Microsoft’s Windows 11 AI love-in looks set to continue – here are 3 big risks it needs to avoid

It looks like Microsoft is doubling down on adding artificial intelligence features to Windows 11, with the newly released schedule for Microsoft’s Build 2024 suggesting that many of the talks and presentations will focus on AI and how it can shape the future of computing.

As Windows Central reports, Build 2024, which runs from May 21 to 23, will feature a session called “Designing for a brand new Windows AI feature” which will highlight “brand-new features that allow users deeper interaction with their digital lives on Windows through advance[d] AI features.”

Some publications, such as Windows Latest, suggest that this new AI feature could be the rumored AI Explorer feature. The event will be hosted by Rebecca Del Rio and Adrienne Pauley, both of whom have previously worked on AI projects at Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Build events are primarily aimed at developers and showcase new features and tools that will help them create cutting-edge apps. However, much like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Microsoft Build is often of interest to non-developers as well, as it gives us an insight into what the future holds for Windows 11 (or in WWDC’s case, what’s coming to macOS and iOS).

Judging by the released Build 2024 schedule, it looks like the future of Windows 11 will feature AI – a lot of it. Out of 245 sessions, 79 have the topic of ‘AI Development’ or ‘Copilot’ (Microsoft’s AI-powered assistant), and even sessions such as “Introducing the Next Generation of Windows on Arm” that may not initially seem to be focussed on AI will likely have some references. Arm hardware, which is an alternative to AMD and Intel, is getting improved AI support thanks to NPUs (neural processing units).

The fact that Microsoft is continuing to push AI may not be a surprise to many people – the past few months have seen the company adding all sorts of AI features to various parts of Windows 11, and Build 2024 will be a good chance to prove that it’s still committed to its AI push. However, there are three big risks that Microsoft needs to avoid if it wants to achieve its vision.

The three big risks

broken robot on the floor

(Image credit: Charles Taylor / Shutterstock)

1. Failing to show why AI in Windows 11 is worth it

This is perhaps the biggest risk facing Microsoft. While the company has been adding AI to all parts of Windows 11, I really don’t think the company has shown why I should use these new features.

Copilot, Microsoft’s main AI tool, is now integrated into Windows 11, and is undoubtedly very powerful. However, since Microsoft added it to Windows 11, I’ve used it perhaps two times – once to see how it worked, and a second time to generate an image. Since then, I haven't used it – and it’s not because I distrust AI, as I believe it has enormous and exciting potential.

It’s because Microsoft hasn’t given me a reason to use it. I simply do not know how it could make my day-to-day life easier. Regular tasks I perform on my PC could be improved with some AI help, but I can’t see how right now. 

If Microsoft wants to reap the rewards of all the energy and effort it’s been putting into AI, it needs to show its users why we should be as excited as it is about this brave new world. If it doesn’t, then Copilot, and Windows 11’s other AI tools, could soon be forgotten.

2. Forcing people to use it

Another risk for Microsoft is being too overbearing when it comes to encouraging users to try out the new AI tools. As with my first point, Microsoft must show how AI can improve our lives, not just tell us – and force us to try it out.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has a habit of being rather heavy-handed when it comes to trying to get people to use its software and services. Just look at how it tries to get people to stop downloading the Chrome web browser and use Edge instead, or the increasingly invasive pop-ups in Windows 10 that attempt to convince people to upgrade.

Microsoft has already shown a worrying tendency to do the same with Copilot. Earlier this week we reported on the company changing a fundamental touch gesture in Windows 11 to bring up Copilot, and there are numerous rumors that Microsoft could load Copilot and display it on your desktop when you start Windows 11.

Rather than getting more people to try out AI tools, this aggressive behavior could actually put more people off.

Instead, Microsoft should be confident enough in Copilot to allow users to discover it themselves – while highlighting its virtues without interrupting people while they use Windows 11. And, if a user decides Copilot isn’t for them, Microsoft needs to accept their decision, rather than continuing to nag people in the vain hope that they may change their minds.

3. Losing faith too easily

While Microsoft is going all-in on AI at the moment, we’ve been here before, where Microsoft has identified a new flavor of the month, pushed it on its users, and then given up if it’s not an immediate success.

Just look at Cortana – Microsoft’s previous virtual assistant. It came at a time when its rivals were seeing a lot of success with voice assistants like Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.

Microsoft’s passion meant Cortana was soon tightly integrated into Windows 10 and Windows 11. It had its own taskbar icon and would pop up unbidden when you first set up your new PC. Despite Microsoft’s fervor, it never convinced enough users that Cortana could help improve their lives, and so it ended up being at best an easily forgotten failure, and at worst a useless annoyance. Sound familiar?

Copilot certainly risks falling into the same trap – and the problem is that Microsoft has a reputation for dropping products that fail to take off. Ask any owner of a Microsoft Phone or Zune media player. Or, just look at what ultimately happened to Cortana: the virtual assistant that was once so entwined in Windows that it would pop up as soon as you turned on your new device was slowly hidden away… until it was finally axed and replaced with Copilot.

To avoid this, Microsoft needs to learn from the mistakes it made with Cortana – especially when it comes to convincing its users that Copilot can make a positive impact on their lives. It also needs to have faith that even if Copilot isn’t an immediate hit,  it should continue to invest and improve it, rather than killing it off quickly and moving on to the next thing.

From what I’ve seen and heard from Microsoft, it seems fully committed to AI and Copilot – for now. However, if it doesn’t find a way to prove that AI is the future of Windows, we may see history repeat itself.

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Meta’s Quest Pro can track now your tongue, but it’s not the update the headset needs most

The Meta Quest Pro has received an unexpected update – its face tracking can now follow your tongue movements.

One of the main hardware upgrades featured in the Meta Quest Pro is face and eye tracking. Thanks to inbuilt cameras, the headset can track your facial features and translate your real-life movements onto a virtual avatar. Because it's perfectly mimicking your mouth flaps, nose twitches, and eye movements, the digital model can feel almost as alive as a real human at times – at least in my experience with the tech.

Unfortunately, this immersion can break down at points, as the tracking isn’t always perfect, with one fault many users noticed being that it can’t track your tongue. So if you wanted to tease one of your friends by sticking it out at them, or lick a virtual ice cream cone you couldn’t – until now.

Meta has released a new version of the face-tracking extension in its v60 SDK, which finally includes support for tongue tracking. Interestingly this support hasn’t yet been added to Meta avatars – so you might not see tongue-tracking in apps like Horizon Worlds – but it has already started to be added to third-party apps by developers.

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This includes developer Korejan (via UploadVR) who develops a VR Face Tracking module for ALXR – an alternative to apps like Virtual Desktop and Quest Link, which help you connect your headset to a PC. Korejan posted a clip of how it works on X (formerly Twitter). 

All the gear and nothing to do with it 

Meta upgrading its tech’s capabilities is never a bad thing, and we should see tongue-tracking rolling out to more apps soonish – especially once Meta’s own avatar SDK gets support for the feature. But this isn’t the upgrade the feature needs. Instead, face tracking needs to get into more people’s hands, and there needs to be more software that uses it.

Before the Meta Quest 3 was released I seldom used mixed reality – the only times I did were as part of any reviews or tests I did for my job. That’s changed a lot in the past few months, and I’d go as far as to say that mixed reality is sometimes my preferred way to play if there’s a choice between VR and MR.

One reason is that the Quest 3 offers significantly higher quality passthrough than the Quest Pro – it’s still not perfect, but the colors are more accurate, and the feed isn’t ruined by graininess. The other, far more important reason is that the platform is now brimming with software that offers mixed reality support, rather than only a few niche apps featuring mixed reality as an aside to the main VR experience.

A Meta Quest 3 user throwing a giant die onto a virtual medieval tabletop game board full of castles, wizards and knights

Mixed reality is great, and more can use it thanks to the Quest 3 (Image credit: Meta)

Even though they’ve been out for the same length of time on Meta hardware, there isn’t the same support for face tracking or eye tracking. That’s despite all the talk before the Quest Pro released of how much realism these tools can add, and how much more efficiently apps could run using foveated rendering – a technique where VR software would only properly render the part of the scene you’re looking at with your eyes.

The big problem isn’t that face tracking isn’t good enough – if it can track your tongue it definitely is impressive – it’s (probably) the Quest Pro’s poor sales. Meta hasn’t said how well or badly the Pro has performed financially, but you don’t permanently cut the price of a product by a third just four months after launch if it’s selling like hotcakes – it fell from $ 1,500 / £1,500 / AU$ 2,450 to $ 999.99 / £999.99 / AU$ 1,729.99. And if not many people have this headset and its tracking tools, why would developers waste resources on creating apps that use them when they could work on something more people could take advantage of?

For face tracking to take off like mixed reality has it needs to be brought to Meta’s budget Quest line so that more people can access it, and developers are incentivized to create software that can use it. Until then, no matter how impressive it gets, face tracking will remain a fringe tool.

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You know what my Oculus Quest 2 setup needs? More weird controller attachments

When I think of controller attachments, I instantly imagine the crappy Wii remote add-ons I had as a kid. 

At first, I loved them – I wouldn’t touch Wii Sports unless my controller looked like a tennis racket or golf club – but over time, I came to despise them. The cheap plastic constructions would always break after a few uses, and they objectively made playing games harder because they’d block the sensor on the end of the remote.

I’ve recently had the chance to try out the HelloReal Grip-to-putter with my Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro VR headsets, and it’s reopened my eyes to the immersion that accessories can bring to virtual reality – whether it’s gaming, working out, or just plain working.

My Grip-to-putter thoughts 

The HelloReal Grip-to-putter is a golf club controller attachment and the perfect companion for Walkabout Mini Golf – one of my favorite VR experiences

The HelloReal Grip-to-putter with an oculus quest 2 on one end and a colorful grip at the other

(Image credit: Future)

You slot your Quest 2 or Quest Pro controller into the open end where it sits snuggly – for additional assurance that your handset won’t fly off when you swing the club HelloReal has included instructions on securing it using the controller’s wrist straps. Once it’s in place you can boot up your favorite VR golfing app and enjoy swinging a club that feels much more like the real thing than your controller ever did.

The Grip-to-putter gets its name from the grip-to-putt feature in Walkabout Mini Golf. When this setting is switched on in the app’s menu your club’s end will vanish until you hold down the side grip button on the controller. This lets you get a few practice swings without the risk of accidentally hitting your virtual ball before you’re ready. 

HelloReal’s attachment includes a contraption that will hold down the controller’s grip button when you press the trigger that sits just above the padded end. While playing Walkabout with the putter took a little getting used to – because the mechanics are a bit different with the add-on – I found that it made the whole experience significantly more immersive.

Have to feel to believe 

As you can see from the images included above, the HelloReal putter looks nothing like a golf club beyond the fact it’s vaguely pole shaped. But it doesn’t matter what the add-on looks like, just what it feels like – and HelloReal has got the golf club feeling down to a tee. The padded grip and weight distribution of the putter are perfect. 

A closeup of the HelloReal Grip-to-putter with an Oculus Quest 2 attached and a black claw pressing down the grip button

(Image credit: Future)

Once I slipped my headset on, I fully believed I was holding a real golf club. And this got me thinking – I need more realistic feeling VR accessories to use at home.

Inspired by the Wii’s heyday, I can already imagine some of the VR gaming accessories I could get, such as attachments that mimic the feel of swords and axes or sporting-inspired add-ons for VR fishing and tennis.

For the VR fitness fans out there, wouldn’t it be great to get a weighted club attachment that makes your Supernatural workout a little tougher? Maybe someday, we could get a boxing glove-inspired accessory that brings Litesport VR and other boxing workouts to life.

While working in the metaverse, perhaps we could use blank slates and styluses that make us believe we’re writing on paper when taking virtual notes. OK, this add-on is a little bleak, but if metaverse working is inevitable, it might make it more enjoyable than I found it before – I much prefer traditional pen and paper to using a keyboard. It would also feel more real than the controller styluses Meta includes in the Quest Pro’s box, which enable you to write in VR, albeit clunkily. If you didn’t realize the styluses were in the box, it might be because they’re tiny and exceptionally easy to lose.

Cost and effect 

These sorts of realism-boosting accessories are already deployed by commercial VR experiences you can find in some malls and theme parks to great effect – but they do admittedly have a downside if you want to bring them home. Cost.

A VR playter running around on an Omni One VR treadmill

The Omni One VR treadmill is a next-level VR accessory (Image credit: Virtuix)

Different add-ons have different prices, with gadgets like the Omni One VR treadmill at the ‘ridiculous’ (over $ 2,500, around £2,000 / AU$ 3,900) end, and accessories like the Grip-to-putter at a more reasonable $ 58.99 (around £46 / AU$ 91). Admittedly, $ 58.99 still isn’t ‘cheap’, but if you plan to use your VR accessory a lot, you'll likely feel it offers solid bang for your buck. 

So if you are a VR power user – or even just pick it up once a week – and have been weighing up buying a few accessories for it, then I’d say go for it (provided they’re good quality). Burnt by the Wii, I’d been instantly dismissing every add-on as a gimmick, but after trying the HelloReal putter, I’ve been scouring the internet for other weird goodies I could pick up to improve my VR setup.

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Microsoft admits Windows 11’s default apps system needs work – and changes are coming

Windows 11 is getting some fine-tuning around how default app selections are handled and how apps are pinned on the desktop, making these systems work better and with more overall consistency.

XDA Developers spotted that Microsoft wrote a blog post on its new ‘principled approach’ to these app behaviors, with the incoming changes set to arrive in testing (Dev channel) in the “coming months,” we’re told.

The first measure to be implemented is with app defaults. Windows 11 will get a new Settings deep link URI (uniform resource identifier), allowing developers to take users directly to the correct place in Settings whenever any given app flags itself up as wanting to be the default.

The default app is the software which is opened automatically for a specific file format, so for example, your default browser is the one used when you click a link in, say, an email.

Secondly, Microsoft is changing the way that pinning apps – putting icons permanently on the Start menu or taskbar – works, by introducing a new notification. In the case that an app wants to request being pinned, this notification will pop up explaining just that, allowing the user to either click Accept or Decline.

Crucially, the software giant wants consistency with these interface tweaks, so all third-party software, and Microsoft’s own core apps for Windows 11, work the same way and abide by these rules. That’s the plan, anyway, although whether things work out this neatly, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Windows 11 Pinning Prompt

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Defending against dodginess, and making up for past mistakes

As made clear in its blog post, part of Microsoft’s aim with this tweaking of app behavior is defending against “unrequested modifications” from dodgy developers. In other words, things happening in the background unbeknownst to the user, and the likes of adware or other rogue software managing to infiltrate into the system.

It’s also designed, no doubt, to reassure Windows 11 users that Microsoft is putting the past well and truly behind it regarding the firm’s own policies on default apps, which have been a source of criticism previously.

You might remember that when Windows 11 first launched, Microsoft made it an unnecessarily clunky process to change browser defaults away from its own Edge product (you had to go through every file type and change the preference individually, such as HTML, PDF and so on – a ridiculous state of affairs, really).

That nonsense was canned a year ago now, but it still lives on in the memories of some folks (likely because of the many other ways Microsoft has tried to push Edge within Windows 11).

Indeed, Microsoft even mentions its browser specifically in the post, noting that: “We are committing that Microsoft Edge will release an update that adopts the new Settings deep link URI for defaults and public pinning APIs as they become available.”

At any rate, this is a welcome move, although in all honesty, app defaults should never have appeared in the state they were when Windows 11 was launched in the first place. Mind you, the same could be said about a number of things in the Windows 11 interface upon its release, with the OS having very much been a work in progress as Microsoft has gone along.

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Sorry Spotify, not everything needs to be TikTok

It makes total sense that Spotify would chase after TikTok. 

TikTok is what all the kids are into and so naturally every major brand is out here trying to capture a slice of that highly sought-after market, but Spotify's new redesign featuring videos and a vertical scroll that mimics the wildly-popular social media app prefered by Gen-Z is bound to fail just as certainly as Spotify is bound to try it anyway. We've seen this story play out a thousand times before, and it doesn't get any less sad with repetition.

It's the kind of thing that is so transparently lame that Gen-Z is bound to shrug it off if it doesn't downright laugh at it, and all Spotify is doing in the attempt is risking alienating the people who actually use the music service. 

I'm not saying that Spotify cannot try something new, it absolutely should, but let's put the emphasis on new.

Kids aren't going to use a boomer music app

Whether it's Instagram or Spotify, every legacy tech company is pretty much having a midlife crisis right now and buying the proverbial sports car thinking that this is what will make them young and appealing again, and TikTok is absolutely to blame.

There's something about a new app coming on the scene to steal away the hearts and minds and screen time of a highly desirable 12-to-18 demographic to make a legacy app question itself. Apps, like people, hate to feel like the times have passed them by. 

I, too, have felt the sting of no longer being the young millennial that seemed to know what all the latest trends were. But the only thing worse than hearing 1996's Doom get called a Boomer Shooter by a 14 year-old is talking to that 14 year-old like I was one of their cohort.

And that's what all these tech companies pivoting to TikTokify themselves are doing, at its core, and kids can sniff the poser stink off the effort from half a world away. Gen Z is wedded to TikTok, and no company is shaking them, no matter how much they try.

Change is good, but not like this

A girl with the dark side tiktok promoting social network with a smartphone in hand.

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Ti Vla)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with shaking things up, and redesigns can be great. New UI experiences can streamline a service and give your user base more of what it wants, and there's always the allure of a new look.

Spotify even has a real reason to make needed changes. It's expanded well beyond just being a music streaming app, and UI changes are definitely warranted as a result.

But change has to be driven by need, and an entirely new redesign needs to emerge from the needs of the existing user base, not from an attempt to capture another one entirely. I can tell you that plenty of existing users are going to absolutely hate the new design, and they might head elsewhere. Apple Music isn't pulling this kind of thing.

So all Spotify is doing is risking existing users to dress itself up like the Steve Buscemi meme.

Change needs to come from within if it's going to work

Spotify app on a smartphone next to a pair of true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Chubo – my masterpiece)

The strangest thing about the whole obsession with TikTok is that there are plenty of social media and tech companies that already have incredibly strong brands as it is. 

As much as we've tried to get away from it in recent months, there really is nothing like Twitter out there, and Spotify has an equally strong brand ID. Why risk throwing that away just to be a TikTok clone that Zoomers can point at while rolling their eyes from the back seat of the car?

Spotify should work within that structure to find the needed change it will inevitably have to introduce, since that is ultimately what has the best chance of success. No, you might not win over the Gen Z crowd, but Spotify was never going to do that. 

Build a strong enough brand and eventually many Gen Zers might end up migrating to Spotify over time when TikTok no longer serves their needs — or when some other upstart app hits the scene and wins over whatever Gen Z's younger siblings are called and TikTok upends its entire interface to chase after that apps audience.

Hopefully, by then, Spotify and other tech brands will have learned to age gracefully like the rest of us.

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Windows 11 doesn’t deserve the hate – but Microsoft needs to do more

A new report by AdDuplex reveals that Windows 11 is now installed on 19.3% of computers, suggesting that Microsoft is struggling to convince people to upgrade to its new operating system.

While that number may seem initially impressive – after all, nearly 20% of all PCs is still a large number – it’s only a small increase of the 16.1% share AdDuplex reported the month earlier.

Building momentum is incredibly important this early on in an operating system’s life, so the fact that upgrades are slowing down a few months after launch is going to be concerning for Microsoft. Meanwhile, Windows 10 21H1 is the most-used version of Windows with 27.5% share, a small drop from the previous month.

Interestingly, Windows 10 21H2, which was released around the same time as Windows 11, has 21% market share. It seems that many Windows 10 users are upgrading to the newer version of Windows 10, rather than switching to Windows 11.

That makes sense – many people would rather stick with what they know. It also highlights that Microsoft may not be making as convincing an argument for switching to Windows 11 as it needs to.

The fact that older version of Windows 10, including Windows 10 20H2 on 17.9% and Windows 10 2004 on 7.9%, make up the bulk of the rest of the market, highlights the struggle Windows 11 faces.

The data AdDuplex uses is from around 5,000 apps that use the AdDuplex v2 SDK on the Microsoft Store, and covers around 60,000 PCs. This means the survey only includes versions of Windows that come with the Microsoft Store (Windows 10 and Windows 11), so while this doesn’t give us a complete view of the operating system market, it does help us understand the popularity of Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Analysis: Why the Windows 11 hate?

Cartoon of a student getting angry at their laptop

(Image credit: studiostoks / Shutterstock)

Since its launch, there seems to be quite a bit of negativity surrounding Windows 11, and this may be why Windows 10 users are hesitant to switch. When Microsoft announced Windows 11, many people were surprised. Not because of past comments by Microsoft that suggested that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows released, but because Windows 10 still feels relatively modern. With the release of Windows 10 21H2, it’s also an operating system that continues to get new updates and features.

For people using Windows 10 who are happy with the operating system, there doesn’t seem like a huge reason to switch to Windows 11. Windows 10 isn’t perfect, but that too might actually convince people to stick with the older OS.

Microsoft had a rough patch where it released numerous Windows 10 updates that appeared to cause more problems than they fixed. This affected people’s confidence in Microsoft, and some may think if the company can’t get an operating system update right, what kind of problems would an entirely new operating system bring?

Holding off from installing a new operating system as soon as it launches and sticking with your existing OS until early bugs and problems are fixed, is actually a pretty good idea. Once Microsoft corrects the Windows 11 problems (thankfully there aren’t too many) and addresses some of the complaints users have, we may see more Windows 10 users switch to Windows 11.

Another valid reason why people may not upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 is the fact that they simply can’t. Microsoft made having TPM a requirement for Windows 11, and this has meant that many perfectly capable PCs can’t actually officially run the new operating system. We can’t see Microsoft changing its position on this (in fact, it’s made life harder for people running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware), so many people won’t upgrade to Windows 11 until they get new devices, and that could be years from now.

Unfortunately, there is a growing negativity about Windows 11 as well. Many of its detractors are very vocal online, which could make people wary of upgrading. Some of these grumbles are definitely valid, but I increasingly feel like some of the hate is undeserved.

Sure, Windows 11 has some frustrating quirks at the moment – the reduced functionality of the taskbar is particularly baffling – but Microsoft is continuing to add features and fix issues. The new user interface may take some getting used to, but it feels fresh and modern.

I’ve also found Windows 11 to run well, with boot times particularly improved. While I don’t love the operating system (Microsoft still struggles to make anyone feel particularly fond of its software), I don’t hate it either.

Microsoft needs to counter the negative opinion people are forming of Windows 11 as quickly as possible, and show people why they gain from upgrading to the new operating system. What it certainly doesn’t want to happen is for Windows 11 to be spoken about in the same way people talk about Windows Vista or Windows 8.

Those two versions are widely derided as embarrassing failures – a fate that Windows 11 doesn’t deserve.

Via Xda Developers

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Sony needs to catch up on nostalgia, while Microsoft buys it up for billions

The announcement of Microsoft agreeing to buy Activision-Blizzard in a $ 68 billion dollar deal shook the gaming industry, with many wondering what’s going to happen once the deal closes.

This means that brands such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and True Crime: Streets of LA are about to be the property of Microsoft, alongside other brands such as DOOM, Elder Scrolls, Halo, and more.

But this brings up the aspect of where Sony stands in this. With a rumored service called Project Spartacus offering titles from its back catalog of almost 30 years, there’s going to be franchises, such as Crash Bandicoot, which will need more discussion for them to be allowed on the service.

However, this is also representative of how far behind Sony looks compared to Microsoft’s big news, and what it could mean for future generations of consoles and gaming as a whole.

A Sony and Microsoft agreement?

When the Nintendo Online Expansion Pack service was announced in October, Nintendo surprised many by confirming that Microsoft-owned Banjo Kazooie was about to arrive on the service, now available to play on the Switch.

In retrospect, it wasn’t a surprise, mainly due to the starring titular characters Banjo and Kazooie appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as paid DLC, back in 2019.

Also, to see the first game in the series, on the Nintendo Online Service with a ‘by Xbox Game Studios’, will cause anyone older than 20 years old to do a double-take. Especially with the Rare logo appearing once you start up the game. But it shows how far some brands have come since their first outing on other systems.


(Image credit: Rare)

Yet Sony is already on the backfoot. It didn’t help matters when the CEO, Jim Ryan, publicly called out its older catalog as ‘dated’ and questioned why anyone would play them, a comment Ryan has seemingly backed away from since.

To dismiss over 25 years of gaming wouldn’t put anyone in a good light, especially the CEO of Sony. But Project Spartacus looks to reverse some of that ill-will, rumored to include games from the PS1 and PS2 era.

While I’m not expecting Onimusha 2 or Rosco McQueen to appear on the service, at least to start with, seeing games such as Ridge Racer and Tomb Raider 2, ready to play on a PlayStation 5 is immensely appealing.

But we’ve been here before already. Back in 2015, Sony enabled PS2 Classics to run on the PlayStation 4, where you could play Ape Escape 2, Resident Evil 4, and almost the entire library of Rockstar Games’ PS2 releases.

Users were hopeful that this would mean the games that you could play on PS3, PSP and PS Vita would eventually work on PlayStation 4, but this wasn’t to be. The program fizzled out after 18 months, and while you can play these on your PlayStation 5, it nowhere near scratches the demand that’s out there.

But it also goes back to who holds the rights. Sony may have another battle soon, to offer the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games, now that they’re about to be the property of Microsoft. These were once tentpole Sony exclusives, at least in the heyday of their original releases. We may see something similar to the agreement that Microsoft and Nintendo had for Banjo to appear on the Switch Online service.

But time will tell. Nostalgia is a powerful asset in gaming, now more than ever. It brings back memories and good feelings of a time when you enjoyed a game for what it was when it was released, not what it could be, either through DLC content or multiplayer season packs.

After so many years of Sony flat-out refusing to honor the past that so many still hold in a great light, Project Spartacus needs to impress on day one, and not repeat the same tropes that its PS2 Classics series on PS4 brought.

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Microsoft shows why Windows 11 needs TPM – even if some PCs are left out in the cold

Windows 11 security is something of a hot topic, as the revamped OS comes with much tighter defenses than Windows 10, but with the side-effect of creating controversy and confusion on the system requirements front (and indeed for gamers – more on that later).

However, Microsoft recently produced a video to show how Windows 11’s new protective measures – which include TPM (Trusted Platform Module), Secure Boot and VBS (Virtualization-Based Security) – help to make systems safer against hackers. Furthermore, it reminds us these moves are an extension of what was already happening with Windows 10 (but crucially, not on a compulsory level).

The clip stars Microsoft’s security expert Dave Weston who explains more about why this higher level of security, which entails the aforementioned raised hardware requirements – including support for TPM 2.0, which rules out a fair number of not-all-that-old PCs – is required to defend against some potentially nasty security breaches.

Weston shows how this nastiness could play out in real world situations, first of all demonstrating a remote attack leveraging an open RDP (remote desktop protocol) port, brute forcing the password, and then infecting the machine with ransomware. This was on a PC without TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot, and naturally, wouldn’t be possible on a Windows 11 system.

The second attack used for demo purposes is an in-person one using a PCI Leech device to access system memory and bypass fingerprint recognition to login. VBS stops this kind of attack being leveraged against a Windows 11 system, and the former remote attack is prevented by UEFI, Secure Boot and Trusted Boot (in conjunction with TPM).

Analysis: Land of confusion

This is an interesting look at the nuts-and-bolts of how these security countermeasures work against real life attacks. Clearly, in some scenarios there are good reasons for mandating TPM and the other mentioned security technologies to help keep a PC safer against a possible attack, whether that’s a remote or local intrusion.

No one is going to argue against better protection, but the issue with making these pieces of security tech a compulsory part of the system requirements is the confusion around whether or not a PC has these capabilities.

In some cases, newer machines do indeed have TPM on-board, it just isn’t enabled – leading to a frustrating situation where the owner of a modern device could be told it isn’t compatible with Windows 11. And while it might just be a case of switching TPM on, which isn’t difficult for a reasonably tech-savvy person, it could be very intimidating for a novice user (involving a trip to the BIOS, a scary place for the untrained eye).

VBS or Virtualization-Based Security has run into further controversy, as well, given that while this isn’t an issue for upgraders from Windows 10, it will be enabled by default on new PCs that come with Windows 11 – and it causes slowdown with gaming frame rates. By all accounts, VBS can be a pretty serious headwind for frame rates, too; and again, this adds to the confusion around what’s going on with Windows 11 machines in general.

Having a more secure PC is great, without a doubt, but there are costs here which have a potentially negative impact on the experience of some users adopting (or trying to adopt) Windows 11.

Via Neowin

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