The Latest Windows PCs Remember Everything

The Latest Windows PCs Remember Everything

Buy any new Windows PC and you might notice an unfamiliar key: the Copilot key. Launched in January, it promised quick access to Microsoft’s AI Copilot. Yet features were limited, causing critics to wonder: is this it?

Microsoft Build 2024, the company’s annual developer conference, had a reply: No. On 20 May,the company revealed Copilot+ PCs, a new class of Windows computers that exclusively use Qualcomm chips (for now, at least) to power a host of AI features that run on-device. Copilot+ PCs can quickly recall tasks you’ve completed on the PC, refine simple sketches in Paint, and translate languages in a real-time video call. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and Surface Pro will showcase these features, but they’re joined by Copilot+ PCs from multiple laptop partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.

“We wanted to put the best foot forward,” said Brett Ostrum, corporate vice president of Surface devices at Microsoft. “When we started this journey, the goal was that Surface was going to ship relevant volumes on [Qualcomm] silicon. And people need to love it.”

Windows’ Recall is a new way to search

Microsoft revealed several AI features at Build 2024, but the highlight was Recall. Similar to Rewind, an app for the Mac I tried in December 2023, Recall can help Windows users find anything they’ve seen, heard, or opened on their PC. This includes files, documents, and apps, but also images, videos, and audio. Recall defaults to a scrollable timeline, which is broken up into discrete events detected by Recall, but users can also browse with semantic text search.

It’s a simple feature to use, but its implications are vast. If Recall works as advertised, it could fundamentally change how people interact with Windows PCs. There’s arguably little need to organize photos from a vacation or carefully file away notes if Recall can find anything, and everything, you’ve opened on your PC.

Copilot+ PC’s new AI features include Recall, a new way to search in Windows.Microsoft

“It used to be if you interacted with your PC, you used a command line. Then we came up with the graphical user interface,” said Ostrum. “Now, how do you find the things that you are looking for? Recall is a much more natural and richer way to interact with your files.”

There’s one unavoidable caveat: It’s too early to know if Recall will do what Microsoft says. I tried the feature first-hand, and found it could recall a fictional recipe I asked Microsoft Copilot to create. It did so immediately, and also after several hours had passed. Whether it can do the same next month, or next year, remains to be seen.

While Recall was the star, it was joined by several additional AI features. These include Cocreator, a new feature for Microsoft Paint that uses AI to convert simple sketches into more elaborate digital art, and Live Captions, which captions and translates video in real-time….

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The post “The Latest Windows PCs Remember Everything” by Matthew S. Smith was published on 05/23/2024 by