Microsoft is rolling out two versions of Windows 11 Beta Channel today. The first, build 22623.730, is for those with new features enabled, and the second, build 22621.730, is for those with new features disabled by default. The highlight of this release for Windows Insider Beta channel testers with new features enabled is the return of the tablet-optimized taskbar. Otherwise, both versions pick up a few smaller fixes.
Starting with Windows 11 build 22623.730 for those with new features enabled, Microsoft is reintroducing the touch-optimized taskbar. It was previously in testing with Dev Channel and Beta Channel Windows Insiders a few months ago, but Microsoft removed the feature with a previous release. Now it’s back. This means that your taskbar will automatically switch to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold the keyboard of your 2-in-1 device.
The taskbar will have a collapsed or expanded state, where collapsed will give you more screen real estate, and expanded will have larger icons to touch it. Similar to Android 12L, you can drag up or down on the taskbar to switch between these states. You can change this setting if you don’t like it by going to Settings > Customization > Taskbar > Taskbar Behaviors. Then search for “Optimize the taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet”.
Also in this beta version of Windows 11, Microsoft introduced updates for the system tray. The company says users will see a rounded focus and hover treatment on all icons in the lower right. Therefore, it may not be possible to drag and rearrange system tray icons. Microsoft is working on a fix for this and notes that not all Windows Insiders will have this system tray update. Other changes in build 22623.730 can be seen below. Keep in mind that these are all smaller fixes for File Explorer, System Tray.
Changes and improvements in build 22623.730
- The home page now searches for most recently opened Microsoft 365 cloud files for users who are signed in with their Microsoft account or whose Microsoft account is connected to the profile through settings. Home search now shows recent file activity for cloud files in the detailed view. Microsoft 365 cloud files can now be searched using additional file properties such as location, extension, and file activity.
- Searching in File Explorer will now show results as you type. The full search results page will update live without having to press enter.
- The taskbar should no longer flicker due to system tray changes in scenarios not optimized for tablets.
- Fixed an issue that caused certain parts of the taskbar or its icons to become stuck such as looking in the wrong theme colors when switching between light and dark themes.
- The date and time should no longer get stuck on the side of the screen during system tray changes.
- Fixed an issue that caused Start Menu crashes for some Insiders.
- Fixed an issue where the recommended section of the Start menu could unexpectedly display one column instead of two.
- If you change the application associated with a particular file type, the icon for one of those file types displayed should now be updated in the recommended section.
For the second version, Windows 11 beta build 22621.730, and for those with new features disabled by default, there are no new features. Instead, Microsoft points to the following fixes. There’s a lot that covers many major areas of Windows 11.
Fixes for BOTH Build 22621.730 & Build 22623.730
- We fixed an issue that affected some processors. This issue occurs when you enable Hyper-V and Kernel Direct Memory Access (DMA) protections.
- We fixed an issue that affected Microsoft’s Japanese Input Method Editor (IME). Text conversion fails when using certain third-party virtual desktops.
- We fixed an issue that could cause an app to become unresponsive. This can happen when the input queue overflows.
- We fixed an issue that prevented you from signing in to various Microsoft Office 365 applications. This affects Outlook, Word, Teams, etc.
- We fixed an issue affecting graphics drivers that use d3d9on12.dll.
- We fixed issues that caused Microsoft Store updates to fail.
- We fixed an issue that affects the LanmanWorkstation service. There is a memory leak when you mount a network drive.
- We fixed an issue that affected the Miracast UI. Sometimes it closes too early when streaming to devices that use the DeviceObjectType:Aep.
- We fixed an issue that affects Task Manager. It stops working when you switch between light and dark mode or change the accent color.
- We fixed an issue affecting the font of three Chinese characters. When you bold these characters, the width size is incorrect.
- We fixed an issue that affected Microsoft and third-party Input Method Editors (IMEs). They stop working when you close the IME window. This happens if the IME uses Windows Text Services Framework (TSF) 1.0.
- We fixed an issue affecting Microsoft Edge IE mode. It prevents you from opening web pages. This happens when you enable Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) and do not configure network isolation policies.
- We fixed an issue that affected Microsoft Edge when in IE mode. Titles of popups and tabs are wrong.
- We fixed an issue that caused the credential UI not to display in IE mode.
- We fixed an issue that affected certificate mapping. If it fails, lsass.exe may stop working in schannel.dll.
In both versions there will be known issues. Microsoft is investigating reports that audio is not working properly in these new betas. As for the issues of build 22623.730, these can be seen below. It is mainly related to the new taskbar experience.
Known issues with the tablet-optimized taskbar
- The taskbar sometimes flickers when transitioning from desktop to tablet position.
- The taskbar takes longer than expected to switch to the touch-optimized version when switching between desktop position and tablet position.
- Using the left or right edge gestures may cause the widgets or notification center (respectively) to overlap or appear truncated by the taskbar.
- When using the lower right edge gesture to see quick settings, the taskbar sometimes gets stuck in the expanded state, instead of closing to collapse
When there are no windows running on the desktop, the taskbar can sometimes collapse, when it should be expanded.
Although not related to this release, Microsoft is also asking Windows Insiders to try out the new Outlook app in Windows 11. You’ll know when you get it if you see a new “Try the new Outlook” toggle in the upper right corner. from your classic Outlook for Windows. The new app brings an improved user interface, but it’s still a work in progress.
If you have been following these releases, you may also have noticed that the version number of one of today’s releases has increased by 1. Previous releases were numbered 22621 and 22622, the latter having features for October feature coming soon. file for Windows 11 2022 Update. We’re now hitting 22623, and that could be a hint that Microsoft is now moving towards testing the next feature beyond that.
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