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Microsoft debuts Copilot+ PCs with AI features

Microsoft has debuted a new category of personal computers with AI features as it rushes to build the emerging technology into products across its business and compete with Alphabet and Apple .

At an event on its campus in Redmond, Washington, Chief Executive Satya Nadella introduced what Microsoft calls Copilot+ PCs, saying that it and a range of manufacturers would sell them, including Acer and Asustek Computer.

Microsoft launched the laptops as its shares trade near record highs following a Wall Street rally driven by expectations that AI will fuel strong profit growth for the company and its Big Tech rivals.

Able to handle more artificial-intelligence tasks without calling on cloud data centres, the new computers will start at $US1000 ($A1497) and begin shipping on June 18.

The ability to crunch AI data directly on the computer lets Copilot+ include a feature called Recall. Recall tracks everything done on the computer, from web browsing to voice chats, creating a history stored on the computer that the user can search when they need to remember something they did, even months later.

The company also demonstrated its Copilot voice assistant acting as a real-time virtual coach to a user playing the Minecraft video game.

Yusuf Mehdi, who heads up consumer marketing for Microsoft, said the company expects that 50 million AI PCs will be purchased over the next year.

At the press event, Mehdi said faster AI assistants that run directly on a PC will be “the most compelling reason to upgrade your PC in a long time.”

Global PC shipments dipped about 15 per cent to 242 million last year, according to research firm Gartner, which suggests Microsoft expects the new category of computers to account for around one-fifth of all PCs sold.

“People just need to be convinced that the device experience alone justifies this entirely new category of Copilot+ machines,” said analyst Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

Microsoft’s new Copilot+ computer marketing category that highlights AI features is reminiscent of the Ultrabook category of thin-form Windows laptops that Intel promoted with PC manufacturers in 2011 to compete against Apple’s MacBook Air.

Microsoft executives also said that GPT-4o, the latest technology from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, will “soon” be available as part of Copilot.

Microsoft also introduced a new generation of its own Surface Pro tablet and Surface Laptop that feature Qualcomm chips based on Arm Holdings’ architecture. It also introduced a technology called Prism that will help software written for Intel and AMD chips run on chips made with Arm technology.

Microsoft showed its new devices in action against an Apple device, showing photo editing software from Adobe running faster on the Microsoft device. Apple earlier this month showed a new AI-focused chip that analysts expect to be used in future laptops.

Australian Associated Press



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