Monday, July 15, 2024

Microsoft tries to calm fears after Edge update also appeared to install Copilot in Windows Server

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Microsoft caused concern when it released an update to its Edge browser. Despite having decided not to add its AI-powered assistant Copilot to Windows Server 2025 because of complaints from admins, users were upset to find that Copilot suddenly appeared in the list of installed apps for Windows Server 2022.

What’s going on? Nothing sinister, insists Microsoft. The company has scrabbled to calm the fears of administrators saying that while a package called “Microsoft chat provider for Copilot in Windows” may well show up, Copilot has not actually been installed and it is not collecting any data.

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Microsoft says that “updates to Edge browser version 123.0.2420.65, released on March 28, 2024 and later, might incorrectly install a new package (MSIX) called ‘Microsoft chat provider for Copilot in Windows’ on Windows devices” and that because of this, “the Microsoft Copilot app might appear in the Installed apps in Settings menu”.

For Windows Server 2022 users, this was extremely concerning. However, Microsoft goes on to try to offer assurances:

It is important to note that the Microsoft chat provider for Copilot in Windows does not execute any code or process, and does not acquire, analyze, or transmit device or environment data in any capacity.

This package is intended to prepare some Windows devices for future Windows Copilot enablement and is not intended for all devices. Although the component installed as part of this issue can cause the Microsoft Copilot app to be shown as part of the Installed apps, this component does not fully install or enable Microsoft Copilot.

The company goes on to say: “As part of the upcoming resolution of this issue, the chat provider for Copilot in Windows component will be removed from devices where Microsoft Copilot is not intended to be enabled or installed. This includes most Windows Server devices”.

A resolution will be issued in a future update to Edge.

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