Microsoft Build 2024: everything announced

Microsoft Build 2024: everything announced
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Microsoft had a lot to say about Windows and AI — and a little to say about custom emoji — during the Build 2024 keynote. The company, like just about everyone else in the industry, is charging hard at cramming AI into every nook and cranny it can find. That means Copilot watching your screen to help you play Minecraft or giving you AI agent co-workers.

The whole event was over two hours long, but you can catch the highlights below.

Microsoft says Copilot AI agents can soon be used as something like virtual employees that businesses can use for menial tasks like monitoring emails, carrying out a series of automated tasks, helping with employee onboarding, or doing data entry, all without being prompted to do so. The company says the new Copilot abilities won’t take over jobs — just the boring parts. (Isn’t “data entry” a whole job description for some people?) The new capability will hit Copilot Studio in preview later this year.

The company rolled out Phi-3-vision, a new version of the Phi-3 AI model it announced in April. It’s multimodal and can read text and look at pictures, but it’s a small language model that’s compact enough to work on a mobile device. Image analysis is one of the big use cases that AI companies have been pushing, and smartphones are about as ideal a place to use them as anywhere. Phi-3-vision is part of Microsoft’s Phi-3 family of models that the company announced in April and is available in preview now.

Microsoft’s Edge browser is getting an AI-powered real-time video translation feature that can dub videos from sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Reuters, and Coursera. The feature works with a handful of languages, offering translation from Spanish to English or vice versa — or from English to German, Hindi, Italian, and Russian. Microsoft says the feature is “coming soon” and that more languages and video platforms will be added in the future.

Get ready for some disco parrots and cutouts of your teammates in Microsoft Teams because the company is adding the ability to add your own emoji in Microsoft’s Slack competitor. Like in Slack, admins can limit who is allowed to add emojis, and they won’t be visible outside of your organization’s domain. They’re coming in July.

Qualcomm’s roughly Mac Mini-sized $899 Snapdragon Dev Kit for Windows has a Snapdragon X Elite chip inside. It also has 32GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and plenty of ports, though it’s not clear if just anyone can buy it.

You’ll be able to use Microsoft’s File Explorer to keep track of your coding projects soon, as the company is integrating Git into the file system browser. The company says developers will be able to keep track of file status, commit messages, and their current branch from within File Explorer. Also, the app now supports 7-zip and TAR compression natively.

Microsoft’s new Advanced Paste feature is available now as part of the PowerToys suite for Windows 11, giving you the ability to convert the contents of your clipboard as you go. You’ll be able to trigger the Advanced Paste menu by pressing Windows Key + Shift + V and, from there, convert your paste to formats like plaintext, markdown, or JSON, using further keyboard shortcuts. You can also convert by typing into the prompt box, which has other capabilities like altering or summarizing the text before you paste it. The catch: you’ll need an OpenAI API key and credits in your OpenAI account for the AI part.

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