Microsoft has heralded a new era of AI with the introduction of Copilot across all apps, content and devices that will become our virtual companion to help us become more creative, productive and efficient than ever before.
Copilot will roll out to Windows 11 as part of a free update starting September 26 across Bing, Edge and Microsoft 365.
Copilot will bring together context, intelligence and knowledge of the web, your own work data and the task at hand on your PC to spark ideas, enhance workflows and unleash creativity.
Tech Guide saw plenty of examples of how Copilot can be used on your PC whether is creating a document or presentation, summarising complex files and email communications, editing video and composing emails.
It’s been less than a year since we were introduced to ChatGPT – a technology Microsoft had been heavily investing in – which basically turned natural language into a programming language to create content and organise ourselves using the information at our fingertips.
This has now formed the basis of Bing Chat, the AI-powered Edge browser and now Copilot.
Speaking at the Microsoft launch event in New York City, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said we are entering a new category of computing.
“We are at the place where we finally have a new natural interface,” Nadella said.
“It starts with language but it’s going to quickly go beyond that.
“You have to see, to hear, to interpret and make sense of our intent and the world around us.
“A new reasoning age which helps us make sense and find patterns in all that is digitised which is people, places, things.
“Together they’ve created what is essentially a new category of computing.
“This is as significant as the PCs in the 80s, the web in the 90s, mobile in the 2000s, the cloud in the 2010s.
“Just like you boot up an operating system to access applications or use a browser to navigate to websites, you will invoke a Copilot to do all these activities and more, to shop, to code, to analyse, to learn, to create.
“And we believe it has the potential to help you be more knowledgeable, more productive, more creative, more connected to the people and things around you.”
WINDOWS 11 COPILOT
Windows 11 Copilot will dramatically change the way we work, create and communicate.
Microsoft says it is a handshake between you and technology to anticipate and understand what you want to achieve and unlock a whole new way of working.
Copilot can be accessed right there from the taskbar or with the Win+C keyboard shortcut to help with all your apps.
In Clipchamp for example, you can upload multiple video clips and ask the application to edit them into one video.
The application will not only ingest the video but analyse the content and arrange it into a final edit that would have normally taken hours and that can be shared with family and friends and on social media.
Copilot as part of Windows will lighten the load for users when it comes understanding large volumes of text, summarising communications and coping with complicated tasks.
Editing photos has also been made easier with the ability to remove objects, change aspect ratio and extend image background now just a few mouse clicks or pen strokes away.
The new Outlook for Windows can connect and organise your accounts including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and more with Copilot also helping you compose clear and precise emails.
BING AND EDGE COPILOT
The new features in Bing and Edge deliver advanced AI capabilities.
You can choose to include your chat history to inform your Bing search results.
For example, if you have a favourite team or band and are planning a trip, Bing will tell you if they are playing in that city.
Shopping has also been enhanced with Copilot from Bing or Edge.
If you are searching for a particular item, Bing will ask additional questions to help you get closer to what you’re looking for.
Users can also start with a photo of the item they’re after and let Bing and Edge do the rest.
And it will also find you the best price and help you take advantage of any discount codes on offer.
In the last 12 months, shoppers around the world have saved more than $4 billion on Microsoft Edge.
MICROSOFT 365 COPILOT
Earlier this year, Microsoft showed the capabilities of Microsoft 365 co-pilot in the apps millions use every day including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams.
After months of feedback from companies like Visa, General Motors, KPMG and Lumen Technologies who trialled Microsoft 365 Copilot, it will be available for enterprise customers from November 1.
Microsoft is also introducing a new feature called Microsoft 365 Chat which can comb through your work data, including emails, meetings, chats, documents and the web to provide a starting point for complex and tedious tasks whether it’s writing a strategy document, booking a business trip or just catching up on emails.
Over the years, according to Microsoft’s research, the volume of work has grown with users in three times as many meetings as they were in 2020 and using 11 apps in a single day to complete their tasks.
Microsoft 365 Chat can now help users bring their workloads under control, refine the complexity and eliminate the drudgery to help reclaim their time.
It can do things like summarize unread emails, draft a reply, create an event plan and create a header image.
New capabilities for Copilot will also be introduced in Outlook, Word, Excel, Loop, OneNote and OneDrive.
Microsoft 365 Copilot for consumers preview will also be expanded to more people.
Microsoft Designer is the latest addition in the Microsoft 365 consumer apps and can help you create stunning images, social media posts, gaming avatars, thumbnails, invitations and other content with AI.
It will be further empowered with Dall.E 3 from OpenAI so you can come up with even finer images and illustrations with more detail than ever before.
Microsoft says it will also be integrating Designer into Microsoft 365 Copilot for consumers starting with Word to make it possible to come up with custom graphics to transform a text heavy document.
All images will also be labelled with a digital watermark to show they were created with generative AI.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to New York as a guest of Microsoft.