This is Microsoft’s weekly news roundup, delivering the most interesting and compelling stories from the past seven days. And as Microsoft’s annual developer conference has just ended, there’s a lot to consider: new Windows 11 features and updates, AI everywhere, new tools for app developers. applications, etc. This time, we have quick links, so you can jump to the section that interests you most:
Windows 11, AI-powered tools and features, etc
During the Build 2023 conference (you can see our full Build 2023 coverage here), Microsoft revealed many new features for developers and regular Windows 11 users. Many of them harness the power of artificial intelligence to deliver better experiences and features that were previously unavailable.
The biggest Windows 11-related announcement during the Build process was Windows Copilot—a feature that helps “every user become a power user.” Windows Copilot is a new AI-powered assistant on your Windows 11 PC that will help you get work done, control various settings, get answers to complex questions, and more. anymore (consider it Cortana 2.0, but in reality it’s supposed to be good). Windows Copilot will be available for testing next month, and you can sign up for updates here.
Microsoft also announced a series of smaller but necessary changes. Windows 11 will soon have a taskbar label and a “never mix” mode (both features are already available for testing in the Windows Insider program), native RGB control, support for multiple storage formats more, such as RAR, 7-zip, GZ, TAR, and more. The latter is a significant change, especially for developers, but the WinRAR team said they were honored and a little concerned with Microsoft’s decision. And yes, there’s a teaser for the upcoming File Explorer redesign.
Another long-awaited change is the ability to remove news from Windows Widgets. Microsoft announced it will soon allow Windows 11 customers to switch between three modes: mixed, utilities only, and news only.
Developers will be happy to learn about the new Dev Home app designed specifically for app creators. It’s a storage drive with a file system focused on performance and security. Based on ReFS, it delivers up to 30% performance increase in a variety of tasks. Additionally, Dev Home also features integration with WinGet, GitHub, etc
Let’s start the Microsoft Store section with the winners of the 2023 Microsoft Store App Awards. This section highlights winners chosen by the community and honorable mentions chosen by the editors.
Moving on to new features, Microsoft Store will soon use AI to analyze reviews and create summaries to help you find out what other customers think about an app or game without having to look at hundreds or thousands of reviews. The store will also have a dedicated AI center to identify applications that use artificial intelligence. And if you’re a Windows app developer, Microsoft Partner Center helps you reach more people with AI-chosen keywords for your projects.
That’s not all Microsoft announced for its app marketplace. Developers will soon be able to promote their apps in Bing search results, and stores will have a new advertising spot. Additionally, the recently launched Microsoft Store Ads program is expanding to more countries and regions.
And finally, Microsoft has prepared new features for progressive web apps and opened Android app submissions to all developers, allowing them to expand their audience with Windows 11 customers.
Microsoft has not forgotten to upgrade its browser with a few upgrades. The browser will soon be redesigned with Mica and rounded corners, Workspaces feature and mode dedicated to businesses and organizations.
More news from the Build conference:
Updates—lots of them!
As usual, this week we received many software updates for apps, games, operating systems, firmware, etc. Microsoft announced the “Moment 3” update and then moved it goes to people who are ready to get new Windows features as soon as they become available (make sure your PC meets the requirements). Check out our full review if you want to see what’s new in the release. Here are the smaller Windows updates released by Microsoft this week:
Update the Surface firmware:
Another notable release this week is Microsoft’s updated Windows 11 virtual machines. They are available for free during the evaluation period and provide access to many developer tools for creating Windows applications. The virtual machine is available in four “flavors” for different virtualization software.
As usual, this week we reported some notable changes in Microsoft Edge’s Canary Channel, where the company tests new features before rolling them out to the public. Users noticed a new gaming mode and integrated VPN with Additionally, the upcoming Edge update will introduce a taskbar-like sidebar that you can permanently fix on the screen.
Update the application:
Not all updates are good: some users have reported various problems with the latest cumulative updates for Windows 10, such as blue screen of death with error code PROCESS1 INITIALIZATION FAILED . See Microsoft’s recommendations for resolving the issue on affected systems. Additionally, Microsoft has confirmed copy/save issues on Windows 11 and bugs with 32-bit apps on Windows 10.
Internal builds and hidden features
Microsoft treated insiders to multiple updates after a disappointing no_build week. Here are the latest Windows 11 builds to test:
- canary:25370 with TPM improvements, WPA3 support for Phone Link, and more.
- canary:25375 with Microsoft Endpoint DLP on WoA.
- Developers: 23466 with new features announced at Build 2023.
- demo:KB5026440 with various fixes.
New and exciting features in the latest Windows 11 build are gradually rolling out. If you don’t want to wait to get them, check out our recent guide:
This week, we updated our list of the most anticipated games coming to Xbox consoles in 2023, such as Mortal Kombat1, Layers of Fear, and others. Additionally, John Callaham has published a look back at the original Xbox One launched ten years ago and its initial warm reception. It’s a fascinating story that shows how bad decisions and misguided priorities almost sank Microsoft’s ambitious project.
Microsoft continues to make its games more cloud-friendly. This week, the company announced several titles for its Ukraine-based cloud streaming service called Boosteroid. The list of supported games is a bit thin at first, but Microsoft promises to add more soon. And to confirm its promise, Microsoft has released three more Xbox titles on NVIDIA’s GeForce Now.
Cloud gaming was one reason the UK CMA refused to approve the Microsoft-ABK deal. To resolve this issue, Microsoft filed an appeal of this ruling.
In addition to releasing new games, Microsoft is constantly working to ensure the platform is safe and user-friendly for everyone. The latest Xbox transparency report highlights Microsoft’s proactive measures and moderation tools to prevent any malicious behavior from spoiling the fun for players.
This week, I tested Microsoft’s claim that turning on seconds on the system clock will cause your computer to consume more power. Check out this article for our findings.
Another notable episode is the story of the cracked Windows XP activation algorithm. The operating system released over 21 years ago still receives a lot of attention from the community and leads to all kinds of interesting headlines.
And another week has passed in the world of Microsoft and everything around it. As always, you can see more news here and sign up for the Neowin Newsletter to get the latest stories regularly delivered straight to your inbox.