A few months ago, Microsoft added artificial intelligence capabilities to Windows 11 in the form of a taskbar-mounted version of the Bing chatbot.
Starting this summer, the company will go even further, adding a new Copilot feature based on ChatGPT. As we mentioned before it will be able to be used alongside your other Windows applications.
The company announced the change at the Build developer conference along with a few other Windows 11 updates expected to roll out later this year. Windows Copilot will be available to Windows Insiders starting in June.
Like Microsoft 365 Copilot, Windows Copilot will be a separate window that opens along the right side of your screen and will help with various tasks that you ask it to do. A demo video Microsoft shows Copilot changing Windows settings, rearranging windows with Snap Layouts, summarizing and rewriting documents dragged into it, and opening apps like Spotify, Adobe Express, and Teams.
Copilot will start from its own taskbar button.
The Microsoft Store will get a new “AI Hub” section, a top-level navigation option for apps, movies and TV, and games categories. The AI Hub will offer generative AI applications for text, images and more, and will be able to generate AI summaries of all reviews in a given application.
Live audio subtitles for 10 additional languages are coming. and a custom design for the Widgets area. At some point in the future, Windows devices with compatible hardware will gain support for Bluetooth Low-Energy Audio.
At Build which is a developer conference, developer-specific features were also announced. Dev Home will be a new application that facilitates quick installation on new computers, providing the ability to connect to GitHub, automatically clone repositories, install applications, monitor system performance, and set up ReFS-based “Dev Drives” “improve performance on core developer workloads.”
Microsoft did not address Windows Copilot privacy and security issues such as whether the contents of documents will be kept private, what processing is done locally on your device and what on Microsoft servers, and whether conversation history and contextual information will be stored between sessions or will be synchronized between computers. We'll obviously learn more about this when the new feature is released.
Whatever you think of Microsoft's relentless push into AI, Windows 11 is evolving into an AI-featured operating system very quickly. Back in the days of Windows 7 and Windows 8, Microsoft needed a lot more time to change things and respond to new developments. Whether that's a good thing depends on your view of the AI that you're going to get whether you want it or not.