Microsoft released the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview this week. Among the changes, we note an adjustment of Windows Update, and the addition of Smart App Control to track unreliable applications, as well as the use of the credit card.
Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 test build adds two important features: payment information and a security solution called Smart App Control that will monitor the apps and games the user adds to their PC. Microsoft has released Windows 11 Insider Preview build 22567 to the Dev Channel with other changes, including an adjustment to Windows Update, so it’s now possible to set up your PC to activate an update when carbon emissions are the lowest.
Another change is the request for credit card information in Windows. That’s not so surprising, because you’ve probably entered payment information into the Microsoft ecosystem before, either to buy apps or movies from the Microsoft Store app, or to make similar purchases through the Xbox. Yet these transactions are normally done through your Microsoft account web page, which handles it all online and behind the scenes. (You can access this through Windows 11 Settings > Accounts > Your Microsoft account).
Banking details in the hands of Microsoft
Microsoft considers additional credit card information to be part of the subscription option it added last month. Now, if a user’s subscription is in danger of failing due to an expired credit card, Microsoft will notify them immediately. However, conceptually, this implies that the PC is as much a tool for shopping as it is for work and play.
Viewing payment information in Windows 11 is a new experience. (Credit: Microsoft)
Microsoft also said it’s making subscription information a bit more prominent, and reaffirmed that other changes are coming as well. These are handled by the online service experience packs that Microsoft has already talked about.
The appearance of the Smart App Control
Another interesting addition is what the firm calls Smart App Control (SAC). Microsoft describes it as a “new security feature for Windows 11 that blocks untrusted or potentially dangerous apps.”
What those apps are, apparently, is up to Microsoft. And yes, there is always a fear that SAC will flag harmless apps that it simply hasn’t seen before. But Microsoft is slowly adding SAC to PC. Note that you need to perform a clean installation to activate it. On the other hand, this solution does not fit immediately. “SAC is initially configured in trial mode,” Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the latest release. If so, it will be automatically activated. Otherwise, it will be automatically deactivated”.
Other adjustments to the program
Microsoft also changes the behavior of Windows Update if the PC responds to a certain scenario. Windows Update will now attempt to update each PC when renewable energy is more commonly available, if that PC is plugged in, and regional carbon intensity data is available from Microsoft’s partners electricityMap or WattTime. While one can always click the “Update Now” button to perform an immediate update, it’s unclear what will happen for those who prefer updates to happen overnight.
The vendor has also adjusted Windows 11’s OOBE (Out of the Box Experience) to better pair an Android phone as part of the Your Phone experience. Now, the OOBE setup will show a QR code that you need to scan with your phone to set up Your Phone as part of the process.
The new OOBE in Windows 11. Note that this is only part of the Windows 11 Insider Dev channel, for now. (Credit: Microsoft)
The firm also offers greater availability of voice packs to improve transcription, the ability to choose a microphone for dictation/transcription, and the ability to mute its speakers by simply clicking the volume icon in the indicator. volume material, too.