Today, Microsoft announced a new unified Copilot experience in Windows 11, launching on September 26th. The new “everyday AI companion,” now called Microsoft Copilot in Windows, will be “seamlessly available across all the apps and experiences you use most,” including the Windows 11 desktop, Microsoft 365, Outlook, the Edge browser, and (uh) Bing.
During the event, Yusuf Mehdi, consumer chief marketing officer, called Copilot “a handshake between you and technology — available when you need it and out of the way when you don’t.”
In a post announcing Copilot on Microsoft’s website, Mehdi wrote:
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. It will be a simple and seamless experience, available in Windows 11, Microsoft 365, and in our web browser with Edge and Bing. It will work as an app or reveal itself when you need it with a right click.
With the appropriate permissions, the new Copilot will be able to pull data from your calendar, email, documents, and more to help you quickly draft texts and emails, and it’ll make suggestions in real time in apps like Outlook. It’ll also be able to pull context from Bing Mobile and Edge on your smartphone.
The updated Copilot will debut with in an update to Windows 11 on September 26th. It’ll be available on desktop and launchable with the Windows Key + C keyboard shortcut or a right-click. Copilot-branded AI features will turn up in many of Windows 11’s default apps, including Photos and Paint. (Tom Warren has more on the new Windows 11 update here.)
Copilot in Windows will let you control parts of the desktop experience with voice or text commands — in the video above, it’s shown arranging windows, toggling dark mode, launching specific Spotify playlists, generating full paragraphs of confident-sounding prose on minimalistic architecture, and removing photo backgrounds. That’s a big step up from the current Start menu text box, which, in my experience, generally either fails to find relevant files and settings on the computer or outsources to Bing and fails to find them on the web. We’ll see!
Microsoft also announced updated AI capabilities in Bing Chat, Bing Image Creator, Microsoft Shopping (an Edge feature), as well as the November 1st launch of Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft 265 Chat for enterprise. For more, check our roundup of the biggest announcements from Microsoft’s September Surface event.
Correction September 21st, 12:40PM ET: Microsoft confirmed in a blog post after its “special event” that the September 26th Windows 11 update will be an update to 22H2, instead of the 23H2 update we were expecting. We regret the error.