Not even Notepad is safe from Microsoft’s big AI push in Windows

A user types on the Surface Pro 8 from behind. The screen displays the Windows 11 Start menu on a white and blue background.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Microsoft said 2024 was going to be “the year of the AI PC,” and it looks like that’s ringing true already. Microsoft appears to be readying a new generative AI feature for its Notepad application that’s built into Windows. While the software giant hasn’t officially announced it, eagle-eyed Windows watchers have discovered code in Microsoft’s latest test builds of Windows 11 that indicate a new “Cowriter” feature could be on the way soon.

It looks like it has the same credits system that Microsoft uses in its Cocreator feature in Paint to let Windows users know how many more times they can use these AI-powered features. Microsoft hasn’t announced pricing for these credits yet, but one can assume the company will eventually start charging once you run out of them. Bing uses a similar system, but once you run out of “daily boosts,” the image creation through DALL-E simply slows down.

Other Windows testers have even found references to a waitlist for the feature and a hero image that Microsoft may use to market its new Notepad Cowriter. The style of the image is identical to how Microsoft markets its Copilot features inside Office apps like Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

This could indicate that Microsoft is close to officially announcing the Cowriter feature for beta testing, in the same way that it tested the Paint generative image feature for months before it was rolled out to all Windows 11 users.

Image: Microsoft
The Notepad Cowriter hero image.

Now, I’m old enough to remember a time when Notepad was but a mere simple Windows app that had barely been touched for more than three decades. Microsoft has been greatly improving Notepad on Windows 11 in recent years, adding a dark mode, tabs, character count, features like autosave and automatic restoration of tabs, and even a virtual fidget spinner.

I don’t think I’m alone in not wanting these kind of AI features built directly into Windows apps as a means to upsell users into buying AI credits. I’d rather see Microsoft continue on its path of improving Notepad in meaningful ways, especially since it’s removing WordPad from Windows after nearly 30 years. If Notepad is going to get another new feature, please let it be an optional spellcheck instead of a computer hallucinating into my text editor.

Title: Not even Notepad is safe from Microsoft’s big AI push in Windows
Source: The Verge – All Posts
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Date: January 9, 2024 at 11:34PM
Feedly Board(s): Technologie