Copilot is a generative artificial intelligence that can create human-like text and other content with just a few words of human direction. It relies on underlying large language models that Microsoft-backed OpenAI has trained on voluminous sets of data to compose email text, answer questions and automatically perform actions in Windows, augmenting its knowledge with information from websites.
Microsoft’s Expanding Windows Copilot Features
Earlier this year, Microsoft added a chatbot to its Bing search engine, and now a version of it is improving the newest Windows system that many people use. Also, later this week, Microsoft will start selling Microsoft 365 Copilot, which is an extra smart tool for people who use Microsoft’s productivity apps at work.
In Windows Copilot for PCs, there are special features like opening apps, switching to dark mode, turning on Bluetooth, and getting help to take a screenshot. When you’re looking at a website in the Edge browser, Copilot can also give you a summary of what’s on the page. On Mac computers from Apple, you can talk to the Siri assistant, but Copilot on Windows provides more detailed answers.
Right now, about 24% of desktop PCs are using Windows 11, according to data from StatCounter. Windows 10, which will be supported until October 2025, is on almost 72% of computers. But in the future, Windows 11, which was introduced in 2021, might become even more popular.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned that companies like BP, Eurowings, Kantar, and RBC are quickly adopting Windows 11 for their computers. He said this during a conference call with analysts last week.
Windows’ Ongoing Significance
Windows is still a very important part of Microsoft’s business, making up about one-tenth of their total revenue. Microsoft wants to keep Windows relevant because it serves as the foundation for their Microsoft 365 productivity apps and helps them grow in the Azure public cloud business.
One of the major things in this year’s Windows 11 update is Copilot. Some people are already using Copilot thanks to a “continuous innovation” release that Microsoft put out in September. This approach allows Microsoft to give customers new features a few times a year instead of just once a year like they used to.
When you click on the new Copilot icon in the taskbar or use the Windows+C keyboard shortcut, you can open a panel on the right side of your screen. In this panel, you can have a text conversation with the new virtual assistant. This assistant is designed to be more capable than Cortana, which Microsoft introduced in 2015 with the launch of Windows 10 but has been gradually eliminated.
New Features in the Windows 11
- Virtual Video Editor: There’s a new feature in the built-in Clipchamp video-editing app that can help you put together a video more easily. It uses AI to auto-compose scenes from your footage after you answer a few questions.
- Polyglot Screen Reading: Microsoft introduced natural-sounding voices that use AI to read text on the screen in the Windows Narrator accessibility feature last year. The latest update adds support for more languages, including English in the United Kingdom and India, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
- Energy Savings: Some PCs have built-in presence sensors that can turn off the display when you walk away and turn it back on when you return. A new energy-saving feature called “adaptive dimming” can automatically lower the screen brightness when you’re not looking at it and brighten it when you look at it again. You can control this feature during device setup or in the Settings app.
- Cloud Boot: If you have a cloud-based version of Windows, you can log in directly to the cloud as your main experience on your PC.
- Easier Text Snipping: Windows now makes it simpler to extract text from screenshots. With the updated Snipping Tool in Windows 11, you can copy text from a screenshot and easily hide sensitive information like emails or phone numbers.
- Improved App Backup: Microsoft will allow users to back up apps they’ve previously installed on a PC so they can restore them, along with their preferred app settings, in the future.
- AI-Powered Art in Paint: In the coming weeks, the Paint app will gain AI capabilities. You can type a few words and choose a style, and Paint will create an image based on your description. It’s similar to tools from Adobe and other companies and Microsoft’s image creator in Bing.
There’s More Features Add-on in Copilot Version
- More Taskbar Customization: Windows 11 introduced a new taskbar with the Start button and app icons centered at the bottom of the screen. Now you can see app icons with labels, just like in Windows 10. Even apps that aren’t running can have labels, and you can hide the time and date.
- Notepad with Auto-Save: Notepad will save your work automatically. If you close the app and reopen it, you can continue right where you left off.
- Improved Photo Search: In Windows 11, the Photos app is smarter. You can now type keywords and object names in the search box to find specific pictures stored in OneDrive.
- Work File Suggestions: If you’re using Windows 11 for work, File Explorer and the Start menu will suggest files you might want to open based on your usage.
- Instant Games: Microsoft is testing “instant games” that allow you to play casual games from the Store app without downloading and installing them first. It’s similar to what Google did on Android a few years ago.
- Developer Landing Pad: The Dev Home app is a place for software developers to track their activity on Microsoft-owned GitHub, monitor PC activity, and set up a new type of PC storage volume called a Dev Drive.
- Organized System Apps: In the Start menu, when you click on “All apps,” Microsoft’s core system apps like File Explorer will have a “system” label. You can now manage them in a dedicated page at Settings > System > System components, instead of going to Settings > Apps > Installed apps.
Some features may roll out gradually in the update. For instance, Windows Copilot is in testing and only available in North America, parts of Asia, and South America. Microsoft plans to expand its availability to other regions in the future.
Here’s How to Test Out the New Features
If you want to get the latest version, 23H2, for your Windows 11 PC, go to the Settings app, find the Windows Update section, and click on the “Check for updates” button. There’s a blog post that provides more information about the update for education and business customers.
Microsoft will eventually make the update available for your Windows 11 PC. However, if Microsoft finds that the new update might cause problems, you won’t be able to install it until any issues are fixed.
Microsoft has introduced a substantial update to Windows 11, including the innovative Copilot chatbot. This update not only bolsters Windows’ importance to Microsoft but also enhances user experiences with various features, from smarter text extraction to gaming improvements.