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Microsoft Unveils Copilot+ PCs to Boost AI Capabilities

Image Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock

At a special event at the Microsoft Campus, Microsoft introduced Copilot+ PCs as the latest Windows PCs integrated with AI capabilities.

Much of the information shared by Microsoft during the event had previously leaked unofficially.

The initial Copilot+ PCs will use Qualcomm processors, with Intel and AMD options expected to follow later this year.

The leaked specifications that were confirmed include:

  • Minimum 16GB RAM
  • Minimum 256GB SSD storage
  • Integrated NPU

However, Microsoft has not yet revealed the main requirements for Copilot.

Microsoft is not only launching two new Surface devices, the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop, but also working with partners like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, and Asus to launch Copilot+ PCs in the months ahead.

Microsoft claimed during the presentation that the new laptops are 58% faster than MacBook Airs with an M3 processor, but it’s unclear if this performance boost applies to all Copilot+ PCs or just those with Qualcomm’s ARM chips.

Microsoft also promises improved battery life, with devices supporting up to 15 hours of web browsing, although actual results may differ. Generally, ARM-powered Windows PCs tend to offer better battery performance compared to Intel or AMD models.

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Introduction of Recall, Previously Known as AI File Explorer

The new generation of Copilot+ PCs will introduce several exclusive AI tools and features.

Recall was the main highlight of the event. While tools like Cocreator in Paint and Live Captions were mentioned, Recall stood out as a new feature.

Recall is a memory tool that allows Windows users to access an AI-driven recording of their PC activities using natural language queries.

It’s somewhat similar to the Timeline feature in Windows 10, which Microsoft stopped supporting in 2021.

According to Microsoft, Recall takes screen snapshots every few seconds, encrypts and stores them locally, allowing users to search or browse through a timeline of their past activities.

The AI component then analyzes selected snapshots, enabling users to interact with the content, like searching within videos or teleconference meetings.

Microsoft ensures users have control over Recall, including the ability to exclude apps or websites, pause, stop, or delete content at any time. Recall respects DRM-protected content and private browsing in Microsoft Edge, but clarity is needed on how it handles private sessions in other browsers.

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However, sensitive data such as passwords, codes, financial information, and social security numbers may be captured by Recall.

Recall’s feature is reminiscent of concepts from movies like Minority Report, with an all-knowing AI feature showing a user’s PC activities to authorized users.

To address privacy concerns, Microsoft emphasizes that Recall operates solely on local devices without using content for AI training. Recall is currently in preview mode, supporting a limited number of languages like English, German, and Japanese.

According to Microsoft, Recall needs a minimum of 50 GB of free hard drive space, using 25 GB for storage, estimated to hold around three months’ worth of activity data that users can adjust in settings.

Final Thoughts

The first wave of Qualcomm-powered Copilot+ PCs is set to launch in the coming weeks and months, with Intel and AMD models expected later this year.

The standout feature of this new range, Recall, provides users with a transparent view of their activities. While access is limited, situations where others may seek access, like border crossings or legal inquiries, could arise.

Image Source: Tada Images / Shutterstock

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