With the AI revolution in full swing, every major tech company is investing heavily in the technology. While some like Google are focusing more on the software side of things, others like Microsoft are leveraging their position as the maker of the most popular desktop OS to bring about changes in hardware for promoting AI use.

To that end, Microsoft recently announced a range of new laptops called Copilot Plus PCs, which will support advanced AI features and will supposedly be the most powerful Windows devices in existence. They will have powerful hardware specially developed to support AI capabilities and come with some special features not found on other devices. Let's take a deeper look at what these Copilot Plus PCs entail for the future.

What are Copilot Plus PCs?

According to Microsoft, Copilot Plus PCs will be the most intelligent and fastest Windows PCs and will be powered by new silicon chips capable of 40+ TOPS (trillion operations per second). These include Qualcomm Snapdragon's new Snapdragon X Series processors. Intel and AMD will also be releasing new silicon chips to support Copilot Plus PCs later this year.

All of these feature integrated neural processors or NPUs, which are responsible for handling all AI-related tasks. The new processors will make Copilot Plus PCs up to 20 times more powerful and up to 100 times more efficient than those currently available when performing AI tasks. They will also have incredible battery life and more importantly, access to advanced AI models and are claimed to outperform Apple's M-series-powered Macbook Air.

All of Microsoft's hardware partners, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Samsung will offer Copilot Plus PCs. In addition, Microsoft's own Surface laptops will also feature the same functionality. Since there are certain hardware requirements for a PC to be AI-ready, Copilot Plus PCs are expected to come with SSDs with at least 256 GB of storage and 16 GB of RAM.

All of this will be packed in thin and light form factors for easier portability and greater elegance. With such impressive hardware, Microsoft promises that Copilot Plus PCs will be able to perform functions not possible on other computers. For instance, a Copilot Plus PC will be able to remember everything you do, allow refining images in near real-time, and even translate languages directly on the device.

Copilot Plus PCs will also support many popularly used applications natively, including Microsoft 365 apps, Blender, Spotify, Zoom, Chrome, etc. Many other applications will also be available for the ARM-based PCs later this year.

Copilot Plus PCs Vs. Macbook Air 15

With Copilot Plus PCs, Microsoft is directly targeting Apple's Macbook Air 15 powered by the M3 ARM-based chip. It claims that in sustained multithreaded performance, Copilot Plus PCs can outperform the Macbook by up to 58 percent.

Additionally, they can deliver up to 15 hours of battery life when web browsing, and up to 22 hours when playing videos on a single charge. It is important to note that these numbers come from tests and do not indicate the real-life performance of the new Windows machines.

Copilot Plus PC Features

With AI being deeply integrated into the hardware and software of Copilot Plus PCs, you get a lot of new features that promise to significantly improve the user experience.

Use Recall to Get Back to Where You Were

One of the features Microsoft highlighted for its upcoming Copilot Plus PCs is Recall. Recall lets you easily find something you have seen or done on your Windows computer without having to rely on memory. Copilot Plus PCs organize information based on associations and relationships just like humans and can create a 'photographic memory' of things.

Because of that, they allow you to scroll through time and easily find what you are looking for in any document, application, or website in your timeline. Copilot Plus PCs will let you interact with screenshots using screenray and suggest actions you can take with the help of object recognition.

Recall can help you save a lot of time by taking you back to whatever you were doing earlier, such as chatting in Microsoft Teams or browsing through your emails in Outlook quickly and with minimal effort.

What's more, the snapshots used by Recall are stored locally on your system so complete privacy is ensured. You can adjust and delete snapshots, pause the feature, and filter websites and apps from being saved, depending on your preferences.

Recall. Source: Microsoft

Create and Edit Images Using Cocreator's AI capabilities

Microsoft's Cocreator is a popular AI-powered image-generating tool used by millions every day. However, cloud-based image generators have several limitations, such as taking time to generate images and limiting the number of images you can create. There are privacy concerns as well.

Since Copilot Plus PCs will have NPUs or Neural Processing Units that can perform AI operations, they will let you use AI to create and edit images directly on your machine without relying on the cloud. Cocreator will work in applications like Photos and Paint and allow you to generate and refine images using prompts in near real-time.

It will rely on diffusion-based algorithms to deliver high-quality output with minimum steps. Microsoft also highlighted a creativity slider that will let users choose between expressive and literal styles. Existing artwork can also be edited using Cocreator.

Then, there is the Restyle ability, which will let you recreate your photos in another style with photo editing and AI image generation or use preset styles like Claymation or Cyberpunk.

Cocreator. Source: Microsoft

Communicate And Connect Easily With Live Captions

Live captions are an important accessibility tool and one that can help connect people from different regions effortlessly. Countless people rely on live captions when searching for information online, enjoying their leisure time with a movie, or even communicating with others from a different region.

That's why, with Copilot Plus PCs, Microsoft is bringing live translations to Windows users. Live translation will change any audio into English language captions in real-time and this will happen across all your devices running Windows at the same time.

Users will be able to translate pre-recorded or live audio in any video or application into English subtitles instantly and the feature currently supports 40 different languages. And live translation will even work when you are offline.

Live Captions. Source: Microsoft

Take Advantage of Improved Windows Studio Effects

Copilot Plus PCs will also get enhanced Windows Studio Effects, which can dramatically improve how you look and sound in voice and video calls. When you're on a video call in a dark environment, Portrait Light will adjust the image automatically to improve illumination.

Similarly, if you are in a low-light environment, it will brighten the foreground pixels. You can also choose from three new filters, including Watercolor, Animated, or Illustrated and an eye contact teleprompter will ensure you maintain eye contact when on video calls. Portrait blur and voice focus are also getting major improvements for a better user experience.

Enhanced Windows Studio Effects. Source: Microsoft

Your Favorite Apps Now Offer AI Functionality

Another aspect that helps differentiate Copilot Plus PCs from regular ones is that Microsoft has partnered with some of the most famous names in the software industry to bring you the power of AI in certain applications.

These include Adobe's Photoshop, Express, and Lightroom applications, DaVinci Resolve Studio, CapCut, Cephable, LiquidText, and djay Pro. All of these come with AI features that help you do things faster and more efficiently with reduced effort, delivering a more enjoyable experience.

Besides these, Copilot Plus PCs will come with a Prism emulator, which will let developers optimize their applications for the ARM platform. This can make older applications compatible with the newer Windows computers, and increase the number of apps available for Copilot Plus PCs.

All of these are a big component of Microsoft's attempts to promote on-device AI, which reduces reliance on the cloud and offers greater privacy and freedom.

Adobe Photoshop With AI Features. Source: Microsoft

Copilot Plus PCs Will Feature a Copilot AI Assistant

We've already mentioned how Copilot Plus PCs will have different hardware than traditional computers. But this is not just limited to NPUs which will provide them with AI capabilities, but they will also have a dedicated Copilot key. Hitting this key will instantly bring up Copilot, your AI-powered digital assistant on Windows.

While you can bring up Copilot on existing PCs, on Copilot Plus PCs, the AI assistant will get a full-screen experience to help you out more easily. It will bring the most advanced AI models to users, including OpenAI's recently announced GPT-4o.

Copilot. Source: Microsoft

When Will Copilot Plus PCs Be Available?

The first Copilot Plus PCs will be available from June 18th starting at USD 999 and will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Others with AMD and Intel ARM-based chips will be available later on.

Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft is claiming that Copilot Plus PCs will mark the start of a new era for Windows, and from benchmark tests, the new generation of Windows computers does seem intriguing. The hardware is quite impressive, and the company is also working hard to integrate AI with Windows wherever possible.

If the real-life performance of Copilot Plus PCs is anything like Microsoft and its partners claim, Apple's M-series laptops might finally get some noteworthy competition. We're keeping our fingers crossed.