Copilot pane as annoying as Clippy may pop up in Windows 11

It's in the Beta Channel build for now... but oh my, you're not going to love this

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 version into the open coffin of Windows 10 in recent months. However, it is in Windows 11 that Microsoft has expended most energy, at least in terms of AI-enabled operating systems.

Windows Insiders on the Beta Channel – with the option to get the latest updates turned on – will soon find themselves on the receiving end of what Microsoft calls "a new hover experience for Copilot in Windows" from build 22635.3276.

If your mouse cursor happens to drift over to the Copilot icon on the taskbar, the Copilot pane will open to make users aware of the delights on offer. The result, we suspect, will be to educate users in the art of switching off the function. Much like Widgets, which will also make its unwanted presence felt should a user move a mouse over its icon.

A swift hop into taskbar settings is all it takes to make the icons disappear, for now at least.

The new feature is being piloted but considering the proximity of the Beta Channel to Release Preview, there is every chance the pop-up will, er, pop up in a release version of Windows before long.

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Microsoft also said it is aware of an issue that had bedeviled Windows Insiders since the last flight in the Beta Channel. According to Microsoft, there has been an increase in explorer.exe crashes.

"We're working on the fix," the biz said.

A cynic might suggest that as a mantra for the Windows team these days, we couldn't possibly comment. ®

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