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HomeAIMicrosoft debuts first Surface PCs with dedicated Copilot AI button

Microsoft debuts first Surface PCs with dedicated Copilot AI button

Microsoft is providing Surface PCs with a dedicated Copilot button on the keyboard to rapidly access the chatbot, fulfilling a promise made in January.

The inclusion of the button, to the left of the arrow keys, is the most significant alteration to the computer keyboard in decades. While Microsoft is not the top PC seller (that honor goes to Lenovo), it does run the most popular operating system, Windows. Lenovo has introduced its own PCs with Copilot keys, as have Dell and HP.

However, the Surface has previously been a showcase of what a Windows machine can be, and Microsoft is attempting to articulate the convenience of having generative artificial intelligence just a keystroke away with two new PCs: the convertible Surface Pro 10 for Business and the Surface Laptop 6 for Business.

When consumers write a few phrases into the Copilot, which uses AI models from Microsoft-backed OpenAI, servers in faraway data centers do the processing work to provide a response.

Microsoft refers to these new devices as AI PCs. The new key, which allows users to open the Copilot panel at any time on the right side of the screen, helps, as does the silicon within. Each computer features an Intel Core Ultra CPU with a unique neural processing engine (NPU). Surface PCs have included NPUs since 2019.

When those NPUs are installed on a PC, the benefits include faster reaction times and increased security. Recently introduced AI functionality in Windows 11, such as automatic audio transcription and simulation of eye contact during video conversations, run on the NPU, freeing up the remainder of the processor for other purposes.

Two weeks ago, Apple debuted MacBook Air computers with enhanced Neural Engine accelerators in the proprietary M3 chip. “MacBook Air continues to be the world’s best consumer laptop for AI,” Apple stated.

The new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop are priced at $1,199 and can be customized with up to 64GB of RAM and 1TB storage. They are available for pre-order in various areas today, and shipping will begin on April 9.

Microsoft will not be making these Surface variants available to consumers right once.

“We absolutely remain committed to consumer devices,” a spokeswoman told CNBC via email. “Creating wonderful devices that people like using is in line with our company’s purpose of empowering both individuals and organizations. We are thrilled to be bringing devices to market that provide excellent AI experiences for our customers. This commercial announcement is merely the beginning of this effort.



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