Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 test build is another big release, adding two important features: payment information and a new security feature called Smart App Control that will monitor new apps and games that you add to your PC. .
Microsoft released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22567 to the Dev Channel on Wednesday with other changes, including a change to Windows Update, so you can now set your PC to activate an update when renewables are most abundant. . (Remember that code that Microsoft tests in the Dev Channel may or may not make it to your PC.)
Asking for credit card information in Windows isn’t so surprising, because you’ve probably entered payment information in the Microsoft ecosystem before, either to buy apps or movies from the Microsoft Store app, or to perform similar purchases through your Xbox. Yet these transactions are normally done through your Microsoft account web page, which handles it all online and behind the scenes. (You can reach them through the Windows 11 Settings > Accounts > Your Microsoft account.)
Microsoft considers additional credit card information as part of the subscription option added last month. Now, if your subscription might fail due to an expired credit card, Microsoft will alert you. Conceptually, however, this implies that your PC is as much a tool for shopping as it is for simply working and playing.
Microsoft also said it’s making subscription information a bit more prominent and reiterated that you’ll also see more changes coming. These are handled by the online service experience packs that Microsoft has already talked about.
Another interesting addition is what Microsoft calls Smart App Control, or 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’s always a concern that SAC flags otherwise harmless apps that it simply hasn’t seen before. But Microsoft is slowly making SAC easier on your PC. For one, you’ll need to perform a clean install to enable it. On the other hand, SAC will not insert immediately.
“SAC is initially configured in trial mode,” Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the new release. “While SAC is in trial mode, it will learn if it can help protect you without getting in the way too much. If so, it will be automatically enabled. If not, it will be automatically disabled.
Adjustments and Changes
Microsoft also changes the behavior of Windows Update if your PC encounters a certain scenario. Windows Update will now attempt to update your PC when clean power is more commonly available, if your PC is plugged in, and regional carbon intensity data is available from Microsoft’s partners electricMap or WattTime. While you can always click the “Update Now” button to update immediately, it’s unclear what will happen for those who prefer updates to happen overnight.
Microsoft has also adjusted Windows 11 OOBE (Out of the Box Experience) to better tie your Android phone into the Your Phone experience. Now the OOBE setup will show a QR code that you can scan with your phone to set up your phone as part of the process.
Microsoft now offers greater availability of voice packs to enhance transcription, the ability to choose a microphone for dictation/transcription, and the ability to mute your speakers by simply clicking the volume icon in the hardware indicator to the volume as well.
As editor of PCWorld, Mark focuses on, among other things, Microsoft news and chip technology. He has previously written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK and ReadWrite.