Even Notepad isn't immune to Microsoft's big push for AI in Windows

Microsoft has said that 2024 will be “the year of the AI-powered PC,” and that actually rings true. Microsoft appears to be preparing a new AI feature for the Notepad app built into Windows. Although the software giant has not officially announced it, Windows watchers are keen Discover Code in Microsoft's latest beta builds for Windows 11 that suggests a new “Cowriter” feature may be on the way soon.

It appears to have the same credits system that Microsoft uses for the Cocreator feature in Paint to let Windows users know how many times they can use these AI-powered features. Microsoft hasn't announced pricing for these credits yet, but one can assume the company will eventually start charging once they run out. Bing uses a similar system, but once the Daily Boosts run out, the image generation process through DALL-E simply slows down.

Even other Windows testers did this is found References to the feature queue and main image that Microsoft may use to market the new Notepad Cowriter. The image style matches how Microsoft markets Copilot features within Office applications such as Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

This may indicate that Microsoft is close to officially announcing the Cowriter feature for beta testing, in the same way that it tested the Paint Generator Image feature for several months before rolling it out to all Windows 11 users.

Notepad Cowriter hero image.
Image: Microsoft

Now, I'm old enough to remember a time when Notepad was just a simple Windows app that was barely touched for over three decades. Microsoft has greatly improved Notepad on Windows 11 in recent years, adding dark mode, tabs, character count, features like auto-save and auto-restore tabs, and even a virtual fidget toy.

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I don't think I'm the only one who doesn't want to integrate this type of AI feature directly into Windows applications as a way to entice users into purchasing AI credits. I'd rather Microsoft continue on its path to improve Notepad in useful ways, especially since it's removing WordPad from Windows after nearly 30 years. If Notepad is going to get another new feature, please make it an optional spell check instead of my computer hallucinating in my text editor.

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