If you refuse to buy a new laptop, you’ll miss out on AI-powered upgrades in Windows 11, Microsoft confirms

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Microsoft has unveiled a flood of major new features coming to Windows 11, but you’ll only enjoy these upgrades if you own one of a new wave of devices known as Copilot+ PCs.


The US company announced the new initiative last night at an event at its headquarters ahead of its annual developer conference, called Microsoft Build, which kicks off later tonight and will likely provide a first look at the new functionality coming to the market. free Windows 11 update coming this fall.

Copilot+ PCs will include several additional tricks not found on other Windows 11 devices, including the ability to scroll back through time and recall a document or web browsing session from any time in the past month. Laptops and tablets with the Copilot+ badge also offer real-time translation of video calls, YouTube videos, and all conversations near your PC.

promotional image of a laptop with the Copilot plus brand on it

To take advantage of all the features built into Windows 11, make sure your next purchase is labeled Copilot+ PC. This means it meets Microsoft’s latest criteria (16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and NPU) to enable the latest AI tricks

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These new devices are among the first to have a dedicated button on the keyboard to invoke the Microsoft Copilot AI assistant – the first shake-up to the standard Windows keyboard layout since the Start key was introduced way back in 1994.

To reach Copilot+ status, PCs require at least a 256 GB SSD, an integrated neural processor known as an NPU, and at least 16 GB of RAM. The first Copilot+ PCs will all be powered by Qualcomm’s latest laptop chipset, although Intel is working on a qualifying processor that will be available later this year.

New machines from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung were all announced at the event featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors.

Microsoft has also announced a new Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro tablet that meet the Copilot+ criteria. The Redmond-based company says these new Surface gadgets are the “fastest, most intelligent Windows PC ever built.”

Pre-orders are available nowwith the new Copilot+ PCs shipping from June 18, 2024.

Surface laptop 6 shown in all four color options on a table

Surface Laptop 6 is available with a 13.8- or 15-inch screen, up to 1 TB SSD storage and 16 GB RAM. All models come with the Neural Processing Unit-equipped Snapdragon

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Microsoft is one of the largest investors in OpenAI and has already written a check for $10 billion. During the event, the company confirmed the next version of ChatGPT, namely unveiled earlier this month in a livestreamwill be coming to Copilot+ PCs in the coming weeks.

“This first wave of Copilot+ PCs is just the beginning,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Over the past year, we’ve seen an incredible pace of AI innovation in the cloud with Copilot, allowing us to do things we never dreamed of.

“Now we’re entering a new chapter of on-device AI innovation. We’ve completely reimagined the entire PC, from silicon to the operating system, from the application layer to the cloud, with AI at the center, marking the most significant change to Windows platform in decades.”

One of the biggest new features of Windows 11 on Copilot+ PCs is called Recall, which allows users to scroll back through their device to find what they’re looking for if they can’t remember the exact location of the file.

animated gif showing how to scroll back in time on Windows 11 PC using the callback feature

Recall is the main feature of this range of Copilot+ PCs, allowing you to scroll back through everything that happened on your Windows 11 machine and jump back in time with one click. Everything is searchable because AI has searched the images and text on the device

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Screenshots of moments in time are shown as you travel back in time, so you can see exactly what you were doing on your PC. On-device AI analyzes everything on the screen, so you can search for words that appear in a document, objects that appear in images on a web page, and more. Once you find what you were looking for, Windows 11 will display the files again with one click.

Users can also quickly create AI-generated images with Cocreator in the Paint app, which allows users to create images from text prompts or initial drawings, while Live Captions can translate audio from more than 40 languages ​​into English in real time.

The company also demonstrated its Copilot voice assistant that acts as a real-time virtual coach for a user using the Minecraft video game.

Microsoft showed off its new devices in action against an Apple device, with Adobe photo editing software running faster on the Microsoft device. Apple showed it off earlier this month a new AI-focused M4 chip in the latest iPad Prowhich analysts expect will make the jump to future MacBook models.

animated gif showing the process of drawing artwork using Cocreator in the Microsoft Paint app in Windows 11

Cocreator within Microsoft Paint can improve your skills. First you describe the style of illustrations you want to create, and then start drawing in Paint as usual, while the artificial intelligence (AI) will enhance everything in a small preview panel. At the end you can export your own AI version

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After Intel’s processors dominated the PC market for decades, Qualcomm and other makers of lower-powered Arm components have tried to compete in the Windows PC market.

Microsoft’s announcement comes nearly a week after Google announced its plans to further integrate AI into its products, including in the coming months rebuilding its search engine around AI-generated answersand brings its own generative AI assistant, Gemini, to more of its most popular apps.

Next month, fellow powerhouse Apple is expected to present its own AI plans at its annual developer conference, WWDC, at its Cupertino headquarters.

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