Windows Copilot is still dumb as a rock

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 4, 2023
Updated • Nov 6, 2023
Windows 11 News

Microsoft launched Windows Copilot with some fanfare alongside the Windows 11 2023 Update. Microsoft promised that the baked-in artificial intelligence would assist Windows users "in work, creation and play". Copilot is "designed to accelerate your tasks, reduce friction and save you time" according to Microsoft's announcement on the Windows Experience Blog.

One of Microsoft's promises was that Copilot would help users run tasks on Windows. Without that, Copilot would just be Bing Chat added as a sidebar to Windows.

Microsoft describes this functionality in the following way: "Whether you need help with summarizing a web page, composing an email to your daughter’s new teacher, changing your settings to dark mode or generating an image for that unique idea in your head, Copilot in Windows can assist you. Need to enable Bluetooth or connect a new pair of headphones? Copilot can help. Not sure of the best way to capture a screenshot? Ask Copilot to do it for you. Copilot in Windows can change the way you use your PC and inspire you to try new things that you may not have thought of before. It is where productivity and creativity meet."

Windows Copilot

windows copilot commands

First problem that users may run into is that there is no command reference. Microsoft listed some commands in the blog post, but no one knows what Windows Copilot can do and can't do on Windows specifically.

It is a trial and error approach. Asking Copilot to launch Notepad, for instance, results in an "I'm sorry" message. Copilot claims that it is a chat mode of Microsoft Bing and not an assistant. This alone is puzzling, as Microsoft described Windows Copilot on the blog as "the intelligent assistant at your fingertips".

Copilot needs time to process the user request, and it does so remotely on Microsoft servers. What is returned after seconds is a list of instructions on how to open Notepad on the system.

While these are useful, typing notepad in Start would have launched the text editor right away. Even things that Copilot is supposed to do, like enabling dark mode, is not really something that the AI assistant does without flaws, or at all.

The simple "enable dark mode" request is met with a huge wall of text that explains how to enable Dark Mode on Windows. Copilot, however, doesn't enable dark mode automatically on the user's request.

It gets better. While trying to find the right command to get Copilot to switch to dark mode or at least display a button that does that, it suddenly suggested to enable Do Not Disturb on the system.

windows copilot dumb

No matter the instruction, Windows Copilot always replied with a "can't do, I'm not an assistant" type of message.

Interestingly enough, when asked to turn on Do not disturb mode, Copilot did display a button to turn on the feature. It still took seconds before the request was processed on Microsoft servers.

My initial assessment of Windows Copilot was that there was not enough Windows in it to justify its integration in the operating system. Microsoft's main interest seems to be to push it to as many users as possible. One reason for that is advertising, which Windows users who interact with Copilot may see for some interactions already.

Closing Words

Windows Copilot is not a useful tool to manage Windows or get actionable help. It supports only a few commands and these commands aren't listed anywhere publicly. Heck, even Copilot refuses to return the full list of commands. Could be that the list is so small that Microsoft is embarrassed to reveal it.

Copilot could have been more. Assist users when it comes to Windows. Help users with troubleshooting tasks, run commands for users or at least point users in the right direction. Why can't Copilot open Settings page when users ask to make a change to them?

For now, Copilot is nothing more than what Bing Chat offers. There is virtually no reason for its integration in Windows from a user's point of view. It is a lucrative integration for Microsoft, on the other hand. It pushes usage and also advertisement.

Now You: what is your take on Windows Copilot?

Windows Copilot is still dumb like a rock
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Windows Copilot is still dumb like a rock
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  1. caca said on January 17, 2024 at 4:52 pm

    This problem of increasing stupidity of some main AI plateforms has been reported on the youtube french channel Underscore_ few days ago. I’ve observed this problem on copilot but also with chatGPT 4 from Bing (i dont think that it is the same AI than Copilot) ?

  2. JohnIL said on November 6, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Like anything artificial its not as good as the original. Defiantly think AI is oversold and will not live up to its hype for some time if ever.

  3. bruh said on November 6, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Martin, the correct expression is “dumb as a rock”, not “dumb like a rock”, I also learned english as my second language so I sympathise for little things like this.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 6, 2023 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks. I had the nagging feeling that it was wrong and that “as” was correct.

  4. Tachy said on November 5, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    At least rocks don’t harm each other for profit.

  5. Chris said on November 5, 2023 at 12:05 am

    Microsoft kinda sucks

    1. 45 RPM said on November 9, 2023 at 9:15 am


  6. Andy Prough said on November 4, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    “Copilot – how do I replace Windows with a completely free software operating system? One that does not include your stupidity and your malvertisements?”

  7. just an Ed said on November 4, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    I no longer have an interest in Windows. I need a copy for certain government related functions, but other than that I never boot into it.
    I can see where Linux may not work completely for those who need specific software, but that is no reason not to dual-boot. I’m a 69 year old non-techie, and those who say Linux doesn’t work for them tend to puzzle me. Mint for the win. :-)

    1. bruh said on November 6, 2023 at 11:50 am

      Well Mr 69 year old non-technie, have you considered that basically any OS nowadays can get a functional browser and a functional editing suite (even the browser is enough for that), you have set the bar so low for yourself that you could probably get by on a smart fridge or on a fast food kiosk screen.

      Most power users are not on Linux, but the few that are are probably very advanced.

  8. John said on November 4, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    AI is a bust, maybe eventually it will improve but it’s oversold and more of a beta then a good final product. Copilot seems more like a gimmick for Microsoft. They will try anything to suck you into their ecosystem these days. I still like Windows and my short trial of Linux desktop’s tells me its not the answer. Maybe going back to Mac at some point might be a option for me. But as long as I can turn off all the annoyances Microsoft throws at Windows. I can at least feel at home using Windows.

  9. Jon said on November 4, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Anyone tripping over Windows’ spaghetti maze should try Linux Mint to see what they’re missing. No ads, stable, simple. Improved battery on laptops, better performance minus all of Microsoft’s useless, intrusive bloat.

  10. chesscanoe said on November 4, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    I suspect Copilot will fulfil its hype in 5 years, when I might enable it.

    1. Scroogled said on November 4, 2023 at 9:19 pm

      That’s already ended. Similar to Cortana, this dumb assistant is completely useless except from gathering personal data about you. Disabling this crap from their OS should be the default for everyone.

    2. John Wold said on November 4, 2023 at 6:37 pm

      And by then, it will be removed and replaced by something else.

  11. Thorky said on November 4, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    It should be called AS, Artifical Stupidity.

  12. George said on November 4, 2023 at 10:45 am

    It does have one useful function: make more users try Linux out.

  13. Iain Cheyne said on November 4, 2023 at 8:02 am

    That’s a shame. On the bright side, Bing Chat is good. I would rather they let me access it from non-Edge browsers. Copilot is a good idea. Hopefully they will fix on wider release.

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