When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Microsoft Weekly: More ads for Chrome users, next-gen Copilot features, and fresh builds

A Microsoft Weekly banner

In this episode of Microsoft Weekly, we look at new builds in every Windows Insider channel, Samsung spoiling the next-gen Copilot features, Copilot Pro launching worldwide, a new wave of ads targeting Chrome users in Windows 10 and 11, game sales, and all sorts of app updates.

Table of contents:

  1. Windows 11 news
  2. Updates are available
  3. Gaming news
  4. A blast from Microsoft's past
  5. Random fact about Microsoft

Windows 11

Here we talk about everything happening around Microsoft's latest operating system in the Stable channel and preview builds: new features, removed features, controversies, bugs, interesting findings, and more. And of course, you may find a word or two about older but still supported versions.

March 2024 Patch Tuesday updates are out, which means it is time to update your computer with the latest fixes, security improvements, and more. Windows 11 received KB5035853 (it also fixed the 0x800F0922 error), and Windows 10 received KB5035845. Note that Windows 10 version 21H2 will soon reach its end of life. Microsoft published a support document reminding users that support for enterprise editions will end on June 11, 2024.

Only a few weeks before the Microsoft event, Samsung revealed some of the upcoming Copilot features. The company's Galaxy Book4 product pages revealed advanced capabilities, such as improved Phone Link integration, which would let Copilot get data from an Android smartphone connected to a Windows 11 PC.

The new Copilot features in Windows 11

Another AI-related feature coming soon to Windows 11 is camera filters. Enthusiasts discovered new strings in the latest Local Experience Pack pointing to AI filters to make you look like "a watercolor painting," "an animated cartoon," or "an illustrated drawing."

Microsoft published an article detailing the latest changes in Windows to make the operating system DMA-compliant in Europe. Those changes include the ability to uninstall Microsoft Edge and the Bing search, third-party search provider support, and more.

In addition, the company discontinued a few things across its services. 1024-bit certificate keys are now deprecated and Visual Studio App Center will stop working in March 2025.

Windows Insider Program

Here is what Microsoft released for testing this week:

Canary Channel Build 26080 with reworked Teams, new Copilot features, and more
Dev Channel Build 26080.1201 (KB5037135) without new features
Beta Channel Build 22635.3350 (KB5035955) with taskbar fixes and Start menu changes
Release Preview Channel Build 19045.4233 (KB503594) with Spotlight for the desktop
Windows Server Build 26080

In addition, Windows Insiders can try a new set of features for Paint. Version 1.2402.32.0 adds a reworked brush slider and the ability to copy visible content on all layers.

Microsoft paint new update version 112402320

Finally, here is a neat Windows concept imagining a Microsoft-made operating system with cool features and without bloatware.

Updates are available

This section covers software, firmware, and other notable updates (released and coming soon) delivering new features, security fixes, improvements, patches, and more from Microsoft and third parties.

Microsoft Copilot now uses GPT-4 Turbo by default, including the free tier. This week, Mikhail Prakhin announced the update and said that users could still switch to the previous model if necessary. GPT-4 Turbo was previously available only in Copilot Pro, a $20/month subscription.

Copilot Pro subscribers can now access Copilot GPT Builder, a special tool that lets you build custom Copilot versions with specific instructions and documents for more specific tasks. The subscription itself is now available worldwide, plus users can try it thanks to the new trial mode.

Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and Google announced their joint contribution to the release of Speedometer 3, a new browser benchmark aiming to reflect real-world web usage as much as possible. Changes in Speedometer 3 include better runtime measurements, updated JavaScript UI frameworks, the inclusion of complex DOM versions, SPA testing, and more.

Logos of five most popular desktop browsers

Despite working with Google and other companies on improving the web for everyone, Microsoft is extremely unfriendly to those not using Edge. This week, the company once again started harassing Chrome users with banners, begging them to set Bing as their default search engine. The ad's nature made many users believe their PCs were infected with malware. Microsoft confirmed that the banner was legit and it should only appear once.

Bing ad in Windows 11

Although Google cannot protect its customers from Microsoft, it can provide additional security against malicious websites. This week, the company announced that its Safe Browsing feature is now keeping and updating the list of malicious websites in real-time. The change should improve phishing attacks by up to 25% compared with the old on-device list method.

Microsoft Office 2024 and its LTSC variant are coming later this year. Microsoft confirmed that preview testing begins in April, with a consumer version scheduled to arrive later. A new version of Office with perpetual licensing will be available on Windows 10 and 11 in both 32 and 64-bit variants. Prices will remain the same for consumers, but commercial customers will have to pay Microsoft 10% more than before.

On the third-party side, we have Proton launching its Mail app on Windows and Mac (a version for Linux is now in beta) and Meta launching its Threads app.

proton mail desktop

In July 2023, a China-based group hacked consumer systems after forging tokens from an MSA key. This unfortunate event upset quite a few US government agencies, resulting in some of them promptly moving their data to rivaling services from Google and Amazon.

Other notable updates released this week include the following:

Here are the new drivers released this week:

Finally, here is this week's Microsoft 365 Roadmap with the latest additions, such as new features for Teams on mobile, email search filters for the new Outlook, and more.

On the gaming side

Learn about upcoming game releases, Xbox rumors, new hardware, software updates, freebies, deals, discounts and more.

Turn 10 Studios released Forza Motorsport Update 6 with multiple important changes, such as reworked car progression, the ability to buy car points with credits, a fix for the blocked pit lane exit in Daytona, a new career mode, and a few fresh vehicles for Car Pass owners.

Forza Motorsport

Age of Empires IV will receive an update next week. The biggest change will be cross-play support on PC and Xbox. The update will also bring Team Ranked Mode on Xbox and various changes and bug fixes.

Another big update is coming soon to Halo: Infinite. Look out for reworked networking for "a better and more consistent multiplayer experience," a new anti-cheat system, seven fresh maps, and more. The update lands on March 19 on Xbox and PC.

halo infinite

Mojang has issued an important warning for Minecraft players, urging them not to update the game with the Xbox app on Windows 10 and 11. Doing so may result in a permanent loss of worlds (saves). You can bypass the issue by running a built-in Game Services troubleshooter in the Xbox app. Check out this article to learn how to do that.

Speaking of Minecraft, Mojang launched something called Marketplace Pass, a new subscription that lets you access dozens of premium content from the in-game marketplace for only $3.99 per month.

minecraft marketplace pass

Nvidia announced eight new titles for GeForce NOW, its cloud-based gaming service. Also, the company announced DLSS 3.5 support for more games.

Deals and freebies

Those wanting to expand their gaming libraries have plenty of deals and freebies to check out this week. Be sure to visit our latest Weekend PC Deals section featuring a freebie from the Epic Game Store and Steam Spring Sale 2024.

And how about a hardware giveaway? Microsoft lets its customers in the United States win a custom Xbox Series X made in partnership with Square Enix. The unique Final Fantasy XIV-themed Xbox Series X and 12 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate could be yours on March 28.

final fantasy xiv online xbox series x

A blast from Microsoft's past

John Callaham's weekly "Look back" series provides throwbacks into the past, detailing the company's products, partnerships, mishaps, and successes from years ago.

3D Pinball Space Cadet is one of the most iconic Windows games that Microsoft has been bundled with its operating system for quite a while. This week's blast from Microsoft's past tells a story of this neat time killer, which was released as part of Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 many years ago.

microsoft pinball

Random fact about Microsoft

And here is a randomly selected piece of trivia about the company, Windows, and other Microsoft-made things.

This week's trivia is about Windows 95 and its user interface with the Start menu, the taskbar, and other now-standard elements. Unlike Metro in Windows 8 or Aqua in macOS, Windows 95's UI had no distinct marketing name. Despite being a big deal and pretty much a revolution in the PC market, it was just "the new shell" or "the shell." However, internally, Microsoft called the UI rework "Stimpy."

Windows 95 in Electron project
Windows 95 running as an Electron app on macOS. Image credit: felixrieseberg on GitHub

Neowin Newsletter promo banner

You can find other issues of the Microsoft Weekly series using this link. Also, you can support Neowin by subscribing to our Newsletter to get regular news recaps delivered directly to your email.

Report a problem with article
Microsoft 365 logo
Next Article

Microsoft 365 Roadmap Weekly: Teams to add translation feature to chats and more

Windows 12 concept
Previous Article

Concept imagines "Windows 12" as bloatware and telemetry free, with cool gaming features

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

0 Comments - Add comment