In an ongoing evolution to enhance user experience, Microsoft has begun testing a debatable feature that integrates Windows Copilot with the ALT + TAB shortcut, through its newest offering, the Windows 11 Build 23560, released to Insiders in Dev Channel.
ALT + TAB Shortcut for Copilot
Microsoft wanted to boost usability and accessibility to Windows Copilot, so decided to provide that access through ALT+TAB, a shortcut already engaged in switching between applications and browser tabs. This feature addition prominently displayed in the Build 23560 is poised to stir contention due to its potential to disrupt user preferences.
The update follows the principle of a thumbnail preview system and will now add a preview for Copilot, along with those for other open windows. While this might enhance the productivity of some, it may also disrupt the workflow of users accustomed to the specific use of ALT + TAB shortcut. The new feature, despite being experimental, may become optional in the final rollout, pending confirmation.
Introduced in May, Windows Copilot provides Windows 11 users with a generative AI assistant. Earlier this month, Windows Copilot became a part of the new Microsoft Copilot AI bundle. Microsoft Copilot is a unified AI that combines Windows Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Bing Chat. This update, touted as one of the company's most ambitious, will introduce over 150 new features, integrating AI-powered experiences into apps like Paint, Photos, and Clipchamp. Bing will also see enhancements, including support for OpenAI's DALL.E 3 model and a revamped AI-powered shopping experience.
Streamlining Windows with Build 23560
Although the highlight of build 23560 is the integration of Windows Copilot with ALT + TAB, other improvements and fixes have also been included. For instance, File Explorer received bug fixes related to dropdowns having an unexpected transparent background and the search box not reflecting the correct folder name in the Gallery view. The Taskbar saw improvements with a crash related to explorer.exe addressed, ultimately reinforcing taskbar reliability.
Build 23560 further bolstered user experience with other applications like Narrator and Task Manager. Languages other than U.S. English can now preview Narrator in natural voices in settings. Also fixed was an issue with Narrator not reading out timestamps on recommended items precisely. Task Manager has seen performance improvements when users expand the navigation pane.