Windows 11 Copilot just got a release date — here's what it can do

Windows Copilot with Satya Nadella
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Microsoft has confirmed its Copilot AI assistant will make its full debut on Windows 11 on September 26. Although it’s been available to Insiders since July, next week’s rollout sees it come to the public as a one-click experience straight from the desktop. Oh, it’ll also launch directly from Office, Edge and Bing too.

Announced as part of the company’s Surface event in New York today, Copilot takes advantage of two key AI initiatives Microsoft has been working on. As boss Satya Nadella explained, the company has created a new natural interface and a reasoning engine which helps make sense of people, places and things. 

The result is a more streamlined experience put at the core of Windows 11. For example, Copilot can read the texts from your phone and then write a response for you depending on the context. So, if you received a text from a friend saying they’re visiting the city and have some free time, Copilot can suggest relevant concerts or shows to see at certain times and locations all without you having to do anything.

Windows Copilot text messages

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Similarly, the service is linking up with shopping in Microsoft’s Edge browser to help with product recommendations. It will ask you questions to determine your skill level (if you’re looking for, say, the best running shoes) and surface reviews and buying guides that are relevant.

Naturally, Copilot is also coming to Microsoft 365, albeit a little later on November 1. Adding it to Microsoft’s software suite brings a range of functionality.

For example, Copilot can summarize what’s inside documents and what’s most important as well as scour the web in real time to fact check data included in your presentations. Likewise, if you missed a Teams meeting, it can get you up to speed and let you know what you’re on the hook to do. And if you want to get really specific, it’ll be able to recommend the best date and speaker for a given event based on the availability of people on your team.

Windows Copilot

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On the design side of things, the designer feature can help you erase elements from pictures you either take or find on the web, which could be handy for making presentation documents more stylish.

As anyone who’s used Windows will know, this isn’t Microsoft’s first attempt at an AI assistant. Cortana was the company’s early bet and didn’t work out well — perhaps Copilot can succeed where Cortana failed.

One thing’s for sure: you won’t miss the integration of Copilot. Microsoft is putting it front and centre as an icon right next to the Windows 11 search bar on your desktop. As you’re using it, it’ll stay alongside you as a sidebar that will stay consistent through your apps and windows.

For all the other news coming from today’s Surface event, make sure you check out our live blog here.

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Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.