Microsoft Copilot Brings AI to Windows 11, Works Across Multiple Apps and Your Phone

Microsoft is reimagining Windows 11 with deep AI integration, inspired by ChatGPT.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google, Internet Culture
Imad Khan
3 min read
Microsoft Windows 11 Copilot

Microsoft showed off Copilot, an AI companion that's integrated in Windows 11.


At Microsoft's AI and Surface event on Thursday, the software giant announced a new product, Copilot, which it calls "your everyday AI companion." Copilot will be included in the next major Windows 11 update, scheduled for Sept. 26, with Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft vice president, saying it's the most significant update to the operating system thus far.

With Copilot, it's possible to ask the AI to write a summary of a book in the middle of a Word document, or to select an image and have the AI remove the background. In one example, Microsoft showed a long email and demonstrated that when you highlight the text, Copilot appears so you can ask it questions related to the email. And that information can be cross-referenced to information found online, such as asking Copilot for lunch spots nearby based on the email's content. 

Copilot will be available on the Windows 11 desktop taskbar, making it instantly available at one click. Microsoft says that whether you're using Word, PowerPoint or Edge, you can call on Copilot to assist you with various tasks. It can also be called on via voice. Copilot can connect to your phone, so, for example, you can ask it when your next flight is and it'll look through your text messages and find the necessary information. 

Edge, Microsoft's web browser, will also have Copilot integrations. Specifically, Microsoft highlighted features for shopping to find the best deals or using pictures on your phone to find similar products online, similar to Google Lens

On the Enterprise end, Microsoft's suite of Office products will have enhanced AI features. Copilot can gain access to corporate data and help summarize meetings or create charts based on data available, and it can also cross-reference information online. That data can be translated into other programs as well. For example, a summary made from a long work document can then be sent to PowerPoint to create a presentation that's automatically filled in with images and presenter notes. Outlook with Copilot can help draft emails with various levels of formality, from professional to casual. It's also possible to send a work email through Outlook as a poem. 

Microsoft said data used by Copilot for Enterprise will be secure and won't be used to train its AI models.

Microsoft's evolution in AI comes after it invested heavily in OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, earlier this year. ChatGPT launched last year and quickly went viral, with the AI chatbot proving adept at answering nearly any question with a novel response. From being able to summarize books to create a romantic-comedy skit, ChatGPT stunned people with how quickly it could generate answers that read like a human wrote them. But AI chatbots have their critics, who worry about inaccuracies and misinformation the bots can pass along. And AI in general has some people worried about humans losing their jobs to the technology.

With Microsoft's bet on OpenAI, it brought AI capabilities to Bing, allowing AI-generated answers and image generation. Both Apple and Google have been chasing after AI, bringing enhanced machine-learning and generative features to the iPhone, Pixel devices and Search

Windows 11 will also get new image creation tools, powered by AI. Much like with Dall-E, it'll be possible for Windows 11 users to generate images with text prompts. New pen capabilities are coming to Windows 11, too. With the power of Copilot, it's possible to write a complex math equation on-screen, and Copilot will understand it and place it as text in a document.

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.

Watch this: Watch Everything Microsoft Just Announced at its Surface Event