Microsoft News Roundup: Call of Duty on Game Pass, XPS 14 & 16, and more reviews than you can shake a stick at

Dell XPS 14 (9440) for 2024
The XPS 14 was one of three new laptops launched by Dell this week. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Fans of Call of Duty got some good news this week, as Xbox lead Phil Spencer confirmed that the game will launch on Xbox Game Pass. Some Activision Blizzard games have taken a while to get onto the subscription service following Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard.

Keeping the good news rolling, a report states that Xbox games people own will be available through Xbox Cloud Gaming in 2024. That's a welcome addition to the library of titles already available through the service.

Over on the non-gaming side of things, we saw Dell launch three gorgeous XPS laptops: the XPS 13, XPS 14, and XPS 16.

Here are all of the biggest news stories from the past week plus the best deals in tech and all our latest reviews.

Call of Duty on Game Pass

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Ghost looking to the side

(Image credit: Activision Publishing)

Microsoft's Gaming CEO Phil Spencer confirmed this week that Call of Duty will launch on Xbox Game Pass. While first-party games generally launch on Xbox Game Pass on day one, there are occasions when titles are delayed, such as when having to integrate content acquired through purchases of gaming companies.

“Our intent is the full portfolio of games from ZeniMax, Activision Blizzard and XGS —Xbox Game Studios —will be on Game Pass, day one,” said Spencer in an interview with Game File. "We're doing the back end work to make them come to PC and console simultaneously," added Spencer.

Spencer also discussed if Microsoft will move away from physical media, which has been a hot button topic lately.

If you're a new subscriber to Game Pass or have an expired subscription, jump down to our deals roundup from the week to see a great Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal.

New XPS laptops

Dell XPS 14 (9440) for 2024

Dell launched three new XPS laptops this week, including the XPS 14. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Three new Dell laptops launched this week. Dell introduced new sizes for its Ultrabooks with the XPS 14 and XPS 16 and refreshed the XPS 13 with a new design. All three of the laptops feature a modern design with a zero-lattice keyboard, invisible haptic touchpad, and a haptic row of function keys.

The design of the XPS 13, XPS 14, and XPS 16 will look familiar to anyone who has seen the XPS 13 Plus. Dell took inspiration from that design when making the XPS 14 and XPS 16. The laptop also shifted its XPS 13 to the new design, removing the need to sell both the XPS 13 Plus and "classic" XPS 13.

In addition to having a modern design, the new XPS laptops run on Intel Core Ultra graphics and either NVIDIA GeForce RTX or Intel Arc graphics. 

Our Editor-in-Chief already has a Dell XPS 14 review, so you can see how the new laptop stacks up against the competition.

Dell XPS 14 | from $1,699 at Dell

Dell XPS 14 | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-14-laptop/spd/xps-14-9440-laptop" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">from $1,699 at Dell

This laptop introduces a new size for the XPS family of Ultrabooks. It features a zero-lattice keyboard, a row of haptic function keys, and an invisible haptic trackpad that make the PC look like something from a sci-fi film. Dell's design focuses on thermals and packs in the latest from Intel and NVIDIA as well.

Dell XPS 16 | from $1,899 at Dell

Dell XPS 16 | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-16-laptop/spd/xps-16-9640-laptop" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">from $1,899 at Dell

This big beauty of a laptop has the modern design that's rolling out to Dell's XPS laptop lineup. It runs on up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 paired with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070. It also has up to a 16.3-inch 4K+ OLED display, which should be among the best you can get on an Ultrabook.

Dell XPS 13 | from $1,399 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-13-laptop/spd/xps-13-9340-laptop" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">from $1,399 at Dell

After a couple years of selling the XPS 13 Plus and "classic" XPS 13 side-by-side, Dell has merged the two. The new XPS 13 plus has a modern design and an impressive spec sheet that includes up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor and up to a 4K display.

Your games on Xbox Cloud Gaming

GameSir G8 Galileo

(Image credit: Jez Corden - Windows Central)

Xbox Cloud Gaming is a lovely service for streaming games to a variety of devices, including smartphones, PCs, select smart TVs, and certain consoles. While the library of titles you can stream is vast and growing, you can only stream certain games through the service. Soon, you'll be able to stream games you own that aren't part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library.

Spencer commented on the long-awaited and highly requested feature on X (formerly Twitter) this week. When asked about streaming owned games through Xbox Cloud Gaming, Spencer said "should be this year."

Microsoft has talked about adding the ability to stream owned games through Xbox Cloud Gaming for a long time, so it's nice to see the wait is almost over.

Sticky Notes update

New Sticky Notes app for Windows

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft only started teasing a major update Sticky Notes a few weeks ago, but you can already try out the redesigned application. The new Sticky Notes app on Windows is now available in preview, and it looks much more modern than the previous version.

The new experience is "focused on creating and recalling notes more seamlessly than ever," according to Microsoft. The new Sticky Notes app includes a fresh design and a new stool for capturing screenshots that lets you find the source of the image easily.

The Sticky Notes app team has promised in the past that updates won't transform the app into a web app. That's a welcome promise as many complain about the performance and optimization of web apps on Windows.

You can try out the new Sticky Notes by enrolling in the Microsoft 365 Insiders Current Channel (Preview). You need to be running OneNote Windows Version 2402 (Build 17328.20000) or later to get the new experience.

Reviews

Dell XPS 14 (9440) for 2024

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

We love to get our hands on the latest laptops, accessories, and games. We're also known to sit down and enjoy an episode of the Halo TV series. This week we shared a TON of reviews, so make sure you browse through the whole list below to catch up.

Deals

Xbox Series S

(Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

Getting a new gadget is great but paying too much for that gadget is now. That's why each week we hunt for the best deals in computing, gaming, and TVs to help you find the best prices. This week we covered Dell XPS 13 deals, a discount on the "deliriously good" Samsung S95C TV, and a bundle that gets you a $300 Target gift card. Here are the best deals from the past week that are still live at the time of publication.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (1-month) | $18.99 now $3.49 at CDKeys(-81%)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (1-month) | <a href="https://cdkeys.pxf.io/c/221109/1566025/18216?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdkeys.com%2F1-month-xbox-game-pass-ultimate-non-stackable-xbox-one-pc-us" data-link-merchant="cdkeys.com"" target="_blank">was $18.99 now $3.49 at CDKeys(-81%)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you unlimited access to hundreds of high-quality video games across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC, with online multiplayer access on Xbox. You can also stream many of those games to any device with Xbox Cloud Gaming, play a ton of EA's best games through EA Play, and enjoy exclusive perks, in-game DLC, and discounts. Charge up your account and take advantage of this deal.

💡Details: This is a worldwide code, so you can redeem it anywhere Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available (in the UK, this deal is £5.49)

👀Alternative deals: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (3 month) | <a href="https://cdkeys.pxf.io/c/221109/1566025/18216?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdkeys.com%2Fxbox-live%2F3-month-xbox-game-pass-ultimate-xbox-one-pc" data-link-merchant="cdkeys.com"" data-link-merchant="cdkeys.com"">was $41.59 now $30.19 at CD Keys for existing Xbox Game Pass subscribers

TP-Link Deco X55 Wi-Fi 6 3-Pack | $279.99now $169.99 at Amazon

TP-Link Deco X55 Wi-Fi 6 3-Pack | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FWiFi-6-Mesh-System-AX3000%2Fdp%2FB09PRB1MZM%2F%3Fth%3D1%26tag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"">was $279.99 now $169.99 at Amazon

Get rid of Wi-Fi dead zones with ease using the Deco X55's intelligent mesh system that optimizes itself to keep your home connected and can be set up by anyone thanks to a simple companion app.

Xbox Series S 1TB Carbon Black |$349.99 now $299.99 at Dell

Xbox Series S 1TB Carbon Black | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/xbox-series-s-1tb-black/apd/ac694505/gaming-gaming-accessories?" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">was $349.99 now $299.99 at Dell

The base model of the Xbox Series S only has 512GB of storage, which isn't enough for most gamers. This Carbon Black model of the Xbox Series S has 1TB of storage, doubling your space for games for only a bit more money, especially when considering its current discount.

Lenovo LOQ 15 | $1,099.99 now $719.99 at Newegg

Lenovo LOQ 15 | <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=44583&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newegg.com%2Fstorm-grey-lenovo-loq-15irh8-82xv00lfus-gaming%2Fp%2F1TS-000E-18JS3" data-link-merchant="newegg.com"">was $1,099.99 now $719.99 at Newegg

Lenovo’s LOQ 15 is designed to offer reliable 1080p gaming capabilities at an affordable price. Despite its cost-effective pricing, the LOQ 15 has an MUX switch and other gaming-centric features typically found in higher-end PCs. The most attractive offer is on the model powered by an Intel Core i5, although there’s also a compelling deal on the AMD variant that comes with a Ryzen 5.

💸Price check: <a href="https://lenovo.7eer.net/c/221109/218864/3808?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lenovo.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fp%2Flaptops%2Floq-laptops%2Flenovo-loq-15aph8%2F82xt001tus" data-link-merchant="lenovo.com"" data-link-merchant="newegg.com"">Lenovo.com $855.59 (AMD)

Verizon Fios 2Gig + $300 Target gift card | $84.99 per month at Verizon

Verizon Fios 2Gig + $300 Target gift card | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-15733793?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.verizon.com/home/internet/fios-fastest-internet/" data-link-merchant="verizon.com"">$84.99 per month at Verizon

Signing up for select Verizon Fios plans can get you up to a $300 gift card right now. Subscribing to the 2Gig plan will get you a $300 Target gift card and access to speeds of up to 2.3 Gbps. Other plans are available as well, though the value of the gift card you receive depends on your plan.

Xbox Series X | was $499.99 now $449.99 at Best Buy

Xbox Series X | <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?intl=nosplash&skuId=6428324&publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fmicrosoft-xbox-series-x-1tb-console-black%2F6428324.p%3Fintl%3Dnosplash%26skuId%3D6428324&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">was $499.99 now $449.99 at Best Buy

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's most powerful console. It is the "apex of the Microsoft gaming system" and delivers 4K gaming. Add in HDR and other premium features and you have an excellent gaming device. 

Dell XPS 13 Plus | $1,499 now $1,099 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 Plus | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/13/xps-13-plus/spd/xps-13-9320-laptop" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">was $1,499 now $1,099 at Dell

Dell launched the XPS 13 Plus in 2022 and then refreshed them with 13th Gen chips in 2023. The laptop has a radical redesign that includes a zero-lattice keyboard, a row of haptic function keys, and an invisible haptic touchpad. The new XPS 13 now features the same design, which means the XPS 13 Plus is on sale. Of course, as it's a year old it runs on a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor rather than this year's CPU from Intel, but that chip is still quite respectable in 2024.

Dell XPS 13 | $799 now $599 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-100624765-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/13/xps-13/spd/xps-13-9315-laptop" data-link-merchant="dell.com"">was $799 now $599 at Dell

This version of the Dell XPS 13 is a bit older now, but it's still a solid laptop, especially for its price. This model runs on a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and has Intel Iris Xe graphics. Those internals are enough for everyday productivity.

This XPS 13 has the older design with spacing between the keys and a visible trackpad. That's a positive for some people and a negative for others, so make sure you look at the newer designs to pick what's best for you.

Samsung S95C | $3,299.99 now $2,299.99 at Samsung

Samsung S95C | <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samsung.com%2Fus%2Ftelevisions-home-theater%2Ftvs%2Foled-tvs%2F65-class-s95c-oled-4k-smart-tv-2023-qn65s95cafxza%2F&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="samsung.com"">was $3,299.99 now $2,299.99 at Samsung

This premium TV features a Quantum Dot OLED panel that delivers bright and vibrant colors. The Samsung S95C also has a long list of gaming features, such as a 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10 support, and ALLM and VRR support. It's also a great choice for watching content, thanks to 4K upscaling.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com.