Microsoft

Microsoft to invest billions in chatbot maker OpenAI

OpenAI is the creator of popular image generation tool Dall-E and the chatbot ChatGPT.

In 2019 Microsoft invested $1bn (£808m) in the company, founded by Elon Musk and tech investor Sam Altman.

The Windows and Xbox maker plans up to 10,000 redundancies, but said it would still hire in key strategic areas.

Breaking the news in a memo to staff last week, chief executive Satya Nadella said: "The next major wave of computing is being born, with advances in AI."

Nintendo lands Call of Duty in 10-year Microsoft deal

Microsoft wants to buy Activision Blizzard, which also makes Overwatch and Warcraft, for $68.7bn (£56.5bn).

The deal would enable Microsoft to stop Call of Duty from appearing on rival consoles, such as Sony's PlayStation 5.

The UK watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), says this could lessen competition in gaming.

Microsoft says this is not the case, and is now offering the title to rivals - for a limited time.

Microsoft shutting down LinkedIn in China

It comes after the career-networking site faced questions for blocking the profiles of some journalists.

LinkedIn will launch a jobs-only version of the site, called InJobs, later this year.

But this will not include a social feed or the ability to share or post articles.

LinkedIn senior vice-president Mohak Shroff blogged: "We're facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China."

Microsoft's passwordless plans lets users switch to app-based login

The technology giant made passwordless accounts available for business users of its products in March.

And that system is now being made available to all Microsoft or Windows users.

It said "nearly 100% of our employees" were already using the new, more secure system for their corporate accounts.

And this is far more secure than using passwords, which can be guessed or stolen, according to Microsoft.

"Only you can provide fingerprint authentication or provide the right response on your mobile at the right time," it said.

Clippy returns - as an emoji

Clippy the paperclip was a simplistic virtual assistant who offered tips and advice to Microsoft Office users, from 1997 and until the mid-2000s.

Its constant pop-ups to suggest "help" with the simplest of tasks - such as writing a letter - annoyed many.

But Microsoft says it is now bringing back the design, for its modern Office products.

Microsoft announces Windows 365, a subscription cloud PC

Windows 365 will work similarly to game streaming - where the computing is done in a data centre somewhere remotely and streamed to a device.

That means all sorts of devices - including tablets or Apple Macs - can stream a full Windows desktop PC.

It is being sold to businesses to begin with, as many firms move to a mix of office and remote working.

Microsoft is marketing the new way of using a PC as "hybrid Windows for a hybrid world".

Microsoft unveils Windows 11 operating system

The new software will let Android apps run on the Windows desktop.

Product manager Panos Panay promised smaller, faster security updates - a common complaint for Windows users - and said they would happen in the background.

Windows 11 will also let users configure multiple desktops for work, home, and gaming, like on a Mac.

Microsoft says there are currently about 1.3 billion devices running Windows 10.

An early preview version of the new system will be released for app developers next week.

Xbox Series S: Microsoft confirms price and release date

It said the machine would be the "smallest Xbox ever".

The firm's UK, US and French Twitter accounts are among those to have subsequently confirmed local launch dates of 10 November.

Company watchers have said the advertised price is significantly lower than had been expected.

Microsoft has said the machine is set to cost £250/$299/€249. It is £50 more than the lowest-priced version of the firm's existing Xbox One range.

The company has yet to give a launch date or price for the larger and presumably more powerful Xbox Series X.

Deepfake detection tool unveiled by Microsoft

The software analyses photos and videos to give a confidence score about whether the material is likely to have been artificially created.

The firm says it hopes the tech will help "combat disinformation".

One expert has said it risks becoming quickly outdated because of the pace at which deepfake tech is advancing.

To address this, Microsoft has also announced a separate system to help content producers add hidden code to their footage so any subsequent changes can be easily flagged.

Microsoft to explore buying TikTok's New Zealand operations

US President Donald Trump says the US government should get a "substantial portion" of the sales price of the US operations of TikTok and warned he will ban the service in the United States on September 15 without a sale.

The turnaround came after Trump said he was planning to ban the Chinese-owned video app's US operations as soon as Saturday after dismissing a possible sale to Microsoft.

Reuters reported last week that some investors are valuing TikTok at about $US50 billion, citing people familiar with the matter.