Microsoft Weekly: A leaner Windows 11, the Teams update rush, and ChatGPT hype


Microsoft Weekly graphic with robot clipart on the left and the Thames logo on the left.

We’re at the end of another week of 2023 and it’s time to recap all the big things that happened in the Microsoft-verse over the past few days. This time around, we’ve got a slew of third-party software news – such as a leaner version of Windows 11 -, a flurry of Teams updates, and a sprinkling of ChatGPT goodness to top it all off. Without further ado, let’s get started with our weekly digest for January 29th – February 3rd!

A leaner Windows 11

Colorful Windows 11 logo and dark background image

If you’re struggling with Windows 11’s strict system requirements or just want to experiment with a modified version of the OS (at your own risk!), you might want to take a look at Tiny11. This modified image of Windows 11 gets rid of the Windows Component Store (WinSxS) and other modules that the developer considers “bloat”, resulting in a lightweight version of the OS for less powerful computers, with only 8GB of storage space and 2GB of RAM are required.

Naturally, you should ideally not run it on your primary machine and should consider using a virtual machine if you really want to give it a whirl. Many of our readers also expressed concern about the security of the ISO and the fact that it violates Microsoft’s EULA for Windows 11, so make sure you have some doubts about it. See the discussion here to see what you’re getting at.

Similarly, the third-party tool ThisIsWin11 is now repackaged as “Debloos”, which stands for Debloat OS. The developer describes it as a “universal defragmenter and PC manager for Windows 11”. In addition, you can also use a tool called WindHawk to modify your Windows Paint installation and bring it up to date with Dark Mode.

Fancy Mouse Demo

But if you want to customize your Windows installation using the tools Microsoft offers, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft is working on another power tools utility called FancyMouse. That will make it easier to navigate your cursor on large or multiple displays. In the meantime, we have version 0.67.0 of PowerToys, which brings the Quick Access System Tray Launcher among many other things.

Since we’re discussing experiences with Windows in this section, we’d also like to draw your attention to the latest Windows 11 Dev Channel preview build 25290. It introduced widgets for Spotify and Phone Link, as well as new Start Menu badges. Tabbed File Explorer also has some improvements, but if you don’t like them, try the Files app instead. There was also a relatively minor beta build with some bug fixes.

Speaking of issues with Windows, Microsoft released a new out-of-band (OOB) update this week to fix the .NET issue in Windows 10, 11, and Server. Meanwhile, some users complain about full-screen Windows 11 upgrade ads and non-skippable ads with two “yes” buttons (!!!) for Microsoft 365 during the Windows 10 out-of-box experience (OOBE). are doing Others speculated that Microsoft was stealing their private data through a stealth update, but that is not the case. If anything, Microsoft should be proactively transparent in this area lest it start losing market share to other operating systems.

A wave of team updates

A team call is open with three people in it.

Microsoft Teams dominated many of our headlines this week. For starters, Microsoft revealed a list of features it’s bringing to Teams in March, including “ultrasound howling detection,” explicit recording consent, and more. In the same vein, it also recaps all the capabilities added to Teams (and Excel) in January 2023.

In terms of other additions to Teams, we’ve got new video filters packaged as Teams apps so customers can personalize their online meetings. Teams Premium, also launched this week, brings advanced webinars and integration with the Elgato Stream Deck — and if you’re interested in Teams hardware, there’s also Lenovo’s 27-inch ThinkSmart View Plus Teams standalone display that Soon to retail for $3,100. . The new premium license will cost $7 per month until June 30 and will increase to $10 in July. If you don’t like Teams, you might want to check out the recently revamped Skype app — yes, it’s still alive.

Switching gears to some Microsoft Edge news, the Canary version of the browser has surprisingly gotten rid of the Mica effect. But the same channel has introduced a “minimal toolbar experience” that apparently aims to return some screen state to the user, along with a feature that will notify you if you’ve entered a weak password in the browser. Trying to save. Meanwhile, Edge Dev 111.0.1660.0 brings improved workspaces and some bug fixes.

In related news, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Mozilla and several other companies also announced their Interop 2023 project goals. The move aims to improve cross-browser compatibility and was successful last year as well. Every browser vendor will hope that this will help them improve their market share in the long term as well.

Chat GPT Hype

A look at the early Chat GPT integration that's reportedly coming to Microsoft Bing.

The hype train is still going strong with ChatGPT and other OpenAI efforts. Microsoft Teams Premium, which became generally available this week as mentioned in the previous section, is also supported by GPT-3.5 in some regions. For the uninitiated, this is the same major language model that makes ChatGPT possible. In Teams Premium, it aims to make meetings “more intelligent, personalized, and secure.” For example, it can translate captions in real-time, help create meeting templates, and automatically generate meeting notes, suggested tasks, and personalized highlights.

Microsoft isn’t just stopping there. Screenshots of its alleged ChatGPT-powered Bing leaked online over the week. According to a person with access to this version of Bing, the search bar will be able to take inputs of up to 1,000 characters and will not only answer questions but also generate text, just like the current version of ChatGPT.

One analyst estimates that nearly 100 million people accessed ChatGPT in January 2023, almost double the figure reported in December 2022. – Powered products are out the door.

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, isn’t sitting idly by or just enjoying public praise. A recent report claims that the company is now working on a ChatGPT mobile app and an AI model that can also generate videos.


Halo Unlimited Art

We’ll start this section with a new report that indicates things aren’t going well. Hello Camp Apparently, the development studio is starting from scratch with the Unreal Engine for its next game, which will have no story content. This follows reports of 343 industries being hit hard due to recent layoffs at Microsoft. The next match by the coalition is going to be held at the same place.Gears 6“, after the repeal of two other non-Gears Titles

A bunch of classic games will also be removed from the Xbox 360 marketplace soon, including several high-profile titles. Nevertheless, Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox 360 Marketplace is not out (yet) and will continue to be accessible after May 2023 when an official note on the company’s website appears otherwise. On the other hand, Xbox exclusives Crossfire X Definitely closing on May 18, just 15 months after its official launch.

In addition, we learned that the European Commission has sent its objection list to Microsoft regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Details have not been released yet. While Microsoft and Sony have held off on purchases, it looks like the two companies will also join Nintendo in skipping E3 altogether this year.

In terms of game updates and releases, Age of Empires II Out now on Xbox consoles featuring PC crossplay. Cyberpunk 2077 Windows has received hardware GPU scheduling, NVIDIA DLSS 3 and Reflex update.

Finally, talking about game promotions and deals, we have For honor, Eiyuden Chronicle: RisingAnd Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker gracing the Xbox Free Play Days promotion while offering Games with Gold. For the king. And if none of that appeals to you, be sure to check out this weekend’s PC game deals, curated by our News Editor Plasthi Aryasinghe.

Dev Channel

Windows 10 wallpaper with red filter

Under the spotlight

Image of Windows 11s File Explorer with two tabs

News reporter Taras Boria wrote a very handy guide this week explaining how you can use a script to launch a tabbed file explorer with a bunch of default tabs, with a few caveats. .

An image showing a screenshot of the Windows 11s Settings app and the thumbs-up-down emoji

Taras also wrote a list of the top 10 improvements that Windows 11 users have been asking for in the Settings app, along with Microsoft’s responses to each request.

Hard drive space

Finally, forum member Adam Botgen wrote his TechTip Tuesday article on the topic of knowing how much free space you have on your computer, check it out here.

Logging off.

Windows 11 X concept

We want to bid you farewell with the concept of “Windows 11X”, the details of which you can see here. Its designer has decided to use Windows 11 as the basis of his concept and then add some changes. Some of the additions include widgets in the Start menu, a unified notification center, and even a tablet mode. Of course, just because something looks pretty on paper doesn’t mean it’s user-friendly either, so be sure to visit our coverage linked above and let us know your thoughts!

Nuveen Newsletter Promo Banner

If you would like to receive a weekly digest of news from Nevin, we have a newsletter that you can sign up for via the ‘Get our newsletter’ widget in the sidebar, Or through this link.

Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all at this link.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *