Another experimental Windows 11 update started to be distributed on Wednesday (8). Build 22518 is now available to registered Windows Insider program members on the Dev Channel, with news including the “return” of News and Interests to the Taskbar and accessibility improvements for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in the Microsoft Store.
Like it or not, Windows 11 widgets are here to stay — and Microsoft wants to make them more attractive. In this release, the Taskbar gets an heir to Win 10 News and Interests, more simply constructed and positioned at the far left of the screen.
The add-on presents the current weather forecast of the user’s location with an icon — sunny, cloudy, sun among clouds, rainy and so on — next to the current temperature. Clicking on it, however, opens the operating system’s widget tray, equipped with that whole set of Microsoft application and service cards that you might not mind as much.
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Those who organize the Taskbar shortcuts on the left margin will find the new shortcut for the add-ons in a reduced version, next to the Tasks View, Chat and Search button. Microsoft’s goal, of course, is to give you more options for accessing the widget tray — maybe receiving the new thing wasn’t so pleasant.
WSL can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store
Making the process of experimenting with the Windows Subsystem for Linux easier, Microsoft now distributes the tool in the Microsoft Store. The new availability of the software will serve both to attract more users to the feature and to facilitate the delivery of updates, as it is available through the store.
New voice commands
Second, but equally important, is the Voice Access tool. This feature will enable people with physical disabilities to navigate the computer using only their voice, whether to switch between applications, access web pages or compose emails, for example.
Voice Access will be available at Settings > Accessibility > Speech. Activating it for the first time requires downloading a voice recognition template, so you must be connected to the internet. You can allow the engine to be started with the system and quickly enable/disable it from the shortcuts Alt + Shift + C or Alt + Shift + B.
The feature will debut exclusively for US English, so you need to have your computer configured for the language. Microsoft has not given any information about the expansion of the resource to other languages, but considering the importance of the new, hopefully it won’t be long.
Interested in the news? All commands available in Windows 11 have been listed by Microsoft on the support page. Check out the other operating system news:
- The Context Menu now features new options based on file type — “Install” when clicked on INF files; “Install Certificate” in CER and others;
- Emojis with custom skin tones are now available on the Dev Channel;
- The Taskbar date and time now appears on all monitors that display the section;
- Keyboard Layout selection has been improved in performance and now features Acrylic material.
Experimental bug fixes
A lot has been fixed in this package, as usual from Microsoft. Following tradition, the Kenyannews highlights the most important ones from the list:
- Fixed the error that caused Explorar.exe to crash when pinning websites to the Taskbar;
- Fixed an error causing Search to crash;
- Fixed issue causing search icon in recent searches to appear as trash icon for Chinese display language users;
- Right-clicking on a folder and closing and reopening the File Explorer window should no longer crash Explorer.exe when “run as a separate process” is enabled;
- The performance of browsing folders in File Explorer has been improved;
As with any other Windows update, the 22518 package is gradually distributed among testers. It’s worth taking a look at Windows Update to scan for pending downloads, if the news hasn’t yet appeared on your computer.