Microsoft News Roundup: ChatGPT at risk, Surface event confirmed, and Xbox community rules revamped

Surface Laptop Studio in display mode
(Image credit: Future)

Confirmation of a Surface event, the maker of ChatGPT reportedly marching toward bankruptcy, and a $5.4 billion Intel deal falling through are just some of the news stories that hit the headlines this week. With so much going on, it's easy to miss a few pieces. Don't worry, our weekly news roundup is here with all of the biggest stories from throughout the week in one convenient place.

ChatGPT at risk

OpenAI and ChatGPT

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

ChatGPT has been the talk of the tech world throughout this year, but the chatbot may be in trouble. OpenAI, which makes ChatGPT, is reportedly approaching bankruptcy. It costs $700,000 per day to run ChatGPT and OpenAI has not found a monetization model that fully covers the cost. Microsoft and other organizations have invested heavily in OpenAI but that may not be enough.

Money problems aren't the only issues ChatGPT is facing. The tool is also getting dumber, according to a study.

We'll have to keep our eye on OpenAI to see if the company can figure out a path to profitability.

Surface event

Microsoft Event

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft announces new Surface hardware each fall, so it wasn't surprising to see the company confirm its upcoming event. The special Microsoft event will take place on Thursday, September 21, 2023 in New York City. Microsoft did not share details about what will be unveiled at the event, but our Senior Editor Zac Bowden expects a focus on AI capabilities making their way to Surface devices and Windows.

Bowden's sources say to expect a Surface Laptop Studio 2Surface Laptop Go 3, and Surface Go 4. There will likely be other announcements at the event, but those are the big ones on the hardware side of things.

Linux Surface clone

StarLabs StarLite 12.5 2-in-1

(Image credit: StarLabs)

Perhaps you don't want to wait until later this year to get a new 2-in-1. Maybe you believe 2023 is the year of Linux. In either event, there's news for you as a new Linux-powered Surface-like device is now available.

StarLabs unveiled the StarLite this week. It's more budget-friendly than a Surface Pro, but it has the familiar 2-in-1 form factor that many love. The device has a 2880 x 1920 display, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage. Its Intel N200 4-core processor is not that powerful, but can do some light computing, especially when the device has Linux as its operating system.

The StarLite starts at $498. It can ship without an OS or with your Linux distro of choice. You could also install Windows 11 onto it if you'd like.

StarLabs StarLite | from $498 at StarLabs

StarLabs StarLite | from $498 at StarLabs

This 2-in-1 computer ships with your Linux distro of choice or can even come without an OS installed at all. The device features a 2880 x 1920 display and 16GB of RAM, but it has an Intel N200 4-core chip that is not that powerful.

New Xbox rules

Image of the new Xbox enforcement system.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft announced a major update to how community guideline violations are handled this week. Those who break Xbox community rules will receive a strike. Those strikes accumulate and result in more severe punishment. A second strike will result in a one-day suspension, but a sixth strike will cause a player to get suspended for 21 days. Someone can be suspended for an entire year if their account receives eight strikes.

Of course, these suspensions only apply to online play. Offenders can continue to game locally; they just can't continue to enjoy gaming with others through the web.

With the refreshed enforcement system in place, Microsoft will make it easier to see how many strikes an account has.

Our Zachary Boddy covered the news and shared his opinion on the changes earlier this week.

Intel purchase of Tower falls through

Intel CPU with motherboard socket

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino | Windows Central)

Intel was set to purchase Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion this week, but the companies have agreed to end the deal. The purchase was originally announced back in February 2022, but it ran into regulatory roadblocks. China's State Administration for Market Regulation never approved the deal. Intel and Tower extended the deadline to complete the purchase twice but ultimately had to cancel the deal entirely.

"After careful consideration and thorough discussions and having received no indications regarding certain required regulatory approval, both parties have agreed to terminate their merger agreement having passed the August 15, 2023 outside date," said Tower Semiconductor in a statement.

Intel will continue to move forward with its IDM 2.0 strategy, which includes producing chips for other companies. The tech giant will just have to do so without the resources and talent of Tower as part of Intel (though the companies will continue to work together).

Reviews & Editorials

Image of the Alienware x16 R1.

(Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

We don't just write about when products get announced and ship. We go hands-on with hardware, test software, and run games through their paces as well. Here are all of our reviews from the past week, plus some insightful editorials:

Deals

Why spend more than you need to? Back-to-school season slashes prices on a wide range of devices, including laptops, PCs, and accessories. Here are all the best deals we covered this week:

Lenovo Yoga 6 | was $699.99

Lenovo Yoga 6 | was $699.99 now $449.99 at Best Buy

This laptop was more affordable than you'd expect when it launched, but it is now down to just $449.99. It's a convertible PC that can flip around into different positions, including resting on your lap like a normal laptop or flipping around into tent mode.

Price Check: $449.99 at Lenovo

Razer Blade 14 | was $1999

Razer Blade 14 | was $1999 now $1,799 at Razer (-23%)
AMD Ryzen™ 9 6900HX, 144Hz Full HD, GeForce RTX 3060, 16 GB 4800 MHz RAM, 1 TB SSD

This powerful laptop is ideal for both gaming and creative work. You can store all your games, apps, media and files on the spacious 1TB SSD. Plus, you can enjoy immersive lighting effects on the Razer Chroma per key RGB keyboard, which syncs with over 150 Chroma-integrated PC games like Fortnite and Overwatch 2.

Razer Blade 15 | was $2999

Razer Blade 15 | was $2999 now $1,799 at Razer (-40%)
Intel Core i7-12800H, 360 Hz Full HD, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 16 GB 4800 MHz RAM, 1 TB SSD

With a fast and efficient 12th gen Intel processor you can run a bunch of applications smoothly without a stutter, and when it's time to switch off from work the RTX 3070 graphics card will deliver your favorite games at high settings. Also supports Nvidia DLSS. 

Razer Blade 17 | was $2999

Razer Blade 17 | was $2999 now $1,899 at Razer (-38%)
Intel Core i7-12800H, 240 Hz QHD, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 16 GB 4800 MHz RAM, 1 TB SSD

Portable and powerful, one of the best gaming laptops on the market, with a beast of a graphics card and ray tracing and DLSS enabled you can enjoy smooth and immersive gaming. Oh, and work on it too sometimes. 

Refurbished Surface deals

Surface Laptop Go 2

(Image credit: Future)

Generally, I put all the deals into one category, but I wanted to make sure you knew the deals below are on refurbished PCs. There are excellent discounts on a variety of Surface devices, but they aren't new. Our Zac Bowden explains what refurbished devices are and who would want them in a dedicated piece.

Surface Laptop 5: was

Surface Laptop 5: was $1,279 now $979 at Microsoft

The Surface Laptop 5 is an excellent laptop, perhaps the best for most students looking for a new PC this year. It has Intel's powerful 12th-Gen Intel chips, one of the best keyboards and trackpads in the PC space, and is available in two sizes: 13.5-inch or 15-inch variants.

Surface Pro 9: was

Surface Pro 9: was $1,109 now $998 at Microsoft

Microsoft's flagship tablet runs Windows 11, offers amazing performance, and provides two USB-C ports. Combined with the detachable keyboard and Surface Pen, it can be used very similarly to a laptop. 

Surface Laptop 4: was

Surface Laptop 4: was $769 now $476 at Microsoft

Surface Laptop 4 is rocking the same brilliant design that its predecessors, and successor, are rocking. Available in either 13.5-inch or 15-inch variants, and in four gorgeous colors, the Surface Laptop 4 is the perfect all-rounder Windows machine for productivity and consumption-based workflows.

Surface Go 3: was

Surface Go 3: was $339 now $261 at Microsoft

The tiny 10.5-inch Surface Go 3 is Microsoft's latest, and smallest, Surface PC on the market. It's also the cheapest, usually starting at $399, but can be had from Microsoft's refurbished store for even less! It's available with Intel Pentium or Intel Core i3 chips, up to 8GB RAM, and even has optional LTE 4G data connectivity!

Surface Laptop Go 2:  was 

Surface Laptop Go 2: was $509 now $442 at Microsoft

This laptop is perfect for on-the-go working with a 12.5-inch touchscreen display, 11th-Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, and 128GB storage. Whether you're a student, teacher, office worker, or something in-between, Microsoft's budget-friendly laptop line is simply excellent. And for just $442, it'd be a waste not to buy one.

Surface Laptop Studio was

Surface Laptop Studio: was $1,359 now $1,087 at Microsoft

This laptop is the one Microsoft makes for creative professionals and gamers. It's a versatile laptop with a display that lays flat over the keyboard deck, turning it into a nifty draft board for drawing and writing with a Surface Pen. Plus, it's powerful if spec'd with a dedicated GPU.

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.