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Microsoft Weekly: Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6, a new Microsoft division, and more

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In this episode of Microsoft Weekly, we look at the new Surface Laptop 10 for Business and the Surface Laptop 6 for Business, a bunch of extra deprecated features in Windows client, the new Microsoft AI division, more lock screen widgets for Windows 10 and 11, and other news.

Table of contents:

  1. New Surface
  2. Windows 10 and 11 news
  3. Windows Insider Program
  4. Updates are available
  5. Gaming news
  6. A blast from Microsoft's past
  7. Random fact about Microsoft

New Surface

The biggest news of this week was the announcement of new Surface computers. Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 10 for Business and the Surface Laptop 6 for Business, the company's first so-called AI PCs, a category that is expected to make up almost half of PC shipments in 2025. The latest models kept their previous designs but received better displays, more powerful hardware, hardware Copilot keys, and more. In addition, Microsoft revealed a new Surface Pro keyboard with improved accessibility and launched its Adaptive Accessories for business customers.

The Surface Laptop 6 for Business

If you want to learn more about the new Surface, check out our Specs appeal articles:

If you are wondering what happened to the consumer versions of the Surface Pro 10 and the Surface Laptop 6, don't worry; Microsoft will announce them at another event later this year, on May 20. Those computers will be available with the Snapdragon X Elite processor, which, besides offering snappy performance and great battery life, should work well with most Windows games.

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.

Let's talk bugs and deprecated features.

Microsoft confirmed a nasty issue in most Windows Server versions. According to the company, a memory leak on domain controllers can lead to crashes and unscheduled reboots. Luckily, Microsoft released a fix relatively quickly, albeit one for Windows Server 2019 is running a bit late.

A Windows Server 2022 graphic

As for deprecated features, Microsoft added two more things to the list of Windows components it no longer develops: password payloads in MPR notifications and Test Base for Microsoft 365. Interestingly, the latter is now deprecated because, according to Microsoft, Windows 11 "solved high percentage of compatibility issues," thus making cloud-based app testing services redundant.

If you accidentally installed the wrong Windows SKU, this neat script may help you fix things without clean-installing everything. You are unlikely to need it very often, but it is nice to have it in your Windows toolbox. Winpilot is another neat tool to have, especially if you have the new Outlook app.

Windows Insider Program

Here are the new Windows 11 builds Microsoft released this week for testing in the insider program:

Windows 11 Windows 10
Canary Channel Build 26085 with mostly fixes and minor changes. Not applicable
Dev Channel Not applicable
Beta Channel Nothing in Beta this week Not applicable
Release Preview Channel 22631/21.3371 (KB5035942) with more lock screen widgets, Autopilot 2.0, and various fixes across the operating system 19045.4235 (KB5035941) with Windows Spotlight for desktop backgrounds, more widgets on the lock screen, and more nagging to update you to Windows 11.

Probably the most exciting part of the latest Windows Insider preview builds is the updated lock screen in both Windows 10 and 11. They can now show more information, such as sports results, stocks, traffic, and more. You can try those widgets by updating to the latest Windows 10 and 11 preview builds. Click here to learn how to enable them on Windows 11.

The Lock Screen in Windows 11

In addition to new preview builds, Microsoft released a new Windows Hardware Lab Kit Insider Preview. In case you are not familiar, Windows HLK is a special kit that "helps you ensure that the drivers and the system you develop are certified as compatible with Windows."

Windows Insiders also received a few app updates. The recently released Phone Link update, which allows you to use your Android smartphone as a wireless webcam, is now available for all Insiders regardless of the selected channel. Also, Notepad now has a built-in spellchecker with a few customization options (Microsoft made it official shortly after an early leak).

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.

Besides announcing new Surface devices this week, Microsoft revealed a new division called "Microsoft AI." Led by Mustafa Suleyman, a DeepMind and Inflection co-founder, it will govern Microsoft's AI efforts and related products, including Copilot, Edge, and Bing. Interestingly, there is no word on how Windows is going to be related to Microsoft AI.

By the way, Copilot is now rolling out to more devices. Microsoft published a new message in the official documentation, claiming that its new assistant is now available on more eligible devices. The company plans to finish the rollout by the end of May 2024.

Microsoft Edge has been updated to version 123. The latest release in the Stable Channel includes minor bug fixes, security patches, and a bunch of new features and policies for enterprise users. Thanks to automatic updates, Edge 124 is probably already on your system. You can check that by heading to edge://settings/help.

Speaking of Microsoft Edge, the software giant announced that the old PDF viewer in its browser will stick with us for a little longer. According to revised plans, Microsoft plans to remove Microsoft Edge Legacy PDF at least in early 2015, if not later. As a reminder, Microsoft started replacing the old PDF viewer with one powered by Adobe Acrobat in 2023.

Other mainstream browsers also received big updates this week. Chrome got version 123, and Firefox was updated to version 124. Brave also updated its browser with multiple changes, and it no longer installs its VPN services by default.

Other notable updates released this week include the following:

Here are the new drivers you might want to check out if you use supported hardware:

Finally, here is the latest edition of Microsoft 365 Roadmap Weekly, a series where we track features coming soon to Microsoft's productivity apps. The latest additions include intelligent message translation in Teams chats, recurring meetings in OneDrive for the web, and more.

On the gaming side

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

Starfield received a massive update with almost 500 fixes and plenty of new features for photo mode, scanner, settings, and more.

Microsoft also dropped the second batch of new games for Xbox and PC Game Pass subscribers. The latest additions include nine games, such as Diablo IV, F1 23, The Quarry, Evil West, Open Roads, and more.

The second wave of games for Xbox Game Pass in March 2024

If you are still on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 32-bit Windows 10, Epic Games has some bad news for you: the store will soon stop supporting your ancient (not you, Windows 10) operating system. According to the recently published message on the official website, Epic Games will pull the plug on unsupported Windows versions and 32-bit Windows 10 in June 2024.

Other news about "pulling the plug" includes the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Microsoft has discontinued it in favor of the new Rewards Hub on Xbox, Windows, and mobile devices. Microsoft will stop publishing offers in the Microsoft Rewards app on April 15, 2024.

Rewards with Xbox

Here is a big review to finish the gaming section. This week, Pulasthi Ariyasinghe reviewed Dragon's Dogma 2, a new RPG from Capcom. The game offers player freedom, immersive exploration, and great class variation and combat. It is not perfect, though. Beware of crashes in cutscenes, not-so-great inventory management, and some performance issues.

Dragons Dogma 2 screenshot

This week, a new report about a handheld Xbox console emerged. According to unconfirmed reports, Microsoft is testing internally a "fully native" portable console that does not rely on cloud gaming and processes everything locally.

Of course, that does not guarantee that a portable Xbox is coming soon to the market. Microsoft is a big company with plenty of experimental hardware in its labs, most of which will never see the light of the day. Still, it is good to know that the company's gaming division is not ignoring the portable console market.

Finally, here is our updated list of the most anticipated games coming to Xbox Series X|S later this year.

Deals and freebies

Check out this week's Weekend PC Game Deals article, which features a new freebie from the Epic Games Store, fresh bundles from Humble Bundle, and a big sale of DRM-free titles.

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.

This week's look-back article is about the lawsuit Apple threatened to file against Microsoft 36 years ago. The company accused Microsoft of stealing its operating system's user interface design ideas to implement them in the original version of Windows (released in November 1985). After some back-and-forth, the two companies agreed to settle the dispute, which resulted in Microsoft paying Apple an undisclosed amount of money. You can learn more about this interesting piece of Apple and Microsoft history here.

Random fact about Microsoft

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

Most Windows users know the purpose of the three buttons in the top-right corner of every open window. They are called "close," "maximize/restore," and "minimize." Did you know that the original names were "iconize" and "zoom?" In Windows 2.0, which was released in late 1987, Microsoft renamed "iconize" and "zoom" to "minimize" and "maximize," and they are still named so in the latest versions of Windows 11.

Here is another one: Remember all that "Windows 10 is the last Windows ever" thing? It turned out Microsoft was petty serious about making the soon-to-be-unsupported OS the last one. You can read about that in the seventh edition of the Windows Internals book.

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