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Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22523

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22523 to the Dev Channel. TL;DR ARM64 PCs will be offered this build. We are providing ISOs for this build which can be downloaded here. This will be our final flight for the holidays. See you in 2022! Changes and Improvements We have…

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Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22523 to the Dev Channel.

TL;DR

  • ARM64 PCs will be offered this build.
  • We are providing ISOs for this build which can be downloaded here.
  • This will be our final flight for the holidays. See you in 2022!

Changes and Improvements

  • We have rolled out snap groups in ALT + TAB and Task View just like when you hover open apps on the taskbar, and you see them there, to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • When File Explorer is open to This PC, the add media server and (if appropriate) remove media server option is now available when you click the “…” in the command bar.
  • As part of our ongoing effort to bring over settings from Control Panel into the Settings app:
    • Links to Programs & Features in Control Panel will now open to Settings > Apps > Installed Apps.
    • We’re moving Uninstall Updates (for cumulative updates, etc.) from Control Panel to a new page in Settings under Settings > Windows Update > Update History.

Fixes

[Taskbar]

  • Fixed an issue related to text input initialization that could lead to the shell (for example, Start menu and search) becoming non-responsive on ARM64 PCs.
  • The battery icon tooltip should no longer unexpectedly show a percent above 100.
  • App icons should no longer overlap the date & time on secondary monitors when there are a lot of open apps.

[File Explorer]

  • Did some work to address an issue that was leading to losing keyboard focus sometimes after pressing Enter when using F2 to rename OneDrive files.

[Spotlight collection]

  • After enabling spotlight collection, your first image (after Whitehaven Beach) should arrive a little faster now.
  • Added icons to the spotlight collection context menu entries.

[Input]

  • Improved reliability of invoking voice typing.
  • Fixed an issue where the border of our text input experiences (voice typing, emoji panel, etc) wasn’t drawing correctly when a contrast theme was enabled.
  • Mitigated an intermittent crash with the pen menu process if it was launched and then immediately closed before the launch happened.

[Widgets]

  • We fixed the issue causing links to not open properly when opening the widgets board using hover.

[Settings]

  • Settings content should no longer get truncated off the side of the window when making the Settings window small.
  • Settings should no longer sporadically crash when opening comboboxes, which was impacting certain settings such as the ability to set custom click actions for the pen.
  • Addressed an issue where the “Add a device” option in Bluetooth & Devices was silently crashing when trying to connect new Bluetooth devices.
  • Added a number of keywords to make the Voice Access feature appear in settings search results.

[Other]

  • Fixed an issue that was causing ARM64 PCs to experience bug checks citing a memory management error in the previous flight.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing DWM to crash (causing the screen to flash repeatedly) when trying to use certain apps.
  • Mitigated an issue leading to certain apps hanging when Narrator was running.
  • Added some missing information when examining the details in the properties of narratorquickstart.exe.
  • Addressed an issue where Narrator would not respond to UIA events such as notifications, live regions or text events.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the active development branch may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11 that became generally available on October 5th.

Known issues

[General]

  • You may be unable to sign-in to certain apps such as Feedback Hub. Restarting your PC should correct the issue.
  • We’re investigating reports that some Insiders are seeing driver and firmware update failures in recent builds with the error 0x8007012a.

[Start]

  • In some cases, you might be unable to enter text when using Search from Start or the taskbar. If you experience the issue, press WIN + R on the keyboard to launch the Run dialog box, then close it.

[Taskbar]

  • The taskbar will sometimes flicker when switching input methods.
  • The network icon sometimes goes missing in the taskbar when it’s supposed to be there. If you encounter this, please try using Task Manager to restart explorer.exe.
  • If you have multiple monitors connected to your PC and right-click on the date and time on the taskbar on your primary monitor, it will crash explorer.exe

[Search]

  • After clicking the Search icon on the Taskbar, the Search panel may not open. If this occurs, restart the “Windows Explorer” process, and open the search panel again.

[Settings]

  • When viewing the list of available Wi-Fi networks, the signal strength indicators do not reflect the correct signal strength.
  • Settings may crash when going to System > Display > HDR.
  • There is a blank entry under Bluetooth & Devices.

[Spotlight collection]

  • If you’re using spotlight collection, the current image does not currently migrate on upgrade, which may leave you with a black desktop background after upgrading to this build. This should be addressed in the next flight.

[Widgets]

  • Changing the taskbar alignment can cause the Widgets button to disappear from taskbar.
  • Widgets board may not have the correct resolution when hovering the entry point on a secondary monitor.
  • The Widgets board may be temporarily blank.
  • When having multiple monitors, Widgets content on taskbar may get out of sync between monitors.
  • With the taskbar left-aligned, information such as temperature is not shown. This will be fixed in a future update.

[Voice access]

  • Some text authoring commands, e.g., “select that” or “delete that”, may not work as expected across Windows applications.
  • Recognition of some punctuation marks and symbols such as @ sign is not accurate.

For developers

You can download the latest Windows Insider SDK at aka.ms/windowsinsidersdk.

SDK NuGet packages are now also flighting at NuGet Gallery | WindowsSDK which include:

These NuGet packages provide more granular access to the SDK and better integrate in CI/CD pipelines.

About the Dev Channel

We have moved the Dev Channel back to receiving builds from our active development branch (RS_PRERELEASE). These builds are from the earliest stage in a new development cycle with the latest work-in-progress code from our engineers. These aren’t always stable builds, and sometimes you will see issues that block key activities or require workarounds while flighting in the Dev Channel. It is important to make sure you read the known issues listed in our blog posts as we document many of these issues with each flight.

These builds are also not matched to a specific release. New features and OS improvements from these builds could show up in future Windows releases when they’re ready, and we may deliver them as full OS updates or servicing releases.

Build numbers are higher in the Dev Channel than the Windows 11 preview builds in the Beta and Release Preview Channels. You will not be able to switch from the Dev Channel to the Beta or Release Preview Channels without doing a clean install back to the released version of Windows 11 currently.

Are you not seeing any of the features listed for this build? Check your Windows Insider Settings to make sure you’re in the Dev Channel. Submit feedback here to let us know if things weren’t working the way you expected.

The desktop watermark you see at the lower right corner of your desktop is normal for these pre-release builds.

Important Insider Links

Thanks,
Amanda & Brandon

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Microsoft

Babylon.js 5.0: News Tools – Part 2

We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools. Animation Curve Editor Creating and…

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We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools.

Animation Curve Editor

Creating and modifying animation data in a rendering engine can be complicated and verbose, but not anymore! Babylon.js 5.0 adds a built-in Animation Curve Editor (ACE), making it incredibly easy to create and modify animation data directly in your Babylon scene. As with all Babylon.js Platform tools, you can also save your animation data to the Babylon.js Snippet Server and load it back into your Babylon.js scene with one single line of code!

See it in action here: Play with the Animation Curve Editor

Learn more: Animation Curve Editor Documentation

Performance Profiler

Performance is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you create advanced interactive 3D experiences. After all, you don’t want to create an awesome experience that only runs on the most high-end graphics cards, right? You want to create something that EVERYONE can enjoy, and this means keeping track of and optimizing the performance of your scene. Babylon.js 5.0 makes performance debugging and management a breeze with the introduction of the new Performance Profiler. This handy tool allows you to see a real time graph of key performance indicators of your scene, all hooked up live! Make a change, see the impact on perf. It’s really that simple!

See it in action here: Performance Profiler Demo

Learn more: Performance Profiler Documentation

GUI Editor Beta

Babylon.js has a powerful GUI system that offers countless widgets, controls, and properties to help you create rich GUIs. With Babylon.js 5.0 that powerful system becomes far simpler to use with the introduction of the GUI Editor Beta. While still in active development, the GUI Editor Beta is a rich and modern tool, allowing you to create the perfect GUI with a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Say goodbye to thousands of lines of GUI code and hello to a world of design with the GUI Editor Beta and loading your creations with a single line of code!

See it in action here: GUI Editor Beta Demo

Try it out for yourself: GUI Editor

Learn more: GUI Editor Beta Documentation

New Node Material Nodes

The Node Material Editor is one of the most advanced tools available in the Babylon Platform. One simple UI that helps you generate stunning GLSL shaders with ease. With Babylon.js 5.0 the Node Material gets even better with the introduction of several powerful new nodes!

Check out the new nodes:

Learn More: Node Material Documentation

Asset Librarian

The Babylon.js Platform offers a large library of free Creative Commons 0 assets available for you to use in your Babylon.js scenes, completely for free. With Babylon.js 5.0, accessing these assets is easier and faster than ever! The new Asset Librarian brings a new Assets namespace that you can use in your projects to easily access the 200+ free assets to make your Babylon.js scenes soar.

Try it out: Asset Librarian Demo

Learn More: Asset Librarian Documentation

Dev Stories Documentation

Babylon.js 5.0 adds a whole new category of documentation called “Dev Stories.” These new tutorials are designed to walk you, step-by-step, through some common scenarios that many Babylon.js developers ask about. From setting up a Babylon.js project quickly, adding interactive 3D elements to your e-commerce site, to deploying your Babylon.js project to a Native Application, “Dev Stories” are rich, deep, detailed tutorials aimed at helping you take your project from idea to reality!

Check It Out: Dev Stories!

“Going The Distance With Babylon.js” A New Book               

We are also incredibly excited to share that alongside Babylon.js 5.0, community member and talented author Josh Elster has written an entirely new book about Babylon.js 5.0. Published by Packt Publishing, “Going The Distance With Babylon.js” is written from the mindset of taking you through the entire development process of building a game with Babylon.js from the ground up. We are thrilled to partner with Josh and Packt on this book and think it’ll be a great addition to your library and accelerate your Babylon.js learning journey.

Pick Up Your Copy Here: Babylon.js 5.0: The Book

Beside the tooling, there are also a ton of new features in the engine itself. Check out part three to learn more about the exciting new improvements with Babylon.js 5.0.

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How Windows speech-to-text and other tools can help address educational inequity

Graham, a 12-year-old boy who lives in Kansas, has a neurological condition that renders him unable to read or write. But, thanks to Windows speech-to-text, Immersive Reader and other tools, he’s been able to look forward to the future. He now aces book reports and makes business cards for his lawn-mowing service thanks to those…

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Graham, a 12-year-old boy who lives in Kansas, has a neurological condition that renders him unable to read or write. But, thanks to Windows speech-to-text, Immersive Reader and other tools, he’s been able to look forward to the future. He now aces book reports and makes business cards for his lawn-mowing service thanks to those tools. He dreams of being a doctor.

Features like these can help address inequity in schools, empowering students like Graham to find their voices and be game changers.

See the video below. To learn more about Graham and some of the ways teachers are using technology to help address inequity in the classroom, visit Microsoft Stories.




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Using Azure and Windows 11, IRZ consulting company helps farmers save water and power

Water is one of the most precious resources on Earth. And as someone whose family has been farming for generations, Fred Ziari has made it his life’s work to help growers be more efficient with this vital element for their crops, as well as the energy it takes to distribute it. Ziari is the CEO…

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Water is one of the most precious resources on Earth. And as someone whose family has been farming for generations, Fred Ziari has made it his life’s work to help growers be more efficient with this vital element for their crops, as well as the energy it takes to distribute it.

Ziari is the CEO of IRZ Engineering & Consulting, which provides services to agriculture communities around the world. The company is based in eastern Oregon, which he says is 95% efficient in its water use, vs. about 40% globally.

Water management is directly tied to crop productivity. IRZ offers water management services for large scale farms (100 acres or more), using water sensors and Microsoft Azure cloud services. This Internet of Things (IoT) solution links the internet connected sensors to the cloud. Azure SQL Server manages the incoming data and then IRZ uses custom apps to deliver that information to farmers, leading to decisions that help them save them 15-20% in water and power usage annually, which translates to millions of dollars. Windows 11 PCs and Microsoft 365 are must-haves for IRZ to smoothly conduct its daily business.

By reducing both water and energy in irrigated farming, IRZ customers conserve over 10 billion gallons of water every year.


Born in Northern Iran on a farm along the Caspian Sea, Ziari says generations of his family grew about 30 different types of crops, so agriculture has always been a big part of his life.

“Growing up in a family farm, I always believed that the technology of agriculture was more important to me and more interesting than the farming itself,” Ziari says. “I felt that by using water more efficiently, you can increase productivity by many, many fold.”

Fifty years ago, he came to the U.S. when he was 18.

He went to Texas A&M University for his undergrad and graduate studies before joining the faculty at Washington State University as a researcher in water management, specializing in irrigated agriculture.

Fred Ziari of IRZ

Irrigation and rainfall are the two sources most farms use to water their crops. Irrigated agriculture has become more important since it’s not so dependent on the environment and changing climate conditions to assure production and yield. But that means farmers need to use water more efficiently.

“If you put too much water to the crop, you are drowning it because the roots need oxygen. If you put too much water, you’re suffocating them,” Ziari says. “If you can put just the right amount of water, your productivity increases substantially.”

Soil moisture sensor up-close, in a potato field

In 1982, he moved to Oregon. Two years after that, he started IRZ engineering consulting, when he was 30.

Ziari got some of his best business advice from his grandfather. When he was a teen, his grandfather told him to be brave, take risks and create something, and good things would happen. As an entrepreneur, Ziari says that courage is a must. He also believes in a purposeful life – helping others, serving communities.

“You can only manage what you measure, so we rely tremendously on field sensors and climate input technologies – as well as modeling – using software to achieve our water management goals,” Ziari says. “Our company has been using Azure cloud services to provide near real time information and data to the farmers in multiple states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho and around the globe. So that has been a game changer for us on how we provide information and data to farmers – and how quickly they’re able to make irrigation decisions based on that data.”

Tim Berk of IRZ

Before Azure, they had to send a soil scientist and agricultural engineer to the farms and they would measure soil moisture, write it down on paper and bring it to the office. And then another person input the data. IRZ’s technical team installs real-time moisture sensors that go up to a meter deep and report what is happening with soil moisture and how much of the crop is taking water out of the soil every 15 minutes. They’re also tapping into weather stations and using proprietary software to forecast crop water use. It’s a massive amount of data – that’s now connected to Azure. Then apps forward that information to farmers on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices so they can decide when and how much to irrigate.

At the IRZ offices, engineers rely on Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 daily, such as using the centered task bar, widgets and a simplified start menu; as well as PowerPoint or Excel for calculations needed for sophisticated modeling or presenting ideas to clients.

Telemetry unit with the rain/irrigation gauge (black object) on the left in a potato field, where the crop is at a later stage of growth

Tim Berk, who’s been with IRZ for about 20 years, is the company’s IT manager. He says it’s been a long road to where they are with technology.

Within their customer base, the acceptance of technology has increased. In earlier years, Berk says it was difficult to encourage a grower or one of their customers to go online to get information – whether that was a weather report or a report IRZ published. In more recent years, as the internet has become standard, those growers have embraced web-based technologies.

IRZ chose Affirma as its technology partner about seven years ago to help them in other areas.

“Affirma allows us to do things that we can’t do ourselves,” Berk says. “They’ve got a lot of talent to draw from, whether it’s a data architect, a web developer or UI/graphics arts designer. Our customers also benefit from our relationship with Affirma. They help us bring our ideas to life and in their best form possible. Our expertise is in irrigation, consulting and engineering. With Affirma, we have a deep bench with talent and data architecture, software engineering, user interface design.”

Berk started at IRZ doing field work, then moved over to his current role in technology, where he’s been the majority of his time there.

Soil moisture sensor installed in a field

“Water management is important for a couple of reasons,” he says. “It allows growers to better manage costs associated with irrigating their crops and fields. Secondly, it’s important for the environment to use water wisely. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for the planet.”

In the past, IRZ hosted its own website and infrastructure, which was very expensive and difficult to implement. With Azure, they have all those things available to them without having to manage it themselves. Being cloud-based helps IRZ with redundancy and geo-located backups of services – something Berk says puts a small business on the same level as big business.

As a result, they’re giving farmers and growers the biggest benefit of all: time.

Traditionally, a farmer would have to visit his field multiple times a week, even every day. With IRZ’s sensors in the field, farmers can have the confidence to take time off and still be able to monitor their fields in near real-time.

Berk frames the company’s services to growers as a decision support system, starting with sensors in the field – moisture in the soil or applied irrigation – that transmit that data via satellite or by cell modems.

From there, IRZ imports that data into its system where it’s stored in Azure SQL databases, and then a number of processes run within a web application. And then it’s available to IRZ customers in near real-time in the form of reports on either a tablet, smartphone, a PC or a web browser.

During the summer growing season, fields can get dry – sometimes all at the same time. But farmers can’t add irrigation to the entire field at the same time due to the nature of the way the irrigation machines work. They have to plan ahead.

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