Microsoft has recently unveiled two new Insider Preview Builds for Windows 11. The Dev Channel received Build 23545, while the Canary Channel was updated with Build 25951. These releases are part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to refine and enhance the Windows 11 experience based on user feedback and internal testing.
Key Features and Improvements
The Dev Channel's Build 23545 introduced several changes. One notable modification is in the Taskbar's search functionality. Instead of a hover experience that opens the search box, Microsoft is experimenting with different interactions when users click on the search highlight. In certain scenarios, clicking on the gleam might redirect users to a Bing page for the highlighted search.
Additionally, Microsoft is rolling out the ability to rename devices for easier identification during nearby sharing. Another enhancement allows users to view Microsoft Teams contacts and share files directly with them if signed in with an Entra ID (AAD) account.
On the other hand, the Canary Channel's Build 25951 brought forth the SMB NTLM Blocking feature. This update allows the SMB client to block NTLM for remote outbound connections, enhancing security. Another significant addition is the SMB Dialect Management, enabling the SMB server to control which SMB 2 and 3 dialects it negotiates.
Addressing Known Issues
Both builds come with their set of fixes. For instance, the Dev Build addressed multiple issues with File Explorer, such as crashes when closing the application or switching between dark and light modes. The Canary Build, however, highlighted some known issues, including potential problems with certain popular games and an inaccessible print queue.
It's worth noting that prior to these releases, Microsoft had rolled out a Windows 11 build to the Insider Program's Beta channel, which introduced minor features, such as:
- Focus Session Widget: A new Focus Session widget is rolling out to Windows 11 Insiders in the Beta Channel, but Microsoft is monitoring feedback and will release it to everyone once they're confident it's ready. This widget lets you start and stop Focus Sessions directly from your Widgets board.
- Microsoft Teams – Free: Microsoft has removed the Chat icon from the Windows 11 taskbar and replaced it with the renamed “Microsoft Teams – Free” app. You can unpin it like any other app, but most people probably will.
- More In-Box Apps Can Be Uninstalled: Starting with this build, you can uninstall the Camera, Cortana, Photos, and People apps. It's unclear why Cortana is still installed by default, since it's no longer functional in Windows 11.
- More File Explorer Fixes: The new File Explorer in Windows 11 version 23H2 has been plagued by bugs, and this build includes a number of fixes.