ChatGPT is coming directly to Windows — but there’s a catch

Bing with ChatGPT on Edge browser MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has already revealed its plans to integrate ChatGPT into its cloud-based Office 365 software suite with Copilot, but so far there has been no mention of any AI features coming to Windows itself, until now. 

According to our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab) Microsoft has given the green light to one of its engineers, Simone Franco (opens in new tab) to work on a ChatGPT plugin for Microsoft Powertoys. This is quite a novel concept as Powertoys was a relic of the 1990s revived for Windows 10 and is now being connected to one of the most cutting-edge technologies of our time. 

Powertoys is itself a launcher designed to offer quick access to shortcuts and utility programs such as a screen ruler as well as complete simple calculations such as converting units and executing system commands. Once installed, users simply have to press alt+space to bring up the launcher and can access everything from there. 

What will ChatGPT with Powertoys do?

Details about specific functions are so far scarce, but we do have access to the official Github project page (opens in new tab). From here we can see that the Plugin will activate within Powertoys by typing “??” and then asking it a question like you would the regular form of ChatGPT. 

Once up and running users could ask Powertoys for help with a whole host of things, Imagine saying to the AI “ I can’t read this, can you help?” and then Powertoys suggests the screen ruler.  

While Powertoys has a range of specialist apps, it’s not going to be something everyone uses. Giving the likes of Office and Teams the new Bing with ChatGPT treatment is understandably Microsoft’s priority, but it's nice to get an idea of what integration directly with Windows could look like. 

Mac users can already try installing MacGPT to get a ChatGPT browser on their Apple machine that bears a striking resemblance to Safari. 

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Andy Sansom
Trainee Writer

Andy is Tom’s Guide’s Trainee Writer, which means that he currently writes about pretty much everything we cover. He has previously worked in copywriting and content writing both freelance and for a leading business magazine. His interests include gaming, music and sports- particularly Formula One, football and badminton. Andy’s degree is in Creative Writing and he enjoys writing his own screenplays and submitting them to competitions in an attempt to justify three years of studying.