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Microsoft unveils Copilot+ PCs, sends Qualcomm stock through the roof

Qualcomm's stock price reached all-time highs after Microsoft’s hardware event that debuted its latest Surface AI PCs powered by Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus processors. The shift to ARM architecture is claimed to yield 100% gains in battery endurance and see Windows PCs finally match M-series Macbooks for performance and efficiency.
Microsoft unveiled its new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop which both run on Qualcomm Snapdragon X processors.
Microsoft unveiled its new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop which both run on Qualcomm Snapdragon X processors.

Hardware partners Acer, Asus, Samsung, HP, Dell and Lenovo also showcased similar hardware to complete the sustained assault of NPU-equipped laptops and convertibles that Microsoft is hoping will power a new generation of Windows adoption.

While Microsoft did go to lengths to explain that AI PCs are any system equipped with a neural processing unit – which includes devices running on Intel’s Core Ultra processors – It’s quite evident that the Qualcomm machines are the new favourites.

"We have completely reimagined the entirety of the PC – from silicon to the operating system, the application layer to the cloud – with AI at the centre, marking the most significant change to the Window platform in decades," explained Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer in a blog post.

These devices, touted as the fastest and most intelligent Windows PCs ever, boast powerful new silicon capable of an astounding 40+ trillion operations per second (TOPS), all-day battery life, and access to the most advanced AI models.

Copilot+ PCs introduce an all-new system architecture that seamlessly integrates the CPU, GPU alongside the NPU.

This architecture, enhanced by large and small language models (LLMs and SLMs) running in the Azure Cloud is up to 20 times more powerful and up to 100 times more efficient for running AI workloads compared to previous generations.

"Copilot+ PCs can now achieve a level of performance never seen before,” continues Mehdi. “They outperform Apple’s MacBook Air 15” by up to 58% in sustained multithreaded performance, all while delivering all-day battery life."

Windows finally cracks ARM

Windows is also expanding its native Arm64 experiences to include Microsoft 365 apps like Teams, PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, and OneNote.

Browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft’s own Edge have all recently updated to run on the new architecture, while apps like Spotify, Zoom, WhatsApp, Blender, Affinity Suite, DaVinci Resolve, and many more also run natively on ARM.

Microsoft has developed a new emulator called Prism to ensure compatibility and help smooth the transition as developers port their apps to ARM.

Immediately available AI models that take advantage of the NPUs include:

Recall: This feature acts like photographic memory, allowing users to instantly access virtually anything they have seen or done on their PC. Recall leverages a personal semantic index built and stored entirely on the device, ensuring privacy.

Cocreator: This AI-powered image creation and editing tool is integrated into Windows, enabling users to generate and refine AI images in near real-time directly on the device.

Live captions: This feature translates live or pre-recorded audio from over 40 languages into English subtitles in real time, even offline.

"This first wave of Copilot+ PCs is just the beginning," said Mehdi. "We are at an inflection point where the PC will accelerate AI innovation. We believe the richest AI experiences will only be possible when the cloud and device work together in concert."

About Lindsey Schutters

Lindsey is the editor for ICT, Construction&Engineering and Energy&Mining at Bizcommunity
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