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Microsoft Build 2023: 5 exciting announcements

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  • 6 min read

Microsoft Build 2023 turned out to be one big AI-focused event where the Windows maker announced major AI feature additions and updates to Windows and other products offered by the company. Windows 11 and Edge are getting their own CoPilots, Bing is now the default search engine for ChatGPT and gets plugin support. 

In fact, Microsoft has decided to adopt the same plugin standard that OpenAI uses for ChatGPT, meaning you’ll have interoperability between ChatGPT and CoPilot plugins. A slew of major changes are coming to Windows 11 as well, including native RAR file support, the ability to control your RGB lighting through the Settings menu and more. Microsoft went one step ahead and also enabled booting physical PCs directly using cloud installations of Windows. 

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Bing becomes the default ChatGPT search engine

First up, OpenAI will start using Bing as the default search experience for ChatGPT. This new search functionality will roll out on May 23 for all ChatGPT Plus users and free users will be able to use it via a plugin soon. 

Bing takes over ChatGPT. | Source: Microsoft

It works the same way GPT-4 integration works on Bing Chat. ChatGPT will include search and web data that comes with citations. This is an important win for Bing, especially after Samsung decided to stick with Google after briefly looking to switch to Bing. 


CoPilot and Bing Chat are getting plugin support

Microsoft 365 Copilot, the newly released AI assistant for the company’s suite of productivity progrmas is now getting plugins that’ll add new functionality which can be customised to the users’ specific needs. While Microsoft claims that the official launch will include thousands of plugins, the early access launch comes with more than 50 plugins including ones from Adobe and Atlassian. 

Microsoft has already announced plenty of Bing plugin partners. | Source: Microsoft

There will be three types of plugins:

  • Plugins based on ChatGPT
  • Teams message extensions
  • Power Platform connectors

Copilot isn’t the only Mircosoft app getting plugins either. Bing Chat will also be getting plugins. Additionally, Microsoft is adopting the same standard for plugins as used by OpenAI assuring interoperability between ChatGPT and Bing Chat plugins. 


Windows gets its own CoPilot 

Much like the Copilot sidebars we’ve already seen in Edge, Office and even Github, Microsoft is giving Windows 11 its own Copilot — an AI assitant built-directly into Windows 11 available to open from the taskbar across all your apps. 

Windows 11 Copilot hopes to do what Cortana couldn’t. | Source: Microsoft

It won’t replace the existing search bar on your taskbar, but will have its own button instead. In terms of features, the Windows Copilot can summarise content you’re viewing in apps, rewrite or even explain it if that’s what you want. General questions and search engine capabilities are also present, so you no longer need to open a browser to access Bing Chat. 

The Windows 11 Copilot has the potential to do what Cortana could never. Similar to Cortana, Microsoft is describing the Windows Copilot as a “personal assistant” that can change settings or take care of basic tasks for you on the fly. While Cortana had a horrible track record, this assistant has already proved itself so we’re looking forward to seeing how having a virtual assistant in Windows turns out when it debuts on June 11. 


Windows Terminal is getting AI features

Microsoft has announced that it’s working on a natural language AI chatbot that’ll be integrated directly into the Windows Terminal application. This will be powered by the GitHub Copilot and will have both an inline and experimental chat experience to “recommend commands, explain errors and take actions within the Terminal application”.

The Windows Terminal is also getting tear-out tab support, meaning different shells can now easily be organised based on your needs. 


Native RAR support, RGB customisation, cloud booting and more

Microsoft is finally adding native RAR, 7-Zip, GZ, TAR and other archive file formats to Windows. What’s more is that the company decided to use the libarchive open source project to integrate this functionality, instead of coming up with its own in-house decompressor. 

Dynamic Lighting, a settings hub to control and customise your RGB lighting setup is also coming to WIndows 11. A lot of RGB peripherals and accessories rely on their own propreitary programs to control effects, something which can be very annoying if you own peripherals from different brands. Microsoft aims to cut down on this bloatware mess and give users a single place to control all RGB on their devices natively. 

Teams avatars will be launching “next week”, Windows 11 finally gets support for the Bluetooth low-energy audio specification (LC3). The Microsoft Store is getting AI-generated app review summaries and keywords and a bunch of other developer centric features were also announced to make development on Windows as easy and accessible as possible. 

YouTube video

Last but not least, Microsoft has also demonstrated Windows 365 Boot — a solution aimed at shared devices. The company claims that you can boot cloud PCs directly onto a regular PC, meaning different users can access their own separate machines on a physical terminal without having to worry about storage or security issues. 

The company hasn’t announced when the tech will be generally available, but in order to take advantage of it, you’ll need to be in the Windows Insider Program (for now), have a Windows 11 machine, Microsoft Intune Administrator rights and a Windows 365 Cloud PC license. The procedure to get a Windows 365 Boot machine working is also quite lengthy. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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