With so much news coming out each week, it's easy to miss a few stories. That's why we're here to gather together the biggest trends and topics in the worlds of Microsoft and Windows. Over the last seven days, we saw hidden themes uncovered in Windows 11, Microsoft discuss the future of HoloLens, and AMD launch its new flagship graphics cards.
If you prefer to hear the latest news discussed more in depth, make sure to check out the latest episode of the Windows Central Podcast.
Windows 12 wish list
While no official information came out about Windows 12, or whatever Microsoft decides to call its next version of Windows, our senior editor Zac Bowden gathered together a wish list of what he'd like to see in the operating system.
It's known that Microsoft is hard at work on the next version of Windows. It's currently codenamed "Next Valley" and has a targeted release date of 2024. But at the early stages the OS is currently in, we could see several changes before Microsoft ships the major update to Windows.
For now, it's best to take a look at what Bowden requested, such as a better lock screen and scalable functionality.
Hidden themes in Windows 11
The Windows 11 2022 Update brough several new features and improvements to PCs when it rolled out earlier this year. But this week our senior editor Zac Bowden highlighted a group of hidden desktop themes that was previously undiscovered. The themes were originally meant for Windows 11 SE but can be set on any PC running Windows 11.
Twitter user PhantomOcean3 was the first to discover the wallpapers.
Fun fact: Windows 11 22H2+ includes 'education themes', intended for students using school devices. You can enable them with regedit:1. Open it and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\current\device2. Create a key in device, call it Education(continued) pic.twitter.com/t9OB3qVqiHDecember 11, 2022
AMD RX 7900 XT and XTX launch
AMD's new flagship graphics cards shipped this week. Though finding the RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX in stock proved to be challenging, the GPUs did become available to the public.
The XT and XTS are the first GPUs to have a chiplet design modeled after AMD's Zen-based Ryzen CPUs. The RDNA 3 architecture of the cards improves performance by over 54% over the previous generation, according to AMD.
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX cost $899 and $999, respectively, at least when found at MSRP. We have a guide with retail listings for the cards that's regularly updated to help you find a GPU in stock.
HoloLens 3 is coming
Two HoloLens stories made the rounds this week. A wave of updates for HoloLens 2 fully integrated Microsoft Teams with the augmented reality headset. Users can now view shared content, chat, and better guide people through processes through AR. Microsoft also highlighted success within the industry, such as Toyota using HoloLens 2.
Perhaps more interesting for general audiences is the fact that Microsoft publicly discussed the next version of HoloLens this week. The company's AR vision has been in question for quite some time, especially after the departure of Alex Kipman. Microsoft Vice President of Mixed Reality, Scott Evans, said that the company will ship a new version of HoloLens when the time is right.
The vice president clarified that the next version of HoloLens will need to be a "meaningful update," and not just a small spec bump.
Our team of experts stays on top of the latest gadgets, games, and more. This week, we looked at the Logitech G Cloud, the Geekom Mini IT8 mini PC, and a handful of other devices.
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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 email@example.com.