Here are the most recent news stories about Microsoft you need to know.
New Xbox games this week
Another week means another bunch of games coming to different Xbox platforms. Here is the list of games to expect from February 27 to March 3.
- Brok the InvestiGator – February 28
- Destiny 2: Lightfall – February 28 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Fernbus Simulator – February 28 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S)
- Scars Above – February 28 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Bendy and the Dark Revival – March 1
- LEAP – March 1 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Iris and the Giant – March 2
- Jurassic Pinball – March 2 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- Meg’s Monster – March 2
- Railway Islands – March 2
- Vanaris Tactics – March 2
- Alterity Experience – March 3
- Escape First 3 – March 3
- Gunman Tales – March 3 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
- The Smile Alchemist – March 3 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery / Xbox Play Anywhere)
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – March 3 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery / Xbox Play Anywhere / Game Pass)
Automatic Microsoft Defender app downloading
Microsoft announced that the Microsoft Defender app would be automatically downloaded to Windows devices of Microsoft 365 users starting by the end of February. Microsoft 365 users who would install Microsoft 365 apps will soon get it automatically, while those who already have Microsoft 365 apps will get the Microsoft Defender app via a future update.
Microsoft Edge update
Microsoft released an Edge update last Saturday, February 25, to fix different bugs and performance issues. This auto-update brings Edge to Version 110.0.1587.56 and addresses eight issues listed by Microsoft. For more information about these security issues and their severity, click here. In related news, users reported seeing Microsoft’s ‘Secure Network’ feature in the stable Edge version. It will serve as a native VPN feature of Edge, giving users 1GB of data to use.
Azure Operator Nexus public preview
Microsoft announced on Sunday the public preview of Azure Operator Nexus. The company said it is the expansion of the Azure Operator Distributed Services private preview and described it as “a hybrid, carrier-grade cloud platform designed for the specific needs of the operator in running network functions such as packet core, virtualized radio access networks (vRAN), subscriber data management, and billing policy.” Further, Microsoft said the service would deliver a handful of benefits, including lower overall TCO, boperations efficiency and resiliency through AI and automation, and enhanced security for highly-distributed, software-based networks.
New Windows issue affecting devices with locale set to Croatia
Microsoft confirmed a new issue last week affecting Windows devices with their locale set to Croatia. The problem specifically causes such devices to show the wrong currency, wherein the country’s former Kuna currency is still displayed instead of the Euro. There’s still no permanent solution, but the company is already working on one. For now, Microsoft suggests a workaround involving changing the currency via the Windows Control Panel.
Bing updates: Higher chat limit and new tone settings
Microsoft is still trying to refine the new ChatGPT-powered Bing. As one of its recent improvements, the company announced bumping up the chat query limit of the chatbot to 100 chats per day. Additionally, Microsoft finally rolled out Bing’s new tone settings, giving users access to “More Creative,” “More Balanced,” and “More Precise” tones. In related news, Microsoft also started using ChatGPT tech on robots, including drones and robot arms. While the results pleased researchers, Microsoft stressed that ChatGPT is not yet ready to aid robots in performing tasks and warned everyone to “always take the necessary safety precautions.”
Opting out of the Insider Program for Beta Channel Insiders
Microsoft said Windows Insider in the Beta Channel would have a limited “Off-ramp” window to unenroll themselves from the program and start receiving Stable builds. Note that if you opt out of the Insider Program, you will be updated to the Stable Channel via the next Patch Tuesday update, which will be released next month.
Windows 11 upgrade banner on ineligible Windows 10 devices
Different Windows 10 users reported encountering a Windows 10 upgrade banner pushing them to upgrade despite not meeting the requirements. Microsoft already addressed the “inaccurate upgrade” and said it was resolved on the same day it was spotted. It only affected client platforms, including Windows 10, version 22H2; Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; and Windows 10, version 20H2.
Xbox price hike
The price hike in Xbox products continues, and the recent one was reported last week, affecting the Swedish market. With this, the 3,595 SEK ($347) price of the Xbox Series S jumped to 3,894 SEK ($376), while the Xbox Series X price increased from 5,695 SEK ($550) to 6,195 SEK ($599). The price hike in Sweden follows the same announcement in Japan in January, causing a $38 increase in Xbox Series X and $44 Xbox Series S.
New Teams version
A report from The Verge claims that Microsoft will release a new Teams version called Microsoft Teams 2.0 or 2.1 internally. The said version will be available starting in March and will reportedly bring significant performance improvements, such as better battery power usage on PCs and laptops (including the old models). The report follows the recent announcement of Microsoft about retiring the “Microsoft Teams Free (classic)” version on April 12 and replacing it with the new “Microsoft Teams (free)” version.
More allies in the Activision merger battle
Microsoft announced that it signed agreements with Nvidia and Nintendo last week. The announcement came the same week Microsoft faced the European Union regulators in Brussels to defend the $69 billion Activision merger. Aside from the two companies, the Communications Workers of America also expressed its support for the deal. According to Dealreporter (via Seeking Alpha), Tencent also supports the merger.