Microsoft ushers in new era of Windows with 'Copilot+' PCs — the true next-gen AI laptops are here

 Copilot+ logo.
Copilot+ logo.

Microsoft today announced what it’s calling “a new era” of the Windows PC with Copilot+, a set of next-gen AI features and experiences for Windows 11 that will ship exclusively on new Copilot+-branded PCs launching this summer. Copilot+ is the next stage of the AI PC, capable of more advanced AI functions that Microsoft is building into the next version of Windows 11.

For a PC to be a Copilot+ PC, it must include an NPU capable of at least 40 TOPS of power. Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Series chips are the first Windows PC chips on the market to reach this benchmark, which means the first wave of Copilot+ PCs will be exclusively powered by Windows on Arm. Copilot+ PCs with Intel and AMD chips are expected to follow later this year.

Microsoft is touting a handful of new AI experiences that are only possible on Copilot+ PCs:

  • Recall anything you've seen just by asking for it

  • Visually and contextually aware Copilot.

  • Live Caption translations

  • Auto Super Resolution

  • Enhanced image and text generation with Cocreator

  • Advanced Windows Studio Effects

The next-gen AI experiences coming to Windows 11 are nothing short of impressive. The most notable new feature is Recall, which runs in the background and remembers everything you see and do on your computer, enabling the ability to search for anything you’ve done on your PC using natural language, and it works across any app.

Microsoft Copilot+ wallpaper
Microsoft Copilot+ wallpaper

Microsoft describes it as a truly powerful productivity tool, and is an example of how AI is able to work in the background to improve your workflow. Ideally, the days of not being able to find a conversation, web page, document, image, or video are in the past, as you can just Recall it by simply asking.

The Recall feature includes a built-in Timeline interface that lets users scroll back through different snapshots that Windows has captured based on your search criteria. For example, if you search for “dinosaurs,” every instance where content about dinosaurs was on your screen will appear along the timeline for you to jump to.

Recall can also understand what’s currently on your screen, and provide helpful contextual suggestions depending on what it can see. You could be looking at an image on a webpage, and the Recall interface will show prompts to help you edit that photo with a single click. It could also help compare two documents or articles that you have open side by side.

Microsoft is also highlighting improvements to Live Captions, which on Copilot+ PCs is capable of translating 40+ different languages into English from any live or pre-recorded audio and video, directly on the device without reaching out to the cloud. Windows Studio Effects are also more advanced, with the ability to virtually improve lighting conditions or apply real-time artistic styles to your webcam video feed.

Lastly, Microsoft is highlighting improved generative AI functionality that's coming to Copilot and Cocreator. Copilot+ devices will be able to generate images and text without reaching out to the cloud, which should result in a much faster Copilot experience for certain tasks. Cocreator can now also draw alongside you, and help out with artistic suggestions.

Microsoft is describing Copilot+ PCs as the beginning of a new era for Windows devices, and it’s betting on these new AI features being impressive enough for end-users to want to upgrade from their existing PCs.

Copilot+ PCs launch in June

If you’re eager to get your hands on some of the first Copilot+ PCs, you won’t have to wait long. Microsoft says the first Copilot+ PCs will begin shipping next month, sometime in June. Many of these next-gen AI experiences won’t be available right away, however, as those are expected to launch later this year.

The first devices launching under the Copilot+ moniker are Microsoft’s own Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices, which both feature Snapdragon X chips among other improvements. Surface isn’t the only Copilot+ PCs launching this June, however. All the big name OEMs are expected to debut Copilot+ PCs next month.

Lastly, these new Copilot+ PCs appear to ship with a new default Windows 11 wallpaper. It's a remix of the original Windows 11 Bloom wallpaper, but mixed with the colors of the Copilot icon. It's pretty cool.