Find out how Copilot can help you with everything from information discovery to content generation.
Microsoft announced the addition of a new feature to Windows 11 – artificial intelligence assistant Copilot. The assistant will be integrated into the operating system and accessible from the taskbar for all applications and programs.
“Once you open Copilot, it will always appear as a sidebar on your screen, acting as your personal assistant,” said Panos Panay, head of Windows and Devices at Microsoft. “It turns every user into a power user by helping you perform actions, adjust settings, and easily switch between your favorite apps.”
Copilot can analyze the content you view in the apps, summarize it, reformulate it, or explain it. It is very similar to the dialog box that Bing Chat has, so you can ask it general questions and things you would normally ask a searcher.
It will not replace the search bar on the Windows 11 taskbar, and will be placed next to it by a separate Copilot button, much like Cortana had its own place on the taskbar in Windows 10. Copilot is a “personal assistant”, according to Microsoft, which is very reminiscent of how Microsoft called Cortana “personal productivity assistant”.
Because Copilot is integrated into Windows, you can also do things like ask the assistant to “adjust my settings so I can focus” or do other things on the computer. It’s a lot more than the simple Bing Chat link that Microsoft added to the taskbar earlier this year.
Because Copilot is built on the same foundations as Bing Chat, Microsoft even allows developers to extend plugins written for Bing or OpenAI ChatGPT. This opens up Windows Copilot to the many new features developers are creating for ChatGPT and Bing, as well as future enhancements that will be automatically ported to Windows Copilot.
Microsoft has been hinting at building AI features in Windows for the past six months, after Panay said in January that “AI will change the way you do things in Windows.” Many expected Microsoft to wait until the next major release of Windows, but the company is clearly moving forward with its Windows AI ambitions.
Microsoft will begin testing Windows Copilot publicly in June before rolling it out more widely to existing Windows 11 users.
Earlier, Microsoft introduced Bing Chat, a new service for communicating with artificial intelligence through the Bing search engine. Bing Chat allows users to ask any questions and receive answers from an AI agent in natural language. Bing Chat can also generate different kinds of content such as poetry, code, or essays.
Microsoft has since merged its Cortana service with OpenAI ChatGPT, one of the most advanced AI agents for conversations. Cortana has become available to users of OpenAI Playground, a platform for experimenting with various artificial intelligence models. Cortana has also become smarter and more diverse thanks to the use of a large amount of data from the Internet.
In February 2023, Microsoft launched a new version of Edge with support for Copilot, an AI assistant for working with the browser. Copilot can help users find relevant information, translate texts, fill out forms, and more. Copilot can also adapt to the preferences and needs of each user.