Microsoft has rolled out one of its most substantial updates for Windows 11, introducing several noteworthy features. Among the key additions are Windows Copilot, AI-powered enhancements for Paint, Snipping Tool, and Photos, support for RGB lighting, a modernized File Explorer, and more.
Windows Copilot, a standout feature in this update, integrates a Bing Chat feature directly into the Windows 11 desktop, serving as a sidebar for controlling PC settings, launching apps, and answering queries. Microsoft is embedding Copilot into various parts of Windows 11, positioning it as an AI-powered digital assistant akin to the earlier vision of Cortana, despite the discontinuation of the Cortana app within Windows 11 last month.
Additionally, Microsoft is infusing AI-powered capabilities into Paint, Snipping Tool, and the Windows 11 Photos app. Paint will receive Photoshop-like features with support for transparency and layers. There is also a forthcoming AI image generator for Paint called “Paint Cocreator,” enabling users to generate unique images based on text prompts and styles.
Snipping Tool’s AI enhancements include text extraction and redaction, allowing users to copy text from images and automatically redact sensitive information. Meanwhile, the Windows 11 Photos app introduces a background blur feature that automatically highlights subjects and blurs backgrounds, with customizable blur intensity.
Microsoft is starting to roll out one of its biggest updates to Windows 11 yet. There’s a new Copilot, AI updates to Paint and Snipping Tool, and much more.
It’s important to note that the availability of these AI-enhanced versions of Paint, Photos, and Snipping Tool may vary, with Microsoft indicating a gradual rollout to consumer users over the coming months.
Other notable updates in this release include improved Windows Backup, support for passkeys to avoid passwords, an updated File Explorer with a modernized UI, native RGB lighting controls (Dynamic Lighting), and the ability to choose drive and folder options for games from the Microsoft Store.
This update also brings enhancements for IT administrators and developers. Windows 365 Cloud PCs are integrated into Windows 11, allowing users to boot directly to Windows 365 Cloud PCs and switch between local and Cloud PC desktops. Developers gain access to Dev Home, simplifying the setup and usage of Windows dev machines.
Further updates are expected in a subsequent release planned for the fourth quarter of 2023, including a new volume mixer, native RAR and 7-zip support, app labels, and an ungrouping option for the Windows 11 taskbar. Additionally, a new inking experience mentioned at Microsoft’s Surface and AI event is in the works but is not included in this update.
To get this Windows 11 update immediately, users can navigate to Settings > Windows Update and enable the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” option. Otherwise, it may be available during the November monthly Patch Tuesday release.