Microsoft’s new Copilot app arrives in Windows 11, and some people are already accusing it of copying ChatGPT

Copilot imagery from Microsoft
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft revealed the revamped standalone Copilot app for Windows 11 at this year’s Build 2024 event, and it’s now rolling out to testers – and some of those testers have noticed striking similarities between the app and AI rival ChatGPT.

The Copilot app (which was previously rumored, and even (kind of) spotted in one version of Windows) is present in build 26100 in the Release Preview channel, which is the last step before hitting the final version of Windows 11. In fact, this is the preview version of the Windows 11 24H2 update which lands later this year.

The new app is no longer an anchored side panel on the desktop, but a full app in a window, allowing you to move and resize the AI assistant as needed, just like any other app. The Copilot icon is also centrally located in the Windows 11 taskbar now, rather than on the far right in the system tray.

That certainly represents a good deal more flexibility for Copilot, and for how you might want to use the AI, but some users testing the new app are noticing something else – that the revamped Copilot interface resembles ChatGPT in a few respects.

As Windows Latest notes, the similarities include the left-hand side menu that displays previous chats, alongside the general ‘vibe’ of the new Copilot app. 

Familiar territory

Aside from Copilot having the chat bar in the center of the app panel, and maybe a splash of color, there really isn’t a lot of difference between the two AI-powered chatbots. Microsoft can’t be entirely blamed for imitating the iconic ChatGPT’s layout, though, as many other ChatGPT alternatives have adopted the same style of layout to allow users to easily familiarize themselves with the newer apps.

Think about how easy it is for you to navigate most of the social media apps on your phone – they all have a similar layout, so even if you’ve only just joined a new one, you can find your way around before learning the more intricate details. That said, I do think Microsoft could have done a little better here in trying to come up with its own style, but the app is still in testing within the Windows Insider program, so perhaps the design will be tweaked further ahead of its public release. 

If you’d like to try out the new Copilot app, you’ll need to be part of that Windows Insider testing program. Joining is pretty straightforward, and once you’re all signed up you’ll have access not just to the Copilot app, but to other updates and features Microsoft tries out in preview versions. 

Do bear in mind a couple of things, though: test versions of Windows 11 aren’t something you want to be running on your main PC (as things are more likely to go wrong, so don’t run any risks in that regard). Also, remember that just because a feature has appeared in testing, that doesn’t mean it’ll make the cut for release in the final version of Windows 11 used by everyone.

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).