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Microsoft unveiled a new category of AI-optimized Windows PCs

Microsoft has unveiled "Copilot+ PCs," a new category of Windows laptops and tablets designed around dedicated AI accelerator chips that enable breakthrough AI-powered experiences like photographic memory recall, real-time AI image generation, optimized audio and video settings, and more.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Microsoft unveiled a new category of AI-optimized Windows PCs
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has completely redesigned the Windows PC experience with the Copilot+ PCs, a new category of laptops and 2-in-1 computers designed to place AI front and center. Copilot+ PCs will start at $999, delivering value with a reduced cost of entry when one considers that devices with similar specifications are up to $200 more expensive than the upcoming Copilot+ PCs from Microsoft Surface and the company's OEM partners, including Dell, Lenovo, and HP. The first wave of Copilot+ PCs is expected to launch starting June 18.

Powering Microsoft's innovative AI experiences is a reimagined architecture consisting of a CPU, GPU, and a high-performance Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which connects to the LLMs in Azure Cloud to complement the local SLMs responsible for several of the novel on-device AI-powered experiences. Copilot+ PCs will launch with the Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors to deliver up to 45 NPU TOPS and leverage the custom Qualcomm Oryon CPU to unlock performance and battery efficiency. Further partnerships with Intel and AMD are expected to bring new AI experiences soon. Moreover, future devices including powerful graphics cards like NVIDIA GeForce RTX and AMD Radeon will appeal to new audiences, such as gamers and creatives.

Recall is among the most notable features introduced in parallel with Copilot+ devices. The feature is essentially a personal semantic index that stores snapshots of device activity and organizes them in timelines empowering users to retrace their steps to find the sought-after content across local applications, visited websites, opened files and documents, and more. A second breakthrough in on-device AI-powered applications is Cocreate. Building on the success of Image Creator, Microsoft has set it upon itself to go beyond the current limitations of cloud image generators, such as the number of images that can be created or the time it takes for the images to be generated.

The local SLMs in the Copilot+ PCs NPU bring new image generation and editing capabilities to creativity apps like Paint and Photos. Additionally, the power of the NPU brings new app integrations, such as the availability of Adobe's flagship apps in Copilot+ devices, with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Express available immediately, and Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and other apps to be launched this summer. Other NPU-optimized apps include DaVinci Resolve Studio, CapCut, Cephable, LiquidText, and djay Pro.

Other local AI-powered features include Live Captions, which will translate any audio stream across applications into a single, English-language caption experience, in real time; and the new and enhanced Windows Studio Effects, which automatically adjusts image and lighting settings to optimize for the background context, provides an eye contact teleprompter, and brings additional improvements to voice focus and portrait blur. Lastly, Copilot+ PCs give users a streamlined usage experience of the AI-powered personal assistant thanks to the new dedicated Copilot key. Copilot users can access state-of-the-art models, including the recently introduced GPT-4o. These and other experiences come together in the new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, two performant devices that round out the Windows ecosystem.

The full details on Microsoft's novel AI experiences and the hardware that powers them can be found here.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara

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