Satya kicked off Build 2023 with a retrospective on the so-called Dream Machine pursuit. From contemplating the concept of computers to their ubiquitous presence in households, we have witnessed revolutions such as the Internet and the iPhone. In Satya's words, the launch of ChatGPT last November signifies our metaphorical shift from the bicycle to steam-powered machinery.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft Build 2023 placed AI at the forefront. Allow me to provide you with a brief overview of some key highlights from this year's developer conference.
1. ChatGPT gets Bing Integration
Since the public release of ChatGPT, it lacked a key component that would enable it to surface new information beyond the so-called cutoff date. The integration of Bing effectively addresses this challenge.
At Build 2023, Microsoft reaffirmed its Partnership with OpenAI. There was no doubt that Bing would eventually find its way to serving 100 million reported monthly users, but Microsoft highlighted the expansion at this week's developer conference. After the implementation, ChatGPT users will gain a powerful new capability to access fresh information from the web.
2. Bing Chat gets boosted with plug-ins
In its quest to enhance productivity, Microsoft is introducing plugins for Bing Chat. These plugins serve various purposes, such as a plugin that knows the type of houses you are looking for and can help you search by not showing you what doesn't fit your criteria, effectively streamlining the search process.
Developers now have access to a unified platform that allows them to create plugins compatible with ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot. With the introduction of plugin support in Bing, the search engine can seamlessly integrate with a diverse range of services.
Earlier, Wolfram | Alpha and OpenTable plugins were already announced for Bing. Microsoft has also revealed plans to add plugins for Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow to Bing. Additionally, Bing Chat will soon feature plugins for Bandsintown, Bohita, Cloudflare, Coupert, Fareportal, FiscalNote, Golden, Lexi Shopper, Likewise, Notable, One Word Domains, PromptPerfect, Shopify, Skyscanner, Spotify, Spotnana, and Trip.com.
3. Windows 11 gets its own AI assistant
This one is actually huge. Microsoft is undoubtedly capitalizing on the AI revolution by integrating ChatGPT technology into many of its products. But Windows, being the largest canvas of them all, may just be the most important one by far.
Windows Copilot will help you use the computer in a whole new way, with examples ranging from simple tasks such as asking the Copilot to boost your productivity and allowing it to change your theme to dark and set the focus mode, all the way to dragging a legal Word document onto the Copilot and asking it to pull up plugins that understand the law of your state, so you can ask it to make certain changes to the document according to the law.
Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay stated that Windows has become the pioneer PC platform in offering centralized AI assistance for customers. He further emphasized the advantages of utilizing Bing Chat and a wide array of first and third-party plugins. This integrated approach enables users to concentrate on materializing their ideas, accomplishing intricate projects, and fostering collaboration, rather than expending energy on searching, launching, and working across numerous applications.
4. Windows 11 is getting cloud-powered OS backup and restore
To ease up the AI revolution, we have selected this highly welcomed new functionality as noteworthy. Smartphone owners have long enjoyed a similar functionality, where you could buy a new device and upon the first start, simply log in to your platform account and select "Restore my apps" from the cloud backup. And now Windows will be able to do the same.
5. Windows 11 on ARM devices gets a big boost
Last but not least, Microsoft is finally pushing ARM further ahead. The competition (notably Apple) has leapfrogged Microsoft in this race, but because Microsoft has no intention of dropping x86 support, they have been slow in adopting ARM architecture to make it a viable alternative for Windows users.
With Build 2023, this is moving ahead, and we can now expect Visual Studio with MAUI for ARM, Node 20 with native ARM support, and Unity Player becoming publicly available for ARM natively, expanding developer support for devices like the Surface Pro X.
Watch the full Microsoft Build 2023 keynote
Microsoft Build 2023 also had a ton of other announcements. Some notable additions included adding RGB lighting support into Windows 11, allowing gamers to bypass the litany of poor third-party tools. Microsoft is also giving developers a way to work with GitHub via the command line by harnessing the power of AI, alongside deeper integration between Windows and GitHub in general. We're getting a refreshed version of the Windows 11 filesystem to boost compiling speed, and even avatars in Microsoft Teams.
What was your favorite Microsoft Build 2023 announcement? Drop in the comments, let us know!
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