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Microsoft Teases 'Cowriter' AI Feature for Notepad in Windows 11, Suggesting the Year of the AI PC Initiative Gaining Momentum

Microsoft's commitment to making 2024 the "year of the AI PC" seems to be gaining traction, with hints pointing to a potential new generative AI feature named "Cowriter" for the built-in Notepad application in Windows. Although Microsoft has not officially confirmed this addition, enthusiasts examining the latest test builds of Windows 11 have discovered code references to the Cowriter feature.

Similar to the credits system employed in Microsoft's Cocreator feature in Paint, Cowriter may utilize a credits system to inform users about their remaining AI-powered feature usage. While Microsoft has yet to disclose pricing details for these credits, it is speculated that the company might introduce charges once users exhaust their allotted credits. The concept is reminiscent of Bing's model, where the availability of "daily boosts" for image creation through DALL-E slows down after depletion.

Reports from Windows testers also suggest the existence of references to a waitlist for the Cowriter feature, accompanied by a hero image resembling Microsoft's marketing style for Copilot features within Office applications like Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. This hints at the possibility that Microsoft is nearing an official announcement for beta testing, mirroring the approach taken during the testing phase of the Paint generative image feature.

The evolution of Notepad on Windows 11 has seen significant improvements, including the addition of dark mode, tabs, character count, autosave, automatic tab restoration, and even a virtual fidget spinner. Some users, however, express reservations about integrating AI features directly into Windows apps as a potential strategy to encourage users to purchase AI credits. The preference is for Microsoft to continue enhancing Notepad in meaningful ways, with optional features such as spellcheck, particularly in light of the removal of WordPad from Windows after nearly three decades.

Microsoft Windows 11 Notepad logo with white background

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