It’s the end of another week of 2023 and it’s time once again to review everything important that happened in the Microsoft world in the past few days. This time, we have a lot of AI-related news, stories about Windows 11 Insider Preview updates, and upgrades to various Microsoft software and utilities. Without further ado, let’s dive into our weekly digest for April 2nd – April 7th below!
We’ll kick off this week’s digest with news about big AI efforts and the bumps in the road they’ve been facing over the past few days. It looks like Germany may join Italy in trying to ban ChatGPT from being used in the country. The rationale appears to be the same, that the service does not prevent children under 13 from signing up and that there may be data collection violations that affect users’ privacy.
In a similar vein, an Australian mayor is considering a defamation lawsuit against OpenAI because ChatGPT falsely claimed it was jailed for its part in a bribery scandal involving a company called Note Printing Australia in the early 2000s. was given And while not as large in scope as the two cases just discussed, ChatGPT was also tricked into “generating” valid activation keys for Windows 95. Of course, you could argue that if you’re giving ChatGPT a special prompt because you know the formula. For pre-made keys, maybe it’s not that big of a deal, but let us know your thoughts here in the comments section.
Following the publication of a letter in which 1,100+ influential figures called on AI companies to halt work on models more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said that It is a pointless move. Instead everyone should work to identify problem areas and solve problems with technology. Interestingly, Microsoft also stressed the importance of its own principles for responsible AI, which is ironic given that it laid off its ethical AI team just a few weeks ago.
Despite all these ongoing debates on the subject, Microsoft continues its mission to integrate and improve AI technologies into its core consumer products. OneNote is getting Copilot integration soon and Microsoft has also released several updates to Bing Chat to ensure less rejection and message length. It’s also testing Bing Image Creator in its Edge browser sidebar. In fact, BingChat has already been integrated into the SwiftKey beta.
Free USBs for Windows Insiders and other updates
You may recall that when Microsoft introduced its new Windows 11 Canary channel last month, it offered Insiders a free USB to install Windows 11 on their machines if they so desired. While it initially said it would take six to eight weeks for these USBs to ship, it looks like some insiders have already started receiving their free hardware. The USB includes 64GB of storage and instructions on how to install Windows 11.
Speaking of the Windows Insider program, there was a flurry of Insider builds this week. Canary build 25336 includes only minor fixes, Dev build 23430 improves Do Not Disturb with many bug fixes and known issues, while Beta build 22624.1546 (KB5025310) adds snipping tool support for the Prt Sc key. has included, among many other things. improvement. A Windows Server vNext release was also released with a known issue, but interestingly it doesn’t share its build number with the canary channel, and is instead tagged as build 25335.
Although Microsoft documents most of the features and enhancements in its Insider releases, eagle-eyed enthusiasts manage to discover undocumented changes every now and then. This time around, we’ve seen movement on the cloud PC integration front, as well as a potentially controversial move to limit the number of recent tabs you see via the Alt + Tab shortcut.
On the market share side, Windows 11’s position in the Steam Hardware Survey saw a major drop of 7.92 percentage points and now stands at 22.41 percent. That said, it’s important to understand that these results are based on optional and random surveys so don’t necessarily paint an accurate picture of reality. Either way, Microsoft is trying to convince as many people as possible to upgrade to Windows 11 as Windows 10 version 21H2 approaches the end of support date. However, if you’re an AMD customer, note that there also appears to be a Windows 11 TPM attestation bug on some supported Ryzen processors.
And if you like tinkering with Windows, you should know that third-party Windows 11 debloating app BloatyNosy has removed one of its modules from the Microsoft Store version because it was causing conflicts with the OS. On the other hand, DoNotSpy11 is now supported on Windows 11 version 22H2 “Moment 2”. Similarly, you can now enable the “Windows 12” theme using Stardock’s WindowsBlinds or run the now-defunct Windows 10X on the Surface Duo with a third-party mod.
Enhancements for IT administrators and upgrades for Microsoft services
Microsoft had many updates to its apps and services for IT admins, organizations and consumers. Starting with the first category, Windows Autopatch has new alerts and features that you can try out right now. In addition, Microsoft is changing the release cadence of Configuration Manager so that it “better aligns” with the Windows release schedule. When it comes to Windows 365, the Redmond tech company has rolled out a new edition for frontline workers and explained why it doesn’t release solid performance numbers for its cloud PCs.
Microsoft also sprinkled in a number of Edge news updates throughout the week. The company has officially announced a preview of Workspaces for its browser and has also released a utility called Browser Essentials to help you closely monitor Edge’s performance and security. The browser is set to receive a major feature update soon with the ability to save and edit web images. Until then, Microsoft has enabled some security improvements in Edge 112 and has also made it easier to block auto-playing videos. Edge 113 is now also available in the dev channel with many fixes, improvements and policies.
Coming to Microsoft 365 apps and services, the Outlook for Windows preview adds support for Gmail accounts, with more to follow. Additionally, after a lot of user feedback, the Quick Access Toolbar default is also back in Office apps. Meanwhile, Teams users will be happy to know that they’ll soon be able to get rid of unread notifications sooner and that academic users have also received an upgraded Teams app with faster performance. There’s also a new MyDay feature and green screen capability to take advantage of, but the latter is only for Intel PCs.
First party xbox game Quantum break It has been removed from the digital storefront due to the expiry of some of its licenses. However, Microsoft and Remedy have stressed that discussions are ongoing and that the title will return soon. Meanwhile, another first-party title Minecraft has received new icons and logos (the film based on the IP has been pushed to April 2025), while an update Hello: Master Chief Collection has enabled multiplayer matchmaking on Steam Deck. That said, fans of the latter will be sad to know. Hello Chief Joseph Staton recently left Microsoft. on the other hand, Age of Empires II Fans will be happy to hear that the Return of Rome expansion is coming out in May. Age of Empires I Content too.
On the Activision Blizzard acquisition front, Sony has criticized the UK CMA’s provisional decision in favor of Microsoft, claiming it was rife with errors. He noted that the regulator’s findings were “surprising, unprecedented, and unreasonable” when it came to estimating the economic impact if Microsoft Activision. Call of Duty Franchise an Xbox exclusive.
On the hardware side of the fence, Microsoft has announced the Xbox Wireless Controller – Remix Special Edition. The unique selling point for this item is that it features recovered plastic, one-third of which comes from recycled controllers and reclaimed materials. But if you’re more utility-oriented when it comes to your purchases, you’ll soon have new options available for Xbox Series X|S storage expansion cards. Also, if you’re an Xbox Insider, check out the changelog for some new builds here as well. However, if you want to tinker with emulators on the Xbox’s retail mode, you’ll be sad to know that it’s now disabled.
Finally, when it comes to deals and promotions, Borderlands And Diablo II While headline deals with gold this week Elder Scrolls Online And more are on offer through Xbox Free Play Days. Microsoft is also offering up to 90% off select Xbox games during the ongoing Spring Sale. But if none of that appeals to you, check out this weekend’s PC game deals handpicked by our News Editor Plasthi Aryasinghe herself.
Under the spotlight
Nuveen News reporter John Callham celebrated Microsoft’s 48th anniversary this week by taking a trip down memory lane and detailing some trivia about the company’s history.
With April Fool’s Day at the start of this month, John also takes a look at some of Microsoft’s most memorable stunts on this silly day, read more about them here.
John was very excited with the original content snippets and posted his thoughts on the early previews he got to witness. Minecraft Legends too
Finally, forum member Adam Botgen detailed how you can use a “hidden” version of the Start menu in his latest TechTip Tuesday piece.
Our most interesting news of the week concerns Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s confirmation that the company is ready to compete with Microsoft in the AI-based search arena and is integrating its big language models into Google Search. Is. The executive also noted that Google’s generative AI product Bard will convert to the PaLM language model, which is considered superior to Bard’s current language model in this domain.
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