Microsoft has rushed out updates to its Windows 11 beta and release preview channels to deal with an expired digital certificate - while at the same time confirming bleeding-edge testers will as last get the fabled Windows Subsystem for Android.
With its usual impeccable timing, Microsoft managed to drown out what should have been good news for Dev Channel users with the release of KB5008295 to testers in its Beta and Release Preview Channels. The patch, which won't change the build number, was to deal with an expired certificate that left some built-in applications broken, even in the release version of Windows 11.
Unlike the patch pushed to production, Microsoft said the fix had dealt with problems with the snipping tool and other built-in apps, which still blighted the GA code, and also stopped the Start Menu and Settings app from opening in the supposedly super-secure S mode version of Windows 11.
The company is not inviting suggestions for what the "S" in S mode might stand for after its certificate cock-up left the Start Menu inoperative.
- Expired cert breaks Windows 11 snipping tool, emoji panel, S Mode features, other stuff
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- Windows Subsystem for Android: What's the point?
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Unsurprisingly, certificate lifecycle management firms have plenty to say on the matter. Nick France, CTO at Sectigo, said: "These problems with Windows 11 highlight the impact that expired and unmanaged certificates can have for both an organisation and its users. 'Forgotten' certificates can cause unexpected outages and downtime and may not always be quick or simple to fix."
It's a shame because the arrival of Android apps for Dev Channel testers would otherwise have been good news. Assuming, of course, you meet the requirements (or can fiddle with your settings accordingly – the official route is for US users with an Amazon account for Appstore). We took a close look last week and came away pondering who, other than gamers and games developers, would really benefit. Perhaps that niche of users with home automation apps that lack a web app equivalent?
Microsoft was not clear on the cause of the delay – the Windows Subsystem for Android is installed from the Microsoft Store, and the enablement has not required a simultaneous emission of a new build. Still, the arrival is good news for developers in the Dev Channel. So long as their apps do not depend on Google Play Services. ®