Microsoft has released a significant update to its Windows 11 operating system, delivering Build 25992 to participants in the Windows Insider Program's Canary channel. Among the most notable enhancements is an improvement to File Explorer's ability to open large .zip files quickly. The update ensures that handling extensive archives, which traditionally could be time-consuming, is now streamlined and more efficient. Windows 11 has had native RAR file support since the summer.
SMB Protocol Changes and Security Enhancements
The update also introduces a series of changes to the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. These changes include modifications to SMB firewall rules, with a new behavior pattern allowing for more stringent network security by default. Creating SMB shares no longer configures the firewall to enable rules in the “File and Printer Sharing” group; instead, it activates the new “File and Printer Sharing (Restrictive)” group, omitting inbound NetBIOS ports.
Further improvements consist of the introduction of an SMB NTLM blocking exception list, which was first announced in September. This feature permits administrators to block NTLM usage generally while maintaining allowances for clients engaged with servers that lack Kerberos support. There's also support for configuring the SMB client to connect over alternative network ports. This expanded support is indicative of a larger strategy to provide users and administrators with flexible and secure network communication options.
Update's Impact on Usability and Security
In addition to the technical adjustments, this update addresses known issues such as the display of blank options within Personalization and Privacy & Security settings and rectifies positioning errors of the context menu when utilizing touch or pen inputs. Furthermore, users can anticipate a more stable experience, as the update amends incidents of taskbar icons disappearing and issues with Quick Settings crashes.
The inclusion of a new version of the Snipping Tool further positions Windows 11 as a versatile platform for various display technologies, now better supporting devices with HDR capabilities. This update echoes Microsoft's broader commitment to enhancing not only system functionalities but also the overall user experience.
As the release has just been announced, users are encouraged to provide feedback, particularly concerning the newly integrated features and any encountered issues. This collaborative approach between Microsoft and its user base aims to polish Windows 11 to better align with customer needs and industry standards.