Like the Copilot sidebars we’ve seen in Edge, Office apps, and even GitHub, Windows Copilot will be integrated directly into Windows 11 and available to open and use from the taskbar in all apps and programs you have installed in Windows.
“Once open, the Windows Copilot sidebar remains consistent across all apps and windows, always available to act as your personal assistant,” explains Panos Panay, president of Microsoft Windows and Devices at the company. “Every user makes a power user, helping you take action, customize your settings, and seamlessly connect to your favorite apps.”
Windows Copilot can summarize, rewrite, or even annotate the content you see in applications. It’s very similar to the dialog on Bing Chat, so you can ask it general questions and things you would normally ask a search engine.
Windows Copilot won’t directly replace the search bar on the Windows 11 taskbar, instead there’s a separate button called Copilot next to it, just as Cortana had its own dedicated space on the Windows 10 taskbar. Windows Copilot is a “personal assistant,” according to Microsoft, This sounds a lot like calling Microsoft Cortana a “personal productivity assistant”.
Since Copilot is built 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 PC. In essence, this is much more than Bing Chat, which Microsoft added to the taskbar earlier this year.
Because Windows Copilot is based on the same infrastructure as Bing Chat, Microsoft allows developers to extend plug-ins written for Bing or ChatGPT from OpenAI to Windows Copilot, greatly expanding the capabilities of the new feature.
Microsoft hinted as long ago at CES 2013 that it would build AI features into Windows, when Panay claimed this past January that “AI will reinvent the way you do everything in Windows.” Many expected Microsoft to wait until the next major release of Windows, but the company is showing that it wants to integrate AI features into its operating system as quickly as possible.
Microsoft will begin testing Windows Copilot in June, before making it more widely available to all Windows 11 users later this year.
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