Microsoft News Roundup: Diablo 4 early access, sad WinRAR, motherboards making people bleed, and killing Cortana

Cortana with a demon from Diablo generated by Bing Image Creator
(Image credit: Windows Central, Bing Image Creator)

Microsoft news continues to roll out at a respectable pace. Diablo 4, WinRAR, and Microsoft Teams all made the headlines this week. With so many stories coming out each day, it's easy to miss a few pieces. Luckily, our weekly news roundup gets the biggest stories straight to you in bite-size pieces.

Diablo 4

Diablo 4

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 is so hot right now, which isn't surprising given the setting of the game. As our writers lamented having to work rather than playing the game, they also shared a massive collection of articles about Diablo 4.

Our Managing Editor emphasized that it's important to go into the game without knowing spoilers in his Diablo 4 review. I'll leave you with Corden's words on the game and then let you enjoy it yourself.

"Diablo 4 is an absolute masterpiece. There's no other way to describe it. Absolutely staggering art and breadth, Oscar-worthy writing and story delivery, both new and returning characters wholly worthy of Blizzard's epic pantheon of heroes and villains. After dozens of hours in the game's beta tests, I knew Diablo 4 was going to be special — a game I would undoubtedly sink hundreds of hours into. What I didn't expect was one of the best story campaigns I've experienced in the past decade, one that elevates Blizzard as a whole. It's the type of game that I worry is becoming increasingly rare in the AAA industry, chasing trends and short-term gains."

Diablo 4 launches on June 6 for everyone, but those that ordered the Ultimate Edition already have early access.


Diablo 4: Ultimate Edition

The Ultimate Sacrifice from your wallet to our Blessed Mother, the Ultimate Edition of Diablo 4 comes with a bunch of cosmetics, the Premium Battle Pass and 20 tier skips for you to enjoy.

Buy on: Xbox | PC (

WinRAR reacts to .RAR on Windows 11

WinRAR logo man on a rainy background night

(Image credit: Windows Central, Bing Image Creator, WinRAR logo)

Windows 11 will gain native .RAR support in the 23H2 update later this year. For years, .RAR has been a popular file archiving system. You may better recognize the name "WinRAR," which is a piece of trial software that has been the butt of jokes and memes for ages since it is easy to use it indefinitely without paying.

WinRAR popularized the .RAR format and has over half a billion users. While many have used the software without paying, it's safe to assume that WinRAR has earned some money over the years. The company responded to Windows 11 gaining native .RAR support in a funny way.

While Windows 11 will support .RAR natively, it's not known if the OS will fully replicate WinRAR's features. WinRAR supports configuring encryption types and passworded archives. There's a good chance that there will be a place for WinRAR even after Windows 11 gains native .RAR support.

WinRAR (Trialware, $36) 

WinRAR (Trialware, $36) 

WinRAR is a legendary Windows app, bringing encrypted archiving goodness to the OS for decades. The trial lasts for "40 days," but doesn't necessarily lock you out of using the app once it expires. 

Buy at: WinRAR

Microsoft killing Cortana

Cortana and Microsoft logo

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Microsoft will end support for Cortana on Windows 11 and Windows 10 later this year. The news isn't that shocking, given that Microsoft recently announced Windows Copilot, an AI assistant that lives on the desktop.

A support document from Microsoft explains the change:

"We are making some changes to Windows that will impact users of the Cortana app. Starting in late 2023, we will no longer support Cortana in Windows as a standalone app ... This change only impacts Cortana in Windows, and your productivity assistant, Cortana, will continue to be available in Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms.

We know that this change may affect some of the ways you work in Windows, so we want to help you transition smoothly to the new options. Instead of clicking the Cortana icon and launching the app to begin using voice, now you can use voice and satisfy your productivity needs through different tools."

Cortana will continue to live on as a productivity assistant in Microsoft 365 apps for the moment.

New default Microsoft Teams

New Microsoft Teams

(Image credit: Microsoft)

A new version of Microsoft Teams launched in preview earlier this year. It promises better performance while using fewer system resources. Soon, it will become the default version of Teams on Windows.

“Right now, the classic Teams is the default because we do not have all the features that we support in classic Teams in the new Teams,” said Microsoft Product Lead for Teams 2.0 Anupam Pattnaik during Petri's UnplugIT podcast.

“That’s the reason we have right now classic Teams as the default option, but sometime later this calendar year, we’ll make the new Teams the default option when we have feature parity, and when we feel confident that users can switch to the new Teams.”

Microsoft needs to add some features before the new Teams is at parity with Teams "classic." Once that happens, the company will swap the default version on Windows.

ASUS tanked ROG Ally reviews

ROG Ally being played in dark room.

(Image credit: Asus ROG)

The ASUS ROG Ally goes on sale on June 13, 2023. Ahead of the launch, ASUS sent out units of the handheld gaming console to reviewers. Unfortunately, the company appears to have sent the review units with "underbaked" firmware. Well-known tech YouTuber Dave Lee (Dave2D) shared that running the latest firmware results in a 15-20% performance boost.

That increased performance is good news for anyone interested in buying the device for themselves, but the situation is bad news for ASUS. The company effectively tanked reviews for the ROG Ally. Many reviewers complained about underwhelming performance of the device. That resulted in some canceling their preorders or losing interest in the handheld gaming console.

Presumably, the new firmware should launch with the device or be available right away, so anyone that picks an ROG Ally up should have a better experience than reviewers did.

ROG Ally

ROG Ally

This gaming handheld runs Windows 11 Home and can be used to access several gaming services and storefronts. It's far more powerful than the Steam Deck and will be available this summer. You can preorder it right now. 

Preorder at: Best Buy | Asus | Currys (UK)

Microsoft Paint gets dark mode

Dark mode in Windows Paint

(Image credit: Microsoft)

After 37 years, Microsoft Paint will finally support dark mode. The popular creative app can swap to dark mode in its latest preview version, which is available to Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels. Dark mode for Paint will roll out to everyone later this year.

In addition to adding dark mode, Microsoft is working on some other handy improvements for Paint. The app will have better zoom support later this year.

Reviews & Editorials

Diablo 4 Sorcerer in lobby.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Our experts review the latest games, PCs, and accessories every week. The hottest topic in gaming right now is Diablo 4, so you know our Managing Editor Jez Corden had to review it. He said "Diablo 4 might be Blizzard's most important, pivotal game since World of Warcraft, exceeding all expectations."

Our team also reviewed Street Fighter 6, The Dell XPS 17, the ARM-based Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, and a bunch of other items.

Deals of the week

Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) for 2022

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

With so many good games, PCs, and accessories available, it's worth saving money anywhere you can. Our team scours the web for deals each week. Here are the best ones that are still live.

Note: Some prices have changed since our initial coverage.


Dell XPS 13 Plus | $1,849.99 $1,099.99 at Best Buy

This futuristic PC has a unique design that stands out in a world of clamshell laptops. It's thin, light, a gets the most of its body by having a zero-lattice keyboard and a haptic trackpad. Right now, you can get it for $750 off.

Surface Laptop Studio | From $1,399

Surface Laptop Studio | From $1,399

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is the first of its kind, with a pull-forward display that supports pen and touch input, a gorgeous 14.4-inch display, a haptic touchpad, and powerful specs under the hood. 

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 | $139.99 (was $179.99)

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 | $139.99 (was $179.99)

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is one of the best controllers you can buy for Xbox consoles. It has great build quality, fully customizable and changeable buttons, paddles, and joystick sticks, and features Bluetooth support.

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