Microsoft Announces Copilot+ AI-First PCs

microsoft copilot plus pc

Microsoft unveiled its plans for AI-first PCs. These Copilot+ machines will be significantly faster and more efficient than traditional PCs in terms of AI workloads.

Ahead of the BUILD conference, Microsoft announced the world’s first “AI-first” laptops. Basically, laptops with their hardware fine-tuned to handle AI workloads such as inferencing, training, and the Copilot interface. To the uninitiated, Copilot is the new sidebar-like feature that gives Windows users access to OpenAI’s GPT models as well as DALL-E for free.

So, what’s the caveat?

Well, in the name of convenience, this new focus will have the PCs built with native Copilot support in mind (within the Windows 11 architecture). There will also be a new feature called “Recall,” basically photographic memory for your PC. The AI will keep a watch on all that you’re doing on your screen (locally, I hope). It can then retrieve information as and when needed by you.

Anything that you’ve seen on the PC lately will be tracked and stored in the AI’s memory. You can then prompt it, with natural language, about any of that content. This 24×7 watch sure sounds like a Black Mirror episode, but well, all in the name of convenience.

You can see the Recall feature being demonstrated live here:

The screen-sharing feature will allow the Copilot app to watch, hear, (so far, just a normal software), and understand what you’re doing on your screen. You can then prompt it with relevant questions, and Copilot will understand the context.

The model powering all this will be OpenAI’s latest GPT-4o. The PCs will cost $999 and up. Microsoft is doing this through its own Surface lineup as well as through notebooks released in partnership with Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. The specs include 40+ TOPS, all-day battery, and native, inbuilt AI access. This is going to compete directly with Apple’s new Macbooks which are also AI-first in their own way.

As per the official blog post, these laptops will use new silicon combining the CPU, GPU, as well as an NPU to offer these capabilities. This is another striking resemblance with Apple’s laptops from the M1 chip onward – a single SoC to handle all operations, like a smartphone, and unlike a desktop PC (and other laptops so far).

They also make direct comparisons between these PCs and Macbook Air, covering other aspects such as video playback, sustained multithread performance, and other benefits. Microsoft also mentions personalized privacy controls and Pluton Security processors on Copilot+ PCs.

Guess you won’t be unzipping your 25GB research_thesis.7z archive on a Copilot+ PC, huh?

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.