Microsoft has announced the rollout of its latest Windows 11 update, which enables new features like the company’s recently announced AI Copilot.
In a blog post, the tech giant highlighted the new features coming in the September Windows Update. That includes Copilot, updates to apps that ship with Windows (dubbed inbox apps), like Paint, Snipping Tool, and Notepad, as well as updates to Photos, Windows Backup, and more.
Windows users can get started with Copilot by clicking/tapping the Copilot icon in the taskbar or with the new WIN+C keyboard command. Either will trigger the Copilot sidebar, which will use the same Microsoft account you sign into Windows with.
As for the inbox apps, Microsoft is adding AI features and other updates. Paint, for example, is getting a ‘layers’ feature. If you’ve spent any time using image editors like Photoshop, you’re likely familiar with layers, which let you, well, layer elements in an image. It’s a super helpful feature and having access to it in Paint should enable some very creative output.
Paint is also getting a ‘Cocreator’ preview. Cocreator uses generative AI to turn text prompts into images that people can use in Paint. For example, you can add an image of a person and strip out the background in Paint, then, using the new layers feature, generate a new background with AI. It’s worth noting that the use of Cocreator will be limited using tokens — once people have burned through their tokens, they’ll need to buy more.
Microsoft’s video editing tool Clipchamp is also getting an AI boost with Auto Compose, which asks users a few questions about the video they want to make and then recommends scenes, edits, and more.
Snipping Tool’s new features are among the more exciting, though I might be biased since I use the Snipping Tool every day. Snipping Tool’s screen record functionality got a lot better with the ability to capture sound, including audio and mic support. Users can also directly launch the screen record functionality with ‘WIN+Shift+R.’
Snipping Tool is also getting text extraction and redaction features. Extraction will let users pull text content from nearly anywhere and copy it for use in other documents, web searches, and more. Redaction, on the other hand, lets users black out the text they don’t want shown.
Other changes coming include background blur and better search in Photos, a Windows Backup feature to make it easier to move to a new PC (with 5GB of free cloud storage), new accessibility tools, the ability to use Windows Hello as a passkey for singing into online services, and more. You can check out the full breakdown of new features here.
Microsoft says to get the latest updates, you’ll want to head to Settings > Windows Update and turn on the ‘Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available’ feature. The company anticipates most of the new features will be broadly available by the time the November 2023 security update releases for all Windows devices.
Images credit: Microsoft