back to article Copilot pane as annoying as Clippy may pop up in Windows 11

Copilot in Windows is set to get even more assertive after Microsoft added a function that makes the AI assistant's window pop up after a user's cursor hovers over the icon in the task bar. Microsoft's Copilot has touched every part of Redmond's portfolio in the past year. The IT giant even went so far as to drop a bare-bones …

  1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Joke

    Business model

    1. Roll out a feature that "improves" the user experience

    2. Offer a subscription to do away the feature

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Business model

      3. After a few months, add the "improvement" to the subscription version too

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Business model

      But in all seriousness, we've seen MS attempt this before - indeed, with Clippy. They want to make computing 'warm and fuzzy' for the unwashed masses, from Bob (remember that?) to Clippy. This is yet another attempt at the 'fuzzy'.

      Probably like Bob, and Clippy, CoPilot's current UIX will get flushed down the toilet at some future point in time, when the market & the great unwashed get sick of the "wonderful experience!" imbued by a constantly-nagging prompt. Just have patience, MS is a slow learner.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Business model

        Slow learners, aren't they?

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: slow learners

          It is very apparent what is happening here: Microsoft is being driven by their marketing department. "New and shiny!" are the rules, and "AI!" is today's buzzword.

          And the hardware sellers are all-in, saying "Yes please!" because they foresee / hope that it will drive hardware update sales.

          From the perspective of the industry it is all a win-win. We, the users, aren't really part of the discussion - we are expected to buy in to whatever they decide to push. But that is every industry nowadays, from Apple to Oracle to Ford. The Quarterlies are king, and we're actually an inconvenient stepping stone to that end - we, the customer, are unpredictable. The MBA's hate that. They want us to behave exactly like their formulas, believe in the industry and their newest products. They couldn't believe when people walked away from their mortgages in 2008 - what do you MEAN they aren't paying?!! - and continue to believe in their own majesty, their decisions are infallible. Push the latest, the hottest trends, the buzzwords and the hype - show us the money!

          It is not as if we don't know this. We simply believe, in our own naivete and hope, that they won't do the same lies and delusions that they pulled on us before.

          Aren't we the silly ones.

          1. navarac Silver badge

            Re: slow learners

            *They couldn't believe when people walked away from their mortgages in 2008*

            or when 3D TVs were a resounding FLOP.

        2. hx

          Re: Business model

          I don't know, violating consent, invading your privacy and worse is pattern behavior for Microsoft at this point. It's like they can't help it. Besides, did you see what the user was wearing? They were asking for it.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Could it be that somehow they've put a lot of money into this and are now desperate to get the sort of usage figures for it that will stop shareholders asking questions about it? Questions that a chatbot won't be able to answer?

    1. usbac Silver badge

      I figured all along that this is the reason that they are shoving this down everyone's throat.

      It's why we are now seeing all of this AI crap everywhere. A while back a bunch of large investors were told that AI is the future by some hucksters trying make a quick buck, and they all jumped in head first with billions of dollars. Now, even though no one really wants any of this, they have to show "adoption rates" to justify investing other people's money in this nonsense.

      1. Anonymous Custard
        Headmaster

        Yet another solution looking for a problem.

        So either they throw it at so much stuff that my pure (bad?) luck at some point something will stick, or they use it to create their own problem...

  3. Tron Silver badge

    What does it say about you...

    ...if every time you add a new feature to your signature product, people hate it more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What does it say about you...

      "Could it be that my product design ideas are terrible?"

      "No, no, it's the users that are stupid!"

      (Insert principal Skinner meme here)

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: What does it say about you...

        Microsoft taking a leaf out of Apple's playbook.

        You're using it wrong.

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: What does it say about you...

        It also says that if you have a virtual monopoly on the market (i.e. standard business desktops and laptops in this case), you think that you can do what you like and get away with it.

        And maybe they can, unfortunately!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What does it say about you...

          I think most of the recent changes are simply there to prove to shareholders that their users are so locked in that they have to choice but to accept them.

    2. ldo

      Re: What does it say about you...

      It says you’ve got customers who will literally put up with anything.

      After all, as long as the customers keep throwing their money at you, why would you do any different?

  4. Gordon 10

    Not sure it will be that intrusive

    This behaviour is already present in Edge Copilot on the icon in the top right.

    Its a "Hover and Pause" action like a tooltip rather than an instant reaction. It needs deliberate intent.

    1. CeeJayMI

      Re: Not sure it will be that intrusive

      Don't ruin their snark with news

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        YMMV

        Nah, we stand by what we wrote. This taskbar hover will annoy some.

        C.

    2. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      Re: Hover and Pause

      I just tried it with the Edge copilot you mentioned. The "pause" need only be about half a second. I can certainly do that without deliberate intent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Yankee Doodle Doofus - Re: Hover and Pause

        Pardon my ignorance but, where is that edge copilot ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Yankee Doodle Doofus - Hover and Pause

          Hush, user of an Operating System That Actually Works.

          :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hush, user of an Operating System That Actually Works.

            We have a CP/M user?? Sweet!

        2. Anonymous Custard
          Trollface

          Re: @Yankee Doodle Doofus - Hover and Pause

          Pardon my ignorance but, where is that edge copilot ?

          That kind of ignorance should be cherished, not pardoned...

    3. NeilPost

      Re: Not sure it will be that intrusive

      Are you the single Edge user out there?

      Thankfully in Euro-land we can delete it.

  5. ShipyardTechWork

    Can someone please tell them to stop?

    No one wants this parasite on their desktop. Anything it says should be verified since LLMs and "AI" we have now are prone to errors. All it's doing is driving folks up the wall trying to figure out how to remove this "improvement".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

      Every new version of Windows makes the previous versions look great.

      Moving from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is like the old Windows XP to Windows Vista up/down-grade. Originally I thought Windows 7 was not so good (I'd been upgrading Windows for years) but nowadays Windows 7 is so much better, more reliable and wonderfully easier to use that every version since it first appeared.

      1. Terje

        Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

        I have been using W11 for half a year now, and it's fine(tm)... You can configure it to remove most of the idiot things that should not be enabled from start. If we disregard any potential "improvements" "under the hood" and just consider the user experience, in my not so humble opinion it's a slight downgrade from 10, mostly from crap being added that I don't want front and centre (Onedrive I look at you). I have luckily avoided most of the horrible bugs people have experienced so I'm not tainted by them in either direction as of now. My verdict is Meh, don't upgrade unless you are forced to or if it's a new system and you don't want to mess with upgrading when they try to force you away from 10.

        When anything AI related tries to make it's way onto my desktop It will be gone the moment I figure out how to disable it, that's crap I don't want.

        There's not a single feature I have found that I feel like wow, that is nice!

        In another year or two it may be (with configuration to disable crap) an on par experience with 10.

        1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

          Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

          > W11 for half a year now, and it's fine(tm)... You can configure it to remove most of the idiot things

          But that is the problem for any version after Windows 7 - you have to thrash it to within an inch of its life to make it palatable /usable - AND YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DO THIS!!

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

            I had a roughly ten minute routine for XP, which took a fresh install to a state that I felt was 'acceptable', disabling animations, un-needed services etc.

        2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: In another year or two ...

          All those tweaks you have been virtually forced into developing just to make it palatable will be changed or disabled. MS don't want people to deviate from their way of working.

          MS hates people like you. Playing with their baby is just not allowed.

      2. flokie

        Well we can't rule out it's the usual "every other version is rubbish and should be skipped" - we'll have to wait for Windows 12 and see.

        Just as a reminder: 98 good (or was it 95 good, 98 bad, 98 SE good? a little before my time). ME bad. XP good. Vista bad. 7 good. 8 bad. 10 good. 11 bad.

        If anyone wants to argue that all Windows releases are bad, that's fine with me too.

        1. druck Silver badge
          Boffin

          No, every version of Windows is bad, it's just that each new worse version makes you nostalgic for the last but one version your fading memory now looks back on fondly.

        2. navarac Silver badge

          Dos 4 was awful....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ShipyardTechWork - Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

      Sure! You tell them.

    3. ldo

      Re: Can someone please tell them to stop?

      As long as you keep giving them your money, they don’t need to listen to your complaints.

      Money talks. Hot air doesn’t.

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Devil

    "Hello"

    "It looks like you're trying to scram the reactor... would you like some help with that? or how about pictures of other reactors or a trip to Amazon.com to see if they have the tool to scram the reactor...... my sensors are detecting increased radiation and temperature, are you still sure you want to scram the reactor? there are many exciting alternatives on the microsoft website to help you be more productive while suffering from terminal radiation sickness.... heres a link to some funeral homes that deal in hazardous remains......"

    Does anyone else get a whole 'talkie toaster' vibe whenever these companies witter on about AI assistants AND NO I DONT WANT A FLAPJACK!

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Hello"

      Ah, so you're a waffle man?

      As I alluded in a comment yesterday, for me it's not as much Talkie Toaster, more "Eddie the shipboard computer".

      "Hi guys, I just want you to know that I am here to help and I am going to get so much of a kick out of helping you! <ticker tape, ticker tape>"

  7. EricM
    Stop

    AI-enabled? I'd call that AI-infested...

    In not only Coplot lurking in Windows, but in just about any of the current me-too wannabe "AI" peddlers trying to ride the hype...

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: AI-enabled? I'd call that AI-infested...

      I remember when the first-gen iMac came out, and suddenly every single peripheral on the market - and a fair few household appliances, too - was clad in translucent teal plastic to ride the iMac design hype.

      And history repeats now with AI. It'll be a "feature" of everything from graphics cards to vacuum cleaners. Probably even iomega zip drivesUSB memory sticks, too.

  8. Someone Else Silver badge

    Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

    Seems everything they're doing in the last, oh say 5 years or so, has been directed at running the last users with an IQ above room temperature off the platform permanently.

    Maybe their marketers have been infiltrated by an Apple sleeper cell....

    1. Excused Boots Bronze badge

      Re: Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

      I suspect that MS’s marketing department’s target audience isn’t the techie at all, but the ‘C’ suite executives, who (mostly) understand as much of how this all works as my cat does (and Timmo is not the brightest cat on the planet)!

      It doesn’t matter if entire IT departments recognises it as the ‘Emperor's New Clothes’ that it is and advise against it all - if the top bosses fall for the ‘it’s AI’, ‘it’s the future’, ‘it’ll make us a fortune’; snake-oil salesman pitches, then that is what they will demand be installed.

      And Microsoft know it - they have long given up on the domestic user (the X-box being an exception), and even small businesses, and only concentrate on the enterprise market, which presumably is where the money is, and, of course, anything that requires a recurring subscription.

      I’m afraid that slick advertising, geared to the unsuspecting executives, trumps knowledgable IT experts every time!

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

        C'mon...Microsoft is really Sirius Cybernetics in disguise, aren't they?

        Because their Marketing Department will certainly be first against the wall, when the Revolution comes!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Someone Else - Re: Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

      Short answer, yes. And they've been like that for more than a decade now.

    3. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

      Maybe their marketers have been infiltrated by an Apple sleeper cell....

      Maybe, but then you have to wonder why Apple put AI hardware ("Neural Engine") in their recent CPUs, and what they plan to do with it.

      If I could pay less for a CPU without this, I would. In fact, I'd pay the same, or maybe more, for a CPU without it.

      1. Snapper

        Re: Is Micros~1's marketing dept. out of their ever-lovin minds?

        Maybe Apple will have a clue on how to use it?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Maybe Apple will have a clue on how to use it?

          without it getting in everyone's face and annoying the hell out of the user.

          Who knows... Perhaps you should ask Siri?

  9. Ball boy Silver badge

    It'll get a LOT worse

    Popping up a window so you can interact with their AI is only half the story: before long, we'll find that the pop-up is also fed a bunch of data grabbed from the windows underneath so AI can 'predict' what you might be about to ask and get the answers for you more quickly. Have a wild guess who profits from the data that gets slurped...Hint: it won't be you.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: It'll get a LOT worse

      If it is reading your window and sending some of the contents off to a US server (coz I assume CoPilot isn't running locally) then there had better be a way of turning it off that doesn't involve 5% of annual turnover.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It'll get a LOT worse

        I fail to see how anyone running the new versions of Windows can possibly be HIPPA or PCI compliant with all of the data leaking going on behind the scenes?

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: fed a bunch of data grabbed from the windows underneath

      The mere possibility of this happening, or more likely that CoPilot is actively scanning everything you're working on "to be as helpful as possible" is why I disabled it immediately, and suggested the rest of my team do the same.

      Dear MS, kindly stop putting shit on our PCs that we didn't explicitly ask for. Thank you.

  10. PeeKay
    Mushroom

    Burn it with fire

    Or rather, a local GPO to disable spawn of Co-Pilot.

    Removes that annoying icon on the right of the taskbar, too.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Burn it with fire

      There's a nice article here on the various ways to get rid of it!

      https://www.prajwaldesai.com/disable-copilot-on-windows-11-intune-gpo/

    2. Ramis101

      Re: Burn it with fire

      I'm sure it will be added to O&OShutup10 as soon as it can be!

      1. JWLong

        Re: Burn it with fire

        I love O&OShutup10.

  11. 43300 Silver badge

    To go off on an AI tangent, has anyone seen the AI image generation function which has appeared in Photoshop? It's laughably bad! Really demonstrates the blinkered approach to shoe-horning AI in absolutely everywhere, even to the extent of adding something which looks like a toy for five-year-old kids into a program aimed at graphic designers.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I could find an easy decent way of running itunes on Linux. I'd have ditched Windows long ago.. It's the only reason I stay.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      And you haven't tried Wine?

    2. Zack Mollusc

      Wow!

      Hadn't thought about iTunes for years.

      I remember having to download it to use an iPod that I had been given and the first thing it did was rename some music files without asking for permission.

      There was apparently some switch in the settings for 'do not make changes to user files without asking' , but I didn't know that at the time .

      Anyhoo, it became obvious that Apple had spent a great deal of time and effort to make it as difficult as possible to copy data to and from a storage device so I threw it in the bin and deleted iTunes.

      Ah, memories.

  13. MacGuffin

    And I want it why?

    My limited impression on AI and copilot in particular is that both are a solution in search of a problem.

    1. Anonymous Custard

      Re: And I want it why?

      Or a way to create its own problem to "solve"...

  14. Ramis101

    Please tell me this guff will not be in the next LTSB version

    The only version of Windows 10 that can actually call itself "professional" is LTSB/C Windows 10 Pro is just a joke.

    Here's hoping that a "professional" version of Win11 is emitted soon....

  15. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Closing Windows

    We're in the twilight of Microsoft's Windows dominance. The company is only introducing unwanted features in Windows that fatten its bottom line (or inflate its stock price) and ignores the needs and wishes of its customers.

    All this AI shit is only added so Nadella can claim his $100 million bonus for having inflated the stock price. Nothing else.

    How long until the customers start to vote with their feet?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Closing Windows

      I think they already are

      And yesterday was "Super Tuesday" on this side of the pond, so....

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Closing Windows

        They don't seem to be flocking towards Mac, though.

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Closing Windows

      Microsoft is tying Windows, Office and the M365 online services ever tighter together. This is no doubt deliberate.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Closing Windows

        Until the wheels fall off the cart. For most home users LibreOffice suffices.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: Closing Windows

          Yeah but aren't the majority of Windows users SME and Enterprise? Home users are a small minority overall. Business are historically slow to shift, so it'll be a very slow loosening of the wheel bolts that gradually drop off one by one, the wheels getting wobblier and wobblier, and suddenly one (or all) of them falls off and MS plunges into a financial ravine.

  16. b1k3rdude

    Already disabled CP on the media and test bench PCs. So no, it work be annoying, as I will never be using it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate ...

    ... assertive copilots.

  18. Ashto5

    Thankful I can’t run win11

    After a quick read

    I now know for sure I don’t want win 11

  19. frankyunderwood123

    Remember, with Windows, this is not your computer...

    Microsoft seem hellbent on destroying Windows, don't they?

    There doesn't seem to be any joined up thinking in terms of what they ship to the Desktop or how they change the Desktop, just a series of experiments.

    It seems to be one massive playground involving billions of Desktops, but the end-user makes none of the rules up and half the time, isn't sure what the games are.

    Everything is "opt-out", except for things which you can't "opt-out" of.

    Even the "opt-out" things can often mysteriously "opt-in" again after an update.

    Talking about updates, it feels like every update is a roll of the dice - you never quite know what you'll get, never exactly know when it'll hit - aside from a few paltry options to skip for a while - and never know whether it's going to break something.

    In short, if you use Windows 11 as your personal Desktop Operating system, your computer is no longer yours - it isn't under your control.

    Windows 10? Not much better.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Remember, with Windows, this is not your computer...

      All very true!

      I'm no great fan of the fruity company, but one thing definitely in their favour is that they don't continually fuck around with their OS like Microsoft does, nor do they regularly foist unrequested shite onto it.

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