Microsoft News Roundup: Instagram's Threads, ChatGPT pausing Bing, and deals galore

Threads and Windows Central on Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

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 privacy settings

(Image credit: Future)

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:

As of July 3, 2023, we’ve disabled the Browse with Bing beta feature out of an abundance of caution while we fix this in order to do right by content owners. We are working to bring the beta back as quickly as possible, and appreciate your understanding!


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 and Windows Central on Windows 11

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Even with the limited feature set, Threads exploded in terms of users and usage. The app already has over 70 million users. That number would likely have been higher if Threads was allowed in the EU, but that's not the case at the moment, likely because of privacy concerns.

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.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared several features that are on the way to Threads. While you wait for those to roll out, make sure to follow us!

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 headset

(Image credit: Apple)

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

AndaSeat Kaiser Frontier facing camera.

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

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.


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: $10.99

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 980 PRO 2TB SSD | $140.99 $99.99 at Amazon

Samsung 980 PRO 2TB SSD | $140.99 $99.99 at Amazon

Right now, you can get the 2TB version of Samsung's 980 PRO SSD for just $100, which is the drive's lowest-ever price. In general, this SSD offers an excellent balance of price and performance, making it my personal favorite.

Samsung Galaxy Book3: $999

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.

Price check: Samsung $999 | Best Buy $894

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2: $2,629

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.

Alienware Aurora R13 gaming desktop | $2,900 $1,800 at Dell

Alienware Aurora R13 gaming desktop | $2,900 $1,800 at Dell

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

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

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 | See at Best Buy

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 | See at Best Buy

This flexible convertible Windows 11 laptop has one of the best designs available right now. It features the powerful Intel 12th Gen and the Intel Iris Xe graphics card. It also has extremely fast reading and writing speeds to load up programs faster.

Dell XPS Desktop | $1,900 now $1,450 at Dell

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.

Entry-level | Mid-range | High-end

HP Spectre x360 16 | was $1,700 now $1,050 at HP

HP Spectre x360 16 | was $1,700 now $1,050 at HP

This 16-inch convertible laptop runs on a 13th Gen Intel Core processor. You can pair that CPU with Intel Iris Xe or Intel Arc A370M graphics right now while saving a lot of money. 

Price Check: Amazon $1,239

Alienware Aurora R15 | $3999.99 $2999.99 at Dell

Alienware Aurora R15 | $3999.99 $2999.99 at Dell

Equipped with an RTX 4090, a Ryzen 7 7700X, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and a 1TB SSD, is gaming PC packs all the power you'll need into a gorgeously unique case bathed in glorious RGB.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) | $4,279 $1,299 at Lenovo

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) | $4,279 $1,299 at Lenovo

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.

Other models from $998.99

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