Microsoft is adding ChatGPT-powered AI to its iconic Notepad app – but does it need it?

Do you think the iconic Windows Notepad app lacks flashy features? Then don’t worry – Microsoft is integrating ChatGPT AI into Notepad for Windows 11. 

Microsoft’s newest all-purpose digital AI assistant, Windows Copilot, has been around for a little while now, and it’s currently fairly limited in what it can actually do. Microsoft is no doubt working on adding features, such as the recently-added ability to analyze user-uploaded screenshots. Alongside Copilot, Microsoft announced a specific assistant AI bot for Paint named Cocreator, an AI image generator that generates images from a user-provided description. 

Now, it looks like Notepad, a Windows staple and simple text editor that’s been included as default on Windows devices since 1983, is also getting a Cocreator of sorts (possibly named Cowriter). Windows Latest reports that Microsoft is testing out an AI bot powered by GPT-4, OpenAI’s large language model (LLM) and its most advanced language generation system. 

References to this feature (yet to be officially announced and released by Microsoft) have been spotted in the app package folder of Notepad by Windows enthusiasts. The updated Notepad app package reportedly has files with prefixes like “CoWriterCreditLimitDialog”, “CoWriterDropDownButton”, and “CoWriterWaitlistDialog” in their names. According to Windows Latest, these refer to user interface (UI) elements and dialogs that we could possibly see in Notepad AI’s UI.

Copilot in Windows

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Sneaking a peak at what's coming to Notepad's UI

From what we’ve seen so far, an AI-assist bot in Notepad will enable users to enlist ChatCPT-powered text generation directly in the Notepad app. That said, it looks like there will be limits in place, with the reference “CreditLimitDialog” suggesting a potential usage quota and “credit” system for how much you can use the AI feature. If it’s similar to Bing Image Generator or Cocreator in Paint, you’ll probably receive boosts (or credits), to generate unique content within Notepad. After this initial bonus amount, you might still be able to generate content with Notepad’s AI feature, but it’ll take longer than it does using the boosts. 

Because Microsoft itself hasn’t announced the feature yet, we don’t know if the credits will be on a word-by-word basis. 

Other references have been spotted that might indicate what Notepad’s AI will look like in Notepad’s UI. A reference to “CoWriterDropDownButton” points to a button on the right hand side of Notepad that allows you to open up the Notepad AI feature’s panel to use it. This was spotted by Windows Insiders, members of the Windows Insider Program which allows enthusiasts and developers to previous upcoming Windows features and builds, who publicized their findings on X (formerly Twitter). 

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One other UI-type reference that was found was “CoWriterInfoButton” which could be a button that might work like a “Help” button. This could provide users with more information such as instructions on how to use it, ideas for how users can use the feature, and other help and troubleshooting information. 

Windows Latest speculates that Notepad’s AI feature might start rolling out to tests (presumably Windows Insiders) very soon, but there might be a waitlist (according to references found by some Windows testers according to The Verge). 

This isn’t the first AI-powered text editing feature that Microsoft has worked on – it introduced an Editor feature to Microsoft Edge last year that was capable of a range of text-related functions. These include spelling and grammar suggestions, autocompletion functions, help with research and formatting, and rewriting and clarity-related suggestions. 

In a similar way, Notepad’s AI tool will seek to make suggestions relevant to the context of the document and specific to the type of content you’re writing. In a promotional image for the feature, found in Notepad’s updated app package, there’s a counter in the bottom ribbon of Notepad that reads “1 of 4,” indicating that you can get multiple suggestions for a text selection that you can browse and choose one to your liking. You can ask for modifications to do with “Length,” “Tone,” “Format,” and “Instructions” for a selection of text, similar to how Windows Copilot functions in Office apps like Word, Powerpoint, and Outlook.

Microsoft Office Visual Refresh

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The AI tool might be in testing – but opinions are already coming out

Vigilant observers also pointed out that there’s a “thumbs up” icon with a counter to allow users to give their opinion of the output that the AI tool produces, similar to the feedback function you can see in ChatGPT itself after it gives you a response. Feedback helps the developers of these AI tools fine-tune them to provide better responses. 

When Copilot was first introduced, Microsoft made it clear that it wants to transform how you interact with Windows altogether with the help of Copilot and that Copilot was going to make its way through Microsoft 365’s apps, and be deeply embedded in Windows 11 to help you with all kinds of tasks. This development shows just how insistent Microsoft seems to be about Copilot, and AI-assistant bots and features in general. Some people point out that apps like Notepad and Paint are known for their straightforwardness, and that an AI-assist bot detracts more from that than it helps. The feature has not yet officially been debuted for beta testing in testing channels, but Microsoft seems very keen to push forward with AI on as many fronts as possible. 


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ChatGPT-powered Bing AI is getting a feature some folks desperately want

Microsoft’s Bing AI is getting a ‘no search’ feature and it’s coming soon, we’re told.

What does this ability do? Much as the name suggests, it instructs the Bing chatbot to answer off its own bat, and not search the web to use that data in the reply to your query.

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OnMSFT spotted that Mikhail Parakhin, who is head of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft, let us know about the incoming functionality on Twitter.

Parakhin has actually mentioned the feature a few times in tweets over the past week, and in the most recent message, said that ‘no search’ is coming “soon” (as you can see above).

We shouldn’t be waiting long, then, to get this capability, and it’ll add to the growing armory of features that Microsoft is building out for Bing AI.

In case you missed it, Bing AI was recently furnished with improved sports knowledge for queries on the big game(s), and a major incoming feature is image recognition (so you can sling a picture at the chatbot, and have the location or building identified, for example). Bing Vision, as it’s called, is due to arrive for all users in the very near future.

Analysis: Another useful option for Bing AI

Another facet of the chatbot Microsoft is working on is to reduce the time it takes Bing AI to respond in the case of certain queries (eliminating so-called latency spikes). Presumably, using ‘no search’ will also have the benefit of speeding up the chatbot’s answers too (as Bing will be doing less in this case). We shall see, but better performance is clearly something Microsoft wants to gun for with the AI.

Why would you want to use a ‘no search’ query in general, though? Well, as the Twitter user who Parakhin replied to makes clear, with some questions, you don’t need Bing to go rifling around the web – and in some cases, scraping data from multiple websites could potentially make an answer less useful. (As another user points out, this affects Bing’s coding abilities detrimentally, for example).

Also, you may just want a quick and streamlined reply, rather than a heap of web references thrown at you. So, while this might be a somewhat niche feature, it’s going to be a very useful one to have for some folks.

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Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing AI just got a really useful new feature

Microsoft is in the process of adding a new feature to its Bing chatbot that will considerably increase the utility value of the AI, namely image recognition.

Bing Vision is being tested with a small number of chatbot users at present, as Neowin reports, and it lets those folks upload an image for a query. In other words, instead of typing text, you can sling the AI a picture, and it’ll identify it and provide information on the image.

Neowin flags up some of the people on Twitter who’ve got to play with Bing Vision, and their results include the chatbot identifying an Egyptian temple from a photo, which is a good example of how you might be able to use the facility.

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In another instance, a scan of a maths equation was fed to the chatbot which correctly identified it as the ‘Schrodinger equation’, and there’s a further example where a humorous cartoon is analyzed and explained by the AI.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to get Bing AI to flex its image recognition muscles, that’s because only a niche set of users are getting the feature right now, as mentioned at the outset. We’re told by Microsoft’s head of advertising and web services, Mikhail Parakhin, that it’s currently just over 10% of the user base.

Analysis: Bing Vision is coming to everyone soon

You’re pretty lucky if you’ve got this image recognition system enabled, then, as not many folks have at this point. Do note that it is only available on desktop PCs, by the way, as Bing Vision isn’t yet being offered on mobile devices.

Clearly, this is a useful extra string to the bow of the AI that can help in all sorts of potential ways for image-based queries, as we can see from those who’ve already tried it out on Twitter.

See a picture of a beautiful beach, lake, mountain, or town, and wonder where it is? Chuck that image at Bing and it should hopefully be able to tell you not just the location, but further details, say, on how you might plan a trip there.

The feature should be much more broadly rolled out in a few weeks, Parakhin tells us, and that will include mobile users too – in fact, it should arrive for everyone by then. Good stuff.

Microsoft is working at a pretty fast pace to expand the capabilities of Bing AI, which isn’t surprising given that AI is the talk of the town right now. Microsoft just ushered in voice input for desktop PCs (previously this was mobile-only), as well as improving this feature for mobiles (and adding an iOS widget for Bing Chat, to boot).

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Microsoft makes it much easier to use ChatGPT-powered Bing – with a catch

Microsoft’s Bing chatbot is now available to use without signing into a Microsoft account, you’ll doubtless be pleased to hear.

This means that anyone can now jump on and start quizzing the ChatGPT-powered AI on whatever topic is on their mind, but there’s a caveat.

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Windows Central spotted the tweet from Michael Schechter, VP of Search Growth and Distribution (Bing) at Microsoft, announcing that the Bing AI now offers unauthenticated chat access.

However, while you won’t have to sign in to use the AI, you’ll be limited to pretty short conversations – just five queries in a session. Those signed in get 20 queries per conversation.

In other Bing AI news, a further step forward for the chatbot is the addition of a share button and more export options, as well as an improved copy and paste experience, useful little touches (as Neowin flagged up).

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Analysis: Bringing Bing to everyone faster

Remember when Bing AI was first launched? The chatbot got caught up in all sorts of controversial weirdness as a result of going off the rails in long chat sessions, leading Microsoft to impose strict limits on session length to tackle that particular problem.

That limit was five queries per session – exactly what unauthenticated users are getting now. In other words, it’s the bare minimum. (Well, clearly it’s the bare minimum – any lower than five would leave little or no opportunity to explore any topic further).

Still, the absolute minimum is very much better than nothing, so we’re glad to see Microsoft take this route. It makes for a convenient way for those who haven’t tried out the Bing AI yet to do so, and of course, that should mean extra traffic for Microsoft, too.

Doubtless Microsoft hopes that by giving folks a taster of Bing, it’ll impress them enough to sign in for the full lengthier chat experience.

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Chatbot or adbot? Microsoft could bring adverts to ChatGPT-powered Bing AI

Don’t look now, but Microsoft is exploring the idea of pushing adverts with its Bing AI chatbot.

The ChatGPT-powered AI hasn’t been around for long, but has already achieved a measure of success driving more traffic to the Bing search engine, which is one of Microsoft’s main aims with the chatbot, naturally.

However, another target Microsoft is now sighting up is the addition of advertising to monetize the chatbot in a more concrete way, as evidenced by a freshly written post on the Bing blog site.

The content makes for worrying reading – though it’s a predictable avenue for Microsoft to assess, and we should note that this is very much early days still. The blog post talks about “exploring” the use of ads and that it’s mulling over “some early ideas,” so we shouldn’t get too carried away at this point.

The ideas Microsoft is toying with include making it so that if the user hovers over a link, it’ll pop up a panel containing further links to a publisher’s content. And also placing a “rich caption of Microsoft Start licensed content” next to a chat answer, meaning driving traffic to these Microsoft Start partners (and sharing ad revenue with that partner).

Microsoft further states: “We’re also exploring placing ads in the chat experience to share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response.”

Analysis: A case of greed before need?

Oh dear, oh dear. And another oh dear for good measure. Microsoft seems to be losing sight of the purpose of its ChatGPT-fueled AI here. It’s supposed to be a useful tool, a smart addition to Bing to let people search in a new way, and do a whole lot more to help them besides, with a bunch of other tricks up its sleeve (from knocking up artwork or poetry, to providing swift aid to gamers, kind of).

So, Bing AI is all about helping folks, right? Well, nobody believes Microsoft is doing this out of the goodness of its own heart. Of course there’s an agenda, and that’s to push Bing search to compete better with the highly dominant Google. Fair enough: Bing needs some kind of secret weapon, you can’t argue with that, and finally, it looks like the AI chatbot might be the answer.

Google is even worried, having rushed its rival AI, Bard, onto the stage, fumbling its lines in the process (and not getting nearly the same amount of attention as Bing AI, which is already well underway with updates being applied regularly by Microsoft).

But a measure of early success appears to have left Microsoft with dollar signs flashing before its eyes, perhaps blinding it to Bing’s original purpose. So now, we have Microsoft thinking about getting greedy (there’s evidence of this with the company’s attitude elsewhere regarding the AI, too). Bing traffic isn’t enough in the way of monetization, perhaps, so why not do adverts, too?

We’ll tell you why not – because people are tired of you trying to jam adverts into everything, Microsoft. Like your online services, or the Windows 11 interface, over and over, with the latest example coming earlier this week in the form of (veiled) ads for the Start menu. And now the Bing chatbot?

We’re not surprised, really, but we are getting fed up with the condition Microsoft seems to suffer from, the main symptom of which is a sickening and relentless compulsion to cram in adverts with its products and services. Let’s call it ‘ad nauseum’, and let’s further hope a cure can be found.

Via Neowin

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Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing AI gets smarter with more local knowledge

Microsoft’s Bing AI just got some more improvements, including one that should make the chatbot considerably more helpful when it comes to providing tailored recommendations based on your local area.

In a blog post introducing the latest changes, Microsoft acknowledged that it had received feedback telling the company that the ChatGPT-powered Bing needed to do better with local-related queries.

In other words, specific requests such as asking for the whereabouts of a store in your neighborhood, for example.

Microsoft informs us that it has bolstered Bing’s chops in this regard, so it’ll deliver “better answers if you’re trying to find a park, a store, or a doctor’s office near you.”

Other tweaks Microsoft recently applied to its Bing chatbot include increasing the limit of the max turns you can take (queries) in a single conversation from 15 to 20. Based on the allowance of 10 daily sessions, that gives you a limit of 200 turns per day in total.

Image and video search capabilities are also integrated in the chatbot now. These will pop up as answer cards, allowing the user to click ‘see more’ to dive into further detail with a Bing image search.

Analysis: Pushing forward and besting Bard

Obviously beefing up the performance of the Bing AI to do better with local queries is an important move to make. It’s no good having an all-singing and dancing AI (you have asked the chatbot to sing to you already, right?) if it falls down embarrassingly when it comes to making basic recommendations about locations and services near you.

Mind you, the enhanced performance for these kind of queries sounds like it’s in the early stages of getting a good coat of polish. As Microsoft puts it: “Expect us to make further improvements in local grounding based on your feedback.”

Like everything with Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered AI, then, it’s very much a work in progress. Still, the amount of progress being made is impressively sure and steady, which has got to be a worry for Google.

Google’s rival AI, Bard, has been notably slow off the starting blocks. Indeed, it feels like Google forced Bard onto the starting blocks before it had even laced its trainers, because the firm felt like the new Bing couldn’t be left unanswered, seeing as the ChatGPT-powered AI is already boosting traffic to Microsoft’s search engine.

We’re told that Bard will become more capable, and will receive improvements to its reasoning skills later this week, and it’s clear enough that Google recognizes it needs to move faster with its rival AI. At the same time, it can’t afford any missteps as seen with Bard’s launch (and to be fair, with the Bing AI’s launch too, although Microsoft seems to have recovered pretty well from the mishaps Bing encountered early on).

Our main worry about Microsoft is that the success of the Bing chatbot – so far – could go to the company’s head. There’s already worrying talk of jamming adverts into Bing AI, which we very much hope won’t happen. That’s probably a forlorn hope, and if it turns out that way, this could be an area that Bard could turn to its advantage. That said, it’s not like Google won’t be surveying every avenue of monetization down the line, too – it’d be pretty naïve to think otherwise.

Both companies would do well to remember that these AIs must be perceived as helpful friends, though, and not ones with a hidden agenda. Or, more to the point we suppose, a poorly hidden agenda which becomes painfully transparent…

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Everyone can now use the ChatGPT-powered Bing – here’s how

Since the new ChatGPT-powered Bing landed last month Microsoft has been steadily working through the waitlist for its new AI-powered search engine – but it seems most of us need to wait no more.

As spotted by Windows Central, it's now possible to skip the tiresome waitlist and start firing questions at the AI search engine, even though Microsoft hasn't officially removed the waitlist. We've also tried this with success, but it seems to require a particular trick.

A Microsoft account that we previously added to the Bing waitlist is still waiting for access. But when we set up a new Microsoft account on the new Bing homepage, we got straight in – so that appears to be the most reliable method for anyone who's still waiting to dabble with a search engine that runs on OpenAI's new GPT-4 model.

Multiple sites, including The Verge , have also reported successfully accessing Bing after previously being on the waitlist. There have also been examples of outliers where simply signing in on the Bing homepage hasn't worked, which suggests this isn't yet an official Microsoft roll-out.

We've asked Microsoft for comment and will update this story when we hear back. It's possible that the tech giant will reveal more during this afternoon's AI-themed 'Reinventing Productivity' event, which kicks off at 8am PT / 3pm GMT  (which works out as 2am AEDT).

But until then, it's worth heading to the new Bing and signing in to see if you now have access. If not, opening a new account in the meantime should give you access to Microsoft's ChatGPT-powered search engine, which has already attracted 100 million daily users.

Fellowship of the Bing

A laptop screen on a blue background showing the new Microsoft Bing and Google Bard AI chatbots

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's announcement that its new Bing search engine is running on OpenAI's new GPT-4 language model has again raised its profile – particularly as GPT-4 tech is currently only available on ChatGPT to paying subscribers.

Still, there are big differences between Bing and ChatGPT. Microsoft's search engine is generally better at answering queries about recent events since, unlike ChatGPT, it's plugged into the internet. But Microsoft has also added guard-rails around the new Bing, which means ChatGPT could be better for creative brainstorming.

Both AI assistants have their place, and Bing continues to steal the limelight from Google Bard, which is Google's rival chatbot. Bard, which Google describes as an “experimental conversational AI service”, still hasn't been launched to the public, and has been mired in confusion, errors and delays.

Google did preview the AI tools coming to Gmail, Google Docs and more, and we're expecting to hear more about its chatbot plans in the run-up to Google I/O 2023. Until then, Microsoft Bing will continue to stretch its lead in AI search engine assistant space – particularly if the waitlist is officially removed soon.

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Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing gets a personality makeover you may not like

Microsoft has applied some further fine-tuning to its Bing AI, upping some chat limits and making changes to one of the chatbot’s personalities.

Chats have now been extended to allow up to 15 sessions per day, with the maximum length of a session pushed out to 10 queries (meaning a total of 150 queries is now your daily limit).

Microsoft has slowly but surely been pushing up those chat limits since the AI first launched and it was heavily restricted (to 5 sessions and 50 queries daily) when the chatbot’s behavior was observed going seriously awry in longer sessions.

But the more interesting change, as revealed by Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate VP & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, is optimizing the ‘Balanced’ personality for better performance.

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As you may be aware, there are three personalities available for Microsoft’s AI. Balanced is the middle setting for the chatbot, a halfway house between Precise and Creative, which remain unchanged.

Precise offers more concise and business-like answers, more akin to a standard search, whereas Creative gives the AI more free rein in its replies – with Balanced lying in-between the two as a compromise option.

Analysis: Precise, A Bit Less Precise, and Creative?

As with any compromise, deciding exactly where to draw the line can be a tricky affair. However, it seems that Microsoft is shifting that line to a more conservative position with this latest change.

With Balanced now giving “shorter, quicker responses,” that sounds clearly more in line with the Precise setting, rather than Creative which is where the AI is allowed more freedom to ramble – and frankly, to be more interesting and human-like.

Therefore, moving the Balanced dial more towards the conservative end of the spectrum could be viewed as making the Bing AI a bit more straightlaced and, well, boring.

The whole point of having the three personalities is to give users the choice of how the AI will respond, so if they’re not happy with their interactions with the ChatGPT-powered entity, they can switch things around. But now it feels like there’s slightly less choice in terms of there being a ‘very conservative’ setting, a ‘somewhat conservative’ option, and a ‘freer rein’ choice.

Why has Microsoft moved in this direction? Our guess is that folks who want a more human-like chat experience are using Creative and maybe wouldn’t dream of dipping a toe into Balanced anyway. Perhaps few people are using Balanced overall, so tuning it towards Precise may tempt those on the latter into making use of the middling option – whereas those on Creative are going to stick there, most likely, as they want the AI to be as interesting and open as is inhumanly (ahem) possible.

Whatever the case, we can expect further tuning, and indeed likely other personality choices, down the line. We may even get a mode whereby the Bing AI can impersonate famous celebrities, too, if leaks are on the money. And that would likely help push user numbers even higher, when there are already a good few folks signed up to test drive the chatbot.

Via MS Power User

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Microsoft lets ChatGPT-powered Bing off its leash – I just hope it doesn’t backfire

Microsoft has boosted its Bing search engine, to which it recently added artificial intelligence-powered chat capabilities, by increasing the number of chats it can have with a user in a day from 100 to 120.

When Microsoft first introduced Bing’s new feature, which is based on the popular ChatGPT chatbot, there was a lot of initial excitement… but then Bing started behaving strangely. People noticed that Bing’s AI chatbot would start acting increasingly bizarrely the longer their conversations with it went on.

This included Bing giving out incorrect information, and then having what can only be described as a tantrum when its errors were pointed out, which led to Microsoft hastily limiting the amount of responses Bing could give within a chat in a bid to curtail those worrying conversations.

It worked, but it came at a cost, as Bing suddenly became a lot more boring.

Fixing the chat

The last thing Microsoft wants is for Bing to be considered boring again, so it’s been understandably keen to increase the chat limit once the bugs have been ironed out, so the news that it is offering a big increase to 120, which follows an increase from 60 to 100, is certainly welcome.

Also, Microsoft’s initial limit to just five replies was seen by many to be too drastic – it certainly limited the usefulness of Bing by cutting chats short – and it took the fun out of it as well.

As MSPoweruser reports, Microsoft’s head of advertising and web services, Mikhail Parakhin, explained on Twitter that, in addition to the increased chat limit, users will now be able to have a conversation depth of eight – the limit was briefly increased from five to eight, before it was dropped back to six.

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Initial reports, as mentioned by Parakhin, suggest Bing is holding up well following this increase, and Microsoft’s softly-softly approach to expanding Bing’s AI chat capabilities is certainly sensible.

This whole saga does show the risks of rolling out AI features, however. Microsoft was too cavalier when it first introduced the new Bing chatbot, and then too conservative in response to the embarrassing issues that emerged. I think it should have started lower, and slowly built up Bing’s responses.

However, Microsoft clearly doesn’t want to move too slowly, for fear that people will lose interest in Bing – something the company has had to struggle with in the past, with most people using its chief competitor Google instead.

But going too fast too soon also brings risks. If Microsoft hasn’t properly fixed the underlying issues, we may see a return of Bing’s stranger side, and as entertaining as that can be, it could lead to a real PR headache for Microsoft.

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Windows 11’s ChatGPT-powered Bing AI taskbar is nothing more than a pointless ad

Microsoft released a new Windows 11 update on Wednesday, March 1, and all everyone is talking about is how the update emphasises putting artificial intelligence first… and how it falls short of that rather severely. 

The AI-powered search box is now set up in the taskbar by default, which may or may not be helpful depending on your disposition towards AI and ‘helpful’ chatbots. The update to the taskbar is amongst many other improved features that are packaged in with the recent Windows 11 update, so it’ll be hard to avoid or ignore if you’re not a fan of ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT is the AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI that allows users to interact with the bot and ask it to do anything from brainstorm recipes, breakdown complex ideas, writing and edit large copies of text or just having a little chat. The bot uses machine learning to analyze prompts given by users and respond using data input by the user and information from its database. Microsoft launched its collaboration with ChatGPT early last month and has had its share of meltdowns and inaccuracies since then.

It’s a little too early to get a grasp on how successful this new Windows 11 update has been with integrating ChatGPT-powered AI search, but so far it doesn't seem like the taskbar update has been well received.  In fact, I would argue it’s just a heavy-handed advertisement for Bing, Microsoft’s largely unloved search engine, and takes away consumer autonomy to decide whether or not they want to dabble in AI. This is not to bash ChatGPT and its fans, but more a finger wag at the mass implementation that takes away the ability to choose.

Say you were a sceptic or someone who didn’t know much about ChatGPT or Bing AI, you don’t really have a choice on whether or not you want access to Bing AI and there doesn’t seem to be a way to get rid of its addition to your Windows 11 desktop.

The announcement from Microsoft gives off the impression that the entire search experience on Windows 11 will now be supercharged by AI, but that’s far from the case. 

There’s no quick search in the taskbar that’ll spit out intelligently thought-out results. Fans or curious users looking to use Bing’s AI search engine don’t have integration within Windows 11 in the capacity seemingly promised by yesterday's announcement. The scale with which AI integration has been promised compared to what we've actually got doesn't match up.

Instead, users now have the ability to launch Bing’s new chatbot without actually having to type ‘’ into a web browser first. That’s it. The blog post says users have “ the amazing capabilities of the new AI-powered Bing directly into the taskbar “ which is not true at all. You get a banner for Bing on the Windows search page and two prompts to help suggest what to do when you click on any of the related buttons and get whisked off to Microsoft's Edge browser, in what feels like a calculated attempt to force more people to use it. 

Once Microsoft Edge is open, you can use Bing as you please if you’re registered. I was taken to the login/registration page since I was yet to make an account, but it‘s incredibly annoying to be sold the idea of having access to Bing AI’s chatbot from the comfort of your immediate desktop and instead being taken to a new program and webpage instead. Windows isn’t doing anything AI related, since Microsoft hasn’t added AI to search on Windows in the new feature drop as you may think, which makes the ChatGPT-powered version of Bing in Windows 11 just feel like an empty advertisement. 

Analysis: Who is this for? 

This definitely feels like a manifestation of something a lot of people were worried about when Microsoft announced its partnership with ChatGPT and implemented it into Bing: essentially, another way for Microsoft to try to force people into using Bing and Edge in favour of the software they actually use. 

We’ve all seen the pathetic little banners that come up on Edge while you’re setting up your PC and trying to download Chrome or Firefox, and this definitely feels like Microsoft has put the metaphorical foot down and made sure that if you want to use your taskbar search or try out Bing AI, you’re going to have to do it on their terms. 

Regardless of how you feel about AI chatbots or just AI technology in general, there’s no denying the update to the taskbar is less than useful. There are a lot of more interesting, and useful feature updates that have been overshadowed by the glaring blip of the Bing AI taskbar update.  

The lack of a clear opt-out option does seem to solidify the idea that not only is the ‘shortcut to Bing AI’ here to stay, but it’s only to be accessed on Microsoft’s terms.

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