Microsoft held a media event in New York City this morning. The company used the occasion to show off two new laptops from its house-made Surface line as well as a slew of AI-powered enhancements coming to Windows 11 later this month. The hour-long presentation was not livestreamed, but we were there to hear the announcements, watch the demos, and go hands-on with the new devices. Highlights are below.
The Surface hardware announced today is currently available for preorder at Microsoft.com and will officially go on sale starting October 3.
Copilot Gets Injected Everywhere
Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI-powered assistant that was announced earlier this year, is getting fully baked into Windows. Think of it as a side panel you can bring up in practically any part of Windows 11, even in the Edge browser. Its purpose is to help with mundane everyday tasks. For example, you can copy and paste text into a long email and Copilot will neatly organize all the information in a way that’s more easily digestible. You can snip an image and Copilot will automatically recognize the action, and then ask if you want it to analyze the photo. Once it has, it will give you options for what you can do with the image next.
You can use Copilot to find flight information on your phone for an upcoming trip, compose texts based on context, and many other search- and productivity-related tasks. It’ll be accessible via the Windows desktop as a stand-alone app, but also within Microsoft 365 and in Microsoft Edge. The new feature will begin to roll out as part of the next Windows 11 update, which will be released on September 26.
Want to use Bing to shop for stuff? Microsoft says the Shopping tab will also get the Copilot treatment, and you can talk to the assistant to get help finding what you want to buy. Copilot will guide you through a series of questions so it can better understand what you are looking for and show relevant shopping recommendations, including reviews on products and pros and cons. It will be available this fall.
Copilot has some businessy functions too. The AI assistant can comb through your most recent emails, chats, files, and past meetings to collate any important information contained within those things. It can also summarize unread messages, draft replies to chats and emails, and create events based on the guardrails you set. However, it will only be available for enterprise customers starting November 1.
Surface Laptop Studio 2
It’s been two years since the launch of the first-gen Surface Laptop Studio and there’s now a second-generation model of the most performance-minded Surface notebook. Like its predecessor, it comes with a 14.4-inch touchscreen display with a refresh rate of up to a 120 Hz, and a dual-hinge mounting system (embedded into the center behind the display and base) that allows you to adjust the screen in different angles. There’s a Laptop mode for full access to the keyboard and touchpad; Stage mode, where you can move the display toward you and deprioritize the keyboard for playing games and watching movies; and Studio mode for drawing and writing as you would on a tablet.
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