New Windows 11 Build Updates Chat, Widgets, Store

Posted on August 27, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 24 Comments

Microsoft has released a new pre-release build of Windows 11 to Windows Insiders in the Dev and Beta channels. This one arrives with Chat, Widgets, and Store improvements.

More important, however, Microsoft is now cautioning Insiders that those who are worried about reliability issues might want to move from the Dev to the Beta channel. The builds provided to the Beta channel going forward could be more stable than those provided to the Dev channel, it says, and you can easily switch back and forth between the two. (I also enjoy that the Insider team finally defined the nonsensical term “flighting” that it uses, almost seven years after the program started.)

Anyway, here’s what’s new in the latest build of Windows 11, build 22000.168:

Chat improvements. The Chat feature—sometimes called “Chat with Microsoft Teams” multiple languages, and it can be set independently from the system language if desired. Supported languages include Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), English US, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Norwegian (Bokmal), Norwegian (Nynorsk), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian Latin, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Valencian, Vietnamese, and Welsh.

Widgets improvements. Microsoft has announced a new Microsoft 365 widget for Windows 11’s dubious Widgets feature. “This widget brings relevant documents, [sic] news and meeting recordings (with more to come!) to enterprise users,” the Microsoft post notes. “This widget will only be available if you are signed in with your AAD [Azure Active Directory] account on your PC running Windows 11. In a time when information overload is a major concern for most workers, this personalized list will help users stay on top of their work and find the information they need with ease. To check it out just open widgets and click the ‘Add Widgets’ button and select the Microsoft 365 [widget].”

Microsoft Store improvements (Dev channel only). Users in the Dev channel will find a new Library user experience in the Microsoft Store, plus an updated Spotlight design. If no blocking issues are found, the updated Store app will head to the Beta channel soon.

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Comments (24)

24 responses to “New Windows 11 Build Updates Chat, Widgets, Store”

  1. bncz1

    Disappointment doesn’t begin to describe my feelings towards this insider build and Microsoft in general

  2. jimchamplin

    I still haven’t seen the new Calculator and Alarms apps, even though I’m on the newest Dev build! Am I getting A/B’d or is this an issue?

    • ids

      No I still have the same ones also on Beta channel too. Not sure if its because I am in the UK. Pretty shocking the level of information from Microsoft and the Insider Team as usual. Getting quite frustrated with their poor levels of basic communication.

  3. blue77star

    So they are going to allow Windows 11 on unsupported hardware and yet they won't push security and other updates for such system. This is all messed up. 6h, and 7th generation of Intel processors all support necessary requirements and ASUS and others are updating BIOS as we speak. This is really a new low level by Microsoft.

  4. John Dunagan

    I'd love to be able to move the toolbar to the left side, but you can't even do that yet, if ever.

    • chevalier

      Hello John. This is how to change the taskbar to the left instead of the centre: -

      1. Click on Taskbar settings
      2. Select Taskbar behaviours
      3. Change Taskbar alignment from Centre to Left
  5. mhuhn

    After living in Teams for work, the last thing I want to see on my home PC is Teams.

    • blue77star

      Just uninstall it. That's what I did and installed Skype.

    • mattbg

      This is my thinking, too. I know that they want to try and keep branding consistent, but nothing about the name "Teams" says "friends & family".

      If Skype has become a tarnished brand somehow, they'd have been better off creating a new brand for the consumer side and just plugging it into the Teams infrastructure on the back end.

      Although I do recognize that we are probably running out of unique product names that aren't offensive words in one international market or another at this point :)

  6. lezmaka

    The changes to the Library screen are an improvement. You can actually sort by when apps were last updated! It's definitely better from what I was looking for, but some things are still odd.

    The new sort options are:

    Sort by date

    Sort by name

    Sort by installed

    Sort by not installed

    The "Sort by installed" and "Sort by not installed" don't actually sort anything, they're more like filters that only show installed/not installed items. These also apply to Movies & TV and nothing shows with "Sort by installed" and everything shows with "Sort by not installed". I don't have anything from Movies & TV downloaded/saved on this device, so maybe that would be different if I had. But the wording is awkward since they're more like filters than sorting. It'd be nice to be able to sort by date/name and then only show installed/not installed. Or change installed/not installed to on this computer/not on this computer to take movies/tv into account if it's supposed to show what's saved locally.

  7. sherlockholmes

    Disappointment doesn’t begin to describe my feelings towards windows 11 in general.

  8. lvthunder

    I wonder if the Chat with Teams will ever support work accounts instead of just the consumer accounts.

    • SvenJ

      That seems like the most ridiculous restriction/decision. I have this on a domain joined business machine, and the most prominent function, smack in the middle of the task bar is virtually useless. I can't chat with my colleagues, just my personal acquaintances. Guess I can remove it. Turned that in as feedback, BTW.

    • jimchamplin

      I just wish I could use it with my actual team instead of just user-to-user chat. If that functionality is there, I can't find it. I'm finding it really hard to wait to replace the junk Electron-based client.

      • shmuelie

        Correction, it's not using electron. But it's still web based

        • IanYates82

          Not electron - it's now using the webview2 control (so edgium, built for Windows primarily, instead of Chrome and cross-plat electron)

          The other major difference is the use of ReactJS instead of Angular for the HTML user interface. React is easier to make more efficient.

          I find the current teams client to be very slow on my 8 core i7 laptop. Switching between channels, expanding messages, etc is slow enough to ruin flow unfortunately. Apparently there's a release floating around using the new react and webview approach but I'm yet to see it (maybe Brad has his hands on it?)

          • blue77star

            ReactJS and Angular are just garbage...approved msg by me, professional development for 30 years.

      • shmuelie

        It's still Electron in the "Chat With Teams" feature

  9. Benoit Lamarche

    All the UI changes are Microsoft attempts to remain relevant in a mobile-centric world. They figured if it works like Android and IOS, people will use their computers more.