Microsoft Build Conference 2023: highlights and news
At Build 2023, Microsoft's annual developer conference, artificial intelligence was omnipresent, as revealed through their announcements. Microsoft intends to incorporate artificial intelligence into all its products, including Windows, Office, Edge, and Bing. The company's commitment to AI integration was evident throughout the conference.
During the spring season, developers thrive and bring forth their innovations. Following Google I/O and preceding Apple's WWDC, it was Microsoft's turn to host their annual developer conference, Microsoft Build, which took place on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Microsoft continues to maintain an unwavering momentum in the realm of artificial intelligence since the beginning of the year. Their goal is straightforward: seamless integration of AI across all their products and services. From Windows to Edge, Bing to Office, Microsoft aims to leave no stone unturned. This push is understandable considering the rapid progress made by their formidable competitor, Google, with its AI-driven features like Bard, which encompasses various services from photo editing to GPS navigation and their online office suite, along with their renowned search engine. Microsoft, alongside its partner Open AI (ChatGPT), is determined not to lag behind. Their strategy involves captivating developers, encouraging them to leverage the extensive range of tools at their disposal, and making AI an indispensable part of their daily lives.
Microsoft Build 2023: Windows will directly integrate AI with Copilot
At the event, Panos Panay, Microsoft's Windows and Devices Product Manager, announced that Windows is set to become the pioneering PC platform to integrate centralised AI support through the introduction of Windows Copilot. In the upcoming version of Windows 11, Microsoft's clear ambition is to embed AI directly into the operating system, offering users the ability to harness its power whenever needed. This is symbolized by the inclusion of a Copilot button conveniently placed in the taskbar, adjacent to the search field. With a simple click, a sidebar appears on the screen, ready to assist. Users can easily pose questions to Copilot or delegate various tasks to it. For instance, one can drag a text or PDF document into its interface and request Copilot to summarize, rewrite, reformat, or provide an explanation of its content—an impressive capability. Microsoft has announced that the testing phase for Copilot Windows is slated to commence in June, with the icon's presence marking its imminent arrival.
Microsoft Build 2023: ChatGPT now in Bing
Bing, Microsoft's search engine, now utilizes the generative AI of ChatGPT. This reciprocal integration extends to Open AI's artificial intelligence, which relies on Microsoft's search engine by default, given its knowledge cutoff in 2021. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's consumer marketing manager, emphasized that ChatGPT now incorporates a world-class search engine directly within its framework, enabling faster and more up-to-date responses sourced from the web. This integration serves as an excellent method to keep AI aligned with current events. Initially, this service is available to subscribers of the ChatGPT Plus paid service, accessible directly from the chat interface. However, a Bing integration plug-in will be introduced later to make it accessible to all other users. Furthermore, Microsoft will employ the same open standard plug-in for Copilot, mirroring the functionality established by ChatGPT. These add-ons empower the AI to adapt to specific requirements in various domains such as medicine, finance, marketing, and more.
The integration of Copilot extends to the Microsoft 365 suite seamlessly from March. By adopting the same plug-in format as ChatGPT, Microsoft provides developers with ample opportunities to create customized modules that seamlessly enhance the functionality of their office tools. This open-door approach enables developers to effortlessly augment Microsoft's office suite with specialized capabilities.
Microsoft Build 2023: Edge welcomes Copilot
Among Microsoft's advancements in AI integration, the Edge home browser stands out as the primary beneficiary. Its integration with Copilot for Microsoft 365 enables a seamless connection between visited websites and Microsoft's extensive suite of office tools. Through a browser pane, Edge empowers users to extract vital information from web pages, facilitating tasks such as composing emails, scheduling meetings, and more. This integration enhances productivity and streamlines workflows within the browser interface.
Microsoft Build 2023: AI in the Microsoft Store
Given the remarkable capabilities of artificial intelligence, it's only fitting to harness its potential within the Microsoft Store, Microsoft's online application store. Microsoft is indeed planning to utilize AI for generating written reviews of apps. However, the specific methods employed for creating and verifying these summaries have not been disclosed by the publisher. It can be challenging at times to differentiate genuine opinions from falsified ones, which may aim to either enhance the perception of an app or boost the popularity of a competitor's offering.
Fabric: A unified data platform for pros
The management, analysis and interpretation of data is the ideal playground for artificial intelligence. And Microsoft to launch Fabric, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform designed for analytics that includes data engineering, integration, storage, data science, real-time analytics, applied observability and business intelligence. This unified platform makes it possible to take full advantage of the data and use generative AI to highlight those that are essential to a project.
Bring your data into the era of AI.— Microsoft (@Microsoft) May 23, 2023
With Microsoft Fabric, you can unify experiences, reduce costs and deploy intelligence faster on a single, AI-powered platform. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/QCbCAeWvbB
Microsoft Build 2023: Additional tweaks for Windows 11
While artificial intelligence dominated the keynote at Google's Google I/O conference, Microsoft ensured that it didn't overlook showcasing the upcoming new features of Windows 11 during Build 2023.
A more readable File Explorer
File Explorer, an integral component of Windows, will receive a subtle yet impactful update that combines aesthetics with functionality. One notable change is the introduction of tab switching, which will now be positioned above the toolbar, similar to popular web browsers. Furthermore, the display of images and videos within File Explorer will be enhanced, offering users a clearer and more detailed viewing experience. These improvements contribute to a more visually appealing and user-friendly File Explorer experience.
More archive formats handled live
Some archive utility editors had to jump out of their chairs. Windows will soon be able to handle .tar, .rar, .7-zip, .gz and other open source formats on its own in addition to the traditional .zip.
Terminal adopts tabs
Anyone who frequently uses the Windows terminal to enter commands will be delighted to learn that it will now offer tabs. Convenient for writing many commands relating to different fields without having to multiply the windows on the screen.
RGB lighting just a click away
The settings panel will welcome a new option: Lighting intended for the management of RGB devices (keyboards, mice, etc.) directly from Windows. Whatever the brand of the device, it will be possible to synchronize its color and light intensity with the others.