• The inaugural Copilot device from the cloud computing and software leader Microsoft is the Surface Laptop, driven by systems-on-chip sourced from Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon X processor series.
  • One of the functionalities driven by the integrated AI algorithms is a new Windows feature known as Recall.

Recently, Microsoft Corp. has debuted Copilot , a technical specification tailored for personal computers to enhance the performance of artificial intelligence models.

Executives provided an in-depth overview of the specification during an event hosted at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. They utilized the occasion to offer a sneak peek at the initial PCs designed using the Copilot standard. These upcoming devices are set to feature Qualcomm Inc. processors alongside a secondary chip specifically engineered to safeguard sensitive data and incorporate numerous pre-installed AI models.

Enhancements in Hardware and Security

To earn the Copilot badge, a PC must meet specific criteria, including having a minimum of 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 256-gigabyte storage capacity. Most importantly, manufacturers must integrate an AI-optimized processing unit into their machines. According to Microsoft, this module must deliver a performance of over 40 TOPs, equivalent to 40 trillion computations per second.

In addition to the AI accelerator, Copilot devices must include a second specialized compute module known as a security processor. This processor aims to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information, such as the encryption keys that safeguard a user’s files. The security processors in Copilot PCs will be based on Microsoft’s Pluton chip design.

David Weston, Microsoft’s Vice President of Enterprise and Operating System Security, stated in a blog post, “It helps protect credentials, identities, personal data, and encryption keys, making it significantly harder to remove, even if a cyberattacker installs malware or has physical possession of the PC.”

A further set of cybersecurity improvements will be applied at the software level. Microsoft states that the Copilot badge will include a more secure version of the Windows Hello biometric login method, making it less vulnerable to hacking. Additionally, the company is discontinuing NTLM, a legacy Windows feature for handling user login requests that can pose cybersecurity risks in certain scenarios.

PCs Optimized for AI

Copilot devices are expected to come with over 40 integrated AI algorithms. These include small language models designed by Microsoft for hardware efficiency, as well as diffusion models, which are neural networks optimized for image generation tasks.

One of the functionalities driven by the integrated AI algorithms is a fresh Windows feature named Recall. Microsoft explains that Recall facilitates users in searching for information across documents, webpages, and applications more efficiently. This is complemented by Cocreator, a collection of AI-driven graphic design capabilities intended to simplify typical image editing tasks.

The improvements are being introduced concurrently with a specialized application for Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant. As per the company, the app will utilize OpenAI’s newest GPT-4o large language model. This model excels in processing multimodal input compared to its predecessor and boasts a more hardware-efficient architecture.

“Every Copilot PC comes with your personal powerful AI agent that is just a single tap away on keyboards with the new Copilot key. Copilot will now have the full application experience customers have been asking for in a streamlined, simple yet powerful and personal design,” Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft’s Consumer Business, provided detailed information in a blog post.

Initial Copilot Devices

The initial Copilot PCs will be released on June 18, with prices starting at USD 999. The majority of these devices are manufactured by leading computer companies like Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. They will be accompanied by two machines developed directly by Microsoft.

The debut Copilot device from the cloud computing and software titan is the Surface Laptop, leveraging systems-on-chip from Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon X processor series. These SOCs incorporate an integrated AI accelerator delivering 45 TOPS of performance. Available in 13.5-inch or 15-inch configurations, the Surface Laptop offers up to 64 gigabytes of RAM and one terabyte of flash storage.

The release of the device coincides with the launch of a revamped Copilot edition of the Surface Pro, Microsoft’s versatile two-in-one PC. This 10.6-inch tablet seamlessly transforms into a laptop with the assistance of a detachable keyboard. Dubbed the Flex Keyboard, this accessory can wirelessly connect to the Surface Pro and also functions as a charger for the stylus.

Similar to the Surface Laptop, the Surface Pro comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X processor. Customers have the option to customize their device with up to 32 gigabytes of RAM and one terabyte of storage. The premium configurations also offer an OLED screen, delivering superior display quality compared to the standard edition.