Microsoft announces Copilot +, a range of AI-optimized laptops

Microsoft announced a new range of computers on Monday May 20. Called “Copilot +”, these feature a Snapdragon X processor, designed by the British company ARM. A type of chip that is usually found in smartphones, theoretically offering greater power while extending battery life by several hours – some models are supposed to exceed twenty hours on a single charge.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has attempted this shift towards smartphone chips, but in the past the company has suffered several setbacks. Many PC software programs were not designed to work with ARM processors, causing them to run more slowly, or even refuse to start altogether.

If Microsoft is attempting this shift once again, it is in particular becauseApple successfully transitioned to ARM in 2020, by equipping its MacBooks with M1 processors. A passage punctuated by a few software malfunctions, but overall well accepted by its customers.

Test bench : The new MacBooks, Apple’s risky and rather successful bet

If Apple has decided to do without Intel chips entirely, Microsoft does not intend to force the transition in the same way: we will be able to continue to buy PCs running Intel or AMD. But the publisher still invested to give ARM processors a chance, reworking Windows in depth to ensure compatibility with the vast software catalog which is its strength, and asking major publishers, such as Adobe, to design new versions of their flagship software for these processors. We will see, once these devices are in the hands of the specialized press, if Microsoft has succeeded in its bet.

Another chip for AI

During the same press conference, the brands Dell, Acer, Asus, Samsung, Lenovo and HP announced their laptops with the same processor. To obtain the name “Copilot +”, these computers will embed another chip: a computer dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI), an option which already equips certain high-end PCs. These high-end machines will be equipped with a specific button for AI-driven functions.

These PCs will benefit from a preview of new AI functions that do not require an Internet connection, with calculations being carried out directly by the computers. According to Microsoft, a tool called “Recall” will monitor and memorize what is displayed on the PC screen to help the user find previously viewed documents or pages by formulating a query in natural language. In addition, a transcription tool can take notes of videoconferences in around forty languages.

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