Microsoft has a colorful history of virtual assistants, from the equally beloved and loathed Clippy introduced in Office 97 to the less remarkable Cortana introduced in Windows 10. Now, Windows 11 is set to harness the power of AI with a new assistant: Windows Copilot. We’re calling it the new Clippy.
Introduced at the Microsoft’s annual Build conference, Copilot is set to be included as standard on all Windows 11 devices. During the surprisingly entertaining keynote, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott implored devs to “do legendary shit” with the new software, as reported by Venture Beat. Scott went onto explain that the Copilot technology, “is an application that uses modern AI that has a conversational interface that assists you with cognitive tasks.” Essentially, it’s a bit like ChatGPT: you can ask it questions, it helps you figure stuff out.
You’ll be able to access Windows 11 Copilot through a Taskbar button, bringing up a chat box where you can ask Copilot questions and, essentially, make you do stuff for it. Like ChatGPT, you might ask it to rephrase a piece of writing, or research a topic you’re looking into.
The similarities to ChatGPT go further than that. According to this post by Microsoft CCO Frank X Shaw, Copilot “will adopt the same open plugin standard that OpenAI introduced for ChatGPT, enabling interoperability across ChatGPT and the breadth of Microsoft’s copilot offerings.” That means developers can use the same platform to work on plugins for ChatGPT, Bing, and the various Copilots.
Because it’s not just one Copilot: the AI personal assistant is set to be shoehorned into every app possible, including Power BI, Analytics, and more. You get a Copilot! You get a Copilot! Everybody gets a Copilot! Let’s just hope it’s good.
Of course, Microsoft is no stranger to imposing its whims onto the user base. Their recent high jinks include forcing you to upgrade Windows 10 and taking over your screen with a full-page Windows 11 ad. And coders have already heard the name Copilot, with Microsoft’s GitHub offering AI programming support.
But this one feels a little bit different. If Microsoft can embed a functional AI chat box into a fluid Windows 11 interface it should be great news for users, and potentially introduce the power and convenience of AI to millions of new people. I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords. Looking to take the plunge and upgrade to Windows 11? Grab yourself a key now!