It’s no secret to anyone how deep Microsoft is in the generative AI world. With Bing Chat, Copilot, and even an attempt to snag OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman for its own AI team, it’s certain Microsoft wants to push harder and harder in this territory. Copilot, its generative AI assistant, is present in a lot of Microsoft’s software by this point, including Windows, and now, the company seems to be testing a new change that will make Copilot much more visible.
Microsoft is testing a change in the latest Insider build of Windows 11 where it will show a full-color Copilot icon on the right of your taskbar, right beside the Notifications bell icon. Clicking on it will bring up the Copilot assistant side pane and let you ask questions. As you might know, that’s where the “show desktop” button used to live, and as part of this change, the Copilot button (which is also full-color, unlike other icons on the right side of the taskbar, presumably intentional to draw attention to it) will replace it by default. With this change, Microsoft wants to make the Copilot assistant “more clear and easily accessible by being closer to where the Copilot pane opens.”
While this may seem useful for some people, others might not like it as much and might even see this as an attempt by Microsoft to make Copilot even more visible. The good part, however, is that there is a way to revert to the previous behavior by going into the Settings menu and navigating to Personalization > Taskbar. Alternatively, you can right-click on the taskbar to access this menu. Unless you’re the kind to actively use generative AI for all your day to day tasks, and genuinely find use for it, this button may not be of much use to you and will likely go unused a lot of the time.
This is still being tested in the Insider builds of Windows 11, so the behavior might change or be dropped entirely before it’s rolled out to all PCs. Microsoft is also adding Copilot to Windows 10 with the button in the same place.