3 reasons why Copilot coming to Windows 10 is a terrible idea

Key Takeaways

  • Windows 10 users won’t benefit from the addition of Copilot, as it doesn’t add significant value to the operating system beyond just increasing the user base.
  • Many Windows 10 users may actually dislike Copilot, as they have chosen to stick with the older OS for stability and to avoid unwanted new features.
  • Microsoft’s decision to bring Copilot to Windows 10 is motivated by a desire to increase market share, rather than improving the user experience or offering valuable features.

Microsoft has been hyping up Copilot all year in an attempt to make Bing competitive with Edge by leveraging advanced AI and large language models. It’s since made its way to Windows 11, Microsoft 365, and more. After settling on a formal branding, the company recently decided to bring Copilot to Windows 10, an operating system that has otherwise received no significant updates since 2021 when Windows 11 launched (and arguably even before then).

This is not an attempt to make Windows 10 better in any way, though. It’s all about increasing Copilot usage, whether you want it or not, and it’s a terrible move on Microsoft’s part.

1 It’s not adding value to Windows 10

If anything, Windows 10 users will hate it

Screenshot of a Windows 10 desktop with Copilot open

Adding a new feature to Windows 10 may seem beneficial, but in reality, bringing Copilot doesn’t really add much to the operating system. And you can tell Microsoft doesn’t want to add value to Windows 10 because it hasn’t done so in over two years. If Copilot added a ton of value, the company would try to use it as a promotion for Windows 11. After all, that’s what you do to sell users on a new product.

Not only does Copilot not add anything to Windows 10, but I think Windows 10 users will actually hate it. After all, while some devices can’t upgrade to Windows 11, many people staying on Windows 10 are doing so because they don’t want any of Microsoft’s invasive features or some of the restrictions that Windows 11 brings compared to previous versions. They might’ve stayed on Windows 10 for the stability and reliability of an operating system that has had over eight years to mature. It’s no longer getting major updates, but that means it’s unlikely to break or change. If Windows 10 users wanted more Windows 11 features, many of them could just install the update or get a new laptop.

Bringing Copilot to Windows 10 means bringing more of what Windows 11 holdouts hate about the new OS. It won’t make it better.

2 Showing some desperation

Gotta get those numbers up

A shot of Windows Copilot on a computer screen

If it’s not about value, why is Microsoft bringing Copilot to Windows 10? The answer is, of course, to increase market share. Microsoft and Bing were the first big entities to bring together AI-backed dialog and a proper search engine with Bing Chat earlier this year, which is what Copilot is. It was huge news, and it looked like it finally gave Bing a fighting chance against Google. But in reality, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has expressed that the success of Bing’s AI push hasn’t paid off in a major way, at least not yet.

So, Microsoft’s strategy is to make as many people use Copilot as possible, even if they don’t want to. You can put the Copilot icon on people’s taskbars, and most people will probably click it at least once to see what it is. Some might click it by accident when trying to use the View desktop button that’s right next to it. It’s artificially growing the potential user base, and it’s something Microsoft has done a lot with Windows. Having Bing power Windows Search means that if you make a typo while searching for an app or file, you might be taken to a Bing search instead. And that Bing search forcibly opens in Edge, so the browser gets an uptick in users, too.

That’s pretty much what Copilot is on Windows 11, but it’s much more blatant on Windows 10. Microsoft hasn’t added any new features to the OS in years, and this is the one that makes it? It wasn’t added because it was good; it was because the company needs as many people as possible to use it.

3 It’s even more limited than you’d think

A cut-down version of a barely useful tool

Screenshot of a Spotify home page and Copilot on the right side failing to interact with the app

I’ve written about how limited Copilot is on Windows 11. It’s basically just like the web version with a couple of Windows integrations slapped on top. And if that was bad, Windows 10’s Copilot is even worse. For at least some system-related settings, it just won’t work, including the ability to change the system to dark mode.

That’s one example based on the very limited feature set that Copilot offers on Windows 11, but if something that basic doesn’t work on Windows 10, then you can surely expect things to get worse as time goes on. Whatever integrations Microsoft adds to Copilot on Windows 11 probably won’t work on Windows 10. This will truly be little more than a glorified web search, which you could use with any browser without adding more clutter to your taskbar.

Copilot on Windows 10 doesn’t make sense

Let me be clear, I already have no particular interest in Copilot, so my opinion is a bit cynical here. But bringing it to Windows 10 just exacerbates how poor of an experience it is, and it really shows that Microsoft’s strategy isn’t to make better products. It’s to force people to use whatever Microsoft is making. You see it with Bing, Edge, Widgets, and now Copilot. The European Economic Area recently forced Microsoft to open up Windows 11 to more third-party tools like search engines and news feeds, so that’s not just my opinion.

Why bring Copilot over to Windows 10 with even more limited functionality to an audience that mostly stayed on Windows 10 to have a stable system without major changes? It won’t benefit almost anyone, and all it does is show how badly Microsoft wants to have a larger user base for its products without making them better.