Microsoft's Build 2023 developer event is all about AI and how the company is expanding intelligence across its ecosystem. That is being driven by the Copilot AI, which uses Microsoft Graph and OpenAI's GPT-4 large language model (LLM). One of the big announcements during day 1 of Build is the introduction of Windows Copilot, while Microsoft is also expanding Bing Chat plugins to Windows.
In other words, Microsoft is embedding AI deep into the Windows 11 experience. Even so, this is just a first step, and Microsoft's goal is to ready the platform for the release of Windows 12. While the company has not said that it is known Windows 12 is leaning heavily into AI.
During the event, Microsoft was eager to point to the growth of Windows 11. The company says adoption is up 24% year-on-year in terms of the number of devices using Windows 11 for development. Now the company wants to continue its mainstreaming of AI into its most mainstream product.
Microsoft's Windows chief Panos Panay says that AI is fundamental to the future and that Windows 11 is ready to drive its adoption:
“AI is the defining technology of our time and developers are at the forefront of this transformation. With the right tools we can empower developers and our shared customers to shape the future and leave their mark on the world. We are just starting to see the incredible impact AI is having across industries and in our own daily lives. Today, the team and I are excited to share the next steps we are taking on our journey with Windows 11, to meet this new age of AI.”
Leveraging Generative AI Through Windows Copilot
In Windows 11, Copilot could become what Microsoft originally envisioned Cortana would be. A true platform-wide assistant that provides natural speech responses. The Windows Copilot means that Windows 11 becomes the first PC operating system to provide a centralized AI assistant. Microsoft is placing a new button on the center of the taskbar that users click to evoke Windows Copilot. When the AI is enabled, it opens a side bar and becomes available across programs, files, apps, menus, ad open windows.
Microsoft explains how Copilot becomes a complete assistant that can inform and transform how you interact with Windows 11:
“It makes every user a power user, helping you take action, customize your settings, and seamlessly connect across your favorite apps. The things you love about Windows – copy/paste, Snap Assist, Snipping Tool, personalization – they are all right there for you, along with every other feature on the platform, and they only get better with Windows Copilot. For example, you can not only copy and paste, but also ask Windows Copilot to rewrite, summarize, or explain your content.”
Copilot uses a large language model generative AI, so it works in a similar way to Bing Chat. Users provide a prompt by asking the chatbot something and the AI will respond in natural language. Speaking of Bing Chat, Microsoft is bringing its Bing plugins to Windows Copilot, as well as ChatGPT plugins. Today at build, the company announced plugin support for Microsoft 365 Copilot along with OpenAI.
According to Microsoft, Windows Copilot will start to become available in preview for Windows 11 in June.