Microsoft’s Build developer conference being held this week has so far been all about Bing, Copilot and artificial intelligence, with the Redmond tech giant introducing Windows Copilot for Windows 11, Bing Chat plugins, and a range of new developer tools.
The Build conference comes as Microsoft becomes fully invested in Copilot, AI and Windows 11, with much of the announcements spanning across those product categories.
Windows Copilot for Windows 11
Microsoft has already unveiled Microsoft 365 Copilot to help workers be more productive while using Microsoft’s productivity tools such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and more. Now, the company is launching Windows Copilot, available in preview next month, which Microsoft calls the first PC platform to provide centralized AI assistance for users.
This comes along with Bing Chat and first- and third-party plugins to help users create complex projects and collaborate more efficiently across multiple applications. Windows Copilot, essentially a virtual assistant, can be invoked from the taskbar and will stay consistent across apps, programs and windows, Microsoft says.
In a blog, Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer of Windows and devices, says Windows Copilot makes every user a power user.
“The things you love about Windows – copy/paste, Snap Assist, Snipping Tool, personalization – they are all right there for you, along with every other feature on the platform, and they only get better with Windows Copilot,” Panay writes. “For example, you can not only copy and paste, but also ask Windows Copilot to rewrite, summarize or explain your content.”
Similar to ChatGPT, Bing Chat and other chatbots driven by large language models (LLMs), Copilot can be asked a range of questions.
Since the tool was announced during the Build developer conference, Microsoft says Windows Copilot gives developers new ways to reach and innovate for shared customers.
“We welcome you to be part of the Windows Copilot journey by continuing to invest in Bing and ChatGPT plugins so your investments will carry forward to Windows Copilot,” Panay writes.
Bringing the new Bing to ChatGPT, plugins
Microsoft is also bringing its new Bing to ChatGPT to act as the default search experience, giving ChatGPT users access to Bing’s search engine which will be built-in to provide additional information from the web.
This makes ChatGPT answers grounded by search and web data, with citations. ChatGPT Plus subscribers will first get access, and it will be rolling out to free users “soon” by enabling a plugin with brings Bing to ChatGPT, Microsoft says.
Additionally, Microsoft and ChatGPT creators OpenAI are making it possible for developers to use one platform to build and submit plugins that work across both consumer and business surfaces, including ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot.
As part of the shared platform, Bing is adding to its support for plugins by adding several others to the Bing ecosystem.
With Microsoft launching Windows Copilot and essentially bringing Bing Chat to Windows 11 in a “more robust way,” Microsoft says Windows Copilot and Bing Chat enable those plugins to be enhanced through applications on Windows.
Microsoft says it is also natively integrating the common plugin platform into Microsoft Edge.
Also as part of Microsoft’s announcements is Microsoft Fabric, a new unified platform for analytics that includes data engineering, data integration, data warehousing, data science, real-time analytics, applied observability and business intelligence connected to a single data repository called OneLake, the company says.
According to Microsoft, Fabric enables customers of all technical levels to experience capabilities in a single, unified experience. It is infused with Azure OpenAI Service at every layer to help customers unlock the full potential of their data, enabling developers to leverage the power of generative AI to find insights in their data.
Fabric also incldues Copilot, allowing customers to use conversational language to create dataflows and pipelines, generate code and entire functions, build machine learning models or visualize results, Microsoft says.
Other developer tools
Microsoft also announced Hybrid AI loop to support AI development across platform, and across Azure to client with new silicon support from AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm. This builds on Hybrid Loop, which Microsoft launched at last year’s Build conference to enable hybrid AI scenarios across Azure and client devices.
Microsoft also announced Dev Home, which it calls a new Windows 11 experience designed to help developers be more productive and streamline workflows. The preview is available in the Microsoft Store now.
Read Microsoft’s blog for the full list of new developer tools.
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