With rumors of Windows 12 echoing from last week, it's an exciting time to follow Microsoft news. This week, the company announced a new Windows Insider Channel that will be used to test the next major version of Windows. Microsoft also teased its AI event for next week and increased the limits of Bing Chat.
It's also an exciting time for AI. That's especially true because Andreas Braun, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Germany confirmed that GPT-4 will be unveiled next week.
Here's a recap of all of the biggest stories from the world of Microsoft, plus a collection of editorials and reviews from our experts.
Windows Canary Channel
Microsoft announced a major change to the Windows Insider Program this week. The tech giant introduced a "Canary Channel" that will receive experimental builds on a more regular basis. These builds will be used to test the groundwork for future major versions of Windows, so they will be less stable than what Insiders have used up to this point.
There will continue to be a Dev Channel for Windows Insiders, but it will ship builds that are relatively stable.
The Windows Insider Program can get complicated with so many channels and build ranges. The main takeaway is that any version of Windows that has a build above 25000 is for the next major version of Windows.
Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden summarized the changes to the Windows Insider Program:
- If you want to test early platform code that's laying the groundwork for the next major version of the Windows platform coming in 2024, join the Canary Channel.
- If you want to test in-development features being built for Windows 11, join the Dev Channel.
- If you want to test upcoming Windows 11 features that are closer to being finalized, join the Beta Channel.
- If you want to test the next Windows 11 feature update, join the Release Preview Channel.
GPT-4 is on the way
AI is all the rage these days. Specifically, OpenAI's ChatGPT graces the headlines frequently. We could see a major development in artificial intelligence next week. Andreas Braun, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Germany, recently confirmed that GPT-4 will be unveiled next week.
GPT-3.5 powers the current version of ChatGPT. GPT-4 should be significantly more powerful and capable. Most notably, GPT-4 has multimodal models, meaning it will be able to generate different types of content. Braun mentioned video specifically, though he didn't go into much detail.
Bing Chat raises limits
Microsoft raised some of the limits on Bing Chat this week. After the chatbot had run into issues, including getting confused or sharing rude responses, Microsoft capped sessions to five chats. The company also put a limit of 60 chats per day per user. Those limits have gradually increased, however.
This week, Microsoft increased Bing Chat to support up to 10 chats per session and 120 chats per day. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president of modern Life, search, and devices, noted the progress of Bing Chat.
Microsoft's new chatbot is still in preview, so its limits and capabilities will likely evolve over time.
Microsoft AI event
Microsoft announced the new Bing and Edge at an AI event earlier this year. Next week, the company will hold yet another AI event, this time focusing on productivity. Microsoft promises a "whole new way of working."
Company CEO Satya Nadella and CVP Jared Spataro will host the virtual event that kicks off on March 16, 2023. The virtual event will be live streamed by Microsoft starting at 8 AM Pacific Time (11 AM ET).
Intel breaks CPU world record
Intel's Xeon W9-3495X recently broke the Cinebench R23 world record. The processor earned a score of 132,484, which was good enough to beat the previous record holder by a fair amount. The AMD Threadripper 5995WX had a score of 121,215.
The Xeon W9-3495X is a high-performance processor built for workstations, so you won't see it on any consumer PCs. The system that was used to break the record also used liquid nitrogen to stay cool. That being said, the record is still impressive. Progress has a way of trickling down to future technology.
It's worth noting that AMD has its Zen 4 Threadripper processors on the way, so Intel may not hold the record for very long.
Reviews & Editorials
Our experts take a close look at the latest games, gadgets, and more. This week, our team reviewed what could be the "perfect Xbox Cloud Gaming controller," the Microsoft Audio Dock, and Alienware's new 27-inch gaming monitor.
Our writers also added context to the latest news with a range of editorials and opinion pieces.
- Microsoft Audio Dock review: An excellent all-in-one solution for workspaces
- Alienware AW2723DF review: The perfect 27" IPS gaming monitor dominates in 240Hz+
- My search is over for the perfect Xbox Cloud Gaming controller
- This is the one thing PS5 absolutely did better than the Xbox Series X and S
- Microsoft is bringing back classic Taskbar features on Windows 11 — but not because it screwed up
- How to cat-proof your laptop or computer: Protect your desk area from kitty
- I couldn't use the Surface Duo as a phone, but it's better than any tablet
- Sony's position on the Microsoft-Activision deal for Xbox was just fully exposed
- The UK Government proves its ineptitude over how Call of Duty on Nintendo Switch will work
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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.