With Labor Day cutting this week short for many, some companies slowed things down on the announcement front. But when the doors of official announcements are closed, the windows of leaks open. Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden spoiled everything that Microsoft has in store at its special Surface and AI event later this month. He also reviewed the upcoming Windows 11 2023 Update.
Over the last few days, we also saw Microsoft and other tech giants classified as gatekeepers by the EU, Microsoft 365 experience outages, and Elon Musk attempt to take on LinkedIn.
Windows 11 2023 Update
Generally, I collect all the reviews at the bottom of the weekly news roundup, but this one is big enough to warrant its own section. The Windows 11 2023 Update, also known as Windows 11 version 23H2, is on the way. The update is set to ship in October, and our Senior Editor Zac Bowden ran through all the features set to ship with it.
The biggest change is the addition of Windows Copilot, which brings AI to the desktop. While the feature will support third-party plugins, it's not much more than a shortcut to Bing Chat at the minute. Copilot can perform a few tasks on your PC, such as turning Bluetooth on and off, but it's rather limited. Windows Copilot is in preview, so it should get better and more capable over time.
Here are the most notable features that will ship with the Windows 11 2023 Update:
Windows AI Copilot
AI-powered file recommendations in File Explorer and Start
AI review summaries in Microsoft Store
A new AI Hub for AI-powered apps in the Microsoft Store
Taskbar app labels and general improvements
New sound output menu
A new Settings homepage
Native RGB peripheral controls
A new File Explorer design with more modern interfaces
In-box support for more archive formats like .RAR
A new File Explorer "Gallery" feature
A new cloud-based backup and restore feature
Snipping Tool and Notepad improvements
Inking directly into text boxes
General accessibility improvements
Account recommendations in Start and Settings
HDR desktop wallpaper support
New Windows Spotlight wallpaper UI
Surface event spoilers
Microsoft will hold a special event on September 21, 2023, but you don't have to wait until then to see what the tech giant has in store. Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden broke down everything to expect from Microsoft's Surface and AI event. As the name suggests, the event will focus on Surface hardware and artificial intelligence, but Bowden provided further insight.
Windows Copilot is expected to be a focus of the event, including third-party plugin support launching in preview. Microsoft 365 Copilot should see some love as well. On the hardware side of things, you can expect to see a Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Laptop Go 3, Surface Go 4, and a new Surface Hub 2S. What you shouldn't expect to see is a Surface Pro 10 or a Surface Laptop 6.
Bowden dives into much more detail in his piece, including the processors each device is expected to feature and if Microsoft will show off Windows 12 during its special event.
Microsoft 365 outage
Microsoft 365 saw outage reports spike this week. Issues began appearing on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 and kept coming in throughout the day. By Thursday morning, Microsoft 365 was up and running normally. Unfortunately, outages like this happen. The problems were intermittent, so there's a chance you used Microsoft 365 all week without being affected. That was the case for me, as I didn't see any issues. My colleague Ben Wilson was not as lucky.
Those affected by the outage were not able to access the Office web apps, Outlook, or OneDrive.
EU Gatekeeper saga
Microsoft is officially a gatekeeper, at least in the eyes of the European Union. The tech giant, along with Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, and Meta, was classified as such this week. In the eyes of the EU, a gatekeeper is an organization that's large enough to leverage its position to create a bottleneck. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is in place to prevent gatekeepers from using unfair practices.
A total of 22 core platform services will be affected by the new gatekeeper designations, including Microsoft's Windows operating system and LinkedIn social network.
Some services, such as Microsoft Advertising, Bing, and Edge, are still under investigation by the EU. Microsoft argued that Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Advertising should not fall under the same rules are larger competitors such as Google and Chrome. Apple is making a similar argument regarding iMessage.
"The Digital Markets Act will help creating a level-playing field for all companies competing in the European digital market, as it will bring about more contestability and openness in markets. Today, we identified the first six gatekeepers that must respect the new rules set forth by the DMA," said EU Commissioner Didier Reynders.
Elon Musk vs LinkedIn
Elon Musk's desire to take on LinkedIn isn't exactly new, but the story made the rounds this week. The controversial billionaire promised that the X competitor to LinkedIn will be cool. Considering that X has lost billions of dollars in value, Musk may want to prioritize being sustainable, but what do I know?
X Hiring was launched recently to compete with LinkedIn. The new platform is currently in beta and limited to organizations willing to pay $1,000 per month for a Gold Tick verification. I guess that's what's cool in the eyes of Musk.
Reviews & Editorials
Our experts review games, gadgets, accessories, and more. This week, our team reviewed the Windows 11 2023 Update, Starfield, and a near-perfect Xbox and PC controller.
Whether you're building a PC, need a new laptop, or want to enjoy your favorite game, there's a deal worth a quick look. Our team scours the web for discounts and deals, and these are the best ones that are still live.
WD_BLACK SN850X 1TB Internal SSD | was
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Samsung 980 PRO 1TB SSD |
$109.99 $49.99 at B&H
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best deals I've ever seen for Samsung's popular 980 PRO SSD. If you're in need of some extra storage for your PC or PS5, make sure you take advantage of this discount before it changes again (it's already increased $10 this week).View Deal
LG C3 65" 4K OLED:
was $2,599 now $1,696.99 at Amazon
LG packed all the fancy features into the LG C3, including a 4K 120Hz display, 0.1ms response time, and support for variable refresh rate and auto low latency. HDR support helps deliver beautiful gameplay. The TV even supports G-Sync and FreeSync for PC gaming.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i |
was $1,799 now $1,249 at B&H
This gaming laptop delivers good value at its normal price, so a $550 discount is quite the head turner. This model features a 13th Gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, and a 2560 x 1600 display with a 240Hz refresh rate.