From www.theverge.com

Microsoft is making a major push to put AI into laptops. It’s introducing a new branding today called “Copilot Plus PCs” that’ll highlight when Windows laptops come with built-in AI hardware and support for AI features across the operating system.

All of Microsoft’s major laptop partners will offer Copilot Plus PCs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at an event at the company’s headquarters on Monday. That includes Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Acer, and Asus; Microsoft is also introducing two of its own as part of the Surface line. And while Microsoft is also making a big push to bring Arm chips to Windows laptops today, Nadella said that laptops with Intel and AMD chips will offer these AI features, too.

“We get to reimagine the platform that fuels our work.”

The AI capabilities will be possible thanks to a neural processor included with the laptops. One of the flagship features it’ll power is “Recall,” which is supposed to use AI to create a searchable “photographic memory” of everything you’ve done and seen on your PC. The laptops will run more than 40 AI models as part of Windows 11 to power these new features. Microsoft’s built-in AI assistant, Copilot, will also gain support for OpenAI’s GPT-4o model, which was introduced last week.

Yusuf Mehdi, the Microsoft exec over Windows, said the new laptops will be “58 percent faster” than a MacBook Air with an M3 processor and have battery life that lasts “all day.” Mehdi didn’t make it clear, however, if this will be true of all Copilot Plus PC laptops or just the models that make the switch to Qualcomm’s Arm-based processors. Microsoft expects 50 million laptops to be sold over the next year under the Copilot Plus PC branding.

Copilot Plus PCs will require at least 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and an NPU.

Copilot Plus PCs will require at least 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and an NPU.

Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

Copilot Plus PCs will have certain spec requirements to make sure they can deliver the performance Microsoft is promising. They’ll need to have at least a 256GB SSD, an integrated neural processor, and 16GB of RAM — double what the MacBook Air starts at. The Arm-based models with Qualcomm chips are quoted as having battery life that supports “up to 15 hours of web browsing.”

Microsoft is pitching these devices as the start of a new era of Windows laptops, and it might not be all talk. The shift to Arm-based chips — which Microsoft has tried and failed to achieve in the past — could meaningfully boost the battery life on Windows laptops. And the new AI features are designed to work across processor hardware. It’s two big bets on unproven hardware and software, but they have the potential to be transformative if they work.

“Today is kind of a special day. We get to reimagine the platform that fuels our work and passion … on a new category of PCs,” Mehdi said at the event.

The first Copilot Plus PCs will launch June 18th and use Qualcomm processors. Models with Intel and AMD processors will ship at a later date.

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The post Microsoft announces Copilot Plus PCs with built-in AI hardware first appeared on www.theverge.com

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