What you need to know
- Microsoft will soon add multiple AI and search options to the Edge screenshot tool.
- The company is already testing a shortcut to Chat with Copilot, a Text Detector, Search image with Bing, and Search text with Bing.
- Samsung recently announced similar features for its flagship smartphones, but Circle to Search uses Google, not Bing.
Microsoft Edge's screenshot tool will soon include shortcuts to Chat with Copilot. Microsoft also plans to add several other options to the tool, including Text Detector, Search image with Bing, and Search text with Bing. The new options were spotted by Leo Varela, who keeps a close eye on Edge developments.
Copilot is being placed front and center by Microsoft within several apps and services. Windows 11 already has a Copilot shortcut for the Taskbar and Edge has one in its Sidebar. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promised that all of the company's products will have AI in some form or another, and more often than not that includes a version of Copilot.
Edge's screenshot tool will get several new options: Chat with Copilot, Text Detector, Search image with Bing (in the Sidebar), and Search text with Bing:https://t.co/E6V4dlenm5 .https://t.co/N8Tyka1aG6 pic.twitter.com/gx9bUF7PGEJanuary 18, 2024
Microsoft first introduced separate versions of Copilot with different branding. The company then shifted to a unified Copilot approach that extends across Bing, Edge, and Windows. With Copilot appearing on more services and expanding in functionality, it makes sense that Microsoft wants a strong brand that it can push.
Microsoft AI minus the Bing brand
Speaking of branding, while Microsoft continues its march to get all of its services to have Copilot integration, the company is doing so without the Bing brand. Bing Chat is now Copilot with Bing Chat. Bing Chat Enterprise is now Copilot Pro. Just last week, Microsoft specified that Bing Image Creator is now called Creator from Designer.
Microsoft hasn't stated an official shift away from the Bing brand, but actions speak louder than words. Based on what Microsoft has changed and announced recently, the tech giant seems to have more faith in the Copilot brand than the Bing brand. That's not surprising, since Bing has been a joke to many for years.
Despite the addition of Bing Chat and GPT tech from OpenAI, Bing usage actually dropped year-over-year. Why attach Microsoft's AI efforts to a struggling search engine name when you can start fresh with "Copilot" as a brand?
Microsoft appears eager to get Copilot in front of users at every opportunity. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Windows PCs will feature a Copilot key. That news drew a surprising amount of criticism that was shared on Reddit and across the web.
Much of the criticism centered around Copilot argues that Microsoft is "forcing" AI onto people. While I don't think a button to open Copilot forces people to use the tool, it does force people to see a shortcut to Copilot. If Microsoft puts Copilot shortcuts in enough places throughout Windows 11, some will likely feel pestered.
A hidden feature discovered this month indicates that Microsoft has some Copilot functionality on the way to File Explorer. While it's not clear how File Explorer will work with Copilot, one theory is that Windows will make it easier to send a file to Copilot through a shortcut in the context menu.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.