Microsoft has taken a significant step towards integrating AI further deep into its PC ecosystem, with the launch of Copilot+ PCs, which are described by CEO Satya Nadella as a “new class of Windows PCs.” “Today, at a special event on our new Microsoft campus, we introduced the world to a new category of Windows PCs designed for AI, Copilot+ PCs,” Microsoft announced in a blog post.

These Copilot+ PCs are designed with focus on improved AI performance (which will aid in Microsoft’s AI ambitions). While most AI PCs manage around 10 tera operations per second (TOPs), Microsoft claims that Copilot+ systems are designed to deliver at least 40 TOPs of NPU performance. Additionally, these PCs must have a minimum of 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite is highlighted as a significant component, capable of delivering up to 75 TOPs overall. They also boast a complete hardware overhaul, prioritizing AI processing power. These machines come equipped with dedicated Neural Processing Units (NPUs), specialized chips specifically designed to handle AI workloads efficiently.

“This first wave of Copilot+ PCs is just the beginning. Over the past year, we have seen an incredible pace of innovation of AI in the cloud with Copilot allowing us to do things that we never dreamed possible. Now, we begin a new chapter with AI innovation on the device. 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 center, marking the most significant change to the Window platform in decades,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft EVP and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, wrote in the blog post.

Microsoft’s strategy for bringing Copilot+ PCs to market hinges on a partner-first approach. Collaborations with major chipmakers such as AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm, alongside OEMs like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, are key to this initiative. These partnerships are intended to integrate advanced AI capabilities directly into the hardware. The first Copilot+ laptops are available for preorder now, with shipping set to begin on June 18. Prices start at $999, making these advanced devices accessible to a broad range of consumers. By partnering with major chipmakers and OEMs, Microsoft also aims to ship over 50 million AI PCs in the next 12 months, potentially capturing a substantial market share.

One of the standout features of Copilot+ laptops is the longer battery life. Microsoft claims these devices can offer up to 22 hours of local video playback and 15 hours of web browsing, ensuring that users can work and play for extended periods without the need for frequent recharging. Another interesting feature of the Copilot+ PCs is the Windows Copilot Runtime, which integrates over 40 AI models into a new layer of Windows 11. These models are designed to efficiently access hardware, enhance privacy and security options, and operate across various applications.

Copilot+ PCs also include powerful tools for image editing and creation. The Super Resolution tool in Windows Photos allows users to restore old images, while AI-driven features help create stories from photos with an AI narrator. Additionally, Live Captions provide real-time captioning and translation from over 40 languages, enhancing accessibility and usability for a diverse range of users. There is also a new Copilot app, one that functions as a standalone window, sidebar, or full screen, allowing users to drag and drop elements from other parts of Windows. A dedicated Copilot key on keyboards further streamlines access to this powerful tool. Given Qualcomm’s use of Arm architecture, Microsoft has rebuilt Windows 11 to optimize performance on Arm-based chips. This includes the development of an emulator called Prism, designed to efficiently run legacy x86/x64 applications on Arm-based Windows devices.