This week was another big one for Microsoft news. Build 2023 took place, giving us a closer look at what Microsoft has on the way for Windows 11, Microsoft Edge, and Bing. The Windows 11 May 2023 Feature Update also started shipping as an optional update ahead of its general release next month.
On the gaming side of things, Sony held its PlayStation Showcase. Microsoft took the opportunity after the event to share that 14 games unveiled at the event will also make their way to Xbox and/or PC. We also confirmed reports that Metal Gear Solid 3 will get a remake for Xbox and PC as well as PlayStation.
Microsoft Build is one of the company's largest events of the year. While it is a developer conference, many of the features announced and discussed make their way to everyday users. For example, Microsoft announced the next major Windows 11 update at the event. Even sessions that may not interest general PC owners on a technical level affect how Windows 11 and Microsoft apps and services run.
Rather than do a full recap of Build a second time, I'll point you to our Senior Editor Zac Bowden's piece covering the biggest announcements from Microsoft Build 2023. There were also several other announcements made at the conference. Here's a rundown, with each bullet point being a link to the related story:
- Windows 11 is getting its own integrated AI assistant, powered by Bing Chat and ChatGPT
- Microsoft brings back Taskbar app ungrouping on Windows 11, but with a smart new twist
- Gamers rejoice! Windows 11 is getting native support for configuring RGB devices and peripherals
- Windows 11 is FINALLY getting a cloud-powered backup and restore feature
- Windows 11 version 23H2: Microsoft previews BIG new features coming later this year, including a new AI assistant
- Microsoft unveils new 'Dev Home' and 'Dev Drive' features with faster file system for Windows 11 developers
- Windows 11 on ARM just got a big boost at Microsoft Build 2023
- Windows 11's Microsoft Store is getting AI-powered reviews and dedicated 'AI Hub' features
- Microsoft reveals major File Explorer redesign coming soon to Windows 11
- Microsoft 365 Copilot now works with plugins, making it much more powerful
- Microsoft Edge gets a new look, Copilot support, and can now help you separate business and personal browsing
- Bing Chat will get boosted by plugins — here's which ones are on the way
- Bing integration with ChatGPT will blur the lines between OpenAI and Microsoft chatbots
- Microsoft Teams avatars are here for everyone... if you're a business user
Windows 11 May 2023 feature update
You'll have to wait until later this year to get Windows 11 version 23H2, but that doesn't mean you have to wait to get a wave of new Windows 11 features. The Windows 11 May 2023 feature drop just, well, dropped. also known as Moment 3, the update has a new Widgets Board layout and many other features.
Microsoft won't ship the update to everyone until June 13, 2023, but you can install the Windows 11 May 2023 feature update right now as an optional update.
Here's everything that's new, as outlined by our Senior Editor Zac Bowden:
- An updated Widgets Board layout and pinning experience
- New animated Taskbar weather icons
- Bing AI button in the Taskbar search bar
- 2FA code recognition in notifications
- Multi-app kiosk mode
- Show clock seconds in the system tray
- Glanceable VPN status icon in the Taskbar
- Various improvements to Voice Access
- Support for more languages in the live captions feature
- Updated touch keyboard settings
- Cloud suggestions in Simplified Chinese IME
- USB4 settings page
- Search box will be lighter when app mode is set to light
- Access keys in File Explorer
- Create live kernel dumps in Task Manager
- Settings search is faster
- New presence sensing settings
- Win32 app isolation feature (preview)
- Windows 365 boot (preview)
Xbox and PC games at PlayStation Showcase
Sony's PlayStation Showcase was this week. Based on that name, you may assume that all of the games shown off are PlayStation exclusives. Sony certainly didn't clarify that 14 of the announced titles will also make their way to PC, Xbox, or both. We'll have to play them first, of course, but many of the titles look like favorites to earn spots on our lists of the best PC games and best Xbox games.
Our Jerko Čilaš rounded up all of the games that will be available on PC and/or Xbox. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Alan Wake 2, and Immortals of Aveum are all making their way to Microsoft platforms.
What a good looking group 😎 pic.twitter.com/eDZo8vTXtBMay 24, 2023
Microsoft joined in on the fun with a playful tweet about the PlayStation Showcase games coming to Xbox.
Reviews & Editorials
Each week our experts review the latest accessories, PCs, and games. They also share insight about Microsoft, Windows 11, and Xbox and PC gaming with editorials. Here's a recap of everything our team covered this week.
- In aligning Bing Chat with ChatGPT for once Microsoft is ahead of the game
- Stop being ridiculous: Microsoft is NOT building its own processor for Surface
- Review: The PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra is an Xbox controller Swiss Army knife
- Razer Nommo V2 Pro review - The PC speakers that take you from 'That's just a game' to 'IT'S. ABOUT. TO. GO. DOWN
- Lenovo Legion Pro 5i (Gen 8) review: A great gaming laptop, but stay close to the charger
- Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun review — An immensely cathartic and satisfying bloodbath
- Bitdefender antivirus review: One of the best for malware protection
- Norton antivirus review: Protect your computer and your identity
Deals of the Week
We love tech. We don't love spending more money than needed on tech. I suspect you're the same way. That's why our team scours the web for the best deals each week. With it being a holiday weekend in both the US and UK, there are quite a few deals to be found. Our Managing Editor Ben Wilson has a collection of the best Memorial Day sales that we'll update throughout the weekend.
Here are the most popular discounts and deals that are still live from throughout the last week:
Note that some prices have changed since initial coverage.
Destiny 2: Lightfall + Annual Pass |
$99.99 $66.99 at Microsoft
This edition of the Lightfall DLC includes the expansion's content, Season Passes for every season remaining in Destiny 2 Year 6, and access to both of Year 6's upcoming dungeons. Put simply, it allows you to play every piece of new content that releases before the next major DLC.
Destiny 2: Lightfall |
$49.99 $29.99 at Microsoft
Lightfall introduces players to the new Strand Darkness element on the Neptunian city of Neomuna. There, Emperor Calus — now a Disciple of The Witness — is invading the metropolis to find and control a paracausal object called "The Veil." The DLC includes a story campaign, new quests, plenty of gear to earn, and a raid set on a Pyramid that was terraformed by the Traveler.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.