Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PC

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Microsoft wants to bring generative AI to the forefront of Windows and the PCs that run it.

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

We’ve covered all the major announcements from Monday and Tuesday here.

Volumetric Apps

Microsoft is bringing Windows volumetric apps — basically spatially aware, interactive VR apps — to Meta Quest headsets. Through a partnership with Meta, Microsoft says it will provide Windows 365 and local PC connectivity to Quest headsets, allowing developers to extend their apps into 3D space.

Image Credit: Microsoft

During Tuesday’s keynote, Microsoft showed a digital blown-up 3D view of an Xbox controller from the perspective of the Meta Quest 3 headset — a digital object that the wearer can manipulate with their hands. “We’re deepening our partnership with Meta to make Windows a first-class experience on Quest devices,” Pavan Davuluri, CVP of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, said during the demo.

Developers can sign up for the preview to gain access to Microsoft’s new Volumetric API.

Copilot+ PC

Microsoft CoPilot+ PC
Image Credit: Microsoft

CoPilot+ PC is Microsoft’s AI-first, vision of flagship Windows hardware. All include dedicated chips called NPUs to power AI experiences like Recall. And they come with a minimum of 16GB RAM along with SSD storage.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip makers in the first Copilot+ PCs Intel and AMD have also committed to producing processors for Copilot+ devices in partnership with a number 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 launched Surface devices, the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, focus on performance and battery.

Microsoft Surface Laptop
Image Credit: Microsoft

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

Microsoft Surface Pro
Image Credit: Microsoft

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

Memorization

Windows 11’s upcoming Recall feature could “remember” apps and content a user accessed on their PC weeks or months ago, for example helping them find a Discord chat where they were discussing those clothes Which 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 into files like a PowerPoint presentation to surface information potentially relevant to their searches. Can down.

Microsoft says Recall can make connections between colors, images, and other things so users can search for practically anything on their PC in natural language (not dissimilar to Startup Rewind’s technology); Developers will be able to improve recall by adding contextual information to their apps. And Microsoft claims that all user data associated with Recall is kept private and on-device – and importantly, not used to train AI models.

Here’s more from Microsoft: “Your snapshots are yours; they stay locally on your PC. You can delete individual snapshots, adjust the time range in Settings and delete them, or stop them at any point from the icon in the system tray on your taskbar. You can also filter apps and websites from always being saved.

Image editing and live translation

There’s more AI in Windows now than ever before and some of it is especially on the new CoPilot+ PCs.

A new feature called Super Resolution can restore old photos by automatically upscaling them. And Copilot can now give users ideas for creative creations by analyzing images. Through a feature called CoCreator, users can create images and ask an AI model to alter or re-style the image based on what they are creating.

Live captions with live translation
Image Credit: Microsoft

Elsewhere, Live Caption with Live Translate translates any audio that passes through the PC – whether from YouTube or a local file – into the language of the user’s choice. Live Translate will initially support about 40 languages, including English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian.

A separate but related new feature in Microsoft Edge offers real-time video translation on LinkedIn, YouTube, Coursera, Reuters, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other sites. Set to be available in the near future, the feature – which supports translation from Spanish to English and from English to German, Hindi, Italian, Russian and Spanish – enables live translation of spoken content through both dubbing and subtitling. Is.

Team Copilot and Extensions

Team Copilot is the latest extension of Microsoft’s growing Copilot suite of generative AI technology. It integrates with the company’s videoconferencing app Teams, allowing it to manage meeting agendas and take notes, which anyone in the meeting can co-author. And this extends to Loop and Planner, Microsoft’s collaboration and planning platforms for creating and assigning tasks, tracking deadlines, and notifying team members when their input is needed.

Image Credit: GitHub/Microsoft

In somewhat related Copilot news, Microsoft has launched (in private preview) the Copilot extension, which allows developers to extend GitHub’s code-generating tool GitHub Copilot with third-party apps and skills. Launch partners include DataStax, Docker, and LambdaTest; The extensions will live in the GitHub Marketplace, but developers will also be able to create their own private extensions to integrate with their internal systems and APIs.

windows copilot runtime

Microsoft Windows Copilot Runtime
Image Credit: Microsoft

Powering capabilities like recall and super resolution is the Windows CoPilot Runtime, a collection of ~40 generative AI models that Microsoft describes as a “new layer” of Windows. Combined with Semantic Index, a personal vector-based system native to CoPilot+ PCs, Windows CoPilot Runtime allows generative AI-powered apps – including third-party apps – to run without the need for an Internet connection.

“(The runtime) includes ready-to-use AI APIs like studio effects, live caption translation, OCR, recall with user activity, and (more), which will be available to developers in June,” Davuluri said Tuesday.

Microsoft says CapCut, the popular video editor from TikTok owner ByteDance, will use the Windows CoPilot runtime and a set of new Windows CoPilot libraries, APIs, and AI dev tools to accelerate its AI features. And Meta will add the above Studio effects to WhatsApp to provide features like background blur and eye contact during video calls.

Advanced Bot Builders

Azure AI Studio, the toolset within Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service that lets customers combine AI models and build an app that “reasons” about that data, will soon let developers pay-as-you-go inference API – Will allow to create apps using API. Through which developers can access and fine-tune generic AI models hosted on Azure infrastructure. Microsoft calls it the “model-as-a-service” and it’s initially being launched with models from Nixtla and Core42.

In the adjacent Copilot Studio product suite, Microsoft is launching the Copilot Agent, which the company describes as an AI bot that can “independently organize tasks tailored to specific roles and tasks.” (CoPilot Studio for Microsoft 365 provides tools to connect AI-powered “CoPilots” to third-party data in apps like Excel and Word.) Taking advantage of memory and knowledge of context, CoPilot agents perform various tasks. Can navigate types of business workflows. Learning from user feedback and asking for help when they encounter situations they don’t know how to deal with.

snapdragon dev kit

Qualcomm Dev Kit
Image Credit: Microsoft

There’s a new dev kit from Qualcomm aimed at developers building apps for the Arm chip-packing CoPilot+ PC.

The $899.99 Snapdragon Dev Kit for Windows — which has the same width, height and length as Apple’s Mac Mini, incidentally — features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chip with 32GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and plenty of I/O. The dev kit supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, and, through its various USB-C and HDMI ports, it can drive up to three 4K monitors at once.

fi-3

Microsoft announced the addition to its generative AI model family Phi, Phi-3-Vision, which can perform common visual analysis and reasoning tasks, such as answering questions about charts and images. The model can read both text and images and is efficient enough to run on a mobile device.

Phi-3-Vision is available in preview, while the model’s previously announced text-only counterparts – Phi-3-mini, Phi-3-small and Phi-3-medium – are now generally available.

Partnership with Khan Academy

Microsoft is working with Khan Academy to provide access to cloud compute infrastructure that will allow Khan Academy to provide free access to Khan Academy’s AI-powered tools to teachers in the US. Microsoft said on Tuesday that the two companies will also collaborate to explore opportunities to improve AI apps for math tutoring through generative AI.

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