The latest Windows 11 preview build, which is now available to Insiders in the Dev Channel, ships with the first “beta” version of Windows Copilot, which is powered by the same AI technology that Bing Chat uses.
Microsoft initially annouced Windows Copilot last month at Build, and said it would be available in preview from June. In today’s Dev build (23493), Windows Copilot is available to preview, and is expected to roll out to all users later this calendar year.
Using Windows Copilot
Windows Copilot can be launched from the Taskbar and appears as a sidebar app that is docked to the right of your screen. Windows Copilot can do pretty much everything Bing Chat does, but also brings new experiences specifically for Windows 11. Whilst limited in this initial release, Windows Copilot supports commands such as:
- “Change to dark mode.”
- “Turn on do not disturb.”
- “Take a screenshot”
- “Summarise this website” (which uses an active tab in Microsoft Edge)
- “Write a story about a dog who lives on the moon.”
- “Make me a picture of a serene koi fishpond with lily pads
As you can see in the above screenshot, Windows Copilot does not appear on top of apps, but is instead docked to the right side of the screen so that you can use it without it getting in the way. This builds on Windows 11`s ability to work with other apps side-by-side.
As it stands today, the side bar is really just Edge running in a window, rather than a full native Windows App, and it just look just like (since it is) BingChat. Hopefully over time, this will be polished to look a bit more Windows 11 like, rather than just BingChat in a sidebar… But this is an initial release…
Asking a command like “Take a screenshot”, not only gives instructions on how to perform that task, Copilot also opens or performs the relevant task for me. Like I say, these are simple interactions in this initial release.
Feedback: I’d like the option to be able to turn off the confirmation unless Copilot isn’t sure of my command, this would make Copilot more streamlined and mean I dont have to confirm. Maybe show me how to open or peform the action (that is useful) but do the task first!
This initial version of Windows Copilot preview is missing a few of the things that were annouced last month, including third-party application support. There’s also still only a handful of settings and tasks it can perform – the aim of this beta is of course to get user feedback from the Windows Insider community (it’s far from ready for general availability).
Windows Copilot also requires you to be using Microsoft Edge (version 115 or higher). Edge is required since Windows Copilot is an extension of Microsoft Edge and uses WebView2 to display the chat window inside the Windows Copilot sidebar. It’s essentially BingChat currently, but again, it’s early days and this far from ready for mainstream release (it’s an early preview).
Microsoft said that Windows Copilot’s first preview doesn’t have everything shown at their Build conference. It cannot be used to try third-party plugins from OpenAI or modify advanced Windows Settings…. Yet!
They have said that new features or “actions” will be added over time as Microsoft continues to work on the update.
I will be attempting a hands on video with the new Windows Copilot soon. In the meantime, check out more on this in the official Microsoft Blog.