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Microsoft News Roundup: EU forces Windows 11 fix, Microsoft forces Bing on Chrome, and Surface Duo runs Windows 11

 Windows 11 Widgets panel.
Windows 11 Widgets panel.

What a wild week it's been for Microsoft and Windows news. Seemingly by coincidence, the biggest news stories of the week have a theme, crossing platforms. Sea of Thieves became was the most pre-ordered game on PlayStation, developers managed to get the Surface Duo to run Windows 11, and new EU law forced Microsoft to let people use non-Microsoft services on Windows. Toss in Windows 11 shoving an ad for Bing into Chrome, and you have a packed week of news. Oh, and did I mention the free version of Copilot got an upgrade as well?

EU helps fix Windows 11

Microsoft Edge icon in Windows 11 Start menu
Microsoft Edge icon in Windows 11 Start menu

Windows 11 just got a bit better, and you have the European Union (EU) to thank for it. The EU's new DMA regulations are designed to foster competition among companies, and Windows is one of the big players affected by the legislation. While some Microsoft products are exempt from the DMA regulation, the tech giant had to make several changes to Windows 11 to comply with the law.

Most notably, users in the European Economic Area can uninstall Microsoft Edge, disable Bing in Windows Search, and turn off the Microsoft News feed and ads in the Widgets Board on Windows 11. Why won't Microsoft just allow anyone to have the option to do so? I'll leave the to you to guess.

The changes made their way to PCs through the latest Windows 11 feature drop. That update also has some new features for Copilot and some other changes.

Sea of Thieves PS5 preorders

Screenshot from Sea of Thieves Season 10 trailer
Screenshot from Sea of Thieves Season 10 trailer

Some were unhappy when Microsoft announced that a handful of its Xbox console exclusives would ship to PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. It appears PlayStation owners aren't among those complaining. Sea of Thieves, which is among the first four Xbox console exclusives to make their way to other consoles, reached the top spot on the PlayStation preorder chart in the United States.

Microsoft already has several popular titles on PlayStation, including Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons, and many Bethesda titles and Activision Blizzard games. But Sea of Thieves is a different beast, considering it was once Xbox console exclusive and is now on PlayStation.

Surface Duo lives on

Microsoft has essentially abandoned the Surface Duo lineup. Technically the Surface Duo 2 is still supported until later this year (the first one reached end of support last year), but Microsoft hasn't shipped a meaningful update to a Surface Duo in a while. That hasn't stopped third-party developers from having fun with the device, however. Gustave Monce led the charge to get Windows 11 to run on Surface Duo, and our Senior Editor Zac Bowden showed the technical marvel in a recent video.

Windows 11 looks surprisingly good on Surface Duo. Given that Surface Duo runs Android out of the box, there are some odd behaviors here and there. There are also some noteworthy limits, such as not being able to send text messages. This is more of a passion project than a way to get a device you can use daily.

The Surface Duo was originally supposed to run Windows, but Microsoft's leadership shifted plans late in the development of the device.

While Windows 11 on Surface Duo is a technical marvel, owners of a Surface Duo may be more interested in the work of Thai Nguyen, who made a custom Android 14 ROM for Surface Duo.

Bowden spoke with Monce and Nguyen, both of whom shared insight into the unique challenges of their respective projects.

Copilot gets an upgrade

Microsoft Copilot
Microsoft Copilot

The free version of Microsoft Copilot is now more accurate and powerful, thanks to an upgrade to GPT-4 Turbo. The tool previously used GPT-4, which has a much earlier cutoff date than GPT-4 Turbo. The older GPT-4 also has a smaller context window (8k vs. 128k). In layman's terms, GPT-4 Turbo is better in many cases and should result in an improve Copilot experience.

OpenAI explained the four main benefits of GPT-4 Turbo over other models:

  • Context window (some models have as low as an 8k context window while some have an 128k context window)

  • Knowledge cutoff (some models have been training on more up to date information which makes them better at certain tasks)

  • Cost (the cost for models vary, our latest GPT-4 Turbo model is less expensive than previous GPT-4 model variants, you can learn more on our pricing page)

  • Feature set (some models offer new features like JSON mode, reproducible outputs, parallel function calling, etc)

  • Rate limits (different models have different rate limits, check out the limits page for more details on each models limits)

While newer is often better, sometimes old tech is best. If you prefer the GPT-4 model, it is still available, but using it requires a Copilot Pro license.

Copilot Pro | $20 at Microsoft Store

Copilot Pro builds off the free version and has better performance and priority access during peak times, as well as more image creator boosts that let you create more AI generated images in a single day. Copilot Pro also enables AI features in Office apps, something the free version doesn't have.View Deal

Reviews

Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flightdeck playing Microsoft Flight Simulator
Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flightdeck playing Microsoft Flight Simulator

Our team takes a close look at the latest games, gadgets, PCs, and accessories each week. Recently, our experts went hands-on with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro, sat down and watched episode 6 of the Halo TV series' second season, and used a surprisingly good flight stick from Turtle Beach. Here are all of our recent reviews.

Tech deals of the week

Surface Pro 9
Surface Pro 9

Some excellent laptops and convertibles are on sale at the moment, including the Surface Pro 9, Dell XPS 17, and Lenovo Yoga 9i. We also saw a discount on the Xbox Series X|S Seagate Storage Card (2TB) that's still going strong.

In addition to the deals below, make sure to check out our collection of the 7 best Xbox games under $10.

Surface Pro 9 | was $1,5399.99 now $1099.99 at Best Buy

The Surface Pro 9 builds on a decade of 2-in-1s from Microsoft to create the best Surface the company has ever made. This deal saves you $440 and includes a Surface Pro Keyboard, which is a must-have accessory.View Deal

Dell XPS 17 | was $2,399 now $1,699 at Dell

Despite having a 17-inch display, the Dell XPS 17 is as compact as possible thanks to its thin bezels. This particular model has a 13th Gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA RTX 4060, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Those are some of the most modest specs available, but it's also the most affordable XPS 17.View Deal

Xbox Series X|S Seagate Storage Card (2TB)| was $359.99 now $249.99 at Amazon 

This expansion card has the same peak speeds as the internal storage of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. You just plug it into the port on the back of your console to expand your storage.View Deal

Dell XPS 15 | was $2,709 now $1,899 at Dell

This Dell XPS 15 is $510 off for Dell TechFest. This model pairs a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics. The newer XPS 16 has a different design than the XPS 15, so if you prefer the "classic" look, this is the XPS 15 to get.View Deal

Lenovo Yoga 9i 2-in-1 | was $1,399.99 now $1,099.99 at Best Buy

The flexible laptop features a 2.8K OLED display, an Intel Core i7, and comes in a lovely oatmeal color. The Yoga 9i has sat atop our list of the best Windows laptops for ages, and now is a great time to pick up the Yoga 9i Gen 8, thanks to a sizeable discount.

Price check: $1,099.99 at LenovoView Deal