Microsoft is bringing its AI Copilot to Windows 10 soon

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Microsoft is bringing its AI-powered Copilot to Windows 10. In a surprise move, the software giant will soon release Copilot for Windows 10 to Release Preview testers, just months after signaling an end of major Windows 10 updates.

“It’s a key opportunity for us to bring Copilot value to more customers,” explains Aaron Woodman, vice president of Windows marketing, in a briefing with The Verge. While Windows 10 end of support is less than two years away, Microsoft is seeking to capitalize on its AI ambitions with a base of millions of PCs that haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 11 to access features like Copilot.

Image: Microsoft
Copilot running in Windows 10.

Copilot in Windows 10 will work very similar to how it appears in Windows 11, with a button on the right-hand side of the taskbar that lets you quickly access the chatbot. And yes, you can remove that button. It won’t be exactly the same as the Windows 11 version, particularly when it comes to controlling Windows features and settings.

“There are going to be some functional differences,” says Woodman. “There are certainly some skills or actions you can take in Windows 11 that do not exist in Windows 10, so therefore wouldn’t be skills inside Copilot.”

Windows 10 has lower hardware requirements than Windows 11, but Microsoft believes a minimum of 4GB of RAM and a 720p screen resolution should be enough for Copilot. Microsoft is only testing with Windows 10 Home and Pro users and intends to share plans for Copilot on commercial versions of Windows 10 soon.

In a support note, Microsoft now says it’s “revisiting our approach to Windows 10 and will be making additional investments to make sure everyone can get the maximum value from their Windows PC including Copilot in Windows (in preview).”

That could include more AI features for Windows 10. I asked about whether the new AI features of Paint in Windows 11 could come to Windows 10. “When it comes to some of the other client-side AI capabilities like Paint, we’re evaluating, but those are relatively intensive burst components that use the silicon in the device,” says Woodman. “We’re able to do that with confidence at high performance on Windows 11 because the minimum system requirements give us a base that allows us to know with confidence that it’s going to work. We’re still evaluating whether we can bring that type of functionality back to Windows 10, but we’ll look at it for sure.”

What does this all mean for the future of Windows 10 and that key end-of-support date? Surely Microsoft has to extend it? “This is the last version of Windows 10, so that’s 22H2, we’re not changing any of that with Windows 10,” insists Woodman. “We’re not making any changes to the end of support for Windows 10, which remains at October 14th, 2025.”

Many have been wondering whether Microsoft would extend support for Windows 10, particularly because it’s so widely used and Windows 11 has lagged behind in adoption. A recent report suggested Windows 11 had reached just 400 million devices after two years. Windows 10 reached that same milestone a year after its release and hit 600 million devices a few months after its two-year anniversary.

Microsoft is now widely expected to launch a new version of Windows in 2024. Intel recently teased a “Windows refresh” for 2024, which it hopes will boost its revenues. The teaser came months after references to a Windows 12 version were leaked from internal Intel documents.

Source: The Verge Microsoft is bringing its AI Copilot to Windows 10 soon