It looks like Microsoft is going to make Copilot, its new AI assistant, start up automatically on PCs with ‘wide screens’ running suitable versions of Windows 11. As it happens, most PC screens are wide, so it seems like Microsoft wants to get Copilot in front of as many users as possible.
This potential development has been discovered in a Windows preview build that’s just been released in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program. The Windows Insider program is Microsoft’s official community of professionals and Windows enthusiasts who can access previews of new Windows features and versions. Windows Copilot’s interface opening automatically when a PC boots up is being trialed as part of preview build 23616, and it’s worth pointing out that this feature is still in the testing stages and may not end up being included in a finalized Windows 11 update that’s rolled out to all users.
The feature is already being called controversial, which I understand – I get very annoyed when apps and features are sneakily enabled to start up automatically when I turn on my laptop. Also, in a Microsoft Windows Blog post, it does emphasize that users can turn off this feature, which will probably be the case if it makes it into a final Windows update version. Even Windows Insiders who are in the Dev Channel may not see it at the moment, as the rollout of the preview build is ongoing.
Here’s what Microsoft has to say about this Copilot change:
We are trying out opening Copilot automatically when Windows starts on widescreen devices with some Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This can be managed via Settings > Personalization > Copilot. Note that this is rolling out so not all Insiders in the Dev Channel will see this right away.
A frosty reception so far
Microsoft didn’t specify which widescreens will qualify for this automatic feature – specifically what aspect ratios will be eligible. Windows Central asks if “widescreen” means common 16:9 and 16:10 screens, or ultrawide monitors with 21:9 ratios.
So far, this is being received as unnecessary and possibly annoying, especially as Copilot currently is pretty limited in what it’s able to do. Windows Central speculates that this update could be laying the groundwork for a more substantial Copilot update, suspected to be in development for the next iteration of Windows (unofficially known as “Windows 12”).
When Microsoft presented its vision for Copilot, it was presented as an AI assistant that would work across a multitude of apps and could enhance users’ productivity. When it becomes something that’s more familiar (and popular) like Microsoft hopes, maybe there’s a case for Copilot opening up as soon as your PC turns on.
At present, Copilot isn’t there yet – and this move will probably just end up rubbing users the wrong way, especially if it ends up slowing down the time it takes for their PCs to load Windows 11.