Microsoft Paint is getting its biggest upgrade in over a decade thanks to Windows Copilot

During Microsoft’s Surface Event, the tech giant revealed a ton of new features and updates. One of the most interesting and possibly biggest was the Copilot all-in-one AI assistant, which is coming to Windows 11 on September 26, 2023.

Microsoft Copilot is a more general version of 365 Copilot that uses AI to help users with any Windows 11 programs including popular programs like Paint, Snipping Tool, Photos, and more. And now we have even more information about the standalone app, which just might be the most important update to Windows OS yet.

A new blog post from Yusuf Mehdi, CVP & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, explains how Copilot works with a multitude of Windows programs. For instance, the Paint Cocreator app (which will be available to Windows Insiders starting September 26) allows users to input a text prompt, select a style, and generate a unique image, which can then be further modified by using the new layers feature for Paint, or by simply drawing on top of the generated image.

Microsoft Clipchamp, meanwhile, is a new companion AI tool for video editing with the use of enhanced AI tools like Auto Compose. By answering a few questions on the type of video you’re developing, Clipchamp will provide recommended scenes, edits, and a narrative for you based on your input and creative assets. Then you can upload the video to, for instance, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn as well as to OneDrive or Google Drive.

Snipping Tool also received several new upgrades. You can now capture sound using audio and mic support along with visuals, by simply pressing Win + Shift + R or Print Screen to activate. Two new text actions, text extraction and redaction, were also added. 

Text extraction is used to scan content from an online article, a video call, or any other source and then copy it text directly into other documents like Word or PowerPoint. Text redaction is a safety feature that completely blacks out any text you don’t want to show, like an email address within your screenshots or a category of information.

A person using a touchscreen Windows 11 laptop.

(Image credit: Surface/Unsplash)

Photos app has been upgraded as well with a new feature called Background blur that offers a way to enhance image resolution and apply blur effects. Enhanced search capabilities make it easier to find photos saved in OneDrive by typing in keywords related to objects, locations, or dates. There’s also a new slideshow feature that organizes photos into a presentation to share with family and friends.

Voice also has gotten a boost and now works in more places including during the log-in process. You can now dictate complex and nonstandard words through the new spelling experience, and the corrections functionality will fix words that were recognized incorrectly. Narrator supports even more languages including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English (UK, India).

The Passkeys tool creates a unique, unguessable credential and allows you to sign in using your face, fingerprint, or device PIN. It will now be integrated into Windows OS and will work on multiple browsers including Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and more.

Adaptive Dimming is another new feature that allows users to conserve energy. If your PC presence sensor detects you are no longer paying attention, it will slowly dim your screen and save energy. It can also serve as an alert to refocus if your attention has been wandering.

John Cable, Microsoft’s, VP, Program Management, Windows Servicing & Delivery, released his own blog post which outlines how to access all these new features and updates. Windows 11 devices will gradually get access to these updates over the next few weeks. Anyone with Windows 11, version 22H2 running on their device can get access to these tools as soon as they’re ready by going to Settings > Windows Update and turning on ‘Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available.’ 

All of these Copilot updates are expected to be broadly available in the November 2023 security update release. The Windows 11 23H2 update, meanwhile will not be dropping next week but in Q4 2023, which is October at the earliest.

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