Microsoft sets minimum requirements for AI PCs at Build developer conference

Brett Ostrum, Microsoft

Redmond sets standards with flagship devices


Brett Ostrum, Microsoft

Microsoft wants to ensure that there is always enough power for AI applications by setting minimum requirements for the new Windows computers. The AI PC models from all manufacturers must have no less than 16GB of RAM and 256GB of main memory, Microsoft announced at an event in the run-up to the annual Build developer conference.

The focus for personal computers in future will be on the company’s own assistance software Copilot, which was developed using technology from ChatGPT inventor OpenAI. The future devices will have a new architecture that Microsoft calls ‘Copilot + PC’. A special feature is an additional NPU chip (neural processing unit), which is designed to make the AI applications run faster.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X will be used as the main processor in the first models. It is a chip based on the architecture of ARM’s chip which is also used in practically all smartphones. Thanks to the two chips, the new Windows computers should ultimately run faster than Apple’s Macs. With the transition to ARM chips developed in-house, the iPhone company had left Windows machines behind in terms of speed and battery life. AI PCs with new X86 processors from Intel and AMD will be available later.



One example of the AI functions that the new technology will enable is ‘Recall’, an improved search function. The software saves screenshots at short intervals, the content of which is captured by AI. For example, if you can only remember seeing a recipe on a website with a cockerel in the logo, all you have to do is enter the description in the recall search mask. The program then fishes out all screenshots with a cockerel. The screenshot then takes you directly to the website.

Users can specify that no screenshots should be taken of certain websites. And in order to gain trust when it comes to data protection, Microsoft said the function only runs on the PC itself. With the minimum configuration of 256GB memory, screen recordings from around three months of use can be saved.

Surface Pro Tablet 2024
Image: Microsoft

In addition to models from the major PC manufacturers, Microsoft also presented new versions of its Surface laptop and the Surface Pro 11 tablet.

Surface Pro Laptop
Image: Microsoft

The largest version of the Surface Laptop 7 goes for €2,499 and has a 15″ display, 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

Prices for both start at €1,199. A Surface Pro with a better X-Elite chip and OLED display costs €1,799.

The Surface Pro 11 tablet with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD comes in at €2,449. The tablet is also available with the new Surface Pro Flex Keyboard in a set with stylus for €529.

The devices will be available from 17 June.

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Read More: AI Artificial Intelligence Build 2024 ChatGPT Copilot Microsoft PC

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