From www.theverge.com

Microsoft unveiled its new Copilot Plus PCs last week, designed to usher in a new wave of AI features in Windows that are exclusive to new laptops. Now, less than two weeks later, Windows enthusiasts have managed to crack Microsoft’s flagship AI-powered Recall feature to run on unsupported hardware.

Recall leverages local AI models on new Copilot Plus PCs to run in the background and take snapshots of anything you’ve done or seen on your PC. You then get a timeline you can scrub through and the ability to search for photos, documents, conversations, or anything else on your PC. Microsoft positioned Recall as needing the very latest neural processing units (NPU) on new PCs, but you can actually get it running on older Arm-powered hardware.

Windows watcher Albacore has created a tool called Amperage, which enables Recall on devices that have an older Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, Microsoft’s SQ processors, or an Ampere chipset. You need to have the latest Windows 11 24H2 update installed on one of these Windows on Arm devices, and then the tool will unlock and enable Recall.

This only works on older Windows on Arm hardware right now, but given Copilot Plus PCs are coming from AMD and Intel soon, we’ll likely see this unlocked a lot more broadly in the coming weeks or months. Microsoft has only published its AI components for the Windows on Arm platform now, the limiting factor in getting this running on Intel- and AMD-powered hardware.

You can technically unlock Recall on x86 devices, but the app won’t do much until Microsoft publishes the x64 AI components required to get it up and running. Rumors suggest both AMD and Intel are close to announcing Copilot Plus PCs, so Microsoft’s AI components for those machines may well appear soon. I managed to get Recall running on an x64 Windows 11 virtual machine earlier today just to test out the initial first-run experience.

We may well see more of Microsoft’s Copilot Plus PC features backported to existing hardware soon, too. Recall being unlocked to run on much older Arm hardware will undoubtedly raise questions about why Microsoft is limiting this and many other AI-powered Windows features to new devices that have an NPU capable of more than 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS).

Microsoft will probably argue that the 40 TOPS requirement sets a baseline for future AI-powered experiences beyond Recall, Image Cocreator, and the other AI features Microsoft demonstrated last week. It also ensures these features are running on a separate NPU instead of taking over the CPU and GPU and killing laptop battery life. But the reality is that Copilot Plus PCs are also designed for Microsoft and its OEM partners to sell new hardware at a time when IDC estimates PC sales will grow this year thanks to the arrival of AI-capable PCs.

Notepad by Tom Warren /

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The post Windows 11’s new Recall feature has been cracked to run on unsupported hardware first appeared on www.theverge.com

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