Here’s the roundup of the latest Microsoft-related news you need to know.
Microsoft is testing more Bing items
Extended Bing testing is still limited to testers, but Microsoft is continually expanding it to include more users. According to Microsoft, the Bing waiting list now consists of millions of people. Aside from that, people who currently have access to the new smart search engine said they got new Bing content and features. Some of these include the insertion of ads in chatbot responses and the recent availability of the Bing user interface on mobile devices. Other recent items that Microsoft has now tested are the mobile view in the Edge sidebar and the Chat and Compose tabs in the Discover sidebar in the Edge beta. Users report that features are not accessible yet. Following a report revealing Bing’s “additional chat modes” (Sydney, Assistant, Friend, and Game), users are sharing that Microsoft is also testing a new “sound” setting in the mobile version of Bing. Although the test is not yet available, it can be seen that Bing offers users options for “More Creative”, “More Balanced” and “More Accurate” answers.
A recent report states that Microsoft has started talking about monetizing Bing through ads. Early testers shared screenshots of Bing showing ads in chatbot responses instead of just providing simple query details. Additionally, Microsoft has announced a price increase for the Bing Search API, which in some cases may result in a 1,000% increase. The company is expected to do this from the XNUMX. Implement in all markets in May.
New Xbox games
Microsoft is adding new games to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows and Game Pass this week. Here are the titles to expect along with their availability dates.
- Akka Arrh—February 21
- Atomic Heart – February 21st (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery / Game Pass)
- Like a dragon: Ishin! – February 21st (optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Alienation – February 21st (optimized for Xbox Series X|S)
- Animal Lover – February 22nd (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery
- Arcadia Fallen – February 22nd (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery / Xbox Play Anywhere)
- Intruder: Hide and Seek – February 22nd
- sCATch: The Painter Cat – February 22nd (optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Webgeon Speedrun Edition – February 22nd (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Blood Bowl 3 – February 23rd (optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Catan: Console Edition – February 23 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Frog Leap – February 23rd
- Midnight is lost – February 23rd
- Planet Cube: Edge – February 23rd (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Regrets: The List – February 23
- Lootbox Lyfe+ – February 24th (optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- SimAirport – February 24th
February 2, 2023 firmware update for Surface Duo and Duo
Microsoft last week released the February 2023 firmware update for Surface Duo and Duo 2 devices. Unfortunately, no new features are to be expected from the update, although it contains a large number of security patches. Learn more about it here.
AI in more Microsoft products
It’s no secret that Microsoft wants to integrate AI technology into all of its products and services in the future. One of Microsoft’s latest moves to make this possible is the reported internal demo for using Copilot and DALL-E in Minecraft. Accordingly Video was leaked, the integration of these technologies will allow users to perform in-game actions instantly via commands instead of manually moving their characters.
After a series of reports of Bing misconduct, Microsoft explained that long chat sessions (15 or more questions) could cause the chatbot to become confused and provide awkward-toned answers. With that, the Redmond-based company recently updated the new Bing and gave it a new limit on the queries it can conduct per conversation. Once the limit is reached, users are now required to create a “new topic”. Also, Bing no longer responds to queries causing it to act in strange ways.
Pronouns in Microsoft 365
Microsoft announced that it would include a new option in Microsoft 365 that would allow users to identify their pronouns. The company said it will be available in March and will be an optional feature that enterprise IT admins can enable. After that, Microsoft plans to add the same feature to Teams later this year, allowing users to show their pronouns in meetings.
More Windows 11 tests: widgets, AI suggestions in Start menu, “End task” taskbar option.
As part of its plan to continually bring new features to Windows 11 users (and in hopes of making it more appealing to attract more customers), Microsoft is relentlessly testing with insiders. One of the latest we’ve seen in the company’s recent releases is the addition of Messenger, Spotify, and Game Pass preview widgets. In a beta last week, Microsoft also began testing a new AI suggestion feature for the Start menu for devices connected to Azure Active Directory (AAD). There is also a hidden feature in Windows 11 Dev Channel Insider Build 25300 that allows you to access an “End Task” option in the system tray by right-clicking the app icon. In the same build version, Microsoft also started testing live subtitles in more languages.
Xbox February 2023 update
Microsoft has started rolling out the February 2023 update for Xbox devices. Key improvements in the update include better power management, new background features, Google Home app support, and an Xbox Party-related test.
More competitors in the AI market
Microsoft is currently fighting in the AI war but could face a major battle soon as more tech companies invest in the technology. Besides Bard Google, You.com already offers its own chatbot called You Chat, which works almost like the Bing bot powered by ChatGPT. Opera also shared a ChatGPT-based tool called “Shortcut” that allowed its browser to generate bulleted article summaries. Many Chinese companies are also developing and researching ChatGPT-like products and technologies.