Microsoft Surface and AI event: 5 biggest announcements you may have missed this week

Carrie Vaughan/ZDNET
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Microsoft is currently at the forefront of the AI ​​space, constantly releasing new offerings and updates to stay ahead of the curve. So, it’s no surprise that the company unveiled a handful of new AI features and hardware at its March Surface and Windows AI event this week.

Besides that: Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 with AI features Here’s what’s new.

As Microsoft’s event description, “Advancing a new era of work with Copilot,” implies, the event focused specifically on the company’s AI offerings for its enterprise customers. Instead, Microsoft Build in May will have better announcements for general users. Until then, here’s everything the company unveiled at its Surface event.

1. Copilot in Microsoft 365 is now on Windows.


The headline AI news at the event is that Copilot capabilities in Microsoft 365 are finally coming to Windows. This is a big win for working professionals because now within the Copilot in Windows interface, they can select a “Work” option to enable Copilot in Microsoft 365, as seen in the image above. .

Also: Microsoft Copilot vs. Copilot Pro: Is the Subscription Fee Worth It?

Copilot in Microsoft 365 is a workflow game changer because it provides Copilot support in all 365 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more, for creating PowerPoint presentations, writing support, and interpreting spreadsheet data such as Can help with tasks. . Essentially, Copilot can understand the entire universe of user work data to provide even deeper support.

2. New Copilot accessibility features in Windows 11

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Later in the month, there will be a new release of Windows 11 Preview that will include new Copilot skills for accessibility. For example, users will be able to ask Copilot to turn on narrator and screen magnifier, change text size, or start live captioning.

Also: Windows 11’s big new update is packed with AI and rolling out now – what’s in it

Asking Copilot to help adjust PC settings enables users to gain more control over their device, making it easier to access key settings rather than having to navigate through a series of different tabs. and they struggle to find exactly what they are looking for.

3. The first AI-powered Surface PC for business


After launching the Surface Pro 9 or Surface Laptop 5 two years ago, Microsoft has finally unveiled the successor models — Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. Because this was Microsoft’s first hardware launch in the AI ​​PC era, business devices received under-the-hood upgrades to better support AI and productivity tasks, including a new processor.

Also: Surface vs. MacBook: Can Microsoft’s New Arm-Based AIPC Compete with Apple?

Both models feature a new Intel Core Ultra (5 or 7) processor with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for improved device performance and battery efficiency, especially when performing AI-related tasks. As seen in the image above, the appearance of Surface devices is relatively unchanged.

For a full breakdown of the new product’s features, you can read ZDNET’s senior review editor Kerry Vaughan’s roundup.

4. Windows 365 GPU support

Carrie Vaughan/ZDNET

Although this feature doesn’t use AI, it can definitely be helpful for related tasks. Windows 365 GPU has the potential to improve the workflows of many professionals by allowing users to access GPU-enabled cloud PCs. Better graphics performance of these machines will be necessary for tasks that require more power such as graphics design, image and video editing (and rendering) etc.

Microsoft says that Windows 365 GPU support, which is currently available in preview, was highly requested by customers who wanted GPU access in a software-as-a-service solution.

5. First Copilot key on a Microsoft device

Max Buondonno/ZDNET

It wouldn’t be the launch of AI PC without a mention of the Copilot key. Both the new Surface devices and the new Surface Pro keyboard, pictured above, include a dedicated Copilot key to make it easier for users to directly access AI assistance. It certainly helps that Windows users without the latest PC or Surface device can still access the feature by clicking the Copilot icon from the Windows 11 taskbar.

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