for Low Blue Light is the Display Compliance Test Specification quality. See https://eyesafe.com for more details.

[7] Pricing from HP.com, subject to change without notice. Retailer pricing may vary.

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Releasing Windows 11 Build 22000.706 to the Release Preview Channel

Hello Windows Insiders, today we’re releasing Windows 11 Build 22000.706 (KB5014019) to Insiders in the Release Preview Channel on Windows 11. This update includes the following improvements: New! We improved the Family Safety verification experience for a child account when you send a request for additional screen time. New! Windows spotlight on the desktop brings…

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Hello Windows Insiders, today we’re releasing Windows 11 Build 22000.706 (KB5014019) to Insiders in the Release Preview Channel on Windows 11.

This update includes the following improvements:

  • New! We improved the Family Safety verification experience for a child account when you send a request for additional screen time.
  • New! Windows spotlight on the desktop brings the world to your desktop with new, daily background pictures. With this feature, new pictures will automatically appear as your desktop background. This feature already exists for the lock screen. You can also find out more information about each background picture on the web. To turn on this feature, go to Settings > Personalization > Background > Personalize your background. Choose Windows spotlight.
  • We fixed an issue that causes the Input (TextInputHost.exe) app to stop working.
  • We fixed an issue in searchindexer.exe that affects the search for shapes in Microsoft Visio.
  • We prevented users from bypassing forced enrollment by disconnecting from the internet when they sign in to Azure Active Directory (AAD).
  • We fixed an issue that might run an AnyCPU application as a 32-bit process.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents Azure Desired State Configuration (DSC) scenarios that have multiple partial configurations from working as expected.
  • We fixed an issue that affects remote procedure calls (RPC) to the Win32_User or Win32_Group WMI class. The domain member that runs the RPC contacts the primary domain controller (PDC). When multiple RPCs occur simultaneously on many domain members, this might overwhelm the PDC.
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when adding a trusted user, group, or computer that has a one-way trust in place. The error message, “The object selected doesn’t match the type of destination source” appears.
  • We fixed an issue that fails to display the Application Counters section in the performance reports of the Performance Monitor tool.
  • We fixed an issue that fails to maintain the display brightness after you change the display mode.
  • We fixed an issue that might affect some apps that use d3d9.dll with certain graphics cards and might cause those apps to close unexpectedly.
  • We fixed an issue that affects the IE mode window frame.
  • We fixed an issue that affects Group Policy templates.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents internet shortcuts from updating.
  • We fixed an issue that causes some users to see a black screen when they sign in and sign out of Windows.
  • We fixed an issue that causes an Input Method Editor (IME) to discard a character if you enter the character while the IME is converting previous text.
  • We fixed an issue that affects the Desktop Duplication API, which affects display orientation and causes a black image to appear on the screen.
  • We fixed an issue that causes print failures when a low integrity level (LowIL) application prints to a null port.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents BitLocker from encrypting when you use the silent encryption option.
  • We fixed an issue that leads to a false negative when you run scripts while Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) is turned on. This might cause AppLocker events 8029, 8028, or 8037 to appear in the log when they should not .
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when you apply multiple WDAC policies. Doing that might prevent scripts from running when the policies allow scripts to run.
  • We fixed an issue that affects the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) driver, which might increase the system’s startup time.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause the Remote Desktop client application to stop working when you end a session.
  • We fixed an issue that affects the behavior and shape orientation of a mouse cursor for Microsoft Defender Application Guard (MDAG), Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Edge. This issue occurs when you turn on a virtual graphics processing unit (GPU).
  • We fixed an issue that causes Widgets to appear on the wrong monitor when you hover over the Widgets icon on the taskbar.
  • We added animation to the Widgets icon when you click or tap the icon and the taskbar is aligned on the left.
  • We fixed an issue that affects the rendering of the default Widgets icon on a taskbar that is aligned in the center.
  • We fixed an issue that causes blurry app icons in Search results when the display’s dots per inch (dpi) scaling is greater than 100%.
  • We fixed an issue that causes file copying to be slower because of a wrong calculation of write buffers within cache manager.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause a system to stop responding when a user signs out if Microsoft OneDrive is in use.
  • We fixed a known issue that might prevent recovery discs (CD or DVD) from starting if you created them using the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) app in Control Panel. This issue occurs after installing Windows updates released January 11, 2022 or later.

Thanks,
Windows Insider Program Team

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