If you are still using Windows 10 then you might be tempted to finally upgrade your PC to the new version of Windows 11, if only to get a huge update to the 38-year-old Microsoft Paint. At an event in New York last week, Microsoft announced a big update to its latest operating system that will be available from September 26 to anyone currently running Windows 11.
Microsoft boasted the new version, snappily dubbed version 23H2, has over 150 new features. This includes massive updates to Microsoft Paint, the beloved software first seen in 1985 that until a few years ago was floundering as a relic of years gone by.
Thanks to the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft has breathed new life into Paint, with the latest update adding powerful features you might expect to find on Photoshop and other expensive software programs such as layers, background detection, and even powerful AI image creation with Paint Cocreator.
But Microsoft’s big push is for Copilot, its Windows-wide AI tool that replaces the now-dead Cortana voice helper as your go-to virtual assistant. It can respond to voice or text input, and works like Google Assistant or Siri across Windows and other apps, from asking it to play music, turn on dark mode, or rearrange the apps on your PC screen.
Copilot also integrates similar AI features Microsoft launched recently with Bing, where you can ask it to help you write, from drafting emails to summarising long text. It will eventually also work as an assistant across Microsoft’s Edge browser and its Microsoft 365 software suite including staples such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
In a demo, Microsoft even showed Copilot creating an Instagram Reel of holiday snaps with text and graphics in Windows, ready to share to Instagram – but we’ll have to wait and see how good it is in reality compared to the flashy marketing.
There’s also a lick of paint to email favourite Outlook, and even love shown to other old programs such as NotePad, which gets autosave functions, and a facelift for the File Explorer, with improved home and search box to help you find stuff faster.
You can upgrade your Windows 10 PC to Windows 11 if your computer has a 1GHz or faster processor, at least 4GB of RAM and at least 64GB storage. You can read up on the full requirements here.
But Microsoft hopes you might be tempted to splash out and run the new Windows 11 version on a shiny new Surface Laptop Go 3 or pricey Surface Laptop Studio 2, new laptops also announced that cost from £799 and a whopping £2,069.
The latter is a Windows creator’s dream machine on paper, with a folding design that turns it into an artist’s pad with pen stylus input, or as a traditional laptop you can spec up to a powerful 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processer and Nvidia graphics if you have £3,669 going spare.