Windows 11 gets more AI – but is Microsoft pushing its luck?

Windows 11 showing Microsoft Store
Come installare le applicazioni Android su Windows 11 (Image credit: Shutterstock - Gorodenkoff / Microsoft)

Some Windows 11 users are getting a new AI Hub in the Microsoft Store, a section that picks out apps that, as you might guess, are powered by AI in some way.

Windows Latest spotted that the AI Hub feature is now rolling out to the Microsoft Store in the US, so will only be available for a limited number of users to begin with, no doubt.

We’re told it’s present in version 22306.1401.1.0 of the Microsoft Store or newer (for US users).

Windows Latest has been playing with the feature, which highlights apps offering top-notch AI experiences (in Microsoft’s opinion), including the likes of Luminar Neo,  Descript, and naturally enough, Edge with Bing Chat.

Microsoft introduced the idea of doing more with AI in its Windows 11 store in a blog post in late May, so this represents the first move in letting people actually use this AI Hub.

Analysis: The broader danger for Microsoft

The AI Hub is not the end of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence-fueled ambitions in the store. In fact, the next move – one that’s due imminently – is AI-generated review summaries.

User reviews can be a useful barometer of whether any given app is good or not, taken with an appropriate pinch of salt or two, but especially when there are lots of reviews, it can be quite a task to wade through them.

That’s where these AI summaries will step in, combing through a potential mountain of reviews and picking out matching sentiments to form an overarching opinion of the app in question.

Back in May, Microsoft told us that: “AI-Generated review summaries will soon be available in the Microsoft Store.”

So we’re hoping that now the AI Hub has gone live, at least in the US, those review summaries are very close to being implemented as well. They should be quite useful (fingers crossed).

As you may be aware, Microsoft recently introduced AI to Windows 11 elsewhere, with its Copilot assistant now present in preview versions of the OS for testers to try out.

And with all this going on, looking at a broader level, there remains a question of whether Microsoft is doing too much, too soon, with AI.

For example, the initial incarnation of Copilot is very limited and basically boils down to integration for the Bing chatbot along with a few basic bits of Windows 11 settings functionality (not much). It’s unlikely to impress anyone (yet), and with AI now being pushed to the store as well, the danger for Microsoft is some people starting to get fed up with seeing AI shoved into every corner of the OS. Complete with, as we observed above, the obligatory plugs for the Edge browser and Bing chatbot.

While the temptation may be to rush headlong into a big feature grab, Microsoft must balance that with the need to take a measured and steady approach to AI. Not just to make sure it gets things right when rolling out new AI capabilities to Windows 11 (and other services for that matter), but to give users time to breathe between one artificial intelligence feature drop and the next.

Get any of this finely balanced equation wrong and a combination of fatigue and/or disillusionment with AI could be visited upon its user base.

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).