A pinpoint guide to installing Copilot and my brief hands on with this Microsoft Windows native AI companion.
Sounds cliche, but you must have heard about ChatGPT, even if you were living under a rock.
At Geekflare, we tested it thoroughly to the point of getting convinced that this AI development will end up being a mini-apocalypse for white-collar jobs. It does so many things to near perfection, just needing a (small) human touch for satisfaction and accuracy.
So what does ChatGPT have to do with Copilot? A lot!
Microsoft is in the driving seat at OpenAI (ChatGPT’s parent company). And its Bing AI is like ChatGPT but repurposed for the web. Copilot is another such offering with the same interface as Bing AI.
The only Copilot benefit I could see (for people other than neck-deep in Microsoft 365) is you don’t have to open Microsoft Edge to use Bing AI, and it can do a few things to your Windows 11 PC, like turning on the dark mode.
Before we jump on to see how to start with Copilot, here’s a quick intro.
About Microsoft Copilot
As of now, Copilot is available to the users enrolled in the Windows Insider program in its Dev channel. You can do this within your Windows Update section.
I will tell you how, but not without a small warning.
Insider programs give you access to the newest features of Windows, and these builds are generally unstable. I went from hell when my first such installation restricted my access to the Windows settings area. I could not open it and faced random crashes almost everywhere. Tried many fixes listed in most official and other Windows forums to no avail. Lastly, I had to factory reset.
So, wait for it to come out of the preview stage if you aren’t up for those situations. Otherwise, here we go.
Installing Microsoft Copilot
First thing, register for the Windows Insider program. Head to the Windows 11 Settings, click Windows Update at the left pane and enter into the Windows Insider Program.
This will give you a “Get Started” option to click. Afterward, link a preferable Microsoft account, choose an Insider channel (select Dev), click Continue, and restart the device.
If everything goes right, you will see something like this in the update section:
Now, manually check and install the latest Windows update.
Finally, confirm you have the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23493 or higher in Settings>System>About.
Besides, you’ll need Microsoft Edge, version 115.0.1901.150 or higher.
If your device satisfies both these requirements, you “should” see the Copilot icon in the taskbar.
But since this isn’t available to every Windows Insider yet, one might need one more step before getting Copilot.
ViveTool is a 3rd party open-source utility to unlock hidden features in Windows Insider builds. Just download, unzip, and run the application.
It won’t show any interface. Momentarily, there will be a command prompt flash to run a background script. But don’t bother if you can’t spot that. Restart, and you’ll see the Copilot icon in the taskbar.
How to Use Microsoft Copilot
Click the Copilot (preview) icon at the taskbar or press “Windows key + C” to start.
Right off the bat, you select the conversation styles, Creative, Balanced and Precise. If you ask me, choose More Creative and More Precise, based on the prompt requirements.
However, one can change this anytime with the new topic option, as indicated in the following image.
In a nutshell, Copilot brings the Bing AI experience to your Windows 11 device. In addition, it’s integrated with a few Windows apps. For instance, you can tell it to turn on Bluetooth.
Similarly, you can turn on WiFi, find something on YouTube, play music on Spotify, web search, and more.
After you prompt it a few times, you might get this pop-up asking permission to scan the active Microsoft Edge tab for more relevant answers.
You can decide there or later tweak this in the Copilot Settings.
Personally, I felt this feature is more useful if you browse the web extensively. It helps you prepare summaries to see if the whole thing is worth reading about.
Similarly, one can copy-paste a link and ask Copilot to draw conclusions.
So, these are a few things you can do with Copilot. It might feel limited in this preview stage, but its integration with the Windows eco-system will only expand over time. In the future, we can expect it to control every aspect of our Windows PCs.
Until then, it’s an AI assistant that currently can help you tweak some of your Windows settings and apps, do internet searches, summarize, write all kinds of things (poems, code, etc.), and more.
Frankly, I would advise you to wait for Microsoft to release Copilot officially. It’s not worth taking the risk of doing what you can easily do with Bing AI. It is almost the same except for turning on a few settings.
To reiterate, this article isn’t meant for people subscribed to Microsoft 365. In that case, Copilot is nothing short of having an AI superpower and is definitely worth its price.
And if this is your first generative AI experience, I advise you to explore ChatGPT (which has a free version) and Google Bard (completely free).
Hitesh works as a senior writer at Geekflare and dabbles in cybersecurity, productivity, games, and marketing. Besides, he holds master’s in transportation engineering. His free time is mostly about playing with his son, reading, or lying… read more
Rashmi has over 7 years of expertise in content management, SEO, and data research, making her a highly experienced professional. She has a solid academic background and has done her bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer applications…. read more