PhantomOfEarth pointed out on Twitter that this is happening in preview versions of Windows 11 – most notably the Beta channel – and as you can see, the pop-up springs from the search box on the taskbar, urging users to launch Bing AI from that part of the interface.
Go away. pic.twitter.com/rWCtq5NyyZJuly 15, 2023
It's an annoying nag to use the AI, and what’s more, the Twitter leaker notes that there doesn’t appear to be any obvious way of telling Windows 11 that these pop-ups are unwanted.
Or rather, PhantomOfEarth clarifies that there are “two buttons to get it to go away” but that even after using those, it “tends to pop up occasionally with no way to turn it off (afaik)”.
Another Twitter user suggests there may be another way to switch it off under notifications, which PhantomOfEarth says they’ll try, but we didn’t hear anything about that being successful since the tweet at the weekend.
So, the jury’s still out on that, but whatever the case, it looks like this nag isn’t an easy one to rid yourself of – if you can get rid of it at all.
Analysis: This pop-up just doesn’t make a lot of sense
As we already observed, Microsoft trying to push Bing AI is no surprise from a general point of view (the software giant has been working hard to improve the AI, and doubtless wants a lot of eyeballs on it). Indeed, of late, Microsoft has been trying all sorts of angles for recruiting more users to its various services, whether that’s the Bing chatbot, or OneDrive to pick a couple of obvious examples. (OneDrive has recently been promoted via ‘badging’ in the Start menu – basically just ads veiled as suggestions).
What’s a bit odd here is seeing this rather persistent prompt for Bing AI kicking around in the taskbar when Copilot has just been introduced in testing.
As you’re likely aware, Windows Copilot is essentially the Bing AI dropped into the heart of Windows 11 (in a side panel), complete with additional abilities to intelligently adjust Windows settings (there aren’t many of those to begin with, though).
So, with Copilot on the horizon – and due in the 23H2 update, according to some rumors (we’re not convinced it’s at all ready, mind) – why mess around with search box prompts for Bing AI at this point? Especially when the possibly close-to-launch Copilot has full integration into Windows 11.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, particularly when – as you can see from PhantomOfEarth’s reaction in the above tweet – this is annoying testers right now.
We’re hoping, then, that this is a piece of experimentation in test builds that Microsoft will soon do away with. That said, we can’t say the same about the ads already in place with Copilot in testing…
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).