Microsoft News Roundup: EU gatekeepers, Windows 11 review, and Elon Musk vs LinkedIn

 Windows 11 23H2
Windows 11 23H2

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

Windows 11 23H2
Windows 11 23H2

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

  • And more!

Surface event spoilers

Microsoft Laptop Studio on a colored background
Microsoft Laptop Studio on a colored background

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 Outlook on Android
Microsoft Outlook on Android

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

EU flag with iMessage and Bing logos
EU flag with iMessage and Bing logos

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
Elon Musk

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

HP EliteOne 870 G9 hero shot.
HP EliteOne 870 G9 hero shot.

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.


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