Microsoft is gearing up to take on tech giants Alphabet and Apple by integrating cutting-edge technology into products across its business. CEO Satya Nadella introduced what Microsoft calls “Copilot+” PCs during an event at its Redmond, Washington campus. These new laptops, produced by various manufacturers including Acer and Asustek Computer, promise a new era of AI capabilities right on your device.


Why should I care?

Microsoft’s shares are soaring near record highs thanks to a Wall Street rally. The new Copilot+ laptops, starting at $1,000, will begin shipping on June 18. These PCs can handle more AI tasks directly on the device. Meaning they can minimise the need to rely on cloud data centres.

One standout feature of the Copilot+ PCs is “Recall,” which tracks and stores a history of everything done on the computer—from web browsing to voice chats—allowing users to search for past activities months later. Additionally, the Copilot voice assistant can act as a real-time virtual coach, as demonstrated during a Minecraft gaming session. Remember Jarvis from Iron Man? Yeah, Microsoft has basically put a mini-Jarvis on your computer now.


Microsoft is making big moves…

Microsoft recently revealed that the company expects 50 million AI PCs to be sold over the next year. He emphasized that these AI-powered features offer a compelling reason to upgrade your PC. Despite a 15% dip in global PC shipments last year, Microsoft is betting that one-fifth of all PCs sold will be in this new AI category.

In addition to the Copilot+ PCs, Microsoft announced that GPT-4o, the latest tech from OpenAI, will soon be available as part of Copilot. The event also showcased new Surface Pro tablets and Surface Laptops featuring Qualcomm chips based on Arm Holdings’ architecture. Microsoft introduced a technology called Prism, which helps Intel and AMD software run on Arm-based chips.

Microsoft demonstrated its new devices against an Apple device, highlighting faster performance in photo editing software from Adobe on the Microsoft device. This comes as Apple recently showcased a new AI-focused chip expected to be used in future laptops.

It goes without saying how amazing it’d be to have this kind of tech, whether it be for personal or business use. It’s almost scary just thinking about how limitless AI is, and how much it can be utilised in the future. We used to laugh at the idea of self-driving cars and androids, straight out of Bladerunner, but it doesn’t seem like such a fantasy anymore…


The race to the finish line continues

This product event sets the stage for Microsoft’s annual developer conference, where it aims to maintain its lead in producing consumer-friendly AI tools. Its partnership with OpenAI has given it a head start over Alphabet in the AI race.

Just last week, OpenAI and Google showcased competing AI technologies capable of real-time voice interactions, signalling fierce competition ahead.

With Apple’s custom Arm-based chips setting new standards for battery life and performance, Microsoft is doubling down on its efforts to compete.

As the exclusivity deal with Qualcomm expires, the landscape is set for more players to enter the Arm-based PC market. It can be said with confidence that AI is certainly off to the races!

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