Firefox gets a new experimental AI feature, but shuns integrating Microsoft Copilot

 Firefox Nightly AI chatbot sidebar showing Google Gemini.
Credit: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Mozilla has added a new AI chatbot sidebar into its Firefox browser.

  • Available on all platforms, the new feature is an experimental addition, currently only in the Nightly build of Firefox.

  • There are four different AI chatbots to choose from, but no sign of Microsoft Copilot.

There's been a lot of talk of AI integration into web browsers in recent times, with Microsoft Edge being a particularly good example of how to do it. Firefox has decided to join the party now, with a new AI chatbot sidebar feature added to the Nightly builds track of Mozilla's browser.

There are currently four different chatbots that Firefox users can try out in the new sidebar feature, but none of them are Microsoft Copilot.

So far, there's a choice of:

  • Google Gemini

  • ChatGPT

  • HuggingFace

  • Mistral AI

To try it out, first, you'll need to download Firefox Nightly. Once installed, open up the browsers settings menu, head into the Nightly Experiments section and enable AI Chatbot.

From here you're also given a dropdown menu to choose your preferred chatbot, but you can also switch on the fly from the sidebar if you want to try something else.

And, well, it works as advertised. However, you don't get the slick integration between AI and browser that you get in Microsoft Edge using Copilot in the sidebar. This looks literally like Mozilla is pulling in the web app for each chatbot, and that's about it.

For example, you're reading a review on Windows Central and want a quick summary of the article. In Edge with Copilot, you can just ask the AI to do that. In this current implementation on Firefox, the AI chatbot is unable to see the contents of the browser tab, so you still have to paste in the URL. At best, it simply makes using your favorite AI chatbot more convenient in Firefox. For now, anyway.

Using the Copilot web app in Firefox
Using the Copilot web app in Firefox

ChatGPT, of course, uses the same GPT models as Copilot, but if you prefer using Microsoft's offering over OpenAI it'll be of little comfort. You need an account with all of these providers, so if you want to use Copilot from Firefox, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way for now.

The alternative, if you're on Windows 11 anyway, is to open the new Copilot app that ships with the OS. It's not always as convenient as using it in your browser, though, but given that Firefox doesn't have that same integration as Copilot and Edge, you're not really losing out.

Hopefully, as the feature expands, Mozilla will see fit to include Microsoft in its AI chatbot feature.