A few months back, Microsoft integrated AI features into Windows 11, notably a Bing chatbot in the taskbar. Now, they're planning to roll out an AI-powered feature called Copilot, designed to assist users in using other Windows apps. This announcement was made at Microsoft's Build developer conference, alongside upcoming Windows 11 updates.
Just like the Microsoft 365 Copilot, the Windows Copilot appears as a separate window on your screen's right-hand side. The demo showcases Copilot altering Windows settings, managing windows via Snap Layouts, summarizing and rewriting documents, and even opening apps like Spotify, Adobe Express, and Teams. The feature can be activated with a dedicated button on the taskbar.
Panos Panay, Microsoft Chief Product Officer, explained that Windows Copilot stays consistent across your apps and programs, acting as your personal assistant. While Microsoft hasn't yet discussed privacy and security aspects, it's assumed these details will be clarified as the feature nears its launch date.
In the last year, Windows 11 has transformed, moving from an aesthetic upgrade on Windows 10 to an OS embracing AI. The pace at which these changes have been introduced is significantly quicker than in the Windows 7 and Windows 8 days. Despite varying user opinions on this AI-focused approach, it's undeniably a departure from Microsoft's strategy a decade ago.
In addition to Copilot, Windows 11 is receiving other updates. One example is the AI Hub in the Microsoft Store, offering AI-driven apps for text and images. The store will also provide AI-generated summaries of app reviews. More features are coming soon, including a setting for presence-sensing features, live audio captions in additional languages, a modified Widgets area, and support for Bluetooth Low-Energy Audio for compatible devices.
Microsoft also announced a new app for developers, Dev Home, during the Build conference. This application streamlines the setup process for development PCs, including features like signing into GitHub, automatic repository cloning, app installation, system performance monitoring, and setting up ReFS-based "Dev Drives."
As for the next significant update for Windows 11, the 23H2 update, details remain scarce. Microsoft appears to have moved away from big yearly updates, focusing more on a steady stream of ready-to-release features. Given this, the 23H2 update might be smaller and have a shorter development cycle, or Microsoft might abandon these yearly version changes entirely. The company has already announced the discontinuation of yearly feature updates for Windows 10.