Microsoft has unveiled its upcoming virtual assistant, Windows Copilot, which will be accessible from the Windows taskbar, similar to the current AI-powered virtual assistant, Cortana. Windows Copilot aims to serve as a central, text-based AI assistant that integrates with various applications, allowing users to launch apps such as Adobe, Spotify, Teams, and access computer settings while utilizing its chat feature in an on-screen sidebar.
According to Panos Panay, the chief product officer for Windows and devices at Microsoft, invoking Windows Copilot will be straightforward and user-friendly, as the button will be prominently located on the taskbar. As a personal assistant, Windows Copilot will remain consistent across apps, programs, and windows once activated. Its purpose is to empower users by assisting them in taking action, customizing settings, and seamlessly connecting across their favorite applications.
Windows Copilot will possess the capability to process pasted text or documents and provide explanations, rewrites, or summaries to aid users in completing tasks. As shown in a video posted on Microsoft’s website, users will be able to enter up to 2,000 characters in the chat field.
The integration of Bing search engine plugins and ChatGPT within Windows Copilot will enhance the AI-powered tools’ functionality across Windows programs. It will also enable developers to integrate their apps within Windows Copilot, streamlining the user experience and driving engagement with Windows applications.
Panay encourages developers to invest in Bing and ChatGPT plugins to ensure a seamless transition to Windows Copilot. By doing so, developers will have access to augmented AI capabilities and new opportunities to reach and innovate for Microsoft’s shared customer base.
Microsoft plans to release a preview version of Windows Copilot for Windows 11 users in June, allowing users to experience the capabilities of this next-generation virtual assistant. The announcement follows remarks made by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the AI Forward 2023 event, where he highlighted the significance of developing an all-purpose AI agent as the winner in the ongoing AI arms race in the tech sector.
Gates emphasized that the company that successfully creates the best personal agent will have a major advantage, as users will rely less on search engines like Google and online marketplaces like Amazon.
With the introduction of Windows Copilot, Microsoft aims to provide users with an advanced and intuitive virtual assistant that enhances productivity and simplifies interactions with various applications on the Windows platform.