Microsoft Reveals Unified AI Platform Copilot Availability

Copilot for Windows 11 will be available on Sept. 26.

Microsoft announced a unification of its AI-powered Copilot into one platform.

During an event on Thursday focusing on generative AI and Surface devices, Microsoft demonstrated how its Copilot assistant will work seamlessly across the company's ecosystem -- from Windows, to Edge to mobile.   

"We believe Copilot will fundamentally transform the relationship with technology and usher in a new era of personal computing: the age of copilots," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during Thursday's hour-long event.

Copilot for Windows
Yusif Mehdi, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, came on stage to announce that Copilot for Windows (which is currently in preview form) will launch on Sept. 26. According to the company, it will help make the PC experience more intuitive by learning from your day-to-day data, browsing history and work activity.

"With the convergence of chat interfaces and large-language models, you can now ask for what you want in natural language, and the technology is smart enough to answer, create it or take action," said Mehdi. "At Microsoft, we think about this as having a copilot to help navigate any task."

Copilot for Windows will bring "over 150 new features" to the operating system starting next week, including access to the AI assistance through the taskbar or with the Win+C keyboard shortcut. Once open, Copilot will reside in a side panel. The company said that Copilot can be called to assist across a myriad of Microsoft apps, including Word, Edge and PowerPoint.

Copilot powering everything Microsoft was the key message from the event. A demo video illustrated how the AI-powered assistant can be used for various tasks, such as cleaning and organizing desktop Windows, creating Spotify playlists, erasing photo backgrounds in Paint and having Copilot help draft text straight into a Word document.

Carmen Zlateff, Microsoft Windows vice president, then took to the stage to show some additional Copilot features coming to Windows, including a new feature called Windows Ink Anywhere, which allows for the use of a stylus to type in text into any Windows text box.

She demonstrated how users can have Copilot solve a math equation by writing it in the Copilot text box, and how Copilot can help with solving an illustrated equation by using the stylus to crop out a graph from a document and pasting it directly into Copilot. "Not only does Copilot solve the math problem -- which feels magical, but trust me, it's real and powerful -- but it explains how to solve it, which serves as a great learning moment for all those future equations you'll need to solve," said Zlateff.

She then showed off Copilot for Windows' mobile integration by searching for specific information on her Windows PC contained in her texts – for example pulling up flight information from a text straight to her Windows desktop.

Bing, Edge and Microsoft 365 Copilot
Divya Kumar, general manager of Microsoft's search and AI, stepped on the stage to unveil some of the new Copilot features coming to Microsoft Bing and Edge this fall.

First up is Microsoft Shopping in Bing, which will help guide users to make more informed shopping choices. Kumar showed this off by having Microsoft Shopping ask a series of questions and provides considerations when shopping for soccer cleats for her nephew to help in the decision making process. Photos can also be used to find similar items. The new feature will offer comparison shopping, user reviews and provide a final recommendation based on the user's needs. "Copilot for Shopping makes it easy for me to make a confident purchase," said Kumar.

Bing Image Creator will also be receiving an update with integration from the newly released DALL-E 3 from OpenAI. "Even the little details, like fingers, eyes and shadows, will be dramatically improved over previous versions," said Kumar.

To help with transparency, every image created with Bing Image Creator will be marked as "generated by AI," and will add a cryptographic digital watermark to all images created through the service. This will also extend to images created in Microsoft Designer and Paint.

Other announcements include:

  • Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft's more secure version of its AI-powered Bing Chat, is now generally available for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 subscribers or available as a stand-alone product for $5 per user per month.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot, which has been in preview, will be generally available starting Nov. 1.
  • Coming with the full release of Microsoft 365 Copilot is a new feature called Copilot Lab, which will help users learn how to craft prompts into the service to generate better results.

Microsoft closed the show by shifting away from its Copilot-heavy focus to quickly announce the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Laptop Go 3 are now both available for preorder.  

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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