Another week gone by means another roundup of the biggest Microsoft, Windows, and gaming news stories. The FTC v. Microsoft case captivated the gaming and tech industries this week, as Microsoft, Sony, and others testified in the monumental case about Microsoft's potential purchase of Activision Blizzard.
We also saw the initial rollout of Windows Copilot in preview, a ChatGPT-powered version of Clippy, and much more.
FTC v. Microsoft
The biggest story of this week and last was the FTC v. Microsoft case. As part of the case, key pieces of information were shared about Microsoft and Sony. Microsoft admitted defeat in the "console wars," shared that it prioritized Xbox Cloud Gaming at the expense of the success of the Xbox Series X, and revealed that it considered purchasing Sega at one point.
Microsoft also had to explain the ins and outs of the gaming industry to the FTC judge, including why Halo isn't on PlayStation.
Sony took part in the case as well. The company's CEO admitted that Sony would be "more than OK" if Microsoft purchased Activision Blizzard.
PlayStation head Jim Ryan opined that while he didn't like Starfield being Xbox console exclusive, it wasn't anticompetitive.
Plenty of other juicy tidbits emerged throughout the case, including Microsoft's previous interest in Sega, Bungie, and Square Enix.
Regarding acquisitions that did happen, we learned that Microsoft paid $117 million for Ninja Theory, developers of the upcoming Hellblade 2.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick also spoke during the case. Kotick expressed an aversion to "multi-game subscription services" like Xbox Game Pass.
Windows 11 in the cloud
The focus of the FTC v. Microsoft case is the purchase of Activision Blizzard, but we gained insight into other elements of Microsoft's business this week. An internal Microsoft presentation was shared during the case that outlined the company's plans for Windows 11. The tech giant specified its plans to "move Windows 11 increasingly to the cloud" and to work on custom processors.
Microsoft mentioned the following when discussing the Windows experience:
"Move Windows 11 increasingly to the cloud: Build on Windows 365 to enable a full Windows operating system streamed from the cloud to any device. Use the power of the cloud and client to enable improved AI-powered services and full roaming of people's digital experience."
Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden saw internal documents from Microsoft last year that showed the company was considering a consumer version of Windows 365. Whether that makes its way to general users is yet to be seen, but the document shown during the FTC v. Microsoft case shows Microsoft is still considering it.
Windows Copilot in testing
Windows Copilot is a new AI assistant that's powered by Bing Chat and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft announced Copilot earlier this year, and the company began testing the tool with Insiders this week.
Copilot is also a quick way to access Bing Chat on the desktop. Summoning the tool slides your desktop and opens a bar dedicated to Copilot. In addition to being able to do what you can already accomplish through Bing Chat, Windows Copilot integrates with your PC.
Copilot will gain new capabilities over time, but its initial preview launch can already switch your system to dark mode, enable do not disturb, and perform other tasks.
Third-party plugins aren't supported at this time, but they will become available in the future.
Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden went hands-on with Windows Copilot and the rest of Windows 11 Build 23493 in his latest video.
Clippy on Windows 11
When it became clear that Microsoft would invest heavily in Bing Chat, people started calling for the return of Clippy. While Microsoft does have plans to bring AI to Windows 11 in the form of Windows Copilot, the tech giant does not have any plans to resurrect Clippy. Thankfully, FireCube Studios stepped up.
Clippy by FireCube is a third-party app that brings the power of OpenAI's ChatGPT to your desktop. That means the tool can answer questions, code, and generate creative writing samples.
Clippy by FireCube (Not by Microsoft) brings back the infamous Clippit into your desktop powered by the OpenAI GPT 3.5 model (OpenAI key required as of this version).
Reviews & Editorials
Each week our team of experts test out the latest laptops, PCs, and accessories. Our gaming team runs through the best PC games as well. This week, we reviewed a new mouse from Razer, a 2-in-1 PC for work from Lenovo, and much more.
Our writers also share insights into industry trends and hot topics in gaming, computing, and general tech.
- Hyperkin Xenon Wired Controller Review: Is nostalgia alone worth $50?
- ASUS ROG Swift OLED (PG27AQDM) review: A truly stunning 27" monitor, but it's pricey
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 8) review: Still the 2-in-1 champion for remote workers
- Park Beyond Xbox Review: Impossification is the key to success
- Beelink SER5 Pro 5800H review: Mighty power in a tiny box, just not for gaming
- Review: NewQ 16-in-1 docking station
- Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (Gen 8) review: Good value, large screen, too many cut corners
- The Depgi 14" Portable Monitor is the perfect companion for my Xbox Series S
- Ugreen Nexode 65W USB Charger Review: High-quality, jack-of-all-trades charger for traveling abroad.
- Razer Cobra Pro hands-on review: Razer’s new ‘immersive’ gaming mouse is all game, no fluff
- The new desktop Outlook is a bad idea. Here's why.
- The Surface Duo is Windows Phone all over again
Deals of the week
As much as we like new gadgets to play with, we don't like spending more money on them than we should. You probably feel the same way. That's why our team of experts hunts the web for the best deals on laptops, accessories, and more.
Note that some of these deals have changed since we covered them initially.
Lenovo's Gen 8 ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a 2-in-1 laptop offering 13th Gen Intel Core vPro CPUs that optimize multitasking on the go with reliable performance, long battery life, and enhanced video conferencing.
Best Buy has given the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S a deep discount, saving you $120 on the 2TB option and $70 on the 1TB option.
Amazon has also cut the price of the 1TB Seagate storage expansion card by $70, however the price for the 2TB remains the same.
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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.
- Samuel TolbertFreelance Writer