Microsoft is bringing its AI-powered Copilot to Windows 10. In a surprise move, the software giant will soon release Copilot for Windows 10 to Release Preview testers, just months after signaling the end of major Windows 10 updates.
“This is a key opportunity for us to bring the value of Copilot to more customers,” explains Aaron Woodman, vice president of marketing at Windows, in a briefing with The edge. While the end of Windows 10 support is less than two years away, Microsoft is looking to capitalize on its AI ambitions with a base of millions of PCs that have not yet upgraded to Windows 11 to access features like Copilot.
Copilot in Windows 10 will work much like it appears in Windows 11, with a button on the right side of the taskbar that allows you to quickly access the chatbot. And yes, you can remove that button. It won’t be exactly the same as the Windows 11 version, especially when it comes to controlling Windows features and settings.
“There will be some functional differences,” says Woodman. “There are certainly some skills or actions you can perform in Windows 11 that don’t exist in Windows 10, so they wouldn’t be skills within Copilot.”
Windows 10 has lower hardware requirements than Windows 11, but Microsoft believes that a minimum of 4GB of RAM and a 720p screen resolution should be enough for Copilot. Microsoft is only testing with Windows 10 Home and Pro users and intends to share plans for Copilot on retail versions of Windows 10 soon.
In a support note, Microsoft now says it is “reviewing our approach to Windows 10 and will make additional investments to ensure everyone can get the most value from their Windows PC, including Copilot on Windows (in preview).”
That could include more AI features for Windows 10. I asked if Paint’s new AI features in Windows 11 could come to Windows 10. “As far as some of the other client-side AI capabilities like Paint, “We are evaluating it, but these are relatively intensive explosion components that use the silicon of the device,” says Woodman. “We can confidently do this with high performance on Windows 11 because the minimum system requirements give us a foundation that lets us know with confidence that it will work. “We’re still evaluating whether we can bring that kind of functionality back to Windows 10, but we’ll see for sure.”
What does all this mean for the future of Windows 10 and that key end of support date? Surely Microsoft has to expand it? “This is the latest version of Windows 10, so it’s 22H2, we won’t change any of that with Windows 10,” Woodman insists. “We will not be making any changes to the end of support for Windows 10, which remains until October 14, 2025.”
Many have wondered if Microsoft would expand support for Windows 10, especially since it is widely used and Windows 11 has fallen behind in adoption. A recent report suggested that Windows 11 had reached just 400 million devices after two years. Windows 10 reached the same milestone a year after its launch and reached 600 million devices a few months after its second anniversary.