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Microsoft Is Planning To Make Windows An AI Operating System

Microsoft aims to make generative AI a central part of Windows and the PCs that run it.

During its annual Build developer conference this week, the company introduced a new lineup of Windows machines called Copilot+ PCs, along with generative AI-powered features like Recall, which helps users find previously viewed apps, files, and other content. Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience. Additionally, new Microsoft Surface devices are on the way.

Here’s a roundup of all the major announcements from Monday and Tuesday.

 Volumetric Apps

Microsoft introduced Windows Volumetric Apps, spatially aware VR applications for Meta Quest headsets. This partnership with Meta enables developers to extend their applications into 3D space. Demonstrations included manipulating a 3D view of an Xbox controller using a Meta Quest 3 headset. Developers can access these features via a preview of Microsoft’s new volumetric API.

“We’re deepening our partnership with Meta to make Windows a first-class experience on Quest devices,” Pavan Davuluri, CVP of Windows and devices at Microsoft, said during the demo.

 Copilot+ PCs

Microsoft announced Copilot+ PCs, designed with AI-first principles. These PCs feature dedicated NPUs to support AI experiences and come with a minimum of 16GB of RAM and SSD storage. Initial models will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Plus chips, offering significant battery life improvements. Intel and AMD are also involved in producing processors for these devices. Prices start at $999, with preorders available now.

 Surface Pro and Surface Laptop

New Surface devices, including the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, emphasize performance and battery life. The Surface Laptop features 13.8- or 15-inch displays, thinner bezels, and up to 22 hours of battery life. The Surface Pro boasts a new OLED display, Wi-Fi 7, optional 5G, and a faster performance compared to the previous generation. Both devices support haptic feedback in their touchpads and detachable keyboards.


The upcoming Recall feature in Windows 11 helps users remember and find apps and content accessed in the past. Recall creates associations between various elements like colors and images, allowing natural language searches. User data remains private and on-device, with options to delete snapshots or pause the feature.

Here’s more from Microsoft: “Your snapshots are yours; they stay locally on your PC. You can delete individual snapshots, adjust and delete ranges of time in Settings, or pause at any point right from the icon in the System Tray on your Taskbar. You can also filter apps and websites from ever being saved.”

 Image Editing and Live Translations

New AI features include Super Resolution, which upscales old photos, and Cocreator, which allows users to generate and modify images. Live Captions with live translations support around 40 languages, translating any audio that passes through a PC. Microsoft Edge will also offer real-time video translation for websites like LinkedIn and YouTube.

 Team Copilot and Extensions

Team Copilot integrates with Microsoft Teams to manage meeting agendas and take notes collaboratively. It extends to Loop and Planner for task management. Additionally, Copilot Extensions allow developers to enhance GitHub Copilot with third-party apps and skills, available in the GitHub Marketplace.

 Windows Copilot Runtime

The Windows Copilot Runtime, consisting of ~40 AI models, powers features like Recall and Super Resolution. It enables generative AI-powered apps to run locally without an internet connection. CapCut and Meta will use these capabilities for video editing and video call enhancements, respectively.

“[The runtime] consists of ready-to-use AI APIs like Studio Effects, Live Captions translations, OCR, Recall with user activity and [more], which will be available to developers in June,” Davuluri said on Tuesday.

 Upgraded Bot Builders

Azure AI Studio will soon let developers create apps using pay-as-you-go inference APIs. Copilot Studio is launching Copilot agents, AI bots that can manage business workflows, learn from user feedback, and ask for help when needed.

 Snapdragon Dev Kit

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Dev Kit for Windows supports developers building apps for Arm-chip-based Copilot+ PCs. Priced at $899.99, it features the Snapdragon X Elite chip, 32GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and multiple I/O options, including support for up to three 4K monitors.


Microsoft introduced Phi-3-vision, a generative AI model for visual analysis and reasoning tasks. It can read text and images and run on mobile devices. The model is in preview, while text-only variants (Phi-3-mini, Phi-3-small, and Phi-3-medium) are generally available.

Partnership with Khan Academy

Microsoft is collaborating with Khan Academy to provide cloud compute infrastructure, enabling free access to AI-powered educational tools for U.S. educators. They will also explore improving AI apps for math tutoring through generative AI.

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