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Microsoft News Roundup: Surface Duo app updates, Microsoft Store controversy, Windows Insider builds, and more

Spanned apps on Surface Duo.
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

There are dozens of stories each week in the worlds of Windows, PCs, and gaming. We cover the biggest and most interesting news as it comes out, but it's easy to miss a few articles. That's why we gather together all of the biggest stories each week.

Over the last seven days, we covered Gboard and Talon getting optimized for the Surface Duo, a controversial change to the Microsoft Store, and more.

Surface Duo updates

Spanned apps on Surface Duo.

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Microsoft's Surface Duo received plenty of love this week. An update shipped for the Surface Duo 2 that improved the camera experience on the device and improved ink responsiveness. The original Surface Duo also got an update, though it focused largely on bugs and stability.

In addition to Microsoft's own updates, app developers rolled out updates that focused on the Duo family. Talon for Twitter and Whereseek were each optimized for dual-screen support this week. Talon's update allows you to have different aspects of Twitter open at once, such as showing tweets on the left panel while DMs are on the right screen. Whereseek gained similar functionality, allowing users to place maps and points of interest on different screens of the Duo.

Google also added dual-screen support for Gboard beta recently. The popular keyboard application can now split into two halves, allowing for better thumb typing.

Builds for Windows Insiders

Windows 11 Update Settings

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft rolled out not one but two Windows 11 builds to the Beta Channel this week. Build 22622 brought the "Suggested Actions" feature that rolled out to the Dev Channel a few weeks ago to the Beta Channel. Otherwise, the updates are relatively mundane. They were more noteworthy due to the fact that Microsoft shipped two Beta Channel builds at the same time.

Microsoft Store controversy

Microsoft Store on Windows 11

(Image credit: Future)

Early this week, upcoming changes to the Microsoft Store were highlighted online. Several new policies are set to go into effect on July 16, 2022, but one stuck out as a point of controversy. Starting next week, Microsoft will prohibit the sale of open-source or generally free applications through the Microsoft Store. This drew criticism from the community, since many app makers list their apps on the store to earn revenue. For example, Paint.NET charges a small amount to purchase it through the Microsoft Store in lieu of asking for a donation.

Fortunately for developers, Microsoft's new policy won't be aimed at legitimate applications. Microsoft's General Manager of Apps, Partners, and the Microsoft Store Giorgio Sardo clarified that the intent of the rule is to prevent copycat apps, scams, and other illegitimate listings in the store.

Former Bungie directory working on Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite promotional artwork.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

On the gaming side of things, former Bungie director Paul Bertone joined 343 industries to work on Halo Infinite. Bertone helped launch the first five Halo games during his time at Bungie from 2000 until 2012. In his new role as Technical Design Director, Bertone will help bridge the gap between the design and programming teams at 343 industries.

"I’m happy to confirm veteran Paul Bertone has joined the team as Studio Technical Design Director," Staten wrote in a Tweet. "Paul and I met in 1999, back in Bungie’s Chicago days, and then shipped Halo 1-3, ODST and Reach together. I’m thrilled to have Paul help lead the future of Halo Infinite."

Reviews

Each week our experts review hardware, software, and games. We looked at a quick charging stand from Razer, LED cubs from Govee, and more this week. Here are all of our recent reviews:

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.