Recap of Microsoft’s Surface and Copilot Event Highlights in New York

On Thursday, Microsoft revealed its latest Surface devices and shared information about the upcoming release of Windows 11 for this year, which includes the integration of the Copilot AI assistant. This event took place in New York.

During the event, Microsoft introduced two new products: the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Laptop Go 3. Additionally, they announced the availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot for enterprise users. This AI tool complements core productivity applications like Word and Excel.

Here’s a summary of the news from Thursday:

Windows 11 update

Microsoft has announced that the next significant update for Windows 11 is set to commence its rollout on September 26th. This update will introduce the new Copilot feature within the Bing search engine and the Edge web browser. Users will have the ability to activate Copilot by holding down the Windows key and pressing the C key

Here are some of the key features of the new version:

  • Boot to the cloud : According to Microsoft, if you are using a cloud-based version of Windows, you will have the option to log in directly to the cloud, making it your primary computing experience on your PC.
  • Smarter snipping : Windows is making it increasingly convenient to extract text directly from screenshots. When utilizing the Snipping Tool app, you can now copy text from a screenshot and promptly censor or remove sensitive information such as email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Better backup : In the future, Microsoft will allow users to back up applications they’ve previously installed on a PC, including their pinned app preferences, for the purpose of restoring them later.
  • Paint with words : The long-standing Paint app is undergoing a makeover with the assistance of generative AI. Users will have the ability to input a few words of text, select a style, and have Paint automatically generate an image that matches the provided description. This functionality is reminiscent of tools offered by Adobe and other companies, as well as Microsoft’s own image creator within the Bing search engine.
  • More taskbar customization : Windows 11 has brought about a significant change to the taskbar, featuring the Start button and a collection of app icons now centered at the bottom of the screen. Users can now see app icons with accompanying labels, a design reminiscent of Windows 10. Notably, even apps that are not currently running can display labels. Additionally, users have the option to hide the time and date on the taskbar.
  • Notepad with memory : Notepad now includes an automatic saving feature for your work. This means that if you close the note-taking app and then reopen it, you can seamlessly resume your work without any loss of progress.

Copilot AI assistant

At the beginning of the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the audience, highlighting the far-reaching impact that the company’s Copilot AI tools will have across its user base, encompassing both consumers and enterprises.

“I mean, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s kind of like the ’90s are back. It’s exciting to be in a place where we’re bringing some software innovation and really having fun enjoying this entire journey.”

Surface Laptop Studio 2

The Surface Laptop Studio 2 maintains a similar design to its predecessor, which was launched in 2021. It functions as a conventional laptop with a keyboard, but it can also be used as a tablet when laid flat.

Under the hood, it’s equipped with a 13th-generation Intel Core processor and provides various options for Nvidia graphics processing units: the GeForce RTX 4050 or 4060, or the RTX 2000 Ada Generation. Models with Nvidia graphics will come with 120-watt power supplies, or users can opt for integrated graphics with Intel Iris Xe.

Microsoft has included a single traditional USB-A port and a MicroSD card reader in this version.

Memory options have also been upgraded, allowing users to select up to 64GB of RAM, compared to the maximum of 32GB in the initial release.

The device features a 14.4-inch screen and is touted as the “most powerful Surface ever built” by Brett Ostrum, Microsoft’s VP of Surface devices. He mentioned that the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is twice as fast as the previous model and introduces an updated haptic touchpad, which is described as the “most inclusive touchpad on any laptop today.”

Regarding battery life, models with 2TB of storage and Nvidia graphics offer up to 16 hours of usage, while devices with less storage and Nvidia cards can provide up to 18 hours. Models with Intel graphics can last for up to 19 hours. Microsoft claimed that the original Surface Laptop Studio had an 18-hour battery life, although CNBC’s testing found it typically lasted closer to 4.5 hours.

The new version starts at $1,999, compared to the $1,599 price tag of the original model.

Surface Laptop Go 3

The Surface Laptop Go 3 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s entry-level laptop. It boasts a 12.4-inch touchscreen display and is powered by a 12th-generation Intel processor. Brett Ostrum described it as Microsoft’s lightest and most portable laptop, weighing in at just 2.49 pounds, in contrast to the Surface Laptop Studio 2, which exceeds 4 pounds in weight.

Microsoft has stated that the new laptop’s battery can last for up to 15 hours, an improvement from the 13.5 hours offered by its predecessor. In terms of performance, the device is reported to be 88% faster than the original model, according to Ostrum.

Users have the option to upgrade the laptop with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of solid-state storage, a significant improvement from the 8GB memory limit and up to 256GB of solid-state storage in the Surface Laptop Go 2.

The starting price for the laptop is $799, representing an increase from the $599 starting price of the Surface Laptop Go 2.

Surface Go 4

Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Go 4, the latest compact version of its Surface Pro tablet, which is exclusively available for organizations. The company has indicated that this new model could prove particularly valuable for businesses and frontline workers.

The Surface Go 4 is versatile, as it can be connected to a monitor, used as a laptop with a compatible keyboard, or operated as a tablet via the touchscreen interface.

Powered by an Intel N200 processor, the Surface Go 4 comes with a 10.5-inch touchscreen display and offers an impressive 12.5 hours of battery life, an improvement over the 11 hours of battery life provided by its predecessor, the Surface Go 3.

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