Microsoft Build is a flagship event that primarily caters to the developer community, not unlike Google’s I/O and Apple’s WWDC. This event typically focuses on announcing new software and service features and hosting in-depth sessions for developers and other professionals utilizing Microsoft tools. In 2023, the spotlight of Build was on two significant buzzwords – A and I (Artificial Intelligence). Microsoft shared updates on its product enhancements through AI and its existing AI tools, most notably ChatGPT and Copilot, highlighting its commitment to broadening AI applications across its services. The event, inaugurated by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, witnessed several significant revelations. Here’s a rundown of the top announcements from Microsoft Build 2023:
AI Copilot Integration with Windows 11
Microsoft is set to integrate its AI assistant, Copilot, into Windows 11. This is the same assistant currently employed across Microsoft Edge, Office apps, and GitHub. The Windows Copilot will be accessible via the taskbar. Upon clicking, it will launch the Copilot sidebar, where users can request assistance with text rewrites, explanations, and more in active apps. The feature is slated for public testing next month before being gradually rolled out to a broader user base.
Open Access to Amazon App Store for All Android Developers
Microsoft has declared the Amazon App Store open to all Android developers, inviting anyone interested in introducing their apps to Windows. Developers will have to submit their apps for testing in order to distribute them to Windows 11 devices. This development signifies a significant advancement for the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) as it showcases its stable functionality for developers.
Expanded Plugin Support for Microsoft 365 Copilot
The Microsoft AI assistant, 365 Copilot, is now compatible with three primary plugins: Teams messages extensions, Power Platform connectors, and tools incorporating technology from ChatGPT. Users will also have the flexibility to select from various third-party plugins. Microsoft has assured that all its Copilot and Bing Chat plugins will be built to the same standards that OpenAI applies for ChatGPT.
Microsoft plans to incorporate 365 Copilot into Edge. Residing within the browser’s sidebar, the tool can leverage site content to aid users in working on projects in Microsoft 365 apps, including but not limited to Outlook, Word, and Excel. This could involve drafting emails, inputting data into spreadsheets, and generating status updates based on chat threads.
AI Upgrade for Windows Terminal
Windows Terminal is in line for an AI upgrade via GitHub Copilot integration, providing developers access to an AI-powered chatbot within the Terminal. The chatbot can be used to execute various tasks, offer code suggestions, and explain errors. Microsoft has also hinted at the possibility of integrating GitHub Copilot into other developer tools, such as WinDBG.
Microsoft has designated Bing as the default search engine within its ChatGPT chatbot. The integration is currently rolling out to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, while free users can access a similar function through a plugin that brings Bing to ChatGPT.
Introduction of New Plugins to Bing Chat
Several new plugins are set to be introduced to Bing Chat, including those from Expedia, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Redfin, TripAdvisor, and Zillow. Developers can create plugins using a single platform that will be compatible with ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot.
A Significant Boost to Windows 11 on ARM
Unity Player is scheduled for general availability in early June for native Windows on Arm. This means that developers using the middleware engine can target Windows on Arm devices for native performance on existing and future titles. In addition, Visual Studio 17.6 will include Multi-platform App UI support. These advancements aim to enhance the Windows 11 on ARM experience by drawing more developers to support the platform.