Microsoft tests new features in last year's Windows 10

Remember 2021? Microsoft does, and has emitted a fresh build to the Windows Insider Release Preview channel for Windows 10 21H2, with a few useful fixes, including one where Edge will stop responding when Internet Explorer mode is on.

The company has yet to name a date for Windows 10 22H2, and has instead continued to pump out updates for 21H2. This one (build 19044.1947 or KB5016688) contains a raft of fixes as well as a couple of new features.

Admittedly, Microsoft's track record with updates has been a bit patchy of late and we can only hope things go more smoothly this time since there are some handy fixes contained within it.

The update is "non-security," according to Microsoft, but does feature one update useful for users seeking to secure their PCs - an enhancement for Microsoft Defender for Endpoints to spot and stop ransomware and other attacks. Language scenarios can also be managed across several endpoint managers.

Otherwise, the update has large number of practical fixes, including the one where its Edge browser will stop responding when Internet Explorer mode is on (also preventing interaction with dialogs).

An issue that "degrades BitLocker performance" has been fixed, as has a slightly embarrassing error related to the Take a Test app, which resulted in all policies related to lockdown enforcement being removed when the app is closed.

The Take a Test app, according to Microsoft, "creates the right environment for taking a test." Only the test is shown, the clipboard is cleared, other apps can't be accessed, that sort of thing. Even Cortana is turned off (although if one never uses the assistant, would one even notice?) so a potential lifting of policies when the app is closed could be a little awkward.

Other fixes include dealing with race conditions (including one that might cause cldflt.sys to reference invalid memory) and issues around licensing and subscriptions. There is also a fix for an issue that could prevent virtualized App-V Microsoft Office applications from opening or working.

According to AdDuplex figures, Windows 10 21H2 continues to command the lion's share of the modern PC marketplace. It is therefore heartening to see Microsoft continuing to enhance the platform, even with its successor waiting in the wings. ®

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