Changes coming to Windows 11 in 2024 to comply with the DMA

2024 will see Microsoft ship their “Moments 5” update to Windows 11, which as well as the usually hunch of feature enhancements and tweaks to the OS, will also bring the necessary changes Microsoft are being forced to make in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

This update is expected to drop sometime in Q1 2024 following the usual testing with the Windows Insider community. It will be delivered as a cumulate update via the Windows Update service.

Moment 5 is likely to be the last Moment update for Windows 11, as there is expectation thst the next major OS update will be launched sometime in 2024.

Here’s a summary of some of the key changes you can expect.

Changes needed to comply with the DMA

  • Ability to uninstall more of the in-box applications such as Microsoft Edge, Camera, and Photos. The ability to remove Edge will be limited to users in the Europe only.
  • Start menu’s All Apps list will be renamed to All and operating system components are clearly labelled with “system”.
  • Ability to disable Microsoft News integration from the Widgets Board. This also includes the ability to replace it with third-party news services instead.

Updates and general improvements

  • The ability to ink directly into text boxes across the Windows OS.
  • The ability to use third-party search providers in the Windows Search pane
  • Ability to give friendly names to Nearby Share so you can give more readable names to make it easier to find and connect.
  • Anility to use Windows Spotlight as the default wallpaper setting
  • Voice Access is getting a new feature called “voice shortcuts,” which allows you to create custom commands that use your voice to activate. This can be used to create an action based on a custom phrase.
  • In-box app updates to Notepad, Paint and the Microsoft Store.

Updates to Copilot in Windows

  • Copilot can be “undocked” allowing apps to exist underneath the Copilot sidebar instead of being forced to appear next to it. This makes it easier to work with Copilot.
  • The Copilot interface will also show in the Windows ALT+TAB menu, making it easier to  switch to and from it.
  • Copilot will also work across multiple displays rather than just the primary.

Updates to Windows 365

  • Improvements to the Windows 365 integration in Windows 11, including allowing companies the ability to customise the login page.
  • Users will be able to disconnect from the Cloud PC via Task View or Start menu.
  • Ability to configure local device settings from the CloudPC.
  • Task View now also has visual indicators that pop up just above the Taskbar whenever you switch between your local desktops or Cloud PC using task switcher. This makes it easiet to know if you are on the local or Cloud PC.
  • Ability to use Dedicated Mode to boot to the Cloud PC from a company-owned device.

These are the main changes coming in Q1 2024 in what will be an interesting and fast paced year for updates, AI advances and new hardware for Microsoft.

For now, have a great new year whatever your plans, ambitions or dreams are..

Thanks for tuning in


Microsoft Copilot now fits in your pocket with new Android app

The world of Copilot is evolving quickly… You take a couple of days of downtime over the Christmas break to find that Microsoft has launched a new Copilot app for Android which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

The Copilot app (which is essentially just the Copilot bits of the Bing App), allows users to interact with Copilot like they would with the standalone Open AI ChatGPT. It can be used to ask questions, get help with stuff, creating images using Bing’s Image Creator all from text (or voice) prompts.

Copilot app for Android

Today, the app allows consumer users (you need to sign in with a Microsoft account) to access the app but doesn’t yet allow sign in from commercial Microsoft 365 accounts but presume this will be added in due course.

It is only available on Android today, but has the same functionality as the Bing app, so iOS users can still use that.

Copilot is powered by GPT-4 and DALLE 3, which provide fast, complex, and precise responses, as well as the ability to create breathtaking visuals from simple text descriptions.

Here’s some of the text-based things you can do with Copilot app:

  • Draft emails or re-phrase pretty much any piece of text
  • Create stories, scripts, plays, or game ideas.
  • Summarise complex or long documents including PDFs.
  • Translate documents of text from one language to another
  • Proof-read documents and compare against a scoring document.
  • Create personalised travel itineraries.
  • Write and update CVs and more.

Here’s some of the image-based things you can do with the Copilot app:

  • Create images, or complete pictures using text input.
  • Leverage a different set of styles such as cartoon, photo realistic or pop-art
  • Generate custom backgrounds images.
  • Create logo designs for blogs or your new company ideas.
  • Create illustrations for books.
  • Create images for blogs, cards, eBooks or social media.
  • Use or take a photo and have Copilot describe it create a new image based from it.


In the example below, I am using Copilot to create a new image from a photo of some batteries. You’ll see how Copilot also tries to be smart and give some valuable tips about battery disposal.

Getting the best from Copilot

Getting the best results from using Copilot (or any Generative Chat based AI tool), is all about the prompt (the instruction we use to ask Copilot what we want it to do).

Check out my blog and example videos on how to get the best from these tools.

You can download the app for Android -> here.

2023 year in review – from the eyes of my Blog

Hello, followers and subscribers! As the year comes to an end, I want to take a moment to thank you for your support and interest in my blog. It has been a busy and exciting year in tech and I hope you enjoyed reading my posts which focussed mainly around AI, Modern Work, Cloud Security, Windows and Surface.

In my last blog post before Christmas, I will recap some of the highlights of what I posted about throughout 2023. Let’s take a look at what news and info I shared this year.

If you dont currently read or subscribe to my blog you can tune in or subscribe here.

January 2023

I kicked of the new year with ISE event, some news around Microsoft’sd Secyriuty revenue, the MVP programme and Cisco and Microsoft’s partnership around collaboration.

  • Cisco and Microsoft Teams partnership: The blog discusses the significance and benefits of the collaboration between Cisco and Microsoft to enable Cisco devices to run both Webex and Teams seamlessly without a reboot¹[1].
  • Microsoft’s security revenue and market share: The blog reports on Microsoft’s impressive growth in the cybersecurity market, driven by its integrated and comprehensive security portfolio and partner ecosystem.
  • Teams Premium features and pricing: The blog explains what Teams Premium is, how it differs from the standard Teams license, and how much it costs for different currencies.
  • Microsoft’s cloud price harmonisation: The blog informs about Microsoft’s plan to align the pricing of its cloud products and services across the globe based on the US dollar exchange rate, and how customers can prepare for it²[2].
  • Windows Insider MVP award and program: The blog shares the author’s personal experience and excitement of being re-awarded as a Windows Insider MVP, and invites others to join the Windows Insider Program and nominate potential MVPs.

February 2023

In february 2023, we sawe Cisco Contact Centre certified for Teams and a new Teams client announced (which is now generally available). I also found my old RM Tablet PC (running Windows XP tablet and did a quick recap review). Here is a summary of all the things I blogged about in Feb 23:

  • Microsoft Teams new client: The blog reports that Microsoft is working on a new version of Teams that will be faster, more efficient, and more stable than the current one. The new version will use Webview2 and React technologies and will be available in preview soon.
  • Webex Contact Center for Teams: The blog announces that Cisco Webex Contact Center has received official Microsoft Teams certification, which means that it can integrate seamlessly with Teams to provide enterprise-class customer service across multiple channels. The blog explains the benefits of this integration for both Microsoft and Cisco, as well as for organisations, partners, and customers.
  • Yealink DeskVision A24: The blog reviews a new all-in-one collaboration device from Yealink that combines a 24 inch 4K touch-display, a pop-up camera, a speaker, a wireless charger, and a touch screen monitor. The device is certified for both Teams and Zoom and offers a premium desktop collaboration experience. The blog praises the device’s design, functionality, and value.
  • RM Tablet PC: The blog revisits an old RM Tablet PC from 2002 that ran Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, which was a special edition of Windows XP designed for pen-sensitive screens. The blog credits the RM Tablet PC and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition for introducing and innovating the touch and tablet computing world that we now take for granted. The blog also reflects on the evolution of tablet devices and operating systems since then such as Microsoft Surface Pro.

March 2023

March was a busy month. We saw the Cisco and Microsoft partnership expand, talked about how Cisco Thousand Eyes is a vital tool for troubsleooting and managing the end user expewrience in the world of remote work and SaaS applications, chewed the fat over Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop, covered new AI features coming to Windows 11 and of course, covered the huge announcement about the upcoming Microsoft 365 Copilot. Here’s some of the things I talked about:

  • Microsoft and Cisco partnership: The blog starts with the announcement of the certification of Cisco Board Pro to run Microsoft Teams Rooms natively, as well as supporting Webex. This is part of the ongoing collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco to provide interoperability and seamless experiences for their customers.
  • Surface Hub 2S update: The blog then mentions the new version of Windows that will ship with the next generation of Surface Hub 2S devices, called Teams Rooms on Windows. This will feature a new user interface, unified management, and new collaborative features such as FrontRow and Copilot for Teams.
  • New Teams app for Windows: The blog also covers the new preview version of the Teams app for Windows, which is said to be faster, more efficient, and more streamlined. The new app also includes the foundations for new AI-powered experiences, such as Copilot for Microsoft Teams.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot: The blog introduces Microsoft 365 Copilot, a new AI assistant that leverages large language models and Microsoft Graph data to help users with natural language queries, tasks, insights, and content creation across Microsoft 365 apps and services.
  • ThousandEyes by Cisco: The blog explains how ThousandEyes by Cisco is a digital end user experience monitoring solution that helps ensure optimal performance of SaaS apps and cloud services for employees and customers. It also compares it with Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365.
  • Windows 11 updates: The blog concludes with a summary of the latest updates and features coming to Windows 11 in 2023, such as Taskbar enhancements, Energy Recommendations, File Explorer improvements, and Moment updates.

April 2023

April saw me talk more about updated to Windows 11 and Windows 365 (including Windows 365 Boot), a review of the gorgeous Surface Pro 9 5G, new AI features in Widnows 11 and Surface and the lauch of Mcirosoft Designer in preview.

May 2023

May 2023, saw Microsoft Announce Fabric – their new data analtics platform for the AI era, Windows Copilot (the neg gen Clippy/Cortana for Windows 11) and a in depth comparison of ChatGPT vs Bing Chat (now, Copilot). Here are the summaries of the blog posts in order:

  • Microsoft Fabric: A new data and analytics platform for the AI era. This post introduces Microsoft Fabric, a new platform that integrates Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI into a single product. Fabric aims to simplify data management, integration, and operation by providing a lake-centric, open, and AI-powered approach. Fabric also offers role-specific experiences for data professionals and business users, as well as seamless integration with Microsoft 365 applications.
  • Windows Copilot: The Cortana that never was. This post discusses the new Windows Copilot feature that will bring AI to the forefront of Windows 11. Copilot will live in the Windows sidebar and offer contextual actions and suggestions based on what’s on screen. Users will also be able to ask natural language questions and Copilot will respond much like Bing Chat. Copilot will also support third-party plugins that use OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, enabling cross-application tasks and generative AI capabilities.
  • Bing Chat vs ChatGPT: Why Bing Chat is better. This post compares and contrasts Bing Chat and ChatGPT, two natural language chatbots that use OpenAI’s GPT technology. The post argues that Bing Chat is superior to ChatGPT in several aspects, such as speed, accuracy, quality, capability, and accessibility. The post also highlights some of the unique features of Bing Chat, such as web search, image search, image creation, conversation modes, and integration with other Microsoft apps and services.

June 2023

June 2023, I talked about how Microsoft is helping defend Ukraine from Cyber Attacks from Russia, the death of Internet Explorer and Windows Autopatch. We also looked at the massive changes to Cisco’s Cloud managed network infrastructure solutions.

Here are the summaries of the blog posts in order:

  • Microsoft shares lessons from Ukraine cyber war. This post talks about how Microsoft helped Ukraine defend against Russian cyberattacks and information operations, and what insights they gained from this experience.
  • Cisco brings Catalyst to the Meraki cloud. This post announced that Cisco was introducing a new option for customers to manage their Catalyst switches and access points using the Cisco Meraki cloud dashboard. This was announced at Cisco Live 2023.
  • Microsoft announces Viva Sales. This post introduces a new intelligent service that connects customer data across any CRM into Teams and Office and fills many of the gaps left by legacy CRM platforms. This was the latest additon to the Microsoft’s Viva suite.
  • Internet Explorer is officially dead: This post marks the end of life of Internet Explorer, the once dominant web browser that was released in 1995. It explains what end of life means for users, and why they should switch to Microsoft Edge or other modern browsers. It also reviews the history of Internet Explorer, its decline in market share, and its legacy features that are still supported by Edge.
  • Microsoft acquires Milburo: This post reveals that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Milburo, a world leader in foreign threat analysis and research detection services. It states that Milburo will join Microsoft’s Customer Security and Trust organisation, and will enhance Microsoft’s threat detection and analysis capabilities.
  • Microsoft launches software updates dashboard: This post unveils a new software updates dashboard in the Microsoft 365 admin center that enables IT to get a unified overview of the installation status of Windows and Microsoft 365 app updates across all their devices. It shows how the dashboard provides charts and statistics on update status and end of service, and how it supports both fully managed and monitored only devices. It also provides links to further information and instructions on how to enable the preview.
  • Windows Autopatch reaches public preview: This post announces that Windows Autopatch, a service to automatically keep Windows and Microsoft 365 up to date in enterprise organisations, has now reached public preview. It describes how Windows Autopatch shifts the update orchestration burden from the IT department to Microsoft, and how it provides features such as testing rings, halt and rollback, and expedited updates. I also covered prerequisites, licensing, and features of the service, and how to join the preview.

July 2023

The second part of the year, kicked off with pricing being announced for Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft renaming Azure AD to Entra ID and Bing Chat Enterprise (a commercial grade version of Bing Chat) being made available free to Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise Customers.

  • Bing Chat Enterprise: A new version of Bing Chat that is secure and private for work, powered by generative AI. It can be accessed from Microsoft Edge, Windows 11, or It is free for existing Microsoft 365 customers or $5 per user per month as a standalone version.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot Pricing: An AI powered service that brings generative AI features into Microsoft 365 apps and services. It is currently in a closed private preview and will cost $30 per user per month for commercial customers on top of their Microsoft 365 licenses.
  • Orca AI: A new open-sourced AI model that can imitate the reasoning of large foundation models like GPT-4 in a much smaller footprint. It is designed to solve the limitations of using smaller language models and revolutionise the AI industry.
  • Microsoft Entra ID: A new brand name for Microsoft’s unified access and security offering, which includes two new products: Entra Private Access and Entra Internet Access. These products are designed to provide identity-centric and zero trust network access to any app or resource, from anywhere. Azure Active Directory is also renamed to Entra ID.

August 2023

In August (while many of were on summer holidays), I gave some key tips o Microsoft 365 Copilot based on feedback and questions from customers, talked about Microsoft’s upcoming Surface and Windows 11 event, highlighed key things from Cisco’s latest Network Trends report.

Here are the summaries of the three blog posts on this page:

  • 5 things you need to know about Microsoft 365 Copilot: This post covered the main features and benefits of Microsoft 365 Copilot, a new AI-powered assistant that can help users with various tasks across Microsoft 365 apps. It also discussed the pricing, availability, and preparation for Copilot, as well as the potential drawbacks and limitations of AI-generated content.
  • New devices? More AI? What is coming to Windows 11 and Surface?: This post speculates on what Microsoft we going to announce at their “special event” on September 21st, 2023. It expects that Microsoft will unveil new Surface products, such as Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Laptop Go 3, and Surface Go 4, as well as highlight the recent advancements in AI, such as Windows Copilot, Bing Chat Enterprise, and Windows Studio Effects.
  • Cisco adds ransomware detection and recovery to their XDR system: This post reports on Cisco’s new solution that integrates their Extended Detection and Response (XDR) system with Cohesity’s DataProtect and DataHawk offerings to provide ransomware detection and recovery support. It explains how this solution can help organisations protect and restore their data in the event of a ransomware attack, and how it fits into Cisco’s comprehensive security portfolio.
  • Key highlights from Cisco network Trends Report. The blog post discusses the 2023 Global Networking Trends Report by Cisco, which covers some of the emerging networking trends in the multi-cloud world, and how they affect the IT operations and security of organisations and highlights the challenges and opportunities of hybrid work and multi-cloud adoption, such as providing secure access to applications distributed across multiple cloud platforms, gaining end-to-end visibility into network performance and security, and adopting a SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) model that delivers simplified and consistent security and performance for multi-cloud access and hybrid work. I also covered an overview of the Cisco products that can help organisations address many of the challenges of multi-cloud networking and security, such as Cisco SD-WAN, Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Cloudlock, and Cisco SASE.

September 2023

This was a busy month of blogging. I talked about the Meta and Microsoft partnership, availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot for “some customers”, Cisco’s aquistion of Splunk, New AI features in Surface and Windows, Microsoft Copilot “copyright” protection, changes to E5 licensing with more Security included and more.

Here are the key things talked about in each blog post on this page:

  • Meta AI to use Microsoft Bing: This post discusses the expanded AI partnership between Microsoft and Meta, which will integrate Bing Search into Meta’s AI chat experiences, such as ChatGPT, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
  • Microsoft Mesh entered public preview in October: This post introduces Microsoft Mesh, a new 3D immersive experience that will be surfaced through Microsoft Teams. It explains how Mesh can help blur the lines between the physical and virtual space, and how to get started with it.
  • Microsoft unveils the Surface Hub 3: This post explores the features and benefits of Surface Hub 3, the latest all-in-one hybrid meeting and collaboration device that combines the best of Microsoft Teams Rooms, Windows, and Surface Hub. It also compares it to Surface Hub 2S and explains how to upgrade from it.
  • Cisco to Aquire Splunk: This post reports the news that Cisco will acquire Splunk, a cybersecurity and observability platform, for $28 billion. It describes how the acquisition will help Cisco create the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability solutions.
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft 365 Copilot availabilty: This post announces the availability and pricing of Microsoft 365 Copilot, a new AI assistant that helps users with various tasks across Microsoft 365 apps and services. It also covers the features and benefits of Copilot in Windows, Bing, and Microsoft Shopping.
  • Windows 365 get’s top spot in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. – where I discussed that Microsoft had been recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for Desktop as a Service (DaaS), which is the provision of virtual desktops by a public cloud or service provider. We covered their Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop platforms and Microsoft’s unique position in this space.

October 2023

October saw me talk more about the ROI of Microsoft Copilot, the new vision for Micrsosoft OneDrive, Teams Town Hall, major updates to Bing Image Creator and the end of support (RIP) for Windows Server 2012!

  • OneDrive 3.0 Update: This post announces a major update for OneDrive, which includes a new design, AI features, and more. It also explains how to get started with OneDrive Town Hall, a new experience for large-scale events that replaces Live Events.
  • Teams Town Hall: This post introduces Teams Town Hall, a new feature that allows users to host various types of internal and external events, such as company-wide town halls, all hands, global team meetings, etc. It also describes the advanced production capabilities, the structured approach for attendee engagement, and the unified experience for users that Teams Town Hall offers.
  • Windows 11 Moment 4 Update: This post highlights the new features and improvements that are rolling out with the latest feature update for Windows 11. It includes a new File Explorer design, Copilot for Windows, a new AI assistant, improvements to the Taskbar, and notable in-box app updates.
  • Windows Server 2012 End of Support: This post reminds users that support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 ended on 10th Oct 234. It also provides some options for users to upgrade, purchase Extended Security Updates, or migrate to Azure.
  • Bing Image Creator: This post showcases the new Bing Image Creator, which uses OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 to generate high-quality, creative, and realistic images from natural language prompts. It also explains how to use Bing Image Creator and how it provides improved safety and ethics with content credentials and content moderation system.
  • Microsoft 365 CoPilot: What is the ROI? – This talked about availability and pricing of Copilot, and went into looking at examples around the ROI. We explored how it can help with productivity, creativity, and decision-making for users who can leverage its features and capabilities and looked at some numbers. We also covered the need to adopt Copilot in the right way – proper planning, training, support, and data management to ensure successful adoption and measurable outcomes.
  • News about the key annoucements at Microsoft Envision: this was a review of the key things announced at Microsoft’s AI event in London in 2023. I talked about my take on the keynote speeches and what we have and what is coming in this esciting world of AI.

November 2023

Another busy month of news – it never slows down. In November I talked about my hands on experiences with Windows 365, Copilot coming to Windows 10, all the new “Copilots” Microsoft announced at Ignite, new Apps in Teams and did a demo and walk through of Copilkot Studio. I also shared my view on why “everyone” needs a Surface Pro for work!! I also shared details of major updates coming to Cisco’s partner programme in 2024.

Here is a summary of my key blog posts:

December 2023

In the the last month of 2023 (a short month for many), I closed the year with a post about the Cisco and Microsoft “better together” story and invited people to register for our event in January at our new Client Exdperience Centre, gave tips on writing AI prompts, talked about Google’s Gemini AI (the ChatGPT compete), talked more about Designer and Image Creation, updates to Copilot with GPT4 Turbo, and highlighted the results of the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS. We also talk about Mcirosoft investment in the UK for AI data centres and charges coming for Windows 10 support beyond 2025.

  • Cisco and Microsoft: Simplifying Enterprise Collaboration. This post discusses how Cisco and Microsoft have partnered to enable Cisco’s Webex video devices to connect to Microsoft Teams meeting services, and how this collaboration benefits customers who use both platforms.
  • Microsoft investing 2.5 Billion in UK Data Centres – This blog seems me talk about what this means for the UK and for AI, jobs and the future.
  • Prompt Engineering: AI prompts that punch! This post provides some tips on how to write and perfect good AI prompts for generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot, including how to be specific, provide context, use simple language, and experiment with different variations.
  • Teams meetings, webinars and Townhalls. What to use when. This post explains the differences and use cases of three distinct formats of virtual events in Teams: meetings, webinars, and town halls. It also outlines the key features and considerations of each format.
  • Microsoft and Cisco: Leaders in the UCaaS Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant This post summarises the highlights of the Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant for UCaaS, where Microsoft and Cisco are both Leaders. It also compares their strengths and weaknesses in terms of messaging, meetings, telephony, contact center, and pricing.
  • What is Google Gemini and when is it available? This post introduces Google Gemini, a new AI-powered search engine that aims to provide more relevant and personalised results for users. It also discusses the features and benefits of Google Gemini, such as semantic understanding, contextual awareness, and conversational interface. It says that Google Gemini is expected to launch in mid-2024.

Goodbye 2023 – Hello to an AI Powered 2024

That’s it for my year in review! I hope you enjoyed reading it, maybe learned something new or useful from it or saw different perspective.

I want to thank you again for your support and interest in my blog and for being part of my journey. I appreciate your comments, likes, shares, and feedback and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

In 2023, we witnessed the dawn of a new era, where AI became an integral part of our everyday lives, enabling us to accomplish things beyond our imagination. This era is as significant as the inception of the personal computer, the start of the world wide web, mobile phones, and cloud in the previous decades. What new opportunities and challenges will AI bring us in 2024?

I wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2024 bring you health, happiness, and success in all your endeavors!

Thanks again,

Cisco and Microsoft: Simplifying Enterprise Collaboration.

In early 2023, Cisco and Microsoft joined forces to deliver a better user collaboration and meeting experience for their customers.

This partnership enables Cisco’s Webex video devices to connect to Microsoft Teams meeting services. This collaboration aims to provide customers with simplified and accelerated interoperability options when using Cisco Webex Teams and Webex Meetings solutions.

This was a major announcement at the time, as traditionally Cisco had gone head-to-head with Microsoft competing against Teams with their Webex offering. Times have changed and the vision they had is now a reality and I’m really excited to be able to show this off in our new Client Experience Centre in London.

Collaboration spaces that are agile and innovative.

Post COVID-19 office workplaces are different to what we had before, and organisations are investing heavily in creating workspaces and meeting spaces that are designed for the hybrid way we all work. Every organisation I work with is following new guidelines, rethinking, and creating spaces that are more innovative and agile than ever before.

People are at the forefront of shaping the way work is performed, and they need the right spaces and collaboration technologies to get work done even faster. These tools must work seamlessly together to be impactful in enabling teamwork that leads to better results, higher productivity, and engaged employees. Above all every space and the technology within them needs to work not just with in person meetings but accepting the fact that at least one meeting attendee will be remote ant that not every organisation uses the same collaboration platform, (Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Zoom etc.), and some use more than one).

Cisco and Microsoft raise the bar in cross collaboration.

For the past year (almost), we have seen almost all of Cisco’s meeting devices become certified on Teams, but it doesn’t stop here.

Cisco and Microsoft have been working on refining the way cross join works between their Webex platform and Microsoft Teams to create a seamless meeting experience regardless of what platform you join from. This is not only good from working with other organisations that don’t use the same meeting platform as you, but also internally where some departments or regions may use different meeting platforms. Cisco and Microsoft’s approach enables an enhanced direct guest join capability from each other’s meeting/video endpoint their respective meeting service. In the case of Cisco, their need meeting endpoints which are certified on Teams have the ability to natively run both Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams at the same time and switch in real time to the relevant platform without any user intervention.

There are several benefits to this partnership approach and are designed to meet the customer wherever they are on their investment, migration or interoperability need:

1. Simplified Collaboration with Cross Join: The partnership between Cisco and Microsoft simplifies the collaboration experience for users. It enables users to connect and collaborate with teammates, partners, and customers seamlessly using WebRTC (or Cloud Video Interop (CVI). Cisco offer both native meetings on Teams and Webex whilst still providing the ability to access all Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR) features along with a full experience for Webex meetings with one touch join. Today, only Cisco devices can do this.

2. Interoperability beyond just meeting join: Users can see the presence status (available, busy, away, or offline) of their contacts within both platforms and can share content (there are some limitations) and also chat between both platforms.

3. Leading Sustainability: Organisations with an existing investment in Cisco Webex technology that want to retain their investment in Cisco Webex whilst also wishing to invest/support Microsoft Teams either within their environment or to improve collaboration with their customers. Cisco hardware has environmental sensors which can monitor air quality, room temperature, ambient noise and light and use up to 70% less power than previous generations of room kit. The Cisco Control Hub software also provides a great job of providing end to end analysis and trends of the data from these sensors not only across their meeting room technologies but also across their network infrastructure.

4. Enhanced User Experience: This capability leverages multiple methods of interoperability along with true cross join between Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams delivers a seamless and enhanced user experience – reducing IT support effort, reducing meeting join friction and resulting in effortless collaboration and more engaged employees. This will presence status sharing and native in platform content sharing is also a game changer.

5. Sensors and Analytics: Cisco Webex devices, along with other network products from Cisco, have various features that improve the user experience. For example, Cisco Room kit has integrated sensors that can sense how many people are in a room and adjust the lighting and temperature accordingly. Room analytics can also provide insights into how meeting spaces are used, such as the number of attendees, the length of the meeting, and the level of engagement. Cisco Thousand Eyes is a service that monitors the performance of the network, internet and SaaS services such as Webex and Microsoft Teams. It gives a comprehensive view of the network path, enabling IT teams to proactively detect and fix issues that affect collaboration. In August 2023, Thousand Eyes Endpoint Agents for Cisco Room OS devices was launched.

6. Competitive hardware pricing: Whilst Cisco is a premium brand, organisations can get extremely aggressive and competitive pricing for Cisco Collaboration devices, especially if they are already invested in other technologies. Working with your Cisco partner there is very competitive pricing, and, in our experience, Cisco pricing is comparable to all other main manufacturers in the market.

Come and see live demos.

On the 25th of January, we (Cisilion), are hosting an in-person event in our new London Client Experience Centre where will be showcasing the Cisco & Microsoft Better Together story and will have expert speakers and tech leads from Cisilion, Cisco and Microsoft.

You can register here to secure your spot.

Read more:

Prompt Engineering: AI prompts that punch!

What is an AI prompt?

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard and Microsoft Copilot in are becoming increasingly popular among developers, content creators and, now almost any and everyone with the release of Copilot Edge (formerly Bing Enterprise Chat) and of course, Copilot for Microsoft 365.

I often hear “of ChatGPT is better than XYZ or Copilot is better than ABC. The fact is, whilst these tools can yield incredible results, getting started can be challenging, and getting the prompt to do exactly what you “had in mind” takes practice – especially for those who are new to generative AI.

In this blog post, I provide some tips on how to work with generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot, including how to write, and perfect, good AI prompts. Prompts are essentially instructions that are used to tell/ask the AI what you’d like it to do…

Understanding how Generative AI works

Generative AI chatbots use complex language models (LLMs), machine learning algorithms, internet data and organisational data (in the case of Microsoft Copilot) to generate text, create, summarise, rewrite or transform content, write code, generate images and even help people build low code workflows or model driven apps in Power Platform. These GenAI tools do this based on user input and context, known as “prompts”.

Whilst these tools are incredibly smart (having been trained on a decade of data, images, writing styles and even the works of Shakespeare, the results are not perfect and can sometimes generate inaccurate or irrelevant content, known as hallucinations.

These hallucinations are usually caused by a lack of understanding of the ask from the user, conflicting requests or poor data upon which they base their response. Remember these tools can access your company data (under the context of the user) and the web.

Writing good AI prompts – the ingredients

To get the best results from generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot, it’s essential to write good AI prompts. Here are some AI 101 tips on what good AI prompts look like:

  • Be specific with the ask: Make sure you are being clear about what you want the AI model to do. The more specific you are, the better the AI model can understand your prompt and provide accurate results.
  • Avoid using ambiguous language: If what you ask could be interpreted in different ways, you may not get the result you hoped for. Be clear and concise in your prompt to avoid any confusion.
  • Provide context: this is crucial to ensure that the AI model understands the intent behind your prompt. The more context you provide, the better the AI model can understand your prompt.
  • Use simple language: that is easy for the AI model to understand. Avoid using complex words or phrases that the AI model may not be familiar with. Slang words are generally OK but take your time to read the prompt back to make sure it makes sense.
  • Take advantage of turns: A turn is essentially your response to the AI’s answer. You can use this to either rephrase your ask or to fine tune the response and is a good alternative to trying to write long complex prompts in one go.
  • Make it a conversation: Building on the above, think of how you might ask a human to help you with a task. You can use the “turns” to perfect the prompt and even ask the AI why it gave a particular answer or to explain something you don’t understand. This may feel unnatural at first but soon it’s just IM’ing a friend or co-worker.

Good and bad prompt examples

Here are some examples of good and bad AI prompts. Try these and see how you get along.

I’ve included a video which walks though these and shows the differneces in the results based on the prompts we gave. You’ll see we can be quite specific in what we want. The video also showcases how we can “perfect” our answers through additonal turns.

Goal: Create a product update for the Flux Capacitor 2

Bad prompt: “Create me a product update for the Flux Capacitor version 2”.

Good prompt: “Create me a product update for the Flux Capacitor version 2. This is a fictional product, based on the original flux capacitor used in the film Back to the Future 2. Make up some new improvements that the Flux Capacitor V2 could have over the first version. Be creative with improvements.”

Write a product brief in Copilot.

Explanation – the second prompt is better because we have firstly provided context of the ask (this is a fictional product), been specific with the ask (we have told it what we expect).

Goal: Create a Lego avatar of yourself

For this, I am using Microsoft Designer Image creator.

Bad prompt: A picture of a person with brown hair as a Lego man.

Good prompts: A person with short dark brown hair, wearing a tuxedo and holding a glass of champagne sitting on a chair outside a large country house on a cold dusk evening in the summer. Lego Style, illustration, 3d rendered.

Explanation: The second prompt is better (well depending on what we want) because again we have given specific asks about what we want, been specific with the ask, provided some context about what we want to produce and described the image we want.

Goal: Write a story about a dog called Benji

Bad prompt: Write a story about a dog named Benji

Good prompt: Write a story about a dog name Benji. Benji a small puppy and lives a family with four people including two young children called Jack and Jill. Benji is a lazy dog but discovers a passion for going for walks to train stations and barking at trains. Creative Style writing.

Explanation – the second prompt is better because we have firstly provided context of the story we would like and have also given a background to the story. We have guided the AI to how we’d like the story to flow and then left it to the AI to write. We have also specified a mode we want it in “be creative”. We can use another “turn” to make the story shorter or to write a catchy title for the story.

Goal: Extract key information from a document

Note: For this example, I am using a document here: Energy Consumption in the UK 2023 ( I have opened this page in Microsoft Edge and am using Copilot in Edge to ask about the document.

Bad Prompt: Tell me about this document.

Good Prompt: Read this document and create a table that shows the main energy usage across different key areas in order of highest to lowest. Also provide a short commentary after the table that describes more about these areas and whether these are increasing over time or reducing.

Using Copilot in Edge to discuss and extract data from a document.

Explanation: the first prompt simply creates a summary of the document. This is useful (try it), but we haven’t told it what we actually want to see (which might be fine) and usually we have a specific thing we are looking for when we analyse a document. The second prompt is much more specific. It gives the AI clear direction (specific ask) about what we want and how we want the data presented.

Perfecting your “Prompts”

Writing good AI prompts is just the first step in working with generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot. To get the best results, you need to perfect your prompts over time and practice. Don’t think of it as a chore. Enjoy it as you learn… You’ll soon become a pro.

Here’s my tips on how to perfect your AI prompts:

  • Timing: I find it best to think of a task you need to perform and use a real example to see if you can get what you need. As an example, if I’m doing a customer demo on AI, I tend to use an example relevant to organisation I am working with and make the request about them (or make up a scenario specific to them).
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different prompts and see what works best. Try different variations of your prompts and see which ones generate the best results.
  • Adapt: Generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot are constantly evolving and improving, so it’s essential to adapt your prompts to keep up with the latest changes. This also means the result you get from the same prompt may change a week or month later. The data it’s referencing may also change.
  • Enjoy the learning experience: Working with generative AI tools can be challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun. Enjoy the learning experience and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Use image creation as a fun way to learn whilst text-based requests are usually caused hat we need to do, practicing on image creation using something like Microsoft Designer is great fun and people tend to share their prompts on social media… Here is an example of one I shared.
Bing Image Creator in Designer.


Working with generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can write and perfect good AI prompts that generate accurate and useful results. Remember to experiment, adapt, and enjoy the learning experience.

With practice, anyone can become proficient in working with generative AI tools.

The video I have included hopefully provides more context – feel free to follow along in Copilot in Edge or ChatGPT

Teams meetings, webinars and Townhalls. What to use when.

We are in the digital age of virtual and hybrid collaboration, where the lines between physical and virtual meetings are increasingly blurred. Meeting platforms like Microsoft Teams have evolved a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond and now different meeting style experiences based on the type of meeting, update, and interaction needed.

Microsoft provide different variants of their meetings which are designed to suite the different needs and format of the event.

For simplicity Microsoft bring this all together into the “New Meeting” category. Each category has subtle differences, including features. capacity changes and controls.

In this article, I explore the nuances of meetings, webinars, and town halls—three distinct formats that cater to different virtual event needs. From interactive team discussions to large-scale presentations, each format offers unique features and considerations. We dip into the key differences, planning strategies, and how to leverage Microsoft Teams to create engaging and effective virtual experiences for your organisation.


Meetings in Teams are what most of us will be used to for daily stand ups, client calls, remote or hybrid meetings. Teams Meetings can be scheduled in Outlook or Teams and can accommodate up to 1,000 people and include audio, video, application and screen sharing and even coauthoring. With Teams Meetings, articipants can join directly from the calendar invitation (Teams or Outlook) or via the Join meeting link or call in via audio if available.

Channel meetings are also available, which allow everyone in a particular Team or Channel within a Team to see and join the meeting.

Meetings are best suited for situations where participants need to interact with each other via voice or chat and where multiple people may be presenting.


Teams Webinars are structured meetings that support robust registration management, are highly customisable and provide an event-oriented default meeting options (rather than a meeting style).

Webinars are two-way interactive virtual events where presenters deliver information to attendees. They provide extra control for an organizer over the conversation and participants.

Webinars are best suited for situations where presenters and participants have clear roles.

Key features of Teams webinars include:

  • Supports up to 2,000 attendees and allows organisers to gather registration data from attendees before the event. This can also include webinar wait lists, registration restrictions and auto follow up.
  • Manage the following features attendees use for interaction during webinars:
    • Chat: You can set chat to be on for everyone, off for everyone, or on for everyone but anonymous users.
    • Q&A: You can manage which organisers can turn on Q&A for meetings and webinars.
    • Manage attendees’ view with different layouts
    • Brand the webinar experience.
  • Use RTMP-in to stream third party content directly into the webinar.
  • Create a green room for webinar presenters to handout before going live.

Town Halls

Town Hall meetings in Teams are best suited for situations where a limited number of presenters are presenting to a large group of attendees and direct interaction via chat or voice conversation isn’t needed or required. Attendees do not use their cameras and mics, but instead can access a chat based Q&A to engage with presenters and organisers.

With Town Halls, customers can host various types of internal as well as external events including company-wide town halls, all hands, global team meetings, internal broadcasts, fireside chats, and more.

Town Halls enable organisations to extend their reach to scale their message and connect with audiences around the world; create professionally produced, studio-quality events that deliver a more dynamic experience; and structure and manage audience engagement to maximise participation and maintain focus on the event.

Key features of Teams Townhalls include:

  • Supports up to 20,000 attendees
  • Provides real time reporting and analysis of the meeting with rich insights.
  • Enhanced controls and customisations for a professionally produced, studio-quality events that deliver a more dynamic experience.
  • Supports Microsoft eCDN and third-party streaming services.
  • Allows creating green rooms for presenters to handout and chat before going live.
  • Supports video on demand tools for recap, watch later, rewind etc.
  • Full event or corporate branding.


Teams offers different customisations of meeting style based on the purpose / intent of the enagement.

For example, if you want to have a meeting where everyone can interact with each other, then a Teams meeting would be a good option.

If you want to have a structured meeting with clear roles for presenters and participants, and like the option of a registration page, pre meeting comms and engagement reports, then a webinar is be a better option.

If you want to have a meeting where a limited number of presenters are presenting to a large group of attendees and direct interaction via chat or voice conversation isn’t needed, then a town hall would be the best option. This is good for organisational wide updates or broadcast style scenarios.

Microsoft and Cisco: Leaders in the Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service

Gartner this week published their 2023 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service. The full report from Gartner details all the players across all quadrants. This blog is a summary of the highlights from this report on the strengths and weaknesses across both Microsoft and Cisco – who have been in the top right quadrant for many years.

2023 – Key Unified Comms Trends – by Gartner

Gartner’s report identifies an increasing demand for bundles UCaaS and CCaaS solutions, along with the continued growing popularity and demand for Microsoft Teams for voice, meetings and messaging. They also point out the growing importance of CPaaS for customisation and integration, and the changing preferences of users moving more towards collaboration rather than telephony and dial-tone calling. There are five leaders in the 2023 magic quadrant ranked in the following order:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Ring Central
  3. Zoom
  4. Cisco
  5. 8×8

I have summarised the core two vendors I work closely with below

Summary of Microsoft’s Position in 2023

  • Microsoft Positioning: Microsoft remain 1st – top right in the leader’s quadrant with the gap between their competitors increasing. They continue to grow their market share and this year have seen more vendors join their partner eco system for phones and meeting rooms including Cisco.
  • Microsoft’s strengths: Microsoft Teams is the most popular choice in the UCaaS market, especially for organisations that are already using it for messaging and meetings. Microsoft Teams’ telephony capabilities satisfy the requirements of most organisations, and Microsoft has invested have many options to bring telephony into Teams including their own calling plans, direct routing, direct routing as a service and more recently in Operator Connect services. Microsoft has strong financial health and a long track record as a UC/UCaaS vendor. Their seamless integration into both Microsoft 365 and vast extensibility has been a key ingredient for its continued success.
  • Microsoft’s cautions: Microsoft Teams Phone still has some gaps in advanced telephony features, which require third-party solutions or integrations – though it is noted that they are working to close these. Gartner also points out that Microsoft does not offer a self-developed contact center solution for Teams which requires customers to choose from a wide range of varying solutions and levels of integration. Gartner also calls out that Microsoft’s availability SLA target for core UC services (other than PSTN) is lower than most of the UCaaS market.

Summary of Cisco’s Positioning in 2023

  • Cisco Positioning: Cisco remain in the top right quadrant (4th out of 5) but have been over-taken recently by pureplay UCaaS vendors including Zoom and RingCentral. They remain a solid UCaaS vendor with quality products and services.
  • Cisco’s strengths: Gartner credit Cisco as one of the few UCaaS vendors that can deliver a complete, self-developed UC portfolio, including hardware, software, and cloud services. They call out that Cisco has deep expertise and investments in security, regulatory, and industry-specific capabilities and certifications. Cisco has also made big improvements in its Webex Control Hub for unified management, making it a competitive option for large and/or highly distributed multinational organisations.
  • Cisco’s cautions: Gartner say that Cisco’s offering is perceived to be more expensive than its competitors, and its pricing strategy is not very aggressive. Cisco’s Webex contact center solution, whilst suitable for small or midsize contact centres, is not best choice for large, high-volume ones. Cisco faces continued fierce competition from other UCaaS vendors that offer collaboration capabilities to its existing customers, and many have also partnered with Microsoft to provide more choice.

The following table shows a comparison of the vendor, strengths and cautions:

MicrosoftPopular and growing choice for voice, messaging and meetings

Satisfactory telephony capabilities

Strong integration with their own- and third-party apps and services.

Strong financial health and track record with loyal customer base.
Gaps in advanced telephony features

No self-developed contact center option

Lower availability SLA target

Confusing PSTN options
CiscoComplete, self-developed UC portfolio

Deep expertise and investments in security and regulatory

Strong unified management for large and distributed organisations
Perceived to be more expensive than competitors with complicated discount schemes

Contact center solution not suitable for large, high-volume ones

Vast competition from other UCaaS vendors for collaboration
Summary of Cisco and Microsoft in 2023 Garner MQ for UCaaS


In summary, this report evaluates the UCaaS providers based on their ability to execute and completeness of vision. Microsoft and Cisco are both Leaders in this Magic Quadrant, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

Gartner say that Microsoft excels in messaging and meetings but lacks advanced telephony features without third parties and has no native contact center solution.

Gartner say that Cisco offers a comprehensive UC portfolio but is more costly and less competitive in contact center. They also have fierce competition amidst the continued growth of Teams and pure play UCaaS providers.

Copilot to get GPT-4 Turbo and more in early 2024

Microsoft announced yesterday (5th Dec 2023) that Microsoft Copilot will soon be updating again and is set to include new enhancements which include transition to GPT-4 Turbo, a new advanced Code Interpreter, and the integration of the latest DALL-E 3 image creation model.

At ignite, Microsoft also consolidated their various AI services such as Microsoft 365 Copilot, Bing Chat Enterprise etc, under a unified brand – Microsoft Copilot in a view to create a consistent message, branding and look and feel. Microsoft is investing more than ever in their AI quest and has recently revealed plans to introduce a host of new AI features across the board. In early 2024, we can expect to see many upcoming additions to Microsoft Copilot, including the integration of GPT-4 Turbo, a new Code Interpreter, and the latest DALL-E 3 model. We will also see increased plug in and extensibility features which will be accessible via the newly announced Copilot Studio and other developer tools.

Its worth noting that GPT-4 is already used in many places across the Microsoft eco system including Bing, Copilot, Image Creator from Designer, and is already in use in regular web result ranking in Bing.

What new features are coming to Copilot in early 2024?

  • GPT-4 Turbo – Microsoft has confirmed in their AI blog post that Copilot will soon leverage OpenAI’s latest model, GPT-4 Turbo. This will bring signifcant enhancements to chat and allow users to use Copilot to handle lengthier and more intricate tasks. This could launch to early access users users by the end of December with wider availability from early 2024.
  • DALL-E 3 – the updated image creation model available now in Bing Image Creator and Designer. and Copilot in Edge (Bing Chat). This enhanced image model brings enhanced capabilities and will allow to generate more relasitic, higher quality and more accurately matched images based on user prompts and requests. These features are available now and can be accessed from Copilot in Edge (and Microsoft Designer) to create impressive images through prompts.
  • Inline Compose is a new feature in Microsoft Copilot for Edge that allows users to highlight/select specific text on a website (such as email compose or a blog) and have Copilot rewrite it or modify it. Copilot will then rewrite the selected text accordingly and provide options to tune the way it rewrites it. This is available now in Copilot in Edge.
  • Code Interpreter – Similar to what is already available in ChatGPT, Copilot will soon get a Code Interpreter which will enable users to undertake complex tasks such as precise calculations, complex coding, data analysis, visualisations, and mathematical operations. This is currently in provate preview and is expected to be rolled out in early 2024.
  • GPT-4 powered search – Microsoft have said they will soon be merging the capabilities in GPT-4 powered search with vision – integrating Bing image search and web search data. This integration will enhance image understanding for user queries and provide an improved search experience. This is due in early 2024.
  • Deep Search – Ok, so I saved the best till last! Deep Search will soon be integrated into Copilot, leveraging the latest capabilities of GPT-4. With this, you can get better search results for complex topics and explore the web in more depth and detail. Deep Search will not replace Bing Search but instead will provide an additional option for users. Note: while regular search results are returned in less than a second, Deep Search may take up to thirty seconds to complete – Microsoft say that although this may seem like a long time compared to normal search, it delivers significant more specific and comprehensive answers. This is due to be released in early 2024.
Deep Search in Copilot - Image (C) Microsoft.
Deep Search in Copilot – image (C) Microsoft.

No increase in pricing for GPT-4 in Copilot

Like Bing Chat, Copilot remains a free experience with access to GPT-4 and DALLE-3 on its platform. By contrast, ChatGPT and GPT-4 Premium both require paid subscriptions to access either of those abilities from within its chatbot.

What is GPT-4?

GPT-4 is a state-of-the-art generative AI LLM (Large Language Model) that can create natural language text from any input. It is built by Open AI and can be bought or licensed directly or via many Microsoft AI services including Azure Open AI and Microsoft Copilot.


What is Google Gemini and when is it available?

The Gen AI wars have just taken a step up. To compete against the growing popularity of ChatGPT, (and of course Microsoft copilot which is powered by ChatGPT), Google announced that they are upgrading their Bard AI generative AI chat bot with the highly anticipated “Gemini” model, which Google say will create a vastly superior chatbot to OpenAI’s ChatGPT (in its current capacity at least).

As the dominant force in search, Gemini looks to help Google to better compete in the rapidly growing field of generative artificial intelligence and given their advertising reach, it won’t be long before everyone knows what Gemini is – kind of reminds me of the Genesys AI from the later Terminator Film 🙂

According to Google, the model has already made Bard smart enough to overtake OpenAI’s free ChatGPT service in six out of eight benchmarks it used including in math and language understanding.

In contrast, OpenAI’s ChatGPT v3 was released last year at end of November 2023 and has since been used as the primary large language model used by Microsoft Copilot. It has undergone many enhancements and upgrades this year including the most recent ChatGPT 4 turbo models.

ChatGPT can also be purchased and used as a standalone AI and comes in a free, Premium and enterprise SKU for business. Microsoft use ChatGPT4 in their consumer and enterprise grade generative chat services including Bing Chat (now Copilot for Edge) and Copilot for Microsoft 365.

What is Google Gemini?

Gemini is a collection of large language models that can handle various data tasks, as well as read and understand entire pages, including signature blocks, document stamps, process text, images, audio, video, 3D models, and graphs simultaneously.

Gemini comes in three tiers – Gemini Ultra, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano.

  • Gemini Ultra is Google’s most powerful model, pitched as a competitor to OpenAI’s GPT-4.
  • Gemini Pro is a mid-range model powered to beat out GPT-3.5, the baseline version of ChatGPT.
  • Gemini Nano, a more efficient model built to run on mobile devices and is expected to come to Google pixel next year.

Google say that Gemini responds in a much more human like way to ChatGPT and has more sophisticated multimodal capabilities and can better master human-style conversations, language, and content.

Image (c) Google

The also say it can understand and interpret images, code prolifically and effectively, and generate data analytics. Gemini can also be used by developers to create new AI apps and APIs⁴.

Gemini is expected to power most of Google’s products and services in the near future, such as Google Workspace, Gmail, Search, Bard, Pixel, and Nest⁴. Some of the services will be included in their products for free whist others will be premium/costed options. It will be part of the Bard Advanced service. I couldn’t find any details around pricing at time of writing.

This is the biggest upgrade to Bard since it launched….. In the coming months, users can also expect Gemini to power other services, including Google Search, ads, and Chrome.


According to Google, the Gemini model has already made Bard smart enough to overtake OpenAI’s free ChatGPT service in six out of eight benchmarks it used including in math and language understanding. They claim:

Gemini is the first model to outperform human experts on MMLU (Massive Multitask Language Understanding), one of the most popular methods to test the knowledge and problem-solving abilities of AI models.”

Demos and teasers

People can see demos of Gemini’s capabilities on a website that showcases how their new AI model can understand user inputs in a variety of different sources, including text, images, audio, and code. For example, the model can produce a small computer program simulating the movement of a flock of birds simply by showing Gemini a video.

A YouTube video also shows a teaser aimed at parents in which it shows how Gemini can understand math problems written on a sheet of paper and provide correct answers.

Google Gemini does math

Gemini – a threat to Microsoft ChatGPT and Copilot?

In the consumer world, where Google dominates search, this could stop Microsoft from making any form of dent in Google’s search dominance, and area Microsoft has been trying to gain market share in with the power and uniqueness of ChatGPT 4 through Copilot in Edge. ChatGPT already has a strong brand presence in the Enterprise and Commercial space and also leverages Bing as its primary internet search tool, making the relationship between Open AI (the founder of ChatGPT) two-way and plutonic.

What is ChatGPT 4?

ChatGPT-4 is an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text based on context and past conversations. At time of writing, it is the most advanced system produced by OpenAI, with broader general knowledge and problem-solving abilities than previous models. It can solve difficult problems with greater accuracy, generate, edit, and iterate with users on creative and technical writing tasks, such as composing songs, writing screenplays, or learning a user’s writing style. It is more creative and collaborative than ever before. It can also generate visual content and solve problems with visual input. GPT-4 is 82% less likely to respond to requests for disallowed content and 40% more likely to produce factual responses than GPT-3.5 on OpenAI’s internal evaluations.

ChatGPT-4 is built on the structure of GPT-4, which is based on a large language model that checks for the probability of what words might come next in sequence. It enables users to refine and steer a conversation towards a desired length, format, style, level of detail, and language.

What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is the name for Microsoft’s suite of AI tools built closely around the ChatGPT large language model. Initially announced in March 2023 and now generally available in other product suites include Edge, Power Platform and GitHub, Copilot is now a board room level conversation for most commercial organisations.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 for example brings generative AI into the heart of Microsoft’s collaboration and productivity tool set and combines that with the organisations content, data and objects such as people and relationships into the Microsoft 365 apps and services that people use every day, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and others.

Microsoft Copilot is also not just a single AI model but is described as a platform that also empowers organisations and third-party developers to you to build their own copilots for different domains and scenarios.

Microsoft also recently released Copilot Studio to create custom copilots that can handle specific tasks, such as sales, cybersecurity, healthcare, education, and more⁸. There is then the wider Azure AI Studio which can be used to build generative AI apps, discrete and trainable language models and custom copilots that using natural language prompts.


As you can see, Google Gemini, ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they can complement each other in different ways. The only way to determine which is best for each business use case (and it may not be a simple case of one or the other) is to look at the use case, test and PoC each service (and others) and make your own deductions. Cost and integration, as well as security, control, and governance will also be key considerations as organisations look to develop and adapt their strategy around AI and in particular Gen AI tools within business.

Happy AI-ing!

Links, References and further reading

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 overview | Microsoft Learn.

Introducing Gemini: Google’s most capable AI model yet (

Chat GPT Enterprise by Open AI

Windows 10 Security Updates to be chargeable from 2025

Just like with Windows 7, Microsoft are introducing a new “Extended Support Updates” (ESU) program for Windows 10 which will be available after the end of support date in October 2025.

When does Windows 10 go end of support?

Windows 10 goes end of support on October 14th, 2025.

What does Windows 10 end of support mean?

When Windows 10 reaches end of support, Microsoft will no longer provide bug fixes for issues, security fixes for vulnerabilities, time zone updates, or technical support for problems that might occur.

As noted on the Windows 10 release information page, version 22H2 is the final version of Windows 10. All editions of Windows 10, version 22H2 will remain in support with monthly security updates through October 14, 2025. Beyond that date, customers will need to pay for extended support updates if they wish to continue to receive security and bug fix updates.

What is the Windows 10 ESU Programme?

The ESU programme for Windows 10 is an extended support subscription, that will ensure that customers that choose to run or have technical / operation reasons why they can’t move to Windows 11 can continue to receive security updates and critical fixes for Operating System for three years beyond the October 2025 end of support date.

Whilst the ESU programme for Windows 7 was for commercial customers only, the Windows 10 ESU will instead be open to everyone. This means that consumers or organisations that allow employees to personal Windows 10 devices at work (BYOD) will also be able to pay for continued support beyond October 2025 if they don’t want to or can’t upgrade to Windows 11.

No pricing has been made available yet, but they did confirm that consumers and commercial, public sector, charity and education organisations will all be able to sign up for the ESU programme which will be available and charged for annually

If you are an individual consumer or an organization who elects to continue using Windows 10 after support ends on October 14, 2025, you will have the option of enrolling your PC in the paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) program. The ESU program enables PCs to continue to receive Critical and Important security updates through an annual subscription service after support ends. More details including pricing will be provided at a later date. The ESU program provides individual consumers and organizations of all sizes with the option to extend the use of Windows 10 PCs past the end of support date in a more secure manner.


Microsoft have said that they remain committed to the end of support date for Windows 10, with no plans to extend it beyond the current date of October 14, 2025. The paid-for ESU programme which will be available from November 2025 will ensure Windows 10 devices can still receive vulnerability patches, bug fixes and security patches for up to three years after this date.

ESU means Security Fixes but No new features

Microsoft made it clear that the ESU program will only provide security updates, meaning that there will be no new features or active development beyond 14th October 2025. Whilst available for consumers, the ESU program is most beneficial for commercial organisations unable to upgrade their devices to Windows 11 before support ends.

The ESU is of course optional – and customers will not be forced to pay for ESU. Windows 10 will continue to work beyond October 2025, but organisations will be at increasing risk since there will be no security updates to devices unless covered by the ESU subscription. .

Windows 10 end of support – Options

Options for commercial customers around planing for Windows 10 end of support are in essence

  • Move to Windows 11 on physical or virtual desktops
  • Stay on Windows 10 and pay for extended support for up to 3 years
  • Repurpose Windows 10 devices and use in conjunction with Windows 365 Cloud PC

Benefits of moving to Windows 11

Windows 11 is the newest version of Windows, and it’s one of the best Windows versions released. Windows 11 has several key differences compared to Windows 10. This is not covered extensively in this blog but some of the highlights include:

  • Most secure version of Windows ever with security that runs from Chip (silicon) through the OS and to the Cloud (Chip to Cloud).
  • Faster Boot time and Instant On – Windows 11 features instant on technology and boot time improvements of around 40% – saving on average 30 seconds.
  • Embedded AI features – from features like Copilot for Windows (also available in Windows 10), Windows 11 has many native apps with AI support. This is also a key development focus for Microsoft so expect more native AI embedded in Windows 11 through 2024.
  • Better application performance and muti-tasking management making Windows 11 faster. Microsoft say that Windows 11 does a lot of work in memory management to favour the app windows you have open and running in the foreground. This should ensure that they get more CPU power over other system resources. Windows 11 also suspends some data in RAM while your PC sleeps, helping it wake from sleep 25% faster than Windows 10.
  • New fluid UI which is modern, adaptive and well suited for new form devices, two-in-ones, multi-screen devices and for use across home, creativity, gaming and of course work.
  • Can run Android apps natively from the OS
  • Huge multitasking improvements that improve user focus and system performance with Snap Layouts that group your Windows and save them to the taskbar.
  • Improved docking experience – Windows 11 remembers how you had your windows on your external monitor(s) and brings them back to the same state when you disconnect from a monitor and then plug it back in – great for hybrid work set-ups.
  • Redesigned tablet mode experience – when you switch your device to tablet mode (for example on a Surface Pro), the device transforms and bring new gestures for opening the Start menu, dismissing windows, and more and the icons and other settings adapt to work better with touch and pen.
  • Deeper pen functionality – bringing support to “ink anywhere” in any text box and app, as well more native support in-app for pen and ink.
  • App Compatibility – customers can leverage App Assure – a Microsoft progtame that ensures and assists customers with applicatyion compatibility testing for migrations from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

Benefits of leveraging the Windows 10 ESU Programme

The key benefits to an organisation subscribing to Windows 10 ESU after the October 14th, 2025, end of support date are:

  • Continuation of security updates and patches for Windows 10 PCs for three years after Microsoft stops supporting the operating system on October 14th, 2025. This can help protect the organisation from potential cyberattacks and vulnerabilities that may arise after the end of support date.
  • More time for organisations to plan and execute a smooth transition to the next version of Windows or to move to Windows 365 Cloud PC – This can reduce the risk of compatibility issues, employee training and legacy application compatibility testing that can occur (and need to be tested) when upgrading to a new operating system.
  • Avoid the cost and hassle of upgrading or replacing their existing Windows 10 devices before they reach their end of life if needed. This can save the organisation money and resources, as well as minimise the disruption to their daily operations and productivity.

Benefits of using Windows 10 with Windows 365 Boot

To help more organisations transition or take advantage of advancements in Windows 365 (Microsoft’s CloudPC technology), Microsoft also announced that commercial customers will have the ability and option to “transform” Windows 10 devices that are ineligible for Windows 11 into a Windows 365 Cloud PC that can stream Windows 11 from the Microsoft cloud. Whilst this can be done today on Windows 11, this feature, known as Windows 365 Boot, will be extended to Windows 10 devices, allowing them to be reprovisioned by Intune (Microsoft’s Endpoint management platform) to boot directly to Windows 365. As part of this, the underlying Windows 10 OS will automatically be enrolled into the ESU program at no cost to they continue to receive security updates.

This option is only available for commercial customers, as Windows 365 is currently not available as a consumer subscription service.

Microsoft are investing £2.5 billion for AI Data centres skills in UK

Microsoft has announced its biggest investment in the UK in its 40-year history, with a commitment to spend £2.5 billion over the next three years to expand their AI data centre infrastructure and train one million people for the AI economy.

This investment will more than double Microsoft’s data centre footprint in the UK, and will see them add more than 20,000 GPUs to the UK data centres for AI tasks by 2026. The new AI infrastructure will be located across in London and Cardiff, with future expansion into northern England.

Microsoft is committed as a company to ensuring that the UK as a country has world-leading AI infrastructure, easy access to the skills people need, and broad protections for safety and security.

Brad Smith |  President | Microsoft

This investment was announcement at the Global Investment Summit, where the UK government unveiled they were investing £29.5 billion into the most innovative sectors, including tech, housing, science and medicine, renewables, and UK infrastructure.

Microsoft are one of the founding fathers of modern technology and today’s announcement is a turning point for the future of AI infrastructure and development in the UK.

Rishi Sunak | UK Prime minister

Microsoft’s investment will help bolster the UK’s growing AI sector, which already contributes nearly £4 billion to the UK economy and employs around 50,000 people. Microsoft are also extending their Accelerating Foundation Models Research (AFMR) programme to provide prioritised access to GPUs for science, medical and research purposes.

To ensure the funding drives tangible outcomes, Microsoft are also investing millions of pounds into training, with a goal to train one million people with the skills they need to build and work with AI, including diducated pots of training support for AI start ups with a join goal with the UK government to accerate the UK in becoming a technology, science and AI superpower.

We are proud to be making this significant investment in the UK’s future as a global leader in AI. This is a critical moment for the UK to harness the power of AI to drive innovation, create new jobs and improve lives. We are committed to working with the UK government, universities and businesses to make this vision a reality.

Brad Smith | President | Microsoft

The investment comes as the government agreed a new Online Fraud Charter with tech companies, including Microsoft, to clamp down on attempted fraud taking place on their and other platforms. This represents the first agreement of its kind in the world and will help protect enterprises and consumers from online scams, phishing attacks and fraud.

The pace of change in AI demands action today to build a prosperous future for the UK tomorrow. Today marks the single largest investment in our more than 40-year history in the UK.

As business and the public sector embrace the AI opportunity, we are building the infrastructure that will support the growth they need, training the people who can deliver it responsibly and securing our society against emergent threats.

Clare Barclay | UK CEO | Microsoft