Windows 12: What We Know So Far

After a six-year break, Microsoft released its Windows 11 in October 2021. Over a year since its release, fans are eager to know about the upcoming Windows 12.

Although Microsoft keeps significant gaps between its new OS, it releases updates. According to reports, the upcoming OS might release sooner than expected. To know all the latest news regarding Windows 12, continue reading ahead!

When Can We Expect Windows 12 To Release?

According to a Windows Central article from July 2022, a successor to the Windows 11 is currently under development. The article’s author, Zac Bowden, has a reputation for putting out accurate Windows news.

Moreover, in an exclusive interview with The Verge, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi talked about developing future versions of Windows. Even though this could mean the company would release a major update, a newer Windows version seems more probable.

Windows 12 What We Know So Far

Windows 12 What We Know So Far© Provided by Honest News Reporter

Furthermore, multiple reports suggest that Windows 12 will likely be released in 2024. Considering the 6-year gap between Windows 10 and 11, this 2024 release date for Windows 12 comes in a lot earlier. However, multiple sources indicate that Microsoft plans to release a new Windows OS every three years, and this 2024 release date follows that.

The New Canary Channel

Early in March 2023, Microsoft released its new Canary channel with significant changes to the Windows Insider program. With this new addition, the Dev channel is now turned into the Canary and Rebooted Dev channels.

The Canary channel will primarily cater to the more technical users and provide them early access to platform changes. But these updates come with a price; they will be much more unstable and have longer lead times. In contrast, the Dev channel will be a lot more stable. However, like the Canary, updates within the Dev channel will not be linked to a Windows release.

The point to focus on in Microsoft’s announcement is that neither Windows 11 nor 12 were mentioned in the Canary channel’s description. It simply stated that the Dev channel would receive the latest updates for Windows 11.

Nonetheless, builds shipping to the Canary Channel will be a part of the 25000 series. These builds will primarily focus on significant edits to new APIs, Windows kernel, etc. Moreover, some features exclusive to the Canary channel may never be available to the general public.

Will Windows 12 Be Free of Cost?

With so much hype about the upcoming Windows 12, many users are curious if this successor will be free of cost or come with a hefty price tag. Based on Microsoft’s previous trends, the new Windows should be available free of cost to the general public. At least initially. Nonetheless, your device must meet the hardware requirements needed to download it. If it is compatible, you can easily update your laptop/PC to Windows 12. Conversely, if you do wish to buy a standalone copy, it will cost you approximately $139.

Changes in Hardware Requirements

Windows 12 may have different hardware requirements than Windows 11. Although, at this stage, it is impossible to predict what they might be.

As laptops and PCs are releasing new and improved specs recently, it is safe to say that most latest devices will be compatible with the upcoming Windows 12. In fact, many versions will likely be compatible as well.

To download the upcoming Windows, you’ll probably need an updated chip from companies such as AMD, Intel, or Qualcomm. A minimum of 64 GB space, 4GB RAM, and a 720p display of the device would be a must.

According to a now-deleted tweet by @leaf_hobby on Twitter, Windows 12 is included in the supported OS list for Intel’s Meteor Lake-S desktop chipsets.

What New Features Will Windows 12 Have?

With the Windows 12 launch still about a year away, predicting the upcoming OS’s new features is difficult. In fact, we doubt that even Microsoft has fully decided what features it wants to include in the new Windows.

Nonetheless, at last year’s Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft may have unintentionally shown us an early version of Windows 12 UI. According to this, the primary features will be a floating taskbar and a pill-shaped search bar within the top center of the screen. Seems familiar? Yeah, it also reminds us of the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro series.

Furthermore, the widgets and the Action Center will relocate to the top of the screen, compared to the current ones at the bottom.

However, we cannot confirm these features will be in the upcoming Windows 12. There might also be significant tweaks to these features in the forthcoming year. Moreover, reports suggest that the creators at Microsoft aim to make the latest Windows from the ground up rather than making improvements to the older Windows 11 OS.

With still a year till its release, we can expect many more updates regarding Windows 12 features. So turn on your notifications because we’ll keep you up to date with the latest news and developments regarding Windows 12.

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Business emails are now more dangerous than ransomware

When it comes to hackers looking solely for profit – ransomware is no longer the number one weapon of choice, new research has claimed.

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Instead, their primary method is Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, a report from cybersecurity experts Secureworks analyzing more than 500 real-world security incidents that took place between January and December 2022 found, with the number of BEC incidents doubling to become the most common type of attack, dethroning ransomware.

The company believes this explosive growth in BEC attacks has its roots in successful phishing campaigns, which account for a third (33%) of incidents where an initial access vector (IAV) could be established. A year ago, phishing accounted for merely 13% of incidents (up 3x year-on-year). Besides phishing, hackers would also look for system and application vulnerabilities, zero-day or otherwise.

Low-skill attack

Ransomware incidents dropped by more than half (57%) last year, Secureworks added, but stated that it still remains a “core” threat. The drop could be, the researchers speculate, either due to the threat actors’ changing tactics, or due to law enforcement agencies getting better and hunting them down and shutting down their infrastructure.

Another reason for the change could be because BEC are easier to pull off:

“Business email compromise requires little to no technical skill but can be extremely lucrative,” says Mike McLellan, Director of Intelligence at Secureworks. “Attackers can simultaneously phish multiple organizations looking for potential victims, without needing to employ advanced skills or operate complicated affiliate models”.

To make sure you stay safe from BEC attacks, educate your employees to spot phishing emails, and set up a strong email security system. Multi-factor authentication, wherever possible, will be of tremendous help. Furthermore, both employees and executives need to keep email access to themselves, and not share the login credentials with their coworkers, friends, and family.

The news follows a warning from the FBI in May 2022 that BEC had grown into a $43 billion industry.

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M.2 vs. NVMe: Understand the Main Differences

Computers have come a long way since the early days of floppy disks and hard disk drives (HDD). Today, solid-state drives (SSD) are the norm for high-performance and high-speed data storage.

Among these SSDs, two popular types are M.2 and NVMe. Most computers and other electronic devices use these drives, but they differ in several ways.

M.2 is a type of physical interface that provides a compact and efficient way to connect SSDs to a computer. It’s essentially a circuit board that can be mounted directly on the motherboard, saving space and reducing clutter in the computer. M.2 drives are compatible with a wide range of computer systems and can be used to upgrade storage and improve performance.

On the other hand, NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a data transfer protocol that can be used with both M.2 and different types of SSDs. It provides faster data transfer speeds than traditional SATA-based SSDs and enables computers to access data stored on an NVMe drive at much faster speeds.

As such, M.2 and NVMe are two different types of tech in the realm of SSDs whose combination may offer improved performance and faster data transfer speeds than traditional HDDs. M.2 provides a physical interface for SSDs, while NVMe provides a data transfer protocol. When shopping for the two, you must consider your device’s compatibility and specific storage and performance needs.

Let’s break them down further below.

M.2 vs. NVMEe: Side-by-Side Comparison

M.2 vs. NVMEe: What’s the Difference?

The M.2 and NVMe drives are critical technologies when discussing solid-state drives (SSDs).

While M.2 is a physical form factor for SSDs, NVMe is a protocol for accessing data on the drive. It’s essential to understand the differences between M.2 and NVMe to make informed decisions when selecting a storage solution.

M.2 drives offer a compact form factor well-suited for small form factor devices. At the same time, NVMe provides faster data transfer speeds, lower latency, and improved overall performance compared to older protocols like AHCI.

Below, we will explore the differences between M.2 and NVMe in detail, including their form factor, performance, data transfer speed, queue depth, latency, and power consumption. By understanding these differences, we can better appreciate the benefits of using an M.2 NVMe SSD and make informed choices when selecting storage solutions.

Form Factor

While speaking about the form factor of an SSD, it is possible to refer to the M.2 form factor, its compact size, and the various other form factors available for NVMe drives. It’s essential to understand the relationship between form factor and performance, as using the NVMe protocol can significantly improve the performance of an SSD, regardless of its form factor.

NVMe, on the other hand, is a protocol for accessing data on the SSD and has no direct impact on the drive’s form factor. NVMe drives can be made in various form factors, including M.2, U.2, Add-in card (AIC), and others. The choice of the intended use case and the physical constraints determine the form factor of the device in which the SSD will be used.

Computer Performance

M.2 and NVMe both impact computer performance but in different ways. An M.2 SSD can improve performance compared to a traditional SATA SSD because it eliminates the need for a cable, reducing latency and allowing faster data transfer speeds.

NVMe drives improve a computer’s data transfer speeds. This faster data transfer speed significantly enhances the computer’s overall performance, especially when dealing with large files or applications that require a lot of data to be read and written.

NVMe also supports much deeper command queues than AHCI — the older protocol used by SATA drives, allowing for more commands to be executed in parallel, further improving performance. NVMe has lower latency than AHCI, allowing faster response times when accessing data. These improvements result in shorter boot times, quicker application launches, and snappier overall system performance.

NVMe has faster data transfer speeds and lower latency than M.2 drives, but in some cases, the two can be used together for optimal performance. ©Tester128/Shutterstock.com

NVMe has faster data transfer speeds and lower latency than M.2 drives, but in some cases, the two can be used together for optimal performance. ©Tester128/Shutterstock.com© Provided by History Computer

Computer Compatibility

For M.2 drives, we consider physical attributes when assessing their compatibility. The presence of an M.2 slot and its dimensions are vital in determining which M.2 drive to use in a specific computer. M.2 slots have become increasingly common in newer computers but may not be present in older models.

NVMe’s compatibility with a computer depends on software and hardware support. NVMe requires a computer with UEFI firmware, an NVMe driver, and an M.2 slot. Some older computers may not support NVMe or require a firmware update to enable support.

M.2 vs. NVMEe: 9 Must-Know Facts

  • NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a protocol for high-speed communication between the host and solid-state drives (SSDs), while M.2 is a form factor for these drives.
  • Laptops and small form-factor devices use M.2 drives due to their compact size, while high-performance systems use NVMe due to its fast data transfer speeds and low latency.
  • NVMe and M.2 are backward-compatible with previous generations of hardware and software, allowing easy integration into existing systems.
  • Many high-performance devices use NVMe and M.2 drives, thereby leveraging the advantages of both the protocol and form factor for optimal performance.
  • NVMe supports hardware-based error correction, encryption, and write protection, while M.2 drives can vary in their support for these features based on the specific model.
  • The choice between NVMe and M.2 will depend on the device’s specific requirements and use case, with NVMe offering higher performance and M.2 contributing a compact form factor.
  • The NVMe drive uses the PCIe interface for communication, providing higher bandwidth and lower latency than SATA or SAS, while M.2 drives can use both SATA and NVMe protocols.
  • NVMe supports multiple parallel commands for better utilization of available bandwidth and lower latency, while M.2 drives are physically smaller and more versatile than traditional 2.5″ SATA SSDs.
  • NVMe and M.2 drives provide enhanced power management compared to SATA, leading to longer battery life in mobile devices.

M.2 vs. NVMEe: Which One is Better for You?

M.2 and NVMe are popular technologies used in the storage industry and often raise questions about which is better. However, it’s important to note that one cannot substitute for the other but can complement the other.

M.2 provides a compact form factor for solid-state drives (SSDs), while NVMe provides faster data transfer speeds and lower latency than SATA. Depending on the device’s specific requirements and use case, paring M.2 and NVMe for optimal performance is possible.

Choosing the right combination of technologies to meet your specific needs and ensure your system’s best performance is essential. If you need a high-performance storage solution, NVMe is the better option. If you need a compact and versatile form factor, M.2 is the better option.

In some cases, you may even use both NVMe and M.2 together, leveraging the advantages of both the protocol and form factor for optimal performance.

Story by Maisie Marlena • Yesterday 1:10 PM

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Run Windows software on Mac and more with CrossOver+

Even if you’re not a Windows user, you never know when you might need Windows to run a certain software. For instance, did you know TurboTax for Business is only available on Windows?

Run Windows software on Mac and more with CrossOver+

Run Windows software on Mac and more with CrossOver+© PC World

If you’re running a Mac, Linux, or ChromeOS operating system, CrossOver+ Windows Compatibility App is a major asset. CrossOver is the easiest way to run Microsoft applications on your non-Windows computer without dealing with the clunkiness of a Windows emulator. Rather than an emulator, CrossOver translates Windows commands to your present operating system, allowing you to run Windows software as if it was designed for your native environment. From productivity software to games, it all runs better, and you can set it up in a matter of minutes.

Michelle Delio of Wired writes, “In general, running CrossOver Office was so similar to using Office on a standard Windows system that it was sometimes difficult to remember the PC was actually running Linux.”

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How to use System Restore on Windows

On Windows , the System Restore feature has been designed to create a snapshot of the current working state of the computer and save it as a “restore point” when significant system changes are detected. If a critical problem occurs after installing an update, driver, or app, or after modifying the system settings incorrectly in the Registry, you can use a restore point to revert the device to an earlier point to resolve the issue without losing your files.

Although this is a convenient recovery feature, it’s disabled by default, meaning you have to enable it before you can create points of restoration manually or the system automatically.

This how-to guide will walk you through the steps to set up System Restore and the steps to recover from problems that may be affecting the normal operation of your computer.

How to enable System Restore on Windows 10

To enable System Restore on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Create a restore point and click the top result to open the System Properties page.
  3. Under the “Protection Settings” section, select the primary “System” drive.
  4. Click the Configure button.
  1. Select the “Turn on system protection” option.
  • Quick tip: Windows 10 can automatically manage the space. However, under the “Disk Space Usage” section, you can use the slider to specify the storage for recovery. You will also find a “Delete” button, which you can use to remove all restore points, which can come in handy to free up space or want to start over with the recovery feature.
  1. Click the Apply button.
  2. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the system automatically creates restore points when applying a new update or specific system changes.

System Restore doesn’t enable automatically for all drives. If you have other drives connected to your computer, you must enable the protection manually on each storage. Also, it’s important to note that this is not a backup solution. It’s only a feature to undo system changes without affecting your files.

How to create a System Restore point on Windows 10

Once System Restore is enabled, it will automatically create a checkpoint when it detects system changes. However, if you plan to make configurations manually, you always want to create a restore point manually.

To create a restore point on Windows 10 manually, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Create a restore point, and click the top result to open the System Properties page.
  3. Under the “Protection Settings” section, click the Create button.
  1. Type a descriptive name for the restore point — for example, Before modifying the Registry settings.
  1. Click the Create button.
  2. Click the Close button.
  3. Click the OK button.
  4. Click the Close button.

After you complete the steps, you should be able to undo system changes in the event that something happens while installing a new driver, or program or applying changes to the Registry.

How to recover using System Restore on Windows 10

If an error or an unknown problem occurs after installing or modifying system settings, you can use the recovery feature to apply a restore point to undo the changes and fix the issue. If the computer no longer starts correctly, you can complete this task from the Windows 10 desktop or the advanced startup settings.

Undo system changes from desktop

When you have access to the Windows 10 desktop, you can revert changes using these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Create a restore point, and click the top result to open the System Properties page.
  3. Click the System Restore button.
  • Quick note: If the option is greyed out, no restore points are available.
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the restore point to undo changes and fix problems on Windows 10.
  1. Click the “Scan for affected programs” button to confirm the apps that will be removed because they were added after creating the original restore point.
  2. Click the Close button.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, System Restore will restore the computer to the previous working state. If one or more apps were affected, remember to reinstall after the process finishes.

Undo system changes from Advanced startup

Alternatively, you can use the Advanced startup settings to access the System Restore feature to recover the system if the computer doesn’t start correctly.

Access Advanced startup

To use System Restore through the Advanced startup environment, use these steps:

  1. Start the computer.
  2. As soon as the Windows logo appears, press the power button to interrupt the boot sequence.
  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 two more times. (Or until the device boots into the recovery experience.)

After you complete the steps, you can use the steps below to revert system changes with System Restore.

If you cannot access the recovery environment with these instructions, you can start the device with a Windows 10 installation media, and while in the “Windows Setup” experience, click the Next button, click the Repair your computer button from the bottom-left corner, and then continue with the steps below.

Undo changes with System Restore

To undo system changes on Windows 10 through the Advanced startup environment, use these steps:

  1. Click the Advanced options button.
  1. Click on Troubleshoot.
  1. Click on Advanced options.
  2. Click on System Restore.
  1. Select the Windows 10 account.
  2. Confirm the account password.
  1. Click the Continue button.
  2. Click the Next button.
  1. Select the restore point to fix the problem with your device.
  2. Click the “Scan for affected programs” button to confirm the apps that will be removed because they were added after creating the restore point.
  3. Click the Close button.
  4. Click the Next button.
  5. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the restore point will apply to undo system changes that may be causing problems, including those preventing the computer from starting correctly.

System Restore is only a feature to recover a device from configuration problems quickly. It is not a feature to replace a backup solution or an option to reset the computer to the factory default settings.

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Microsoft is making it easier to set default apps in Windows 11

Since its release in 2021, one of the most consistent criticisms of Windows 11 has been Microsoft’s handling of app defaults. Compared to Windows 10, the newer OS makes it more complicated for users to move away from the company’s first-party offerings. For example, if you don’t want Edge to open every time you click on a webpage or PDF, you’re forced to launch Windows 11’s Settings menu and change the default app by file and link type. It’s an unnecessarily long process that makes customizing Windows 11 convoluted.

Microsoft is finally addressing some of those criticisms. In a blog post published Friday (via Bleeping Computer), the company said it was “reaffirming our long-standing approach to put people in control of their Windows PC experience.” Microsoft announced a feature it said would ensure Windows 11 users are in control of changes to their app defaults. Later this year, the company will introduce a new deep link uniform resource identifier (URI) that will allow developers to send users to the correct section of the Settings menu when they want to change how Windows 11 responds to specific links and file types.

Screenshot of the new toast notification that some apps will display when asking you to pin themselves to your taskbar, start menu or desktop.

Screenshot of the new toast notification that some apps will display when asking you to pin themselves to your taskbar, start menu or desktop.© Provided by Engadget

Microsoft says it will also give users more control over what apps get pinned to their desktop, start menu and taskbar with a new public API that will display a prompt asking you to grant programs permission before they show up on those interface elements. Both features will first roll out to PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Dev Channel in the coming months before arriving in the public release of Windows 11. Notably, Microsoft says it will “lead by example” and release updates for Edge that will see the browser add support for those features as they become available.

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Microsoft just made it easier to patch this Bitlocker bypass flaw on Windows

Microsoft has published a Powershell script to help IT teams fix a BitLocker bypass security flaw found in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), simplifying the process of securing WinRE images.

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Per BleepingComputer, the flaw, tracked as CVE-2022-41099, allows threat actors to bypass the BitLocker Device Encryption feature, and gain access to encrypted data in low-complexity attacks.

The caveat is that the attackers need to have physical access to the target endpoints. Furthermore, if the user enabled BitLocker TPM and has PIN protection, the vulnerability cannot be exploited. That’s why the flaw has a severity score of 4.6 – medium.

Two available versions

“The sample PowerShell script was developed by the Microsoft product team to help automate the updating of WinRE images on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices,” Microsoft said.

“Run the script with Administrator credentials in PowerShell on the affected devices. There are two scripts available—which script you should use depends on the version of Windows you are running.”

One script is for systems running on Windows 10 2004 and later (Windows 11 included), while the other is for Windows 10 1909 and earlier (it will still run on all Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems, the company added).

The vulnerability was first discovered in November 2022. Back then, Microsoft added a fix to the November Patch Tuesday cumulative update, listing it as an “important” update, but not “critical”.

When running the script in Powershell, admins can choose a path and a name for the Safe OS Dynamic update package.

The packages are unique to the version of the OS being patched, as well as to the chip architecture. Therefore, IT teams need to download the right one from the Microsoft Update Catalog in advance.

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How to Disable VBS and Speed Up Windows 11 or 10. This is only meant for some gamers and is not recommended.

security setting that’s on by default in Windows 11 and at least some installs of Windows 10 could be slowing performance in some by as much as 15 percent. Virtualization-based security, aka VBS, allows Windows to create a secure memory enclave that’s isolated from unsafe code. Another built-in feature called Hypervisor-Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) uses the capabilities of VBS to prevent unsigned or questionable drivers and software from getting into memory. Together VBS and HVCI add a layer of protection that limits how much damage malware can do, even if it gets past your antivirus software.

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Unfortunately, VBS and HVCI have a significant performance cost, particularly when it comes to gaming. In our tests, we found that games ran as much as 15 percent slower with these settings on as with them off. This is true whether you’re using an old graphics card or even a speedy RTX 4090. It used to be the case that simply upgrading from Windows 10 to 11 would not enable VBS, but lately we’ve seen it get turned on after updates so you should not assume that it’s disabled on your system, even if you had it turned off before.

For most users and applications, the performance deltas with VBS on and off are 5 percent or less and likely not noticeable in everyday tasks such as web browsing or editing documents. However, if you want the best possible performance and are willing to sacrifice an added layer of security, here’s how you disable VBS in Windows 11 or 10.

How to Check if VBS is Enabled in Windows 11 or 10

Before you start thinking about turning off VBS, you need to find out if it’s on in the first place.

1. Open system information. The easiest way to do that is by searching for “system information” in Windows search and clicking the top result.

2. Scroll down to find the “Virtualization-based security” row. If it says “running,” VBS is enabled. But if it says “not enabled,” then you’re done.

How to Disable VBS / HVCI in Windows 11 or 10

1. Search for Core Isolation in Windows search and click the top result.

2. Toggle Memory Integrity to off, if it was on. If it is not on, skip ahead to step 6.

3. Reboot your PC as prompted.

4. Check system info again to see if virtualization-based security is listed as “not enabled.” If so, you are done. If not, go to step 6 where you’ll disable VBS in the registry.

5. Open regedit. The easiest way is by hitting Windows + R, entering regedit in the text box and click Ok.

6. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceGuard.

7. Open EnableVirtualizationBasedSecurity and set it to 0.

8. Close regedit and reboot your PC.

9. Check system information again to see if Virtualization Based Security is listed as  “not enabled.”

If VBS is still enabled try the method of disabling it below.

How to Disable Windows VBS By Uninstalling Virtual Machine

If you still see that VBS is running, you can get rid of it by uninstalling the “Virtual Machine” feature in Windows. Note, however, that if this is the feature that’s enabling VBS for you, losing it may cost you the ability to run Windows Subsystem for Linux. Here’s how you do it.

1. Open Turn Windows Features on or Off by searching for it.

2. Uncheck Virtual machine and click Ok.

3. Reboot your PC.

4. Check system information again to make sure virtualization based security is listed as “not enabled.”

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Windows 11 just got loads of new features including one that iPhone owners will love

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Windows 11 has just been graced with a big update, albeit not a full feature update, but one of Microsoft’s so-called ‘Moment’ upgrades.

Moment 2 to be precise, and if that sounds familiar, that’s because Microsoft released it in testing (as an optional update) at the end of February. Now, however, it has arrived as a full release, which means it’s coming to all Windows 11 PCs as we type this.

If you haven’t already been offered what is formally known as patch KB5023706, then you can head to Windows Update and check for new updates, whereupon you should see Moment 2 ready to roll.

The update introduces a raft of new features, including improvements for those using Windows 11 with a touchscreen (a touch-optimized taskbar). Another big move is Phone Link for iOS, giving iPhone owners the ability to hook up their handset to the desktop (giving access to iMessage correspondence from their PC).

Windows 11 will now provide energy efficiency recommendations and additional help when troubleshooting issues with your PC (via ‘Quick Assist’). On top of that, the system tray has been given a fresh lick of paint in the form of a rounded focus (rather than square, when mousing over icons bottom-right, to be more in keeping with the rest of Windows 11’s modern look).

Accessibility features have also been improved, most notably with enhanced support for braille devices, and Voice Access getting new commands.

As well as all the feature additions, KB5023706 comes boasting the usual slew of security fixes provided by Microsoft with these monthly cumulative updates.

Analysis: Plenty of features and hopefully no bugs

So, all the testing of the preview version of the Moment 2 update is now done and dusted, and with no major bugbears sighted, everything should go smoothly with the upgrade now it has become available – in theory. Of course, when a much wider rollout happens, with a lot more PCs involved, fresh bugs can still make their unwelcome presence felt.

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Gmail: Billions warned of scam that steals payment details, look out for these crucial signs

Cyber security experts are advising users to search for these three key words in their email inbox to check if they’re being scammed. The warning is applicable to users of all email accounts, including Gmail, regardless of whether you use Android or iPhone.

Gmail: Billions warned of scam that steals payment details, look out for these crucial signs

Gmail: Billions warned of scam that steals payment details, look out for these crucial signs© Provided by Oh My Mag

Security company Trend Micro say that the three words to be wary of are UPS, Amazon and Netflix. These big names are often used as a front for scam emails that are targeting vulnerable users into giving away personal information.

Netflix, Amazon and UPS phishing emails

Online scammers frequently use reputable brand and company names to fool people into thinking it is a legitimate and trustworthy email. There are many new scams doing the rounds at the moment and Trend Micro have listed three of the most common right now.

The current Netflix scam consists of a phishing email that will mention ‘unusual account activity’. The email looks just like a genuine Netflix communication but in fact will take you to a fake website which will harvest your personal information for nefarious means.

The latest scams that are using Amazon as a subterfuge involve phishing emails and texts. The first one purports to be from Amazon Prime and states that you are required to update your payment information only for cyber criminals to steal these details.

The other Amazon one arrives by SMS or email and claims that your account has been locked for security reasons. Again, any links will take you to a fake website where your information is stolen.

The UPS scam is also done by SMS and asks you to fill in a form about a parcel that is meant for you. Of course, there is no parcel and your information will be stolen, as per The Sun.

How to avoid a phishing scam

There is no single fool-proof way of avoiding some of these scams but there are preventative measures you can take. Here are ten tips on how to stay safe, as per Phishing.org:

1. Keep Informed About Phishing Techniques

2. Think Before You Click

3. Install an Anti-Phishing Toolbar

4. Verify a Site’s Security

5. Check Your Online Accounts Regularly

6. Keep Your Browser Up to Date

7. Use Firewalls

8. Be Wary of Pop-Ups

9. Never Give Out Personal Information

10. Use Antivirus Software

A lot of phishing techniques rely on the user unthinkingly clicking on things so always be very wary of pop ups and links in emails. If there are any emails that you are uncertain of, you can always contact the organisation directly to check if it came from them. Often fraudulent messages will also have spelling mistakes or small errors in them. If you think an email is a scam – just delete it. More information on how to stay safe online can be found on the National Cyber Security Centre website.

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