Microsoft News Roundup: New Windows 11 features, Microsoft layoffs, Windows Phone 7 anniversary, and more

Microsoft Logo at Ignite
(Image credit: Future)

Earlier this month, we saw Microsoft's Surface event, the launch of the NVIDIA RTX 4090, and several other major announcements. While not as massive as previous weeks this month, we saw several stories run across our news desk over the last seven days. Microsoft rolled out the first wave of new features for the Windows 11 2022 Update and changed the default command line experience for the OS.

Unfortunately, not all of this week's news was good. Up to 1,000 Microsoft employees have reportedly been laid off. Additionally, a Microsoft security breach put 65,000 companies at risk.

Sexy new features for Windows 11

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Fresh on the heels of the Windows 11 2022 Update rolling out, Microsoft released a batch of new features for the operating system. The update brings a tabbed File Explorer, suggested actions, a new shortcut to the Task Manager, as well as a few other new features. 

Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would ship features to Windows 11 throughout the year rather than waiting for major OS updates. This week's update included the first feature drop.

Later this month, Microsoft will also ship a new Photos app to Windows 11.

New default command line experience on Windows 11

Windows Terminal Themes

(Image credit: Future)

Developers and those that use command line have a new default experience on Windows 11. Microsoft announced that Windows Terminal is now the default on Windows 11. It's still possible to use other apps for command line actions, of course, but the OS will automatically open Windows Terminal by default.

Microsoft first unveiled Windows Terminal in 2019. The company has since rolled out several features, such as tabs and custom themes. It's now ready for primetime as the default command line experience.

Microsoft layoffs

Microsoft logo

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft will reportedly make up to 1,000 employees redundant as part of a restructuring. Since Microsoft is a massive corporation, 1,000 jobs are less than 1% of its workforce, but it's still unfortunate news for those that are affected. Business Insider reported that Microsoft's Strategic Missions and Technology team, as well as its Xbox division, are affected by the layoffs. The company's legal department also saw layoffs, as confirmed by 15-year Microsoft vet Greg Chapman.

"Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly. We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead," said Microsoft to Business Insider.

Microsoft security breach

Microsoft logo

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft confirmed that a misconfigured system may have left customer data exposed. The tech giant did not state how many people were impacted, but security researchers at SOCRadar claimed that 65,000 entities across 111 countries may have had data compromised. Microsoft disagreed with that figure and explained that it secured the endpoint quickly.

"Our in-depth investigation and analysis of the data set shows duplicate information, with multiple references to the same emails, projects, and users," said Microsoft. "We take this issue very seriously and are disappointed that SOCRadar exaggerated the numbers involved in this issue even after we highlighted their error."

Windows Phone 7 turns 12

Windows Phone and Mobile

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

There's a general rule when covering the anniversary of major events. Journalists usually cover every anniversary for the first five years then milestones in intervals of five. But some stories are just too big for standard convention. This week we saw the 12th anniversary of Windows 7.

The mobile operating system took the best from Zune to deliver the Metro UI flat design language that many still miss today. Our executive editor Daniel Rubino reminisced about the fan-favorite phone OS:

"But let’s face it, Microsoft’s Metro UI flat design language, which rejected skeuomorphism, was practically art. Its look still resonates with people who grabbed Windows Phone 7 launch devices like Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, Dell Venue Pro, LG Quantum, HTC Surround, and LG Optimus 7 daily."

Review roundup

Intel Core i9-13900K

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

In addition to covering all of the biggest news stories, our team of experts regularly goes hands-on with the latest games, gadgets, and more. This week, we took a look at new flagship CPUs from AMD and Intel, played a library of new games, and ran a high-end Samsung SSD through its paces.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).