Microsoft is pushing out Copilot AI to more Windows 11 users – ready or not – and Windows 10 will follow shortly

Microsoft just announced that Copilot is rolling out to more Windows 11 users right now, and also it’ll be inbound to more Windows 10 users soon enough.

Neowin spotted the revelation in the Windows message center where Microsoft let us know that Copilot is coming to a wider audience – so, if you haven’t seen the AI assistant yet, you may well do soon enough.

Microsoft also let us know that from this week, it’s possible to use up to 10 queries with Copilot before you have to sign in to your Microsoft account. So, you can give the AI a bit of a try even if you don’t have an active Microsoft account on your Windows installation.

The ‘new wave’ of Copilot additions is happening now with Windows 11 (23H2 and 22H2), at least for consumers (with businesses, it will depend on admin policies). And eligible Windows 10 devices on Home or Pro versions (22H2) will start to get Copilot in this broader rollout later in March – so within the next week.

Microsoft tells us: “This current rollout phase will reach most of its targeted Windows 11 and 10 devices by the end of May.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also busy expanding Copilot’s repertoire of tricks regarding changing Windows settings, though it’s very slow going on that front thus far.

Analysis: AI for everyone

It sounds like most folks will have Copilot by the end of May, then. We’ve already seen it arrive on our Windows 10 PC, so that rollout is definitely already underway – it’s just about to step up to another level.

How will you know if you get Copilot? You can’t miss the colorful icon which will appear in the taskbar, on the far right (in the system tray). It’s marked with a ‘Pre’ on the icon to denote that the AI is still in preview, so it’s still possible to experience wonky or odd behavior when running queries with Copilot.

While you can turn off the Copilot icon if you don’t want to see it, you can’t actually remove the AI from Windows as such (not yet) – it’ll still be lurking in the background, even if you never access it. That said, there are ways to extract Copilot from your Windows installation, such as using third-party apps (though we wouldn’t recommend doing so, as previously discussed).

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Getting a new M3 Mac? Apple is already pushing out a macOS Sonoma update to optimize performance

If you’re planning on being the owner of any of the new M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max MacBook Pro or iMac models that were announced during Apple’s October Scary Fast event, you’ll need to install an update for macOS Sonoma immediately when you get your device.

All of the new devices are expected to arrive with a custom version of macOS Sonoma 14.1, build 23B2073. Once you begin to set up your new device, you should then follow that up by downloading the newer version, build 23B2077, and install it. Apple released macOS Sonoma 14.1, the very first update for macOS Sonoma, on October 25 just ahead of the Scary Fast event, and the current macOS Sonoma version that freshly-built Macs will ship with is build 23B74.

As explained by AppleInsider, Apple has not yet put out release notes for the custom update macOS Sonoma build. However, it’s expected that it’ll include the most up to date bug fixes and performance upgrades probably to do with the M3 processor chip.

No cause for alarm, just business as usual

This isn’t a cause to panic according to MacRumors, because we see what are known as day one updates fairly often. Day one updates just mean updates that are released upon the launch of a product (on day one of users having them). This happens because as the devices are being manufactured, they have to be prepared, packaged, and shipped with what ends up being a slightly older version of macOS. 

In the future, it’s feasible that new Macs will automatically check for an update as soon as they’re booted up for the first time, or even while still in the box. Reportedly, Apple has engineered a way to do this for the very newest iPhone models, which can upgrade their software to the newest iOS versions before leaving the Apple store.

Apple opened up ordering for the new Mac M3 devices after its Scary Fast event and you can order one now. The first M3 Macs are expected to start arriving to customers on November 7, namely the MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3), MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3) and iMac (M3). However, certain configurations of MacBooks Pro laptops will be delivered later in the month. 

This was first discovered by known Apple observer and code investigator, @aaronp613, on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

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It’s good to see Apple looking out for users, and frequent updates have become an industry standard for operating systems and browsers, as well as other software – and as I mentioned earlier, a day one patch doesn’t necessarily mean a problem has been found at the last minute. Instead, it can ensure your new device has all the latest features and is fully protected as well.


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Microsoft seemingly won’t give up pushing Bing AI onto Windows 11 users

Windows 11 is continually badgering folks to use Microsoft’s Bing AI in test builds of the operating system, it may not come as much of a surprise to hear.

PhantomOfEarth pointed out on Twitter that this is happening in preview versions of Windows 11 – most notably the Beta channel – and as you can see, the pop-up springs from the search box on the taskbar, urging users to launch Bing AI from that part of the interface.

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It's an annoying nag to use the AI, and what’s more, the Twitter leaker notes that there doesn’t appear to be any obvious way of telling Windows 11 that these pop-ups are unwanted.

Or rather, PhantomOfEarth clarifies that there are “two buttons to get it to go away” but that even after using those, it “tends to pop up occasionally with no way to turn it off (afaik)”.

Another Twitter user suggests there may be another way to switch it off under notifications, which PhantomOfEarth says they’ll try, but we didn’t hear anything about that being successful since the tweet at the weekend.

So, the jury’s still out on that, but whatever the case, it looks like this nag isn’t an easy one to rid yourself of – if you can get rid of it at all.

Analysis: This pop-up just doesn’t make a lot of sense

As we already observed, Microsoft trying to push Bing AI is no surprise from a general point of view (the software giant has been working hard to improve the AI, and doubtless wants a lot of eyeballs on it). Indeed, of late, Microsoft has been trying all sorts of angles for recruiting more users to its various services, whether that’s the Bing chatbot, or OneDrive to pick a couple of obvious examples. (OneDrive has recently been promoted via ‘badging’ in the Start menu – basically just ads veiled as suggestions).

What’s a bit odd here is seeing this rather persistent prompt for Bing AI kicking around in the taskbar when Copilot has just been introduced in testing.

As you’re likely aware, Windows Copilot is essentially the Bing AI dropped into the heart of Windows 11 (in a side panel), complete with additional abilities to intelligently adjust Windows settings (there aren’t many of those to begin with, though).

So, with Copilot on the horizon – and due in the 23H2 update, according to some rumors (we’re not convinced it’s at all ready, mind) – why mess around with search box prompts for Bing AI at this point? Especially when the possibly close-to-launch Copilot has full integration into Windows 11.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, particularly when – as you can see from PhantomOfEarth’s reaction in the above tweet – this is annoying testers right now.

We’re hoping, then, that this is a piece of experimentation in test builds that Microsoft will soon do away with. That said, we can’t say the same about the ads already in place with Copilot in testing

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Windows 11 gets more AI – but is Microsoft pushing its luck?

Some Windows 11 users are getting a new AI Hub in the Microsoft Store, a section that picks out apps that, as you might guess, are powered by AI in some way.

Windows Latest spotted that the AI Hub feature is now rolling out to the Microsoft Store in the US, so will only be available for a limited number of users to begin with, no doubt.

We’re told it’s present in version 22306.1401.1.0 of the Microsoft Store or newer (for US users).

Windows Latest has been playing with the feature, which highlights apps offering top-notch AI experiences (in Microsoft’s opinion), including the likes of Luminar Neo,  Descript, and naturally enough, Edge with Bing Chat.

Microsoft introduced the idea of doing more with AI in its Windows 11 store in a blog post in late May, so this represents the first move in letting people actually use this AI Hub.

Analysis: The broader danger for Microsoft

The AI Hub is not the end of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence-fueled ambitions in the store. In fact, the next move – one that’s due imminently – is AI-generated review summaries.

User reviews can be a useful barometer of whether any given app is good or not, taken with an appropriate pinch of salt or two, but especially when there are lots of reviews, it can be quite a task to wade through them.

That’s where these AI summaries will step in, combing through a potential mountain of reviews and picking out matching sentiments to form an overarching opinion of the app in question.

Back in May, Microsoft told us that: “AI-Generated review summaries will soon be available in the Microsoft Store.”

So we’re hoping that now the AI Hub has gone live, at least in the US, those review summaries are very close to being implemented as well. They should be quite useful (fingers crossed).

As you may be aware, Microsoft recently introduced AI to Windows 11 elsewhere, with its Copilot assistant now present in preview versions of the OS for testers to try out.

And with all this going on, looking at a broader level, there remains a question of whether Microsoft is doing too much, too soon, with AI.

For example, the initial incarnation of Copilot is very limited and basically boils down to integration for the Bing chatbot along with a few basic bits of Windows 11 settings functionality (not much). It’s unlikely to impress anyone (yet), and with AI now being pushed to the store as well, the danger for Microsoft is some people starting to get fed up with seeing AI shoved into every corner of the OS. Complete with, as we observed above, the obligatory plugs for the Edge browser and Bing chatbot.

While the temptation may be to rush headlong into a big feature grab, Microsoft must balance that with the need to take a measured and steady approach to AI. Not just to make sure it gets things right when rolling out new AI capabilities to Windows 11 (and other services for that matter), but to give users time to breathe between one artificial intelligence feature drop and the next.

Get any of this finely balanced equation wrong and a combination of fatigue and/or disillusionment with AI could be visited upon its user base.

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Vivaldi CEO accuses Microsoft of being ‘blatantly anti-competitive’ in pushing Edge browser

Vivaldi’s CEO has fired a copious amount of flak at Microsoft in a fresh move in the browser wars, accusing the software giant of going “back to its old tricks” with promoting the Edge browser in Windows.

Jon von Tetzchner, chief executive of the rival Vivaldi browser, wrote a lengthy blog post which complains about how it’s “frustrating in 2021 to find Microsoft blatantly engaging in anti-competitive practices once again”.

We have, of course, made plenty of comments in recent times about how Microsoft is walking a thin line in terms of pushing too hard with promotion for Edge within its desktop operating system Windows.

Most recently, that has included pop-ups that attack Chrome specifically (‘that browser is so 2008!’) and pushing ads for other Microsoft services within Edge, as well as making it more difficult to change your default browser away from Edge within Windows 11 (the latter is a course Microsoft is apparently now reversing, fortunately, at least in preview builds for now).

As Tetzchner points out, when he got a new Windows laptop, the first thing he did was to use Edge (which is the default choice of browser, of course) to search for Vivaldi in order to install that, but the OS warned him that ‘there’s no need to download a new web browser’ because, basically, Edge is the best around.

Tetzchner further points out that Microsoft asks for confirmation of a switch away from Edge to a new browser as the default, and even after that, when you next use Edge, it’ll pop-up a panel to try to reclaim the position of default browser.

He further observes: “Microsoft’s moves seem desperate. And familiar. It is clear they don’t want you to use other browsers. They even offer to pay you to use the browser via their Microsoft Rewards program.

“This is not the behavior of a confident company developing a superior browser. It’s the behavior of a company openly abusing its powerful position to push people to use its inferior product, simply because it can.”

He urges folks to ask for Microsoft to be investigated for these “obvious anti-competitive practices”.

Analysis: Overzealous pushing of Edge is arguably unnecessary anyway

We’ll leave any arguments of Edge being an ‘inferior product’ aside, because we don’t agree on that score. It’s actually a pretty good browser in many ways, and that kind of makes Microsoft’s actions and pushing it in an overzealous manner all the more mystifying (and frustrating). Edge should really sell itself, given time, so hey Microsoft, why not do just that: play the waiting game, keeping improving the browser, and watch the adoption level tick up as time rolls on.

We do agree that Microsoft needs to steer clear of all this Edge promotion within Windows 10 and 11, as if anything, it’s likely to backfire and push people away from the browser, anyway. And certainly any underhandedness when it comes to trying to change default browsers must absolutely be stopped.

The path of popups and countermeasures trying to stop you switching away from Edge as the default browser will be nothing new to experienced Windows users, of course. But these kind of dialog boxes could confuse the less tech-savvy, and even cause them to switch back to Edge by accident, potentially, which really isn’t on.

Windows – or any operating system – should be built around user-friendliness, and that friendliness extends to allowing the user their choice of browser without any catches or ‘reminders’ that they could get confused about or stumble over.

Via Neowin

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