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Microsoft Build 2024: All the AI and hardware products Microsoft announced


Microsoft wants to bring generative AI to the forefront of Windows — and the PCs running it.

At a keynote ahead of its annual Build developer conference this week, the company unveiled a new lineup of Windows machines it’s calling Copilot+ PCs, plus generative AI-powered features like Recall, which helps users find apps, files and other content they’ve viewed in the past. Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience. And new Microsoft Surface devices are on the way.

We’ve rounded up all the major announcements here.

Copilot+ PCs

Image Credits: Microsoft

Copilot+ PCs are Microsoft’s vision of AI-first, flagship Windows hardware. All include dedicated chips called NPUs to power AI experiences like Recall. And they ship with 16GB of RAM minimum, paired with SSD storage.

The first Copilot+ PCs will pack Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Plus chips, which Microsoft claims delivers up to 15 hours of web browsing and 20 hours of video battery life. Chipmakers Intel and AMD are also committed to building processors for Copilot+ devices in partnership with a range of manufacturers, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.

Copilot+ PCs start at $999, and some are available for preorder today.

Surface Pro and Surface Laptop

Microsoft’s newly unveiled Surface devices, the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, focus on performance and battery.

Microsoft Surface Laptop
Image Credits: Microsoft

The latest Surface Laptop — available with a 13.8- or 15-inch display — has been redesigned with “modern lines” and thinner screen bezels. It lasts up to 22 hours on a charge and is up to 86% faster than the Surface Laptop 5, the company says. It also supports Wi-Fi 7 and has a haptic feedback touchpad.

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Microsoft Surface Pro
Image Credits: Microsoft

As for the new Surface Pro, Microsoft says it’s up to 90% faster than the previous-gen Surface Pro (the Surface Pro 9), and it sports a new OLED with HDR display, Wi-Fi 7 (and optional 5G) and an upgraded ultrawide front-facing camera. Also, its detachable keyboard — which has been reinforced with additional carbon fiber — now has haptic feedback.

Recall

Windows 11’s forthcoming Recall feature can “remember” apps and content a user accessed on their PC weeks or even months ago, for example helping them to find a Discord chat where they were discussing clothes they were considering buying. Users can use Recall’s timeline to “scroll back” to see what they were working on in the recent past and drill down in files like PowerPoint presentations to surface info potentially relevant to their searches.

Microsoft says that Recall can create associations between colors, images and more to let users search for practically anything on their PCs in natural language (not dissimilar to startup Rewind’s tech). And the company claims that all user data associated with Recall is kept private and on-device — and not used to train AI models, importantly.

Here’s more from Microsoft: “Your snapshots are yours; they stay locally on your PC. You can delete individual snapshots, adjust and delete ranges of time in Settings, or pause at any point right from the icon in the System Tray on your Taskbar. You can also filter apps and websites from ever being saved.”

Image editing and live translations

There’s now more AI in Windows than ever and some of it exclusively on the new Copilot+ PCs.

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A new feature called Super Resolution can restore old photos by automatically upscaling them. And Copilot can now analyze images to give users ideas for creative compositions. Through a feature called Cocreator, users can generate images and also ask the AI model to follow what they’re drawing to change or restyle the image.

Live Captions with live translation
Image Credits: Microsoft

Elsewhere, Live Captions with live translations translates any audio that passes through a PC — whether from YouTube or a local file — into the language of the user’s choosing. Live translations will initially support around 40 languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian.

Windows Copilot Runtime

Powering capabilities such as Recall and Super Resolution is the Windows Copilot Runtime, a collection of ~40 generative AI models make up what Microsoft describes as “a new layer” of Windows. In tandem with the semantic index, a vector-based system local to an individual Copilot+ PC, the Windows Copilot Runtime allows generative AI-powered apps — including third-party apps — to run without necessarily needing an internet connection.

Microsoft says that CapCut, the popular video editor from TikTok owner ByteDance, will use the Windows Copilot Runtime to speed up its AI features.

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Miranda Cosgrove

My Miranda cosgrove is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, Miranda cosgrove brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece.

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