Windows AI Copilot has just hit Windows Insider builds

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

A while back, Microsoft announced that Windows 11 was going to be getting Copilot—a new AI 'personal assistant' to replace Cortana within your OS. Well, it's just dropped on Windows Insider builds and is shaping up to be an all encompassing little helper.

Windows Insiders on Dev Channel Build 23493 will have access to the new Copilot feature as of now, so will no doubt be making the most of it to access all those sneaky Windows features hidden three or four menus deep in the new OS.

"Windows Copilot will appear as a side bar docked to the right where it won’t overlap with your desktop content" says the Windows 11 insider blog (via Tom's Hardware). 

Apparently, Copilot will "run unobstructed alongside your open app windows, allowing you to interact with Windows Copilot anytime you need."

Not only can Copilot help you navigate your Windows 11 system, it can also suggest Spotify playlists, summarise the contents of your documents, and even help you execute relatively complex tasks without ever having to open Command Prompt. The examples given are "Change to dark mode" and "Write a story about a dog who lives on the moon." 

The latter being a very important Windows function.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

It sounds great for someone like me, who winces at the thought of opening that little black console. "Copilot can you cd.. back to my user desktop and run X264 in 32bit for me, then average out the four second runs and put the result in this excel spreadsheet in the correct prebuilt system column, please?"

That would be ideal for benchmarking, but I have a feeling it would struggle.

I do foresee some issues with the program being bound to Win + C as I'm always accidentally hitting that combo, currently bound to the Teams Chat feature that about 0.01% of the population actually makes use of.

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It looks like you'll be able to choose between a more creative, more balanced, and more precise conversation style for Copilot, too, as is the case with Microsoft's Bing integration of the ChatGPT chatbot today—a way to make all those AI hallucinations a little more acceptable, I suppose.

The big question for me is whether Copilot is smart enough not to delete System 32 if I ask it to. It's the first thing I'm going to try when this build finally downloads.

"I'm sorry, Katie. I'm afraid I can't do that."

What we have to remember is that with all this "centralized AI assistance" malarkey, we could see it being yet another way for Microsoft to double down on Windows 11 ads. When you consider how easy it is for large companies to implement AI with a mind to shill products, it wouldn't surprise me if there were a hidden agenda.

It's not clear exactly when Clippy's potentially more annoying cousin Copilot will finally come to standard Win11 builds, but if you're interested to try it now, you can sign up for the Windows Insider program.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.