– The Copilot panel in Windows 11 has undergone recent changes to its appearance and functionality.
– The panel is now wider and opens as an overlay, rather than in a side-by-side view.
– Microsoft has added a prompt to inform users of the changes and provide an option to switch back to the previous layout.
– The change was made based on user feedback requesting more screen space for the Copilot panel.
– Microsoft is exploring further integration of Copilot in Windows 11, including its appearance during boot and in File Explorer.
– There have been reports of nudges and advertisements promoting the paid version of Copilot, which is called Copilot Pro.
The Copilot panel in Windows 11 has been tinkered with a good deal in recent times, and a newer change that has been applied is one to switch up the way it appears by default, which has now been accompanied by a prompt from Microsoft explaining why.
This was spotted by regular leaker Leopeva64 on X (formerly Twitter), who noted that the Copilot pane is now wider than it used to be, and opens as an overlay, rather than in side-by-side view (a more compact form, where it’s always nestling next to your active window).
Microsoft has added a prompt to inform the user that the Windows Copilot pane is now wider and opens as an overlay by default, the prompt also mentions that there is a button to enable side-by-side view:https://t.co/hkjzTtarOT pic.twitter.com/D8r3uzPoOtFebruary 4, 2024
Leopeva64 explains that the Copilot interface has opened this way for a short while now, but a new addition is a prompt Microsoft has added to explain why.
The ‘What’s new’ pop-up tells us that the recent change to make the panel wider so there’s “more space to chat” was due to Windows 11 user feedback requesting that additional real-estate. It also notes, however, that there’s a button at the top of the panel you can click to switch back to the more compact side-by-side layout, if you wish.
Analysis: Copilot expansion
It’s useful to have an explanation of the recent move to change the default settings for how the AI opens, and by all accounts, this points to Windows 11 users favoring a larger Copilot panel. (Or at least some of them, and we could assume the majority, at least of those who’ve fed back to Microsoft on Copilot’s interface).
Certainly those who use Copilot quite a lot in Windows 11, engaging in longer sessions of queries, may welcome the AI assistant getting more screen space by default.
The truth is we can expect to see a lot more of Copilot, one way or another, going forward. By which we mean Microsoft is already testing the waters for having the AI assistant appear when Windows 11 first boots (in a limited fashion thus far, mind). Furthermore, there are clues that Copilot may be integrated into other parts of the Windows 11 interface (such as File Explorer). We can envisage further possibilities like being able to dock Copilot elsewhere (it sits on the right-hand side of the screen currently).
What we definitely don’t want to see are nudges or adverts to use Copilot, but sadly – yet somewhat predictably – this has been spotted in testing too (promoting Copilot Pro, the supercharged paid version of the AI, we should clarify).
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AI Eclipse TLDR:
The Copilot panel in Windows 11 has undergone recent changes, including a wider appearance and opening as an overlay rather than a side-by-side view. Microsoft has added a prompt to explain these changes, stating that user feedback requested more space for chat. However, there is still an option to switch back to the compact layout. This suggests that Windows 11 users prefer a larger Copilot panel, especially those who frequently use the AI assistant for longer sessions. It is likely that Copilot will continue to be developed and integrated into other parts of the Windows 11 interface, such as File Explorer. However, there have been reports of nudges or advertisements promoting the paid version of Copilot, which may not be well-received by users.