Microsoft's PowerToys widget has just received a significant update, one that makes OpenAI-based applications like ChatGPT more accessible on Windows 11. According to Windows Central, the update will feature a new plugin that allows users to access directly the chatbot tool without having to open a browser first. This is a welcome development, as it bypasses the aggressive promotion of Microsoft Edge, which has become a problem for many users.
The plugin was developed by ChatGPT plugin developer Simone Franco, who shared the process on the PowerToys GitHub page. It integrates with PowerToys Run, a search launcher for files, folders, and apps, and allows users to go directly from their desktop to Chatbot.
Microsoft's promotion of Edge browser and Bing AI application have become belligerent in recent years, inducing users to make them the default browser and default search engine after updates. However, with the new ChatGPT plugin, users can bypass these ads and go straight to the chatbot tool. Although users need an OpenAI account and API key, both stages only need to be done once, and they'll have immediate access to the chatbot. They can also summon it with a keyboard shortcut, making it even more easy and convenient.
It's almost fun that a widget functioning through Microsoft OS will assist users avoid Microsoft OS problems. Still, PowerToys is an open-source suite of tools, making it more flexible than a browser or search engine. This is not the first time the widget has introduced useful features. In February 2023, it introduced the "paste as plain text" option to both Windows 11 and Windows 10, working in every app where PowerToys works. In February 2022, it also introduced a mouse crosshair tool that helps users find their mouse cursor utilizing the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Alt + P) and two File Explorer add-ons that enlarge the number of file types supported by the preview pane.
Overall, the ChatGPT plugin for PowerToys is an exciting development for Windows 11 users, making the AI chatbot tool more accessible and convenient to use. The plugin's integration with PowerToys Run and the ease of use of the keyboard shortcut make it a welcome addition to the suite of tools available to Windows 11 users. With PowerToys being an open-source suite of tools, users can look forward to more updates and features that will help them customize their Windows experience even further.
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