Announcements You Should Know About From Microsoft Build 2023

Recently in the world of Microsoft, Build 2023 took place, bringing with it a whole host of announcements that make for some interesting reading. As with the wider media landscape recently, AI was a theme that dominated much of the event, and there are plenty of points worth highlighting around this, and beyond, as we look at the future of Microsoft.

So, as it was the overriding theme of Build 2023, it makes sense to begin with the announcements surrounding AI. And as this is a Microsoft Event, we are of course starting with Copilot.

Copilot for Windows 11

As integrated across Office apps and Edge, Copilot is coming to Windows 11. Living in the taskbar, it will offer a whole range of AI abilities to Windows 11, from explanations of text in apps, to pulling up plug-ins to assist you in your work.

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, stated “Windows Copilot will start to become available in preview for Windows 11 in June…” before rolling it out to other customers.

This feature will go hand in hand with the announcements surrounding plug-ins for Bing Chat that also came out of Microsoft Build 2023.

Plug-Ins for Bing Chat

Microsoft is introducing plugins for Bing Chat, serving various purposes, as it looks to further enhance productivity. There is now a unified platform that allows developers to create plugins compatible with ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot.

Wolfram | Alpha and OpenTable plug-ins have been announced for Bing previously, with plans to add plugins for Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow also. On top of this, Bing Chat will feature plug-ins for:

  • Bandsintown
  • Bohita
  • Cloudflare
  • Coupert
  • Fareportal
  • FiscalNote
  • Golden
  • Lexi Shopper
  • Likewise
  • Notable
  • One Word Domains
  • PromptPerfect
  • Shopify
  • Skyscanner
  • Spotify
  • Spotnana

Plug-Ins Supported by Microsoft 365 Copilot

Staying with plug-ins, they are the latest addition to 365 Copilot. Microsoft Build 2023 saw it announced that Copilot will support 3 main plug-in types which include Teams messages extensions, Power Platform connectors, and tools that use ChatGPT technology. There will also be the option to choose third-party plug-ins too.

Microsoft has said that it will build all its Copilot and Bing Chat plug-ins with the same standard that OpenAI uses for ChatGPT, meaning you will be able to use the same plug-ins across all three AI-powered tools.

Windows Terminal and GitHub Copilot

Continuing further with the AI theme, Windows Terminal is getting an AI upgrade too. Bringing in a new AI chatbot through integration with GitHub Copilot, there will now be AI directly in Terminal that can explain errors and take other actions to make users lives simpler. It is hoped that in the future GitHub Copilot will be brought to other developer tools, with Microsoft exploring the possibility.

ChatGPT Integration for Bing

On top of the plugins for Bing, it is now integrating ChatGPT, with OpenAI making it the default search engine for the chatbot. This announcement begins to address the issue of the information cutoff date that has previously hindered ChatGPT, allowing access to more up to date information. ChatGPT Plus users will now begin to see citations surfaced by Bing added to responses.

Wider Windows 11 Developments

In a break from the AI-focused news, there have been some other Windows 11 announcements that are of interest. Firstly, Windows 11 is getting cloud-powered OS backup and restore. Much like with smartphones, users will now be able to log in to their account upon starting a new device and access the information from a previous device.

Microsoft is also now pushing ARM forward, after a period where they have been slow to adopt ARM architecture. Build confirmed that Windows 11 on ARM devices is being developed and users can expect 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. They can also expect Visual Studio with MAUI for ARM too.

Microsoft Build 2023 was full of announcements, with Copilot and ChatGPT integration at the forefront, and there is plenty to explore beyond these, however, these highlights are particularly interesting in the wider future of, not only Microsoft, but IT as a whole industry.

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