The Morning After: What to expect from Microsoft Build 2024

And the Surface event before it.

REUTERS / Reuters

Normally, Microsoft’s Build is a straightforward (often dry) showcase of the company’s software and hardware developments, with a dash of on-stage coding to excite the developer crowd. But this year, the company is likely to make some huge AI moves, following its 2023 debut of ChatGPT-powered Bing Chat. Then, there’s new Surface hardware.

In fact, Microsoft has a showcase for new Surfaces and AI in Windows 11 on May 20, while Build actual kicks off a day later. And you know what? The Surface event might be the most impactful.

Rumors suggest we’ll see some of the first systems with Qualcomm’s Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chip alongside new features in the next major Windows 11 update.

A refresh for its consumer PCs is likely to consist of new 13- and 15-inch Surface Laptop 6 models with thinner bezels, larger trackpads, improved port selection and that X Elite chip. We might even see an Arm-based version of the Surface Pro 10 too.

While Intel confirmed Microsoft is already working on ways to make Copilot local, we could see that reach consumers as well. By local, I mean the AI assistant could answer simpler questions, like basic math or queries about files on your system, without an internet connection.

— Mat Smith

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TMA (Engadget)

Just like it slimmed down the latest iPad Pro, Apple may try to do the same to the iPhone. To be more precise, the company is working on a “significantly thinner” device that could arrive in 2025, according to The Information. An upgraded front-facing camera could sit alongside Face ID sensors in a smaller pill-shaped cutout, while the rear camera array could move to the center of the phone. The screen size would reportedly be between that of the current base iPhone and the iPhone Pro Max — so between 6.12 and 6.69 inches.

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Slack is training its machine learning models on user messages, files and other content, without explicitly asking for permission. This means your private data is being used by default. To opt out, you need your organization’s Slack administrator (IT, HR, etc.) to contact Slack on your behalf.

In response to concerns, Slack recently clarified its data use in a blog post, assuring users that customer data is not used to train generative AI products, which typically rely on external large language models (LLMs). The company uses this data to train machine learning models for features like channel and emoji recommendations and search results. However, it’s misleading, at best, to say customers can opt out when “customers” doesn’t include employees working within an organization. It is also a little misleading, implying all your data is safe from AI training, when the company apparently gets to pick and choose which AI models the statement covers.

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TMA (evleaks)

Two reliable leaks are showing off the entry-level Moto Razr 50 and high-end Razr 50 Ultra (likely branded as the 2024 Razr and Razr+ in the US), before Motorola even told us about them. The entry-level Razr (2024) will supposedly have a 3.63-inch cover display, quite a step up from the piddly 1.5-inch cover display on the 2023 version I tested. Sadly, no sign of the wood option included in the Edge 50 phone series unveiled last month.

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