Microsoft Weekly: new Windows features, bad news for employees, and more

A Windows 11 wallpper overlapping Microsoft Weekly

It is time to recap everything that happened in the world of Microsoft during the second week of May 2023. As it usually goes with the software giant, we had many updates, Patch Tuesday releases, head-scratching stories, and more.

Dying Windows 10, momentous Windows 11

The two biggest stories of this week surround Microsoft's latest operating system and its upcoming feature updates. The "Moment 3" update has arrived in the Release Preview Channel, meaning Microsoft is ready to ship it to all customers soon. If you plan to update your computer without waiting for the public release, note that parts of the update are rolling out gradually. Fortunately, we have a guide describing how to get the good stuff right away.

An image showing a Windows 11 logo with the M3 sign indicating the third feature update

This week, we also published our detailed review of the Windows 11 "Moment 3" update, so be sure to check it. The release is not the biggest we have seen so far, but it contains a bunch of great improvements.

On the negative side of Windows 11, enthusiasts discovered that Microsoft might shove more ads into its operating system. The company is allegedly preparing a new page for the Settings app promoting Microsoft 365, OneDrive, and other services.

A picture with a disintegrating 20H2 script

Those preferring the good-old Windows 10 also got some news: Microsoft has issued a reminder that Windows 10 version 21H2 is about to reach its end of life. Therefore, the company would soon start force-updating users to version 22H2. Windows 11, on the other hand, remains an optional update for consumers with compatible hardware. Another noteworthy Windows 10-related news is that all Windows 10 20H2 versions are now dead. On May 9, 2023, Microsoft put Enterprise, Education, and IoT SKUs to their final rest.

Updates for everyone!

Alongside ending support for the remaining versions of Windows 10 20H2, Microsoft released scheduled Patch Tuesday updates for supported editions on May 9, 2023:

Windows Insiders also received their fair share of new builds to test. KB5026438 arrived in the Beta Channel with fixes for Windows 11, 22000.2001 (the original Windows 11 release) is available for testing in the Release Preview. The same channel offers 19045.3030 for those still using Windows 10. All three updates contain many fixes and minor improvements. Sadly, no Dev or Canary builds this week, so we look forward to what the next one will bring us. Oh, and if you happen to be a fan of Android apps on Windows 11, check out the latest insider update for WSA with the memory reallocation feature, anti-virus software support, and more.

On the gaming side, Microsoft released the May 2023 update Xbox and a few updates for Xbox Insiders, plus a new version of the Xbox app for Windows with a redesigned notification center. A Microsoft executive also suggested that Windows might receive the Quick Resume feature, one of the Xbox Series X and S flagship capabilities.

A graphic showing Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard

Finally, the ever-going saga of Microsoft trying to buy Activision-Blizzard is expected to get moving soon with clearance from the European Union. As for the UK's objection to the deal, Activision-Blizzard hired a top lawyer to appeal the recent decision.

Software and security

No week goes by without app updates, new releases, free games, and more. Firefox has released version 113 with a hefty changelog; Google pushed the Mica material to its browser in the Canary Channel (looking much better than what we have in the stable release); and Microsoft shipped Edge 114 in the Beta Channel. On the developer-related news, Microsoft is working on a UI makeover for Visual Studio, the first in over ten years.

A screenshot of Google Chrome Canary with the MIca material

Moving to other software, we received a neat tool this week that lets you check out the upcoming "never combine" option in Windows 11. It is one of the most requested taskbar changes for Windows 11, and many insiders were excited to see it coming. Stardock also released Groupy 2, an app that brings tabbed experience to Windows 10 and 11.

A screenshot of Windows 11 running Groupy 2

We also covered a few security-related stories involving Microsoft and its various products. This week, the company shared a guide for blocking vulnerable Windows boot managers, released an HVCI/memory integrity compatibility check tool for Windows 10 and 11, and fixed the BlackLotus UEFI flaw. The company also got blasted by AV-TEST for the amount of resources Windows' default anti-virus software hogs.

No raises for you!

CNBC reported that Microsoft employees would not receive raises this week. Also, the company would decrease performance bonuses for top executives. These budget-trimming measures seem slightly head-scratching for many in light of positive financial reports and Microsoft leading the way in generative AI development. Microsoft's CEO said the company faces "global macroeconomic uncertainties" so no raises for you this year!

Bing logo

Bing AI

There is no stopping in the stream of updates for AI-powered Bing. Microsoft started rolling out chat history and visual answers for various topics this week. At the same time, the software giant admitted that it is too slow to add new GPUs to keep its AI-based search engine snappy and fast. This might become a problem for the company as it aims to update models for Bing three times a year.

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And that is all for this week, folks! As a reminder, you can subscribe to the Neowin Newsletter and receive weekly Microsoft and other news directly to your inbox. If you want more, check out the "Microsoft" tag on our website.

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