On June 29, Microsoft dropped a huge Windows 11 update for members of the Windows Insiders program in the Dev Channel. The Dev Channel build 23493 version had a bunch of new features but the biggest was Windows Copilot, the generative AI assistant that was first announced at Microsoft's Build 2023 developers conference.
However, at the time of the release of Windows 11 Dev Channel build 23493, Microsoft said that only a selection of people in the Dev Channel would be able to access the Windows Copilot feature. Microsoft's blog post at that time said that "we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone."
Well, as it turned out, that day arrived with almost no fanfare. Microsoft quietly updated its Dev Channel blog post last week, stating:
The Windows Copilot Preview is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. Insiders may need to reboot to have it show up.
In case you are not familiar with Windows Copilot, check out our recent hands-on impressions of the preview version. In short, we found that this early version of this AI helper had lots of bugs that made it frustrating to use. We added:
In its current shape, Copilot is probably more suited for novices but if Microsoft spends time on it, Copilot could become an integral part of the Windows ecosystem and hopefully work in tandem with third-party apps and services as well.
Besides the intro of Windows Copilot to the masses, the release of the Windows 11 Dev Channel build 23493 included a new and improved Settings page for the OS. It also had a new and major update for the operating system's volume mixer. Finally, it added native support for a number of archive file formats, including the long-awaited RAR read support.