Aman Kumar, Author at Windows Latest Your source for all things Microsoft Fri, 03 May 2024 10:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Windows 11 23H2 is getting full-fledged Create Archives for ZIP, 7z and TAR Fri, 03 May 2024 08:57:24 +0000 You soon will be able to create ZIP, 7z, and TAR files natively on your Windows 11 computer. This feature was earlier expected to come with the 24H2 update, but now it has been backported to the 23H2 and 22H2 updates, which are publicly available.

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Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could create ZIP, 7z, and TAR files natively on your Windows computer without taking the help of any third-party applications? Luckily, you can, as this feature is coming to Windows 11 sooner than you expected.

Earlier, Microsoft had planned to roll out this feature with the Windows 11 24H2 update, which is expected to release somewhere later this year. But now, this feature has been backported to versions 22H2 and 23H2. This means you soon will be able to use it in the stable version of Windows.

As noticed by PhantomOfOcean on X, this feature is currently available in Windows 11 build 22635.3566 on the Beta channel and is disabled by default.

In our tests, Windows Latest observed that you can use it by right-clicking on a file, choosing Compress to from the context menu. You’ll get different options to compress your file, including converting it to a ZIP file, 7z file, and TAR file.

Compress to option in the Context menu.

You can click either of these options, and then Windows will create a compressed version of that file with the same name.

Native creating archives in Windows 11 23H2
Natively creating archives in Windows 11 23H2 | Image Courtesy:

This process works instantly, and it can compress all file formats, thanks to Microsoft’s open-source integration. We also observed that it’s particularly good and faster when compressing files to .7z and .tar.

However, it is not capable of handling password protected archives. Windows Latest understands that Microsoft is working on another update that will add a few additional options to the archive support.

You’re getting more control over the compressed file

Windows has also added a new Additional options in the Compress to menu.

We reported about this option a few months ago, when it was made available in Windows 11 Canary build 26040.

Clicking it opens up a Create Archive window that contains different options, including choosing the location where you want to save the compressed file, selecting the archive format, compression method, and compression level.

Creat.e Archive window.

There are also options to Retain symbolic links and Retain hard links. You can use them to keep certain types of shortcuts in your file safe when it is compressed into an archive. Once you have configured these options, you can click the Create button to begin the compression process.

While you can now compress files natively on your Windows computer, Microsoft is yet to introduce the feature to compress files into the .rar format.

Perhaps we’re not going to see it happening anytime soon. This is because WinRAR recently clarified that Microsoft cannot add .rar support to Windows unless they are willing to pay for it.

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Microsoft details Windows 11 AI PC requirements, appoints a new head for Windows Tue, 02 Apr 2024 18:29:39 +0000 Intel revealed that for optimal performance, a PC should be equipped with an AI-powered CPU featuring an NPU (such as Intel Core Ultra), a Copilot keyboard key, and Copilot. However, some PCs shipped in 2024 without the Copilot key, raising concerns.

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Microsoft previously announced a dedicated Copilot key for upcoming AI PCs, an attempt to highlight Copilot’s presence in Windows 11. We didn’t mind the idea of having a dedicated Copilot key, especially as Microsoft was developing useful AI features that would require more than just a basic CPU-GPU combination.

These AI PCs would rely on a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to handle the AI tasks natively. However, a recent statement shared by Intel to Verge reveals that a PC needs to have a few crucial features to be considered as an AI PC by Microsoft.

Intel shared that the PC must have an AI-powered CPU with NPU (like Intel Core Ultra), a Copilot keyboard key, and Copilot. However, some PCs have already shipped in 2024 without the Copilot key, which raises a concern.

copilot key in upcoming windows 11 laptops
Image Courtesy: Microsoft

Copilot is a software-level feature that you can launch using the Win + C shortcut, or the taskbar icon. Unless the Copilot key does anything other than that, we don’t see an issue why the PCs that already have all the AI-centric hardware cannot be deemed as an AI PC.

Users can still launch Copilot like they used to with the keyboard shortcut. Windows can use the embedded NPU in these systems for other upcoming features like AI Explorer, Windows Studio effects, etc. Excluding some PCs with capable hardware only because of a keyboard key doesn’t seem fair.

Microsoft requirements for AI PCs
Intel explains what is an AI PC | Courtesy: Intel

Keeping the whole AI branding aside, as long as the NPU-based features work in these PCs, there’s nothing to worry about. Microsoft recently launched its Surface lineup with Intel Ultra AI processors, which would be the first batch of true-AI PCs (Dell and Lenovo have released a couple) this year.

There has also been a new change in the management due to Panos Panay’s exit from Microsoft.

Pavan Dhulari will oversee Windows and Surface developments

As Microsoft continues to bet big on AI PC requirements, it has announced that Pavan Davuluri is the new chief of Windows and Surface. Microsoft divided Windows and Surface into different groups in September 2023, when Panos Panay left Microsoft to join Amazon.

Pavan Davuluri managed Surface hardware, whereas Mikhail Parakhin managed Windows. But Parakhin recently announced his exit to venture for new opportunities.

After this announcement, Microsoft brought the Windows and Surface teams together again. The team will be led by Pavan Davuluri, who will report to Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s head of experiences and devices.

Pavan Davuluri has been a part of Microsoft for more than 23 years. During his tenure as the Surface lead, he closely worked with Microsoft’s collaboration with Qualcomm and AMD to create custom Surface processors.

“As part of the change, we are bringing together the Windows Experience and Windows + Devices teams as a core part of the Experiences + Devices (E+D) division. This will enable us to take a holistic approach to building silicon, systems, experiences, and devices that span Windows client and cloud for this AI era,” said Rajesh Jha in his memo, which The Verge spotted.

According to two people familiar with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s thinking, the appointment of Suleyman stemmed from Nadella’s dissatisfaction with his staff’s work. As the CEO of the Microsoft AI team, Suleyman will look after AI products like Copilot, Bing, and Edge, and he will be reporting directly to Nadella.

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Microsoft says it’s hopeful Copilot will be a moneymaker in the long run Wed, 20 Mar 2024 11:45:11 +0000 Microsoft is heavily promoting Copilot, whether it's for use on Windows or within Microsoft 365. While it has many potential applications, considering its overall feature set, you may need to carefully consider whether it's worth spending $30 per user per month.

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Microsoft is going hard with Copilot, whether be its implementation on Windows or in Microsoft 365. While it has a lot of use cases, when it comes to the overall features that it has to offer, you might have to think a lot before spending $30 a head per month.

However, AI is expensive, particularly for small businesses. The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed the early adopters of Copilot, who questioned if the “AI” is really worth the money, as businesses need to spend $30 for every user. At the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference, Microsoft tried to explain why it’s worth investing in Copilot.

While speaking with Keith Weiss, who runs the U.S. Software Research franchise at Morgan Stanley, Microsoft’s Jared Spataro explained that Copilot in Office products like Excel is still in the early stages, and it’s getting there (to a point where it makes more sense).

“Copilot in Excel is still in early stages, and it’s learning every day. Users have very high expectations, and they are expecting Copilot to become their financial analyst, but it’s very far from the stage we’re currently at as we’re still learning the command surface of Excel and PowerPoint,” noted Jared Spataro, who is responsible for Copilot and Microsoft 365 apps at Microsoft.

Microsoft Copilot in Excel
Copilot in Excel | Image Courtesy:

Spataro further explained that the Copilot system comprises several key components, including data orchestration, large language models (LLMs), and specialized skills. Each of these elements is improving rapidly and in ways that aren’t always linear, meaning you can expect significant upgrades over the coming months or years.

Microsoft promises to make Copilot even better, making interactions with it increasingly efficient and, in Spataro’s words, “magical.”

During their conversion, Jared Spataro shared as many as three key scenarios where Microsoft can justify the price point of Copilot quite well:

  • Chat Experience Across Microsoft 365: the AI can work across all apps, be it your emails, calendar, documents, or transcripts, and act as a chatbot. That’s something human employees may not be able to do efficiently.
  • Teams: The Copilot in Teams can summarize the meetings and follow-ups and give additional information, which can be used to highlight the important points and actions.
  • Outlook: In Outlook, Copilot can help employees understand the long email threads, and draft complex emails. This is particularly useful when handling a high volume of emails

“We are able to justify the price point quite well when we move over into those scenarios that I listed as our top three scenarios,” he added.

Microsoft acknowledged that $30 is a significant price point, especially compared to other Microsoft offerings like Microsoft 365 E3 at $36 and E5 at $57. And because of this price tag, companies are still questioning whether Copilot is the right fit for them and if they should invest in it.

Copilot will be a moneymaker, as Microsoft continues to work with customers

Microsoft is currently working with customers to help them understand whether they need Copilot or not. They are doing this using factors like whether Copilot is helping them save time or if it is generating enough value that they should consider investing in it.

Jared further added that they are very optimistic about the future of Copilot, but at the same time, users need to be a bit realistic and temper their expectations. Like any innovation, Copilot will undergo a typical deployment and evaluation cycle.

And then, companies will decide whether they should allocate a budget for it or not.

Over the long term, Copilot will be a great moneymaker for Microsoft. The company is hopeful and optimistic:

“I would say my job here is to temper your expectations. Over the long term, we think this will be a great moneymaker for us. But don’t think that it’s breaking free of the normal deployment cycle, the normal evaluation cycle, the normal budget cycle associated with IT,” Jared Spataro added.

So, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft makes companies’ minds switch from whether they should get Copilot or not to yes; Copilot is one of the most important requirements for our company.

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Microsoft says uninstalling Copilot in Windows 10 isn’t supported for now Fri, 15 Mar 2024 11:58:34 +0000 There's no way to uninstall Copilot in Windows 10, at least for now. But there are a couple of workarounds you can apply so that it doesn't pop up even when pressing its shortcut key.

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Copilot has been introduced to Windows to improve your workflow. However, you might want to remove it. Whether you don’t like Microsoft’s approach to implementing AI in your system or have other reasons, uninstalling Copilot in Windows 10 isn’t currently supported.

When asked about uninstalling Copilot in Windows 10, Microsoft said this isn’t possible. “While we don’t currently support uninstalling Copilot, you can right-click the Copilot icon and unpin it to remove it from always showing on your taskbar,” the company explained.

This means you currently only have the option to hide the Copilot icon from your screen. However, even after hiding it, you can still access it by simply pressing the Windows + C key.

You can remove Copilot using Registry or Group Policy (sort of)

If you want to completely remove Copilot from Windows, meaning you don’t want it to appear even after pressing its shortcut key, you will have to disable it using the Local Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor.

Since the Local Group Policy Editor is not available in the Windows Home edition, you can use the Registry Editor method. If you have a Windows Pro edition, you can choose either tool.

Here’s how to disable Copilot on Windows 10 using the Registry Editor:

  1. Open the Start menu, type Registry Editor in the search bar, and press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced
  3. In the right pane, right-click on an empty space, select New, and then choose DWORD (32-bit) Value.
    DWORD (32-bit) Value in the Registry Editor.
  4. Name the new value ShowCopilotButton.
  5. Double-click the ShowCopilotButton value, type 0 in the Value data field, and click OK.
    Value data field of the ShowCopilotButton value.

After that, restart your PC and you will see Copilot has been disabled.

If you want to disable Copilot using the Local Group Policy Editor, follow the below instructions:

  1. In the Start menu, search for the Local Group Policy Editor and hit Enter. Then, navigate to the following location: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Copilot
  2. Double-click the Turn off Windows Copilot policy in the right pane.
    Turn Off Windows Copilot option in the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Choose Enabled. Then, click Apply and OK.
    Enabled option in the Local Group Policy Editor.

You will need to restart your PC afterward to see the changes take effect.

Copilot is set get better with new plugins, hover and other features

Let’s be honest — AI is the latest trend in the market, and no company, not even Microsoft, wants to be left behind. So, whether you prefer it or not, you might encounter Copilot on Windows eventually.

Microsoft is working on a couple of new features for Copilot that might make it more useful. For example, you can soon access the AI simply hovering over it. This means you don’t even have to click on the Copilot icon to access it. Simply move your cursor to its icon, and the app will automatically pop up.

Simiralily, Microsoft recently added plugins like Suno and Spotify in Copilot to create songs and find artist lyrics, respectively. Copilot is also getting a normal app-like design. As a result, you will now not feel that you are using some kind of desktop-tied integration.Suno for Windows Copilot.

Along with all these, if you’re subscribed to Copilot Pro, you can use the “Create Copilot GPT” feature to create your custom GPT as per your requirements.

Copilot Create GPT Settings
Copilot Create GPT mode using prompts | Image Courtesy:

Are these features enough for you to lean your decision towards using Copilot, or will you use Windows 10 or 11 without it? Let us know in the comments.

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