It is getting crowded on the Windows desktop
Widgets, the Edge Bar search field and Microsoft Edge sidebar, and Windows Copilot can all be displayed on the Windows desktop, and that is not even considering other features that Microsoft may be working on.
Only one of these is available currently in stable versions of the Windows 11 operating system, but Microsoft announced all the others recently or has introduced functionality already in developer builds of the operating system.
The Edge bar is a search field that Edge users may display on the desktop of the operating system. Introduced in mid 2022, it is still an experimental feature at the time of writing. Microsoft has enabled the feature by default, at least for some users.
The search option brings the browser's address bar to the desktop. It returns browsing related items, such as previously visited sites or favorites, and suggests searches as well. All of these are redirected to the Edge browser.
Microsoft is also testing functionality that lets users pin the sidebar of the Edge browser to the desktop. It allows users of the operating system to access the various features that Edge's sidebar supports right on the desktop.
Current stable versions of Edge have several items in the sidebar already, including a search feature, Bing Search, Tools, a shopping feature or an image creator. It does feature options to add websites to the list as well.
Widgets, a unique feature of Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system, may soon be pinned to the desktop. All widgets are limited to the Widgets interface right now, but this is changing in the future. The feature may remind users who used Windows 7 of its gadgets feature, which displayed small applets on the desktop as well. Third-party widget support is slowly rolling out, which extends the available widgets significantly.
Microsoft showcased Windows Copilot during its Build 2023 developer conference. It is an AI-powered assistant that combines functionality of a support chatbot with options to make changes to the operating system and Bing Chat functionality. Windows Copilot opens as a sidebar on the desktop.
The Windows desktop is getting crowded
All of the features are optional. While Microsoft may enable some by default, lit it has done with the Edge bar, all either require that you activate them for display on the desktop or have options to hide them on the desktop.
Some of the features share functionality; three of them come with options to run searches on Bing or interact with an AI.
Several features are experimental at this stage and not all of them may find their way into stable versions of the Windows operating system. Some may change, but there is no doubt that others, including Windows Copilot, will be introduced in Windows 11.
Windows Copilot could make the biggest impact, if it can really help users when they are facing issues on Windows. Tests will show how accurate Windows Copilot is at becoming a useful assistant that helps users.
Widescreen monitor or multi-monitor users may benefit more from the introduction of these features than others.
Still, it will be interesting to see how popular these new options will become once they land in stable versions of the operating system.
Now You: would you place any of these on your desktop, or use them?