Microsoft is adding another way to update Windows 11 with Online Service Experience Packs – ZDNet Leave a comment

Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 Dev Channel test build, No. 22489, includes a new ‘Your Microsoft Account’ settings page, plus a mention of coming ‘Online Service Experience Packs.’
By for All About Microsoft | October 27, 2021 | Topic: Windows 11

Microsoft released a new Windows 11 Insider build on October 27 — Windows 11 Build 22489. In the release notes for this Dev Channel build, Microsoft officials disclosed there’s going to be yet another way to update Windows outside of major OS updates called “Online Service Experience Packs.”

The mention of this new update pack was in the context of the “Your Microsoft Account” settings page, which Microsoft is now testing as part of some future update to Windows 11. A subset of Dev Channel Insiders is getting the new Your Microsoft Account setting page as part of Build 22489. This new page will display users’ Microsoft Account information, such as subscriptions to Microsoft 365, links to order history, payment details, and Microsoft Rewards. Via this page, users will be able to access their Microsoft Accounts directly in the Settings in Windows 11.

The details about what Online Service Experience Packs are and what, exactly, they’ll be updating are sparse right now. Microsoft officials said in today’s blog post about the new build:

Over time, we plan to improve the Your Microsoft account settings page based on your feedback from Feedback Hub via Online Service Experience Packs. These Online Service Experience Packs work in a similar way as the Windows Feature Experience Packs do, allowing us to make updates to Windows outside of major OS updates. The difference between the two is that the Windows Feature Experience Packs can deliver broad improvements across multiple areas of Windows, whereas the Online Service Experience Packs are focused on delivering improvements for a specific experience such as the new Your Microsoft account settings page.
Under Windows Update, users ultimately will see “Online Service Experience Pack – Windows.Settings.Account” with a version number.

Microsoft execs have said fairly little about Windows Feature Experience Packs. These packs, introduced with Windows 10, have included the updated Snipping Tool, text input panel, and shell-suggestion UI.

In addition to the new Your Microsoft Account settings page, Microsoft also has added support in today’s test build for “Discovery of Designated Resolvers.” This feature, which builds on DNS over HTTPS, allows Windows to discover encrypted DNS configurations from a DNS resolver known only by its IP address.

Microsoft also is updating the name of the “Connect” app to “Wireless Display.” And it is splitting the Apps & Features in settings to two pages under Apps: Installed Apps and Advanced App Settings.

The rest of Microsoft’s post about today’s build lists a bunch of fixes and known issues.
Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced yet another Windows-updating-related feature to Windows Insiders. That mechanism, called Update Stack Packages, is designed to “deliver update improvements outside of major OS updates, such as new builds.”  Officials declined to say more about what exactly these Update Stack Packages are at this point.
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