Following product announcements from Apple and Amazon, it was Microsoft’s turn to step up to the plate and hold an event. On Thursday, the Seattle-based tech giant unveiled new Surface computers and provided details on the latest upgrade to its Windows 11 operating system.
This year, the company released more features for the Copilot generative AI, which is embedded into Windows 11 and will function as an AI tool for productivity apps such as Word and Excel and the Edge browser.
With the Microsoft event being largely focused on the capabilities of its AI systems, the two new consumer laptops that were announced felt almost like an afterthought.
Microsoft AI And Surface Event 2023 Announcements
Let us take a look at everything Microsoft announced at its AI and Surface event 2023:
The latest Windows 11 OS will have Copilot integrated into various areas like the Bing search engine and the Edge web browser, where users can summon the AI by simply holding down the Windows key and C key.
The Paint app is also getting a facelift with a hand from Microsoft’s generative AI where users can type prompts into a text box, pick a style, and have the application create images just by processing what was given in the description.
Other improvements include a Boot-to-the-cloud feature. In case you are running a cloud-based version of Windows 11, Microsoft will allow you to directly log into the cloud account and use it as your primary PC.
Notepad will automatically save your recent jottings. The application now allows you to continue working from where you stopped even if you had previously closed the application without saving the file.
The taskbar also had a facelift, putting the Start button and a series of apps in the bottom center of the screen. All app icons on the taskbar can be viewed with labels, like on Windows 10. Users will also be able to hide the date and time.
Windows 11 now enables users to back up applications that were previously installed on their PC and restore them. This can also be done for pinned app preferences on the taskbar and Start menu.
Here are everything announced at @Microsoft Surface and AI Event.#AI #MicrosoftEvent— Partime_Dude (@ParTime_Dude) September 22, 2023
1. Copilot for Windows 11 – Expected rollout on September 26
2. Microsoft 365 Chat – Expected rollout on September 26
3. Surface Laptop Go 3 – preorder start: Sept 21, and available on Oct 3.… pic.twitter.com/YijVhypBcm
Another interesting feature is the ability to take out texts from screenshots. When using the Snipping Tool, you can select text from a screenshot and redact personally identifiable information like location, phone numbers, email, or home addresses.
The latest update for laptops and PCs is set to be rolled out to Windows users starting September 26.
Microsoft was heavily focused on its AI systems at this year’s Surface and Windows event. With Copilot coming to Windows 11, the company is making sure that the generative AI tool can be applied across a suite of its products like the Edge browser and Microsoft Office apps.
Copilot can be activated while in any app on the computer just by your voice or a right click on the mouse. The AI can be used to organize windows on your desktop, edit photos, or even create a Spotify playlist.
The assistant is also able to pull out important data from messages. For example, if you get a text message from your airplane on a phone that is connected to a Windows 11-installed computer, then Copilot will read the message and display your flight information.
Another new feature is the Windows Ink Anywhere, which allows you to take a screenshot and use the pen tool to, for instance, mark a question. Copilot will then automatically resort to solving the question and giving you an answer.
Microsoft is also incorporating its generative AI technology into its Advertising Platform and Microsoft 365 Suite. Although the company did not reveal how Copilot would work on its advertising tool, the feature will be available for Office applications like Word and Excel starting in November for $30 per month. Copilot for Microsoft 365 Suite is aimed at companies whose employees use Windows machines.
According to Microsoft, Copilot can summarize meetings and prioritize tasks based on the emails received in your inbox. On Outlook, the company’s email application, the AI will be able to draft emails in a way that mimics your voice and writing style.
Another AI-related development was the deployment of OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 image processing language model to the Bing Image Creator. Microsoft said that every image generated using the system would include a note that mentions its creator as an artificial intelligence model.
The latest device in Microsoft’s entry-level laptop series features a 12.4-inch touchscreen display and is powered by a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor.
The Surface Laptop Go 3 designed with portability in mind weighs just 2.49 pounds and is said to deliver 88 times faster performance than previous iterations.
The new laptop’s battery is expected to last for up to 15 hours, compared to 13.5 hours from last year’s Surface Laptop Go 2. Customers can choose from four colors – Platinum, Sage, Sandstone, and Ice Blue – and also add up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state memory.
The laptop starts at $799 and will be available in stores from October.
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio 2 is on the higher end of the spectrum and directly competes with Apple’s Macbook Pros. The company claims that this year’s model is the most powerful Surface Laptop yet, powered by a 13th-gen Intel i7 H class CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU.
It comes with a 14.4-inch, 120Hz refresh rate touchscreen providing a smoother scrolling experience. The screen can be tilted forward to be used as a tablet and has a trackpad that will integrate some features from Microsoft’s Adaptive Mouse tool.
Surface Laptop Studio 2 is the first Windows computer with an Intel neural processing unit (NPU) that can power up AI activities. The second-gen Surface Slim Pen 2 will be included in the box.
Surface Laptop Studio 2 starts at $1,999 and will be available from October.