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Microsoft Introduces AI-Powered Sidebar to Windows 11 Beta Users.

Microsoft is launching a preview of Windows Copilot, its new AI-powered sidebar, exclusively for Windows 11 Insiders in the Beta Channel. This early glimpse offers users the opportunity to experience the integrated UI, with more features planned for future previews, as mentioned in the company’s recent blog post.

Windows Copilot, an evolved version of the browser-based tool introduced in February, is envisioned by Microsoft as a game-changer in user interaction across its software ecosystem. This tool is slated to be integrated into Microsoft Office and Teams as well. Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, emphasized in an interview with Engadget at Build 2023, the transformative potential of AI for Windows. He believes AI will revolutionize user workflows and interaction models, catering intuitively to individual needs.

The current preview of Windows Copilot, while extensive, does not unveil its entire range of functionalities, reserving some for subsequent releases. Newcomers to the Windows Insider Beta Channel might miss out on this update, and even some existing Insiders might not have immediate access, though Microsoft intends to ramp up the availability over the coming weeks. This initiative succeeds Microsoft’s late June Copilot Preview, designed specifically for developers on preview builds.

For those with the eligible preview (Build 22631.2129 or above), Windows Copilot can be activated via a designated button on the taskbar or using the Win + C shortcut. Once activated, Copilot presents itself as a non-intrusive sidebar on the right, offering users the flexibility to engage with it as required without any interference.

In its nascent stage, Windows Copilot can assist with rudimentary Windows tasks like switching to dark mode or activating the ‘do not disturb’ mode. It can also provide summaries of live websites in the Edge browser and even dabble in creating AI stories and art. Microsoft encourages users to provide feedback through the ellipses button on the Copilot sidebar.


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