The Future of Microsoft’s Virtual Assistant: Copilot

Over the years, Microsoft has introduced various virtual assistants such as Bob, Clippy, and Cortana, each with its own set of features and shortcomings. The latest addition to this lineup is Copilot, which has received a recent update in the beta versions of Windows. This update expands the capabilities of Copilot, allowing users to perform tasks such as renaming files, cleaning up storage drives, and checking IP addresses. While some in the PC Gamer office may have reservations about Copilot, it is interesting to see how Microsoft is continuously improving the virtual assistant to make it more useful for users.

One of the key improvements to Copilot is the introduction of a plugin called Power Automate, which unlocks a range of advanced features. By installing this plugin and activating it in Copilot’s settings, users can now perform complex tasks like renaming or moving all files in a folder, or splitting a PDF into sections. These tasks go beyond simple functions like snapping windows or taking screenshots, making Copilot a more robust and versatile virtual assistant.

In addition to productivity tasks, Copilot also offers accessibility features that cater to users with limited vision. Functions like enabling the magnifier, changing text size, and toggling battery saver mode on laptops make Copilot a useful tool for a diverse range of users. While older virtual assistants could perform similar tasks, the improvements in Copilot’s speed and reliability set it apart as a more efficient assistant.

Despite the potential benefits of Copilot, there are concerns about the computing power required to run the virtual assistant and the potential costs associated with developing and maintaining the AI infrastructure. While Copilot is currently free to use, there may be subscription fees in the future for advanced generative capabilities. It remains to be seen how these costs will be passed on to consumers and whether the integration of AI in everyday operating systems will bring additional expenses.

As Copilot continues to evolve and become an integral part of Windows, the next big update will likely focus on further integrating AI capabilities into the operating system. While there is cautious optimism about the potential of Copilot to revolutionize virtual assistance, questions remain about the long-term sustainability and affordability of such technologies. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft addresses these challenges and the impact Copilot will have on the future of virtual assistants.


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