Watch Apple BRUTALLY roast Microsoft's spectacular Windows Recall AI failure

 Daring Fireball WWDC Apple interview.
Credit: Daring Fireball (YouTube)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced its flagship AI feature, Windows Recall, at Build a few weeks ago.

  • The feature records everything you do on Windows 11, and lets you ask Copilot to recover and remember previous tasks you performed on your computer.

  • Showcasing Microsoft's historic ineptitude when it comes to marketing and public relations, the internet quickly slammed the feature, calling it creepy and a privacy nightmare.

  • Microsoft has since postponed the feature after security researchers discovered a wealth of problematic vulnerabilities.

  • Apple announced its own AI features at its WWDC event, with a "privacy first" narrative at the forefront.

  • In a recent interview, Apple openly mocked Microsoft's failings, showcasing how much of an own-goal this whole snafu has been for the company.

Oh Microsoft, you had one job.

Microsoft's Windows Recall has been recalled, after a broad privacy backlash coupled with damning security research into the feature.

Windows Recall was set to be Microsoft's flagship AI product set to ship with the first wave of Copilot+ PCs, including the Surface Pro 11. Alas, it was not meant to be. Disturbed by the broad implications of Microsoft watching everything you do (even if they claim none of the data gets uploaded to their servers), the internet started picking Windows Recall to pieces. Security researchers discovered a wide array of potential exploits of the tech, given that Windows Recall screenshots and records everything you do so that you can "recall" it later.

In theory, Windows Recall is a pretty cool feature, but I think anyone with a shred of self-awareness could've seen how much of a backlash Windows Recall was going to cause. Microsoft didn't, apparently, which accentuates how out of touch it has gotten in recent times. Apple is right there to reap the benefits.

During a WWDC talk, Apple's global marketing SVP Greg "Joz" Joswiak had some mocking words for Microsoft and it's spectacular Recall PR failure.

Asked by the host if Apple was frustrated by Microsoft's inability to build trust in these types of features, Joswiak joked "are we frustrated by the failings of our competitors? The answer's no," after a round of laughter from the panel and audience.

Indeed, Apple debuted its own "Apple Intelligence" at WWDC, joining the hype train with a wave of its own AI experiences. Many of these are also set to be powered by OpenAI's products, including ChatGPT, which the firm is apparently getting for free. Microsoft paid billions for similar access to the tech, although it also comes with profit sharing deals and other exclusivity arrangements.

OPINION: Microsoft has lost control of its AI narrative

Windows Recall
Windows Recall

It's a stunning turn around. Microsoft was among the first companies to take the initiative when it came to generative AI, but it goes to show how easily a lead can be screwed up with bad messaging and a lack of platform control.

The biggest irony is that Apple's own AI features aren't far removed from things like Recall, but it simply positioned them better when communicating them publicly. You only get one chance to make a first impression, they say, and it all accentuates how little Microsoft's own users seem to trust it these days.

Apple reclaimed the top spot in global market share cap from Microsoft after WWDC, as investors begin to realize that it will be Apple, rather than Microsoft, who plays kingmaker when it comes to AI. Microsoft may end up simply providing the cloud infrastructure for these types of experiences, as users doubt Microsoft's own Windows efforts and continue to move the majority of their daily leisurely computing tasks to devices like the iPhone. Apple might be relying on OpenAI today, but that certainly won't always be the case.

RELATED: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella "concerned" about OpenAI, Apple partnership

Microsoft will doubtless find success with more business-oriented applications like Github Copilot, alongside gaming features like Auto Super Resolution, which is doubtless coming to the next Xbox. But so far, the Windows AI features have been total slop, which in my personal view, suffer from a borderline negligent lack of innovation and a near-total dereliction of duty with regards to user feedback. For every AI feature Microsoft has put into Windows so far, there are a vast array of competing solutions that seem to do it better. From AI video editing, to graphic design, communication tools, email features, basic photo touch-ups, and Copilot itself — Microsoft is falling behind, and falling behind rapidly. Even my Samsung phone has more interesting AI features than Windows 11 right now, and that's a huge problem.

Apple is poised to lead the way with superior integrations as Microsoft's unfocused and siloed app teams operate without a shred of synergy. And without a mobile platform of its own to speak of, Apple and Google are ready to shut Microsoft out of the equation completely when it comes to consumer AI solutions.

It didn't have to be this way, but today's Windows division suffers from a total lack of direction and cohesion. Throwing money around can only get you so far.