Microsoft is rolling out a significant update for Windows 11 today, offering access to exciting new features such as Windows Copilot, AI-powered enhancements for Paint, Snipping Tool, and Photos, RGB lighting support, a revamped File Explorer, and much more.
The standout feature of this Windows 11 update is Windows Copilot, which seamlessly integrates a Bing Chat-like feature directly into the Windows 11 desktop. It appears as a sidebar, enabling users to manage PC settings, launch applications, and answer queries. Microsoft is deeply embedding Copilot throughout various parts of the Windows 11 ecosystem, making it a prominent AI-driven digital assistant, reminiscent of Microsoft’s previous Cortana vision.
Additionally, Microsoft is infusing AI capabilities into Paint, Snipping Tool, and the Windows 11 Photos app. Paint is getting advanced features akin to Photoshop, including transparency and layer support. Furthermore, an AI image generator is on the horizon for Paint, allowing users to create unique images by inputting text prompts and selecting styles.
Snipping Tool’s AI upgrades enable text extraction and redaction, permitting users to copy text from images and automatically redact sensitive information like emails and phone numbers.
In the Photos app, Windows 11 introduces background blur, automatically highlighting subjects while blurring backgrounds, with customizable blur intensity and targeted adjustments.
These AI-enhanced versions of Paint, Photos, and Snipping Tool will gradually roll out to consumers over the coming months.
Other notable additions include an improved Windows Backup app, support for passkeys for secure sign-ins, a modernized File Explorer with larger thumbnails, and native RGB lighting controls for PC gamers, with support from several hardware manufacturers.
Microsoft is also integrating Windows 365 Cloud PCs into Windows 11 with features like Windows 365 Boot and Windows 365 Switch, offering IT administrators and developers enhanced capabilities.
While this update brings numerous enhancements, there is another update planned for the fourth quarter of 2023, promising features such as a new volume mixer, native RAR and 7-zip support, app labels, and taskbar ungrouping. An inking experience mentioned at a recent Surface and AI event won’t be included in this release.
To access this significant Windows 11 update immediately, users can navigate to Settings > Windows Update and enable “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available.” Otherwise, it may become available during the November monthly Patch Tuesday.