Microsoft has unveiled major new features in the works for Windows 11 version 23H2, including a Copilot AI assistant, a new personal chatbot assistant to the operating system, RGB lighting controls, Taskbar updates, and more.
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Microsoft is adding a Copilot AI assistant directly to Windows 11 Taskbar
Microsoft has announced it’s bringing AI to Windows 11 via an integrated “Copilot” experience. The “Windows Copilot” defines the integration of the Bing Chat AI and first and third-party plugins into Windows 11 that can analyze content on the screen and offer contextual suggestions and actions based on what’s being viewed by the user.
The “Windows Copilot” will be available to open and use from the taskbar across all apps and programs, can be moved around or docked to the right or left side of your screen when running, and features a chat box that runs along the bottom for inputting commands and asking questions.
Once open, the Windows Copilot sidebar stays consistent across your apps, programs, and windows, always available to act as your personal assistant. It makes every user a power user, helping you take action, customize your settings, and seamlessly connect across your favorite apps.
In addition to AI integration into Windows 11 Taskbar, Build 2023 will also offer the following features:
- Microsoft Store will be getting AI-powered reviews to make discovering apps and finding apps much easier than ever.
- A dedicated “AI hub” a new curated store section where Microsoft highlights “the best AI experiences built by the developer community and Microsoft.”
- AI-generated keywords will also be added that will help developers generate appropriate and precise keywords for their store listings.
- New AI-powered ads feature that will recommend apps to users based on programs they’ve downloaded previously. Check full details in the announcements in a post on the official blog.
Revamped File Explorer
Additionally, the company has revealed a new design that’s in the works for Windows 11’s File Explorer. The updated design brings up-to-date visuals that are consistent with the rest of Windows 11. The new design was shown in a video that was posted on Twitter by Microsoft’s EVP and Chief Product Officer Panos Panay.
Today, we announce new AI experiences and tools for #Windows11 to empower developers. Pumped to introduce you to Windows Copilot and Dev Home. #MSBuild https://t.co/MkqiKKtuFg pic.twitter.com/pf1H3o1tyW
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) May 23, 2023
This new File Explorer refresh is designed to work with both mouse controls as well as touch screen interaction, including rounded interfaces. It will also make it tie in and mesh better with the rest of Windows 11’s user interface. And the action buttons with File Explorer will be placed under its address bar and both the address bar and the search bar will have design changes as well.
Dynamic Lighting to control RGB lights for peripherals
Additionally, Microsoft says that the development team is working on a new feature known as “Dynamic Lighting”. Dynamic Lighting is a new feature that allows users to control the RGB lighting on their devices. The feature is designed to make it easier to customize and sync the lighting on different devices, and it can be used to create a variety of effects, such as pulsing lights in time with music or changing colors based on the content on the screen.
Other new features and changes
Other new features include, the Taskbar getting some updates, including the return of a classic feature with a new implementation. App ungrouping and show labels are coming back, but users will be able to initiate ungrouping with a single click when interacting with the Taskbar, along with the ability to remove the date and time from the system tray.
Lastly, Microsoft is also planning to natively support more archive formats out of the box in Windows. This means users will be able to create and extract various file types like 7zip, RAR, gz, and others using the lib archive open-source project without being required to download third-party apps first.