What is Windows Copilot? Discover all about Windows Copilot and how to use this AI virtual assistant.

You may have heard about Windows Copilot recently. But do you know what Windows Copilot is? How to activate and use it on Windows... Below, we will explore all the details about this AI virtual assistant on Windows!

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What is Windows Copilot?

Windows Copilot is an AI assistant that Microsoft is deploying on its operating systems and applications. Copilot will operate differently and perform different tasks depending on the application you invoke it on.

In fact the name Windows Copilot has been mentioned for a long time, but each time it is mentioned it seems to have a slightly different meaning. Let’s break it down and see exactly what is hidden behind this marketing-sounding name.

First to mention is the Copilot brand. Microsoft is renaming all its AI-assisted tools, software, and applications to Copilot, adding specialized nicknames for each of them. Therefore, Copilot is the AI companion integrated into Microsoft services, enabling users to use it as a helpful assistant when working or creating.

That’s why there are now many Copilots and Microsoft wants to create more specialized versions for the most important applications in its investment portfolio. But there is still Windows Copilot, one of these specialized Copilots.

What’s interesting is that this feature is one of the oldest AI assistants in Microsoft’s portfolio, but it used to be called Bing Chat (or Bing AI before) and was recently renamed to Windows Copilot. It is a chatbot AI similar to ChatGPT and is a very useful tool for helping users search for some domain-specific information, write code, and do all the interesting things you can do with these AI companions.

How to access Windows Copilot

Accessing Windows Copilot will vary depending on the application and in this article, we will guide you on how to access Windows Copilot in various ways.

1. Activate Windows Copilot on Windows 11

If you are using Windows 11, you can access Copilot through a keyboard shortcut. However, before you do, make sure you have upgraded the operating system to Windows 11 23H2 or later. After installing Windows 11 23H2, you can open Copilot by pressing the Windows + C keyboard shortcut or by clicking on the Copilot icon on the taskbar.

If you don’t see Windows Copilot, right-click on the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings,” then turn on the “Copilot” feature in the right pane under “Taskbar items.”

2. Activate Windows Copilot on Edge

If you don’t have Windows 11, you can still use Copilot through Microsoft Edge. Here’s how:

Step 1: Launch your favorite web browser Microsoft Edge.

Step 2: Look at the side bar on the right. Click on the “Copilot” icon at the top right corner of the address bar. If you can’t find the Copilot icon, you can also use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Period” to activate it.

3. Activate Windows Copilot on the Web

If you do not have access to Windows 11 or Microsoft Edge, you can still use Copilot on the web. Simply activate your favorite web browser, then go to the website copilot.microsoft.com and you will be ready to use it.

Additionally, you will notice that if you access Bing and try to open Bing Chat, you will instead see Copilot activated, as Microsoft has renamed Bing Chat to Copilot, but the functionality is the same as the previous service.

4. Activate Windows Copilot on Microsoft 365 (Office)

Launching Copilot in Microsoft 365 depends on the application you are using. However, users need to have a Microsoft 365 account for Copilot to work. Some applications will open Copilot as soon as you start them. For example, if you open a new document on Word, Copilot will pop up and ask if you want to create a draft. Whereas with other applications, you need to activate this virtual assistant from a button on the ribbon.

5. Copilot for Teams, PowerPoint, Excel, Word…

One of the most exciting features of Windows Copilot is how it integrates with Microsoft’s existing applications. It is undeniable that many other applications have benefited from integrating Chatbots, so the potential for improving and enhancing Office applications with Copilot is tremendous.

  • Microsoft Outlook: Copilot can help users manage their incoming mail to better organize or find information that traditional search tools cannot.
  • Microsoft Excel: Copilot can analyze databases to find patterns or templates that may exist but aren’t immediately apparent. It can also be used to display data in the most understandable ways.
  • Microsoft Word: Copilot can be effectively used in Word just like the best ChatGPT version (with GPT-4). It can write content, edit and proofread content you have written, make suggestions about grammar, word choice, syntax, or anything else you require. If you want it to write something for you or help you write something better, Copilot is a useful assistant.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: Copilot can create entire presentations for you based on details you provide quickly and easily.
  • Microsoft Teams: Copilot can summarize entire chat threads for you so that you can quickly grasp what has been discussed. This can be very useful for training new staff, updating someone after a break, or ensuring employees in different time zones quickly catch up. In direct calls, Copilot can record conversations, compose notes, summarize what was said, create visual representations for project ideas, and fetch detailed information about people present and contributing to the call.

Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps currently have Copilot available only for apps in the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program.

How to use Windows Copilot

To get started with Windows Copilot requires having an account to access the chat functionality. Users can use either a Microsoft account or an Entra ID. Currently, Copilot is only available for the Microsoft Edge and Chrome browsers on Windows and Mac OS.

1. Sign in to the new Copilot website

Step 1: Launch your favorite web browser and visit the new Copilot website and sign in to your account. Simply go to the address copilot.microsoft.com and click the Sign in button.

Step 2: Then sign in to your account using your Microsoft account or Entra ID and do it on Chrome or Edge in Windows or MacOS.

A Microsoft account can be an Outlook.com or Hotmail.com email address and password, or the login information you use for Microsoft services such as Office, OneDrive, or Xbox.

Step 3: In case you don’t have a Microsoft account or Entra ID, you can still create a Microsoft account using any email address, including Gmail and Yahoo.

2. Start using Windows Copilot

After signing in, you can start asking questions to Windows Copilot. Simply enter your question in the text area at the bottom of the screen and send them to Copilot.

3. Understanding how Windows Copilot works

Microsoft’s Windows Copilot chatbot is somewhat different from ChatGPT, the most popular AI chatbot today. While you enter prompts in the conversation the same way, the answer’s format, conversational style, and user interface are different. Here’s an analysis table to help you get familiar with the new Windows Copilot window:

  • Text Area: At the bottom of the screen is a text area where you can enter prompts and questions to Copilot.
  • Add an image: Microsoft allows users to upload images to Copilot for AI processing, similar to Google Lens and GPT-4. Clicking the “Add an image” button will allow you to add an image.
  • Microphone: If you want to use your device’s microphone instead of the keyboard to converse or ask questions to Copilot, you can click on the microphone icon in the text area to start a conversation with the AI chatbot.
  • New topic: When you click the “New topic” button, Copilot clears the previous conversation and prompts you to switch to a new topic.
  • Source: Copilot functions as a conversational AI support search tool and while it doesn’t provide you with answer lists like a search engine tool does, Copilot retrieves most of its responses from the web, thanks to Bing. When you receive a response to your question, Copilot lists all the sources and links below the message bubble.
  • Suggested follow-up questions: After receiving a response from Windows Copilot, it will generate suggestions for various other follow-up questions you can use.
  • Conversation style: Windows Copilot is programmed to provide more human-like answers for a query rather than a search tool, so it provides three formatting options for answers: “More Creative,” “More Balanced,” and “More Precise.” Each of these formatting options is self-explanatory. For example, choosing “More Creative” will give you unique and imaginative answers that can also generate images; “More Balanced” has a tone similar to ChatGPT, a friendly and informative conversation with more human-like answers. Finally, “More Precise” gives concise and easily understandable responses.
  • Prompt counter: When Copilot answers a query in the conversation, you will see a number to help you count the number of responses received. There is a limit of 30 responses for each conversation.
  • Like, Dislike, Copy, and Export buttons: As you scroll through the screen, you may notice these buttons below each answer from Windows Copilot.

Frequently Asked Questions About Windows Copilot

1. What can Windows Copilot do?

Like ChatGPT, Windows Copilot can generate conversational text, compose essays, create letters, summarize content, write code, and answer complex questions. But unlike the free version of ChatGPT, Copilot has internet access, allowing it to provide updated feedback on current events.

The free version of ChatGPT is trained on data up to 2021, so it cannot provide answers related to more recent events. This means that Copilot can provide you with answers about events that happened yesterday, while ChatGPT will not know about something that happened last year unless you subscribe to ChatGPT Plus.

In addition to its internet access capability, Copilot can use AI to generate images in the chat window. Typically, all you have to do is ask it to generate an image and describe the features you want the image to have, and Copilot will generate an image instantly. It can also process images you upload in the conversation to provide you with information about them, such as identifying plant species.

2. How to access Windows Copilot?

You can access the Windows Copilot AI chatbot through the website copilot.microsoft.com on the Chrome and Edge browsers on Windows and MacOS. However, users need to have a Microsoft account or Entra ID to log in.

3. Can Windows Copilot be used on mobile devices?

The Windows Copilot chatbot can be accessed through the Bing mobile app and you can start a chat on the web and scan a QR code to continue the conversation on the mobile app.

The app provides a direct line to the Copilot chatbot, with the benefit of not needing to go to a website to use it and the ability to add a shortcut to your phone’s home screen for convenience.

4. Does Windows Copilot use ChatGPT?

Copilot doesn’t use ChatGPT but uses GPT-4 to chat with users. The new Copilot is the only way to preview GPT-4 for free right now, and Microsoft claims that integrating with the latest language model makes Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) even more powerful and accurate than ChatGPT.

5. Does Windows Copilot give inaccurate answers?

Similar to ChatGPT and other large language models, the new Copilot tends to give incorrect information. Most of the results Copilot provides as answers are derived from online sources, and we all know that we shouldn’t fully trust everything we read online.

Similarly, the Copilot chatbot can generate meaningless, unrelated answers to the original question. It is important to be cautious when conversing with an AI chatbot, such as never sharing personal and private information and not relying on it for medical information.

6. How is Windows Copilot different from a search engine?

Compared to a search engine, the main difference between Copilot and other AI chatbots is the conversational tone in presenting search results, thanks to the large language model working behind the scenes. Smart formatting of search results into answers to specific questions makes it easier for anyone who wants to find something online.

In addition to search capabilities that the standard Bing search engine already has, Copilot is also an official AI chatbot and can perform many tasks that similar tools can do, such as ChatGPT. For example, both Copilot and ChatGPT can generate text, such as an essay or a poem, create code or ask complex questions, and organize a conversation using follow-up questions.

7. Is Windows Copilot free?

The Copilot chatbot is not only completely free but also the best way to preview GPT-4 for free right now. You can use the Copilot chatbot to ask questions, get help with troubleshooting or find sources of inspiration, but you are limited to 30 queries per interaction.

8. Is Windows Copilot just Bing Chat or Bing AI?

Yes, Windows Copilot is just Bing Chat with a name change. Bing Chat was then renamed Bing AI. Microsoft subsequently decided to consolidate all its AI assistants under a common name, Copilot, to make the whole ecosystem of AI companions more consistent across various utilities of the company.

Of course, it’s not just a simple rebranding because Windows Copilot also introduces some new features with this new release, such as support for the new GPT-4 Turbo model. This means that your interaction with the chatbot will be even better, with more accurate and more expectedly helpful responses.

Conclusion

Above, we have just explored the basics of Microsoft’s latest virtual assistant, Windows Copilot on Windows 11. We have understood exactly what Windows Copilot is, how to activate it on various applications, how to use it practically, and other related questions about this interesting AI assistant.

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Frequently asked questions

Windows Copilot is an AI-powered virtual assistant developed by Microsoft. It is designed to help users with a range of tasks, including web searches, scheduling appointments, sending emails, and more.

Windows Copilot uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to understand and respond to user queries. It can be activated by voice or text input, and it provides helpful, personalized responses.

Windows Copilot offers a variety of features and capabilities, including web search, scheduling appointments, sending emails, setting reminders, providing directions, answering questions, and more. It learns from user feedback and adapts to individual preferences.

Windows Copilot is available on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. You can access it through the Start menu, taskbar, or Cortana app. Simply say ‘Hey Cortana’ or type your query in the search bar to get started.

Yes, Windows Copilot is free to use for all Windows users. However, it requires an active internet connection and a Microsoft account to function properly.

You can customize Windows Copilot by setting your preferences in the Cortana app. This includes choosing your language, setting up reminders, specifying your interests, and providing feedback to improve the assistant’s performance.

Yes, Windows Copilot supports multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and more. You can set your preferred language in the Cortana app settings.

Windows Copilot is designed with user privacy in mind. It allows users to delete their data, control how their data is used, and choose whether to share their data with Microsoft. The assistant also provides clear privacy policies and terms of use.

Yes, Windows Copilot can be customized and deployed for business use cases. It can assist with tasks such as customer support, employee training, and workflow automation. Businesses can also integrate their own data and services with the assistant.

Microsoft is continuously improving Windows Copilot with updates and new features. The assistant is expected to become even more intelligent, personalized, and integrated with other Microsoft products and services.