Microsoft to roll out an AI Copilot for Windows 11 in new update

22 Sep 2023

Image: Microsoft

An upcoming free update to Windows 11 will bring a spate of new generative AI features across multiple apps.

The age of mainstream AI assistants is here. Microsoft has just announced an AI copilot for Windows 11 that is set to be launched as part of a broader roll-out of new features starting later this month.

Microsoft already has a copilot for programmers through GitHub, as well as AI assistant features across Microsoft 365, Bing and Edge. But the latest Microsoft Copilot will seemingly take AI assistance to the next level.

“Today, we take the next step to unify these capabilities into a single experience we call Microsoft Copilot, your everyday AI companion,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate VP and consumer chief marketing officer, wrote in a blogpost yesterday (21 September).

“Copilot will uniquely incorporate the context and intelligence of the web, your work data and what you are doing in the moment on your PC to provide better assistance – with your privacy and security at the forefront.”

According to a video released by Microsoft, the Copilot works as a separate app that can be accessed from the taskbar at the bottom of a Windows 11 screen. It can also “reveal itself when you need it with a right click” and perform tasks now commonly associated with generative AI.

With the option to input text or voice commands, users can ask Copilot to perform a variety of tasks, ranging from asking it to play music on a preferred music app and organising multiple windows on a single screen to summarising text on webpages.

“We will continue to add capabilities and connections to Copilot across to our most-used applications over time in service of our vision to have one experience that works across your whole life,” Microsoft added.

Although described as being in its “early form”, Copilot will be available as part of a free update to Windows 11 being rolled out on 26 September. Microsoft describes this update to Windows 11 as one of its “most ambitious yet”.

The announcement was made at Microsoft’s global autumn event yesterday, where it also revealed new AI updates to Paint, Photos and Clipchamp, along with a spate of new Surface devices.

New data centre in Kildare

Microsoft is also reportedly in the early stages of talks to establish a new data centre in Ireland, to be located in Naas, Co Kildare. The proposed data centre will be located on a site earmarked for a data centre by Kildare County Council.

“It is our ambition that this project will be designed and developed in line with the six guiding principles included in the Principles for Sustainable Data Centre Development set out by Government in its 2022 policy statement on the role of data centres in Ireland’s enterprise strategy,” the company said in a statement.

The company also said the development would bring permanent jobs to the area, along with engineering, logistics and other jobs during the construction phase.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic