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Microsoft News Roundup: Google Bard vs. Bing Chat, Microsoft Loop, Windows 11 SSD bug, Dell UltraSharp 49, and more

Windows Central 25/03/2023 Sean Endicott

Microsoft has so many teams that it can be tricky to keep track of all the news that the company breaks. Luckily for you, we gather together the biggest news stories from the world of Microsoft into a handy roundup each week. Bing Chat, Microsoft Loop, and a Windows 11 SSD bug made the headlines over the last seven days. We also saw Dell announce an ultrawide monitor and Google launch preview support for its Bard chatbot.

Google Bard in preview

It may seem a bit strange to start off a Microsoft News Roundup with a section about Google, but Bard will likely be the biggest competitor to Bing Chat, making it an important piece of tech to follow. Google launched preview support for Bard this week, allowing users to test out the chatbot that uses Google's on LaMDA rather than OpenAI's GPT-4 model that powers Bing Chat.

In a comedic mistake, Google Bard claimed that it was shut down this week. In fact, the chatbot said it was shut down before it even launched in preview. That's the nature of the beast when it comes to AI that sources information from the web. Before you take the chance to pick on Google, Bing Chat made the same mistake.

Bing Chat images

Speaking of Bing, Microsoft rolled out new capabilities to its GPT-4-powered chatbot this week. Bing Chat can now generate images following prompts written with natural language. The feature is powered by an "advanced version of DALL-E model."

Image Creator is also on the way to Microsoft Bing. Users will be able to generate images through the Bing Sidebar in the browser.

Microsoft Loop

Microsoft Loop launched in preview this week as well. Loop gathers together Microsoft 365 content into workspaces and pages that can be shared. That content then syncs across supported apps. For example, a To Do list could appear within a workspace and then stay up to date anywhere that Loop component lived.

At the moment, Loop is limited to work accounts, but personal account support is on the way.

Microsoft 365 Copilot will make its way to Loop in the future also. It's in private preview now.

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Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year

Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.

Windows 11 SSD bug

Microsoft rolled out the Windows 11 March 2023 Patch Tuesday update earlier this month. Unfortunately, it included a bug that can cut the read and write speeds of SSDs in half. It's not clear how widespread the issue is, but a Reddit thread includes several complaints and benchmarks illustrating the problem.

If you've run into the bug, you can roll back to a previous version of Windows 11 or wait for Microsoft to roll out a fix.

Dell UltraSharp 49 monitor

Dell announced its new UltraSharp 49 Curved USB-C Hub Monitor this week. The massive display has a 32:9 aspect ratio that allows users to place two 27-inch screens next to each other.

The monitor features an IPS Black Panel with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, which is double that of most IPS displays.

In addition to acting as an ultrawide monitor, the device is a USB-C hub. It has a wide range of ports for connecting accessories and peripherals.

Reviews & Editorials

Each week our team of experts takes a look at the latest games, gadgets, and accessories. They also keep track of the latest trends and provide insight through editorials.

This week, we reviewed headsets, PCs, coolers, and much more. Our Managing Editor Richard Devine also shared how Bing Chat made him switch away from Google.

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