Microsoft launches AI-powered Copilot+ PCs


Microsoft has announced a new category of Windows PCs, designed to leverage the full power of AI. Christened Copilot+ PCs and developed in collaboration with PC manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Samsung, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Microsoft Surface, these devices will boast higher processing power, all-day battery life, and a suite of AI features.

Copilot+ PCs represent the “most significant change to the Windows platform in decades,” Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft said in a blog post. “We have completely reimagined the entirety of the PC – from silicon to the operating system, the application layer to the cloud – with AI at the center.”

The first batch of Copilot+ PCs will come with Qualcomm Snapdragon X series processors and will hit the shelves on June 18, the blog said. PCs with Intel and AMD chips will join the bandwagon soon after.

Unleashing AI power

Microsoft has designed an “all-new” system architecture combining the power of CPU, GPU, and a high-performance Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to add AI capabilities to the Copilot+ PCs.

Copilot+ PCs will be equipped with advanced silicon capable of performing 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) as against 10 TOPS for Intel Meteor Lake processors that power the company’s AI PCs launched recently.

“Connected to and enhanced by the large language models (LLMs) running in our Azure Cloud in concert with small language models (SLMs), Copilot+ PCs can now achieve a level of performance never seen before,” Mehdi said in the blog post. The company claimed that this new line of PCs is “20X” more powerful and up to “100X” more efficient to run AI workloads.

They outperform Apple’s MacBook Air 15” by up to 58% in sustained multithreaded performance, all while delivering all-day battery life, Mehdi added in the blog.

Microsoft also introduced a “Recall” feature in the Copilot+ devices, designed to help users find lost information stored in the device. Recall acts like a form of “photographic memory” for the device, the company said.

“CoPilot+ PC is a step change for the entire PC industry,” said Neil Shah, VP for research and partner at Counterpoint Research. “Adding CoPilot and CoPliot+, on-device AI, and rearchitecting Windows ground up, and further optimized with advanced chipset solutions from Qualcomm, Intel, and AMD will redefine the PC experience. These experiences will warrant advanced configurations from compute to memory to run the generative AI-capable assistants. These assistants or gen AI features part of CoPilot+ such as Recall, Live Captions, and Photos are backed by tens of AI data models always running in the background collecting tons of information real-time right on the device making it more private, secure, and personal. This is the biggest difference between the earlier AI assistants, which always needed to connect to the cloud.”

Focus on security

Every Copilot+ PC comes secured out of the box, Mehdi said in the blog. “The Microsoft Pluton Security processor will be enabled by default on all Copilot+ PCs and we have introduced several new features, updates, and defaults to Windows 11 that make it easy for users to stay secure.”

This setup, paired with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI), ensures superior AI performance and robust security measures.

Besides, the Copilot AI assistant also gets a major upgrade in the new devices, offering a streamlined interface and access to advanced models like OpenAI’s GPT-4o, enabling more engaging and natural voice interactions, the blog added.

What’s in it for enterprises?

According to industry experts, Copilot+ could be highly relevant for enterprises, providing powerful tools for productivity, creativity, and communication.

“My view is that they will be much more beneficial for enterprises than individuals,” Faisal Kawoosa, chief analyst and founder of Techarc said. “This is because enterprises will have tons of data to really unleash the power of AI. Also, in enterprises a user today works with a complex maze of apps, that’s sometimes a task for users to even remember and then connect them together, make them talk to each other, etc. That’s where AI through copilot + will take care of all such complexities.”

As Microsoft and its partners expand Copilot+ to enterprise PCs, the AI models running in the background will not only boost productivity across core Microsoft Office, Azure AI, and Dynamics CRM applications, but also within solutions from other partners such as Adobe, Cognizant, IBM, ServiceNow, Amdocs, Dell, Siemens, and more, Shah added.

“The CoPilot+ PCs will demonstrate how enterprise-level AI models can adapt and optimize specific workflows, providing employees with a more intelligent assistant powered by CoPilot+. Trained on internal enterprise data, CoPilot+ acts as an assistant, enabling tasks such as file searching, email summarization, smart scheduling, meeting note management, follow-ups, and efficient cross-collaboration among employees across various projects and locations.,” Shah said.

With native support for popular apps such as Microsoft 365, Chrome, Spotify, DaVinci Resolve, Affinity Suite, and Zoom, the Copilot+ PCs offer seamless integration into existing workflows. Slack is also getting added later this year, Mehdi said in the blog.

“I think now users in enterprises will only need to know what and why they want to do a task, how it will be done will be left to AI,” Kawoosa said.

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