Windows 11's next big update is set to arrive next week - yes, next week, rather out of the blue - and it'll be coming with Copilot, Microsoft's big AI gambit for the OS.
Microsoft made the announcement at its press event in New York today, spending a good deal of time chewing over exactly how Copilot will make a big difference to Windows 11 users.
As The Verge reports, Microsoft confirmed that September 26 is the date to mark for the launch of Windows 11 Moment 4 and the debut of Copilot.
As we've already witnessed in testing, Copilot has a whole bunch of chops already seen in Bing AI, and will be able to pull off tricks like summarizing documents, for example.
What isn't yet clear is how far Copilot's powers will extend to changing settings in Windows 11 based on simple user requests (and avoiding having to delve deep into menus and submenus to get what you want to happen).
Copilot makes its home in a side-panel in Windows 11 (again, as seen in testing), and is integrated throughout the whole operating system.
The new AI assistant aside, another big feature for the inbound update is the Ink Anywhere ability for stylus users. This is something else that has popped up in testing, and means touchscreen users can literally write in menus with their pen anywhere, which is pretty nifty indeed.
Other new features - again, expected stuff already seen in testing - includes a dark mode for the Paint app (but no layers, not just yet) and an RGB Hub to control your various lighting for peripherals all from one place (avoiding having to have a bunch of apps bloating your system for RGB controls).
New compression file support (RAR, 7-Zip and the like handled natively) is another worthwhile introduction, and Microsoft has a new improved Windows Backup app which makes things a lot easier when it comes to restoring your system (complete with all your custom bits and pieces, including your pins on the Start menu for example).
The rumor mill had recently indicated that this update was due soon, but we weren't expecting it quite this soon. Of course, while the rollout will kick off next week, not everyone will get the upgrade that quickly.
As far as we're aware, Windows 11 users who've selected the option to get the latest updates as soon as they're out will be first in line to get Copilot, along with all those other goodies. They will, however, also potentially be the first to run into any gremlins with the new release - though here's hoping there aren't any meaningful glitches.