Microsoft Copilot 229

Microsoft Augments Copilot Generative AI with Plugins and Computer Control

Microsoft has announced an update to Windows 11 that expands the capabilities of its Copilot generative AI assistant with third-party plugins and a wider range of tasks on users’ PCs. This update also brings AI-powered enhancements to default applications like Clipchamp and Photos, alongside refinements to the widgets.

Plugins and Power

The new Copilot plugins will allow users to make restaurant reservations via OpenTable, book travel on Kayak, and interact with Shopify’s e-commerce platform directly from the Copilot interface. Microsoft is positioning these additions as steps toward an increasingly autonomous and integrated desktop experience driven by artificial intelligence. Copilot could eventually automate complex tasks or even replace certain applications entirely someday.

“Need to make a dinner reservation with friends? Ask Copilot and OpenTable to handle it. Change your mind and want to stay in? Simply prompt Copilot with “Create a healthy dinner party menu for 8” and watch your options unfold,” Microsoft Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Yusuf Mehdi described in a blog post. “Not happy with the salad suggested? Ask Copilot to swap it for a vegetable and when you’re ready to shop, Instacart is right there for you, all within Copilot in Windows.”

Some of the new Copilot features include the ability to modify system settings like battery saver mode, access device and system information, launch accessibility tools like live captions and the Narrator text-to-speech program, and view the IP address or empty the recycle bin. Beyond Copilot, the update brings AI-powered enhancements to Windows’ native apps. The Photos app gains a “generative erase” tool similar to Google Photos’ object removal, while the Clipchamp video editor can now automatically trim silence from video clips. There’s also a new voice shortcuts feature that allows users to make custom audio commands to carry out any number of these tasks upon request. The Copilot expansion highlights Microsoft’s strategy to make its AI technologies a core part of the Windows experience as the company competes with other major tech giants investing heavily in generative AI.

The upgrades are likely not the last such that Copilot will see in the near future, and closely follow previous announcements about the new, more powerful Deucalion model powering Copilot, along with a refreshed interface and suggested prompts. Subscribers to Copilot Pro, Microsoft’s version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus,  can access all of these new features as they arrive.

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