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Microsoft slaps on some new Paint and previews Windows 11 on Azure

Look away from those price rises and look at our new toys!

Microsoft attempted to derail the bad news train last night by releasing another Windows 11 update – replete with ISOs – and unveiling a preview of the wunder-OS on Azure Virtual Desktop.

The updates came as Microsoft, which recently celebrated another bumper set of results for fiscal 2020, warned Microsoft 365 customers that price rises were on the way.

Still, at least those Insiders testing Windows 11 have a new Clock app to play with. So that's alright then.

The new build, which hits both Dev and Beta Channels, is number 22000.160 and includes fixes for the issue where the "location in use" icon popped up in the taskbar, even when blocked, and the removal of update estimates for HDD users. A selection of known issues, including one that can result in a Settings crash for "certain searches", are also present to remind users that this is preview stuff after all.

Even if the expected October or November launch is nearing, Microsoft noted in the update that now would be a good time for Dev Channel Insiders to switch to the Beta Channel for a slightly more stable time.

As for the new Clock application, the update applies the fluent treatment and adds "Focus Sessions" thanks to timers, To Do integration, goal-tracking, and connection to the user's Spotify account "to help you find the perfect audio to help you focus."

We can almost hear the wailing of the Groove team.

The release was accompanied by ISOs for build 22000.132 for users who prefer their Windows 11 preview to be as clean as possible. Microsoft has also made the preview available on Azure Virtual Desktop, with the preview of Trusted Launch for that TPM 2.0 experience.

Users wanting more of the graphical twiddly bits, such as rounded corners and transparency effects, "may require using Azure Virtual Desktop with an Azure VM with the right GPU support."

As the Windows team gathered itself for another emission, boss Panos Panay demonstrated that nothing was sacred in the eyes of Microsoft as the veteran Paint app got the Fluent treatment.

One can but hope that Notepad is not next in line for Microsoft's latest UI fad. ®

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