The news got off to a relatively slow start in the first week of 2023. Over the past seven days, there have been reports of the Surface Duo 3, Microsoft migrating his Teams features to its premium service. Plans for an upgrade to Windows 11 File Explorer have also surfaced along with other news in the Microsoft and PC worlds.
surface duo 3
Microsoft Surface Duo 3 is dead. At least that version. According to senior editor Zac Bowden, Microsoft has scrapped plans for a dual-screen Surface Duo 3. Instead, the company is selling the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Vivo X Fold, and Honor Magic Vs.
Microsoft already had a near-final design for the dual-screen Surface Duo 3, but the company has delayed its plans. That device with two displays was scheduled to ship at the end of 2023, but an alternative foldable with a single internal display is unlikely to arrive later this year.
Not much is known about the exact shape and style of the Surface Duo 3. In fact, it may not even be the name of the device. Microsoft may choose a new brand for such a drastic change in form factor.
Bowden also shared information about a potential legacy slab phone from Microsoft. He also talked about the company’s efforts to integrate Android and Windows devices.
Apple apps in Windows 11
A new Apple application came to Windows 11 preview this week. Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple devices are all available from the Microsoft Store.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about Apple’s apps in Windows 11, they aren’t terrible! Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino showed off preview versions of Apple’s apps this week. Unlike Apple’s old iTunes, the new Apple Music and Apple TV apps are modern apps that fit right in with Windows 11.
Besides looking at the parts, it looks like the app is built on .NET6. Developed by Dennis H. on TwitterThe technology is like a successor to UWP.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of these new apps is that you no longer need to have iTunes installed on your PC. That software has been hated for years.
Apple TV supports 4K UHD content and also has several modes such as full screen, windowed, and a mini Windows player that floats above other apps.
Apple devices didn’t work in Rubino’s tests, but all apps are in preview, so bugs are allowed.
team loses function
Microsoft Teams Premium is a new service from Microsoft aimed at enhancing the experience of the popular communication platform. It features AI tools, security enhancements, and the ability to customize meetings and webinars. Team Premium is set to roll out in February 2023, and it’s not all good news for Teams users.
Some features that were available in the version of Microsoft Teams that came with Microsoft 365 are now Teams Premium features. As a result, you will have to pay an additional fee to continue using certain tools that are already available as part of your existing subscription.
Specifically, the following features will be migrated from Teams to Teams Premium:
- Live translated captions.
- Teams meeting recording timeline markers when a user leaves or joins a meeting.
- Custom organized Together mode scene.
- Virtual appointments: SMS notifications.
- Virtual Appointments: Organizational analytics in the Teams admin center.
- Virtual Appointments: Scheduled Queue View.
There is a 30-day grace period for Teams users to continue using features. After that, you’ll need a Teams Premium license to keep the tools.
For clarity, features in transition are moving from Teams to Teams Premium. Free versions of Teams are not affected.
Update File Explorer
Microsoft has plans to modernize Windows 11’s File Explorer based on code discovered by Twitter user FireCubeElements found in the latest Windows 11 preview builds. This suggests that the finished new interface is headed for File Explorer. Currently, File Explorer is a mix of old and new designs.
The discovered code made references to several new features and areas that are believed to be related to Microsoft 365.
Senior Editor Zac Bowden added that, according to his own sources, File Explorer will become more touch-friendly.
AI tools are all the rage these days. Microsoft’s VALL-E made headlines by being able to replicate arbitrary audio using samples as short as 3 seconds. Unlike many AI models, VALL-E can simulate emotional changes in clips. A Cornell University paper discusses the use of VALL-E to synthesize multiple voices.
Clip quality varies considerably. Some are almost compelling, while others are decidedly robotic. As with most AI tools, VALL-E should improve over time, with larger sample sizes yielding better results.
Some raised questions about security, as VALL-E could be used to duplicate the voices of politicians and loved ones as part of a scam.
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