While many in the United States celebrated the 4th of July and had vacations this week, news continued to march forward. Meta rolled out its Twitter competitor Threads, OpenAI paused Bing's integration with ChatGPT, and an independent developer rolled out an update to the Android 13 on Surface Duo project.
To help you catch up on all the biggest news of the week, I've rounded up the latest trending topics in the world of Microsoft and Windows.
ChatGPT pauses Bing integration
ChatGPT recently gained the ability to integrate with Bing. But even more recently, OpenAI paused the integration because people were using it to bypass paywalls. Searching for a website while using Bing through ChatGPT would show the entire text of a webpage, even if that page required a subscription. Early this week, OpenAI announced that it had paused the integration:
Presumably, OpenAI will sort out the behavior and roll out the integration again in the near future. The Bing integration is only in beta, so some bumps in the road are expected.
While you wait for ChatGPT to gain access to Bing, you can play around with a third-party version of Clippy powered by ChatGPT.
Threads by Instagram
Threads is a new app by Instagram that aims to compete with Twitter. With Elon Musk running Twitter into the ground, a social media gap is growing by the day. Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, decided to fill the void.
The rollout of Threads was accelerated due to the opportunity presented by Twitter's stumbles. As a result, Threads is rather barebones right now. It lacks tags, trending pages, and even a way to only view people you follow.
Threads is available on Android and iOS, but it doesn't have a web client or Windows app yet. You can, however, use Threads on your PC by installing its Android app.
Android 13 on Surface Duo
Microsoft hasn't shipped a major update to Surface Duo in almost a year. That means the foldable still runs Android 12L despite the fact that many devices run Android 13 and are getting ready for Android 14. To help close the growing gap, a former Microsoft developer has a project that ports Android 13 onto Surface Duo.
Thai Nguyen first released a test build for Android 13 on Surface Duo earlier this month. Nguyen has since shipped an update to the project that makes the Surface Duo more usable when running Android 13. Here are the changes in the latest build.
- Remove displaymask feature so apps stop trying to load Surface Duo config and crash.
- Add option to disable Hinge Gap in Settings.
- Add support for foldable device states. - Split screen divider matches hinge size
While this is an unofficial project, it's nice to see someone support the Surface Duo. Microsoft doesn't seem interested in doing so.
Apple Vision Pro potential flop
Apple Vision Pro made the headlines this year when its virtual augmented reality experience was shown off to the world. Apple's headset has some things in common with Microsoft HoloLens, but it is more focused on everyday computing and entertainment than 3-D objects and augmenting reality. A report this week indicated that Apple may not be able to deliver the one million Vision Pro headsets it promised by 2024.
The complicated design of the headset making it difficult to source supplies appears to be the main issue. Apple only got enough components to make between 130,000 and 150,000 units, according to Ars Technica.
With Apple Vision Pro costing $3,500, it's difficult to envision it becoming a major success among average consumers. We'll have to see if those with deeper pockets will sport the headset.
Reviews & Editorials
Each we our experts take a close look at the best laptops, games, gadgets, and accessories. Over the past few days our team sat in and reviewed a lovely gaming chair from Anda Seat, ran the Layers of Fear remake through its paces, and tried a carrying case for the ROG Ally from WaterField.
- WaterField CitySlicker and Pouch review: The BEST ROG Ally carrying cases
- Kaiser Frontier XL review: Gaming chair perfection has never felt so good
- Layers of Fear (2023) Xbox review — A mostly good remake of a mostly good horror series
- SIHOO Doro-C300 office chair review: Incredible comfort, incredible price
We hunt for the best tech deals every week, but we put in extra effort over the last seven days since so many retailers had 4th of July sales. Additionally, with Amazon Prime Day running next week, companies are eager to share discounts early.
Laptops, SSDs, TVs, and many other gadgets are on sale this week. It's shaping up to be a month full of discounts.
In addition to the specific spotlight deals below, make sure to check out our deals hubs that will be updated throughout Prime Day. All of the devices listed are on sale through Amazon but we also include other retailers, some of which provide even better discounts!
Here are all of the best deals we covered this week, plus some older deals that are still going.
Note: Some deals have changed since we covered them initially and may change in the future. All of the discounts are live and as listed at the time of publication.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: was
$10.99 now $1
The beloved $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal has returned, but the conversion rate for subscriptions has been changed slightly.
Samsung Galaxy Book3: was
$999 now $849 at Amazon
Samsung's latest Galaxy Book3 series includes an excellent mainstream 15.6-inch laptop, complete with a 1080p AMOLED display, the latest 13th-Generation Intel processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB of upgradable SSD storage. It's also thin and light, and looks great on a desk.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2: was
$2,629 $1309.50 at Lenovo
This sleek business laptop is super light, making it the perfect travel companion. It sports Intel's 12th Gen chips, which feature P- and E-core architecture. It also ships with a Core i7-1280P 28-watt processor giving it that extra performance boost.
This gaming PC runs on a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900F CPU paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080. With those specs plus 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, it should easily handle the best PC games. Right now, you can get it for $1,100 off through Dell.
Dell XPS 15 | was
$2,409 now $1,999 at Dell
The latest and greatest XPS 15 laptops offer a truly excellent experience with a gorgeous display, great battery life, and robust performance. Right now, you can grab one for up to $410 off through Dell or at a discount at Best Buy.
Price Check: Best Buy from $1,999.99
Dell XPS Desktop |
$1,900 now $1,450 at Dell
The Dell XPS Desktop is an excellent PC that packs a lot of power for its price. Prices start at $650, but the sweet spot for many will be the $1,450 model with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.
If you need to max out your specs for creative work or gaming, the version with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 and an NVIDIA RTX 4090 is on sale for $600 off, bringing its price to $3,250.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is one of Lenovo's best convertible laptops. This model is a couple of years old, but it holds up well. Its tall 14-inch 3840 x 2400 display gives it a modern look and its internals make it a great choice for productivity.
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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.