What to Expect from Microsoft Build 2024: The Surface Event, Windows 11 and AI - Latest Global News

What to Expect from Microsoft Build 2024: The Surface Event, Windows 11 and AI

In case you don’t know, almost every tech company is eager to worship at the altar of AI, for better or worse. Google’s recent I/O developer conference was dominated by AI features, such as the seemingly lifelike Project Astra assistant. Shortly before, OpenAI introduced GPT 4o, a free and chatty AI model that is disturbingly flirtatious. Next up is Microsoft Build 2024, the company’s developer conference, which begins next week in Seattle.

Typically, Build is a fairly straightforward homage to Microsoft’s commitment to productivity, with a dash of coding onstage to excite the developer audience. But this year the company is gearing up for more big AI moves after launching ChatGPT-based Bing Chat in early 2023. Along with rumors of new Surface hardware, Build 2024 could potentially be one of the most important events Microsoft has ever held.

But before Build, Microsoft is hosting a presentation for new Surfaces and AI in Windows 11 on May 20. Build begins a day later, on May 21. For the average person, the Surface event is becoming a more impactful event Second: Rumor has it we’ll see some of the first systems with Qualcomm’s Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chip and new features in the next major Windows 11 update.

That doesn’t mean everything is rosy for the Windows maker. Build 2024 is the point at which we will see whether AI will make or break Microsoft. Will the billions of dollars in funding for OpenAI and Copilot projects actually pay off in useful tools for consumers? Or is the push toward AI and the fabled idea of ​​“artificial general intelligence” inherently foolhardy, making computers more opaque and potentially unreliable? (How exactly do generative AI models get their answers? It’s not always clear.)

Here are a few things we expect at Build 2024:

Although Microsoft released updates to the Surface family earlier this spring, these devices were aimed more at corporate customers and are therefore not available in regular retail stores. A Microsoft spokesperson told us at the time that it “will definitely remain in place.”[s] is committed to consumer devices” and that the commercially-focused announcement is “just the first part of that effort.”

Instead, the company’s upcoming refresh for its consumer PCs is expected to consist of new 13- and 15-inch Surface Laptop 6 models with thinner bezels, larger trackpads, improved port selection, and the aforementioned X-Elite chip. There is a good chance that at the May 20 presentation we will also see an Arm-based version of the Surface Pro 10, which will have a similar design to the business model released in March, but with revised accessories, including a type of cover with a special copilot key.

Accordingly The edgeMicrosoft is confident that these new systems could surpass Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air in terms of speed and AI performance.

The company has also reportedly overhauled the emulation for x86 software in its Arm-based version of Windows 11. That’s a good thing, because poor emulation was one of the main reasons we hated the Surface Pro 9 5G, a confusing system with Microsoft’s SQ3 Arm chip. This mobile processor was based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which had not yet proven itself in laptops at the time. The Surface Pro 9 5G was so frustrating to use that we felt genuinely insulted that Microsoft was selling it as a “Pro” device. So you can be sure we’re skeptical about the amazing performance gains from another batch of Qualcomm Arm chips.

It will also be interesting to see if Microsoft’s new consumer devices look different than their enterprise counterparts, which were essentially just chip swaps in the Surface Pro 9 and Laptop 5 cases. If Microsoft is indeed committed to mobile chips in consumer interfaces, there is room for a complete design rethink, just as Apple redesigned its entire laptop lineup around the M-series chips.

Aside from the updated hardware, one of the biggest upgrades of these new Surfaces is likely to be significantly improved AI and machine learning performance on the device, thanks to the Snapdragon X Elite chip, which can deliver up to 45 TOPS (trillion operations per second) neural processing unit ( NPU). This is crucial as Microsoft has previously stated that PCs need at least 40 TOPs to run Windows AI functions locally. This leads us to some additions that will be included in the next major release of Microsoft’s operating system, including something the company calls its AI Explorer, advanced Studio effects, and more.

According to Windows Central, AI Explorer will be Microsoft’s umbrella term covering a range of machine learning-based features. This is expected to include a revamped search tool that will allow users to search everything from websites to files using natural language input. There may also be a new timeline, allowing users to scroll through everything they’ve recently done on their computer, and adding contextual suggestions that appear based on what they’re currently watching. And building on some of the Copilot features we’ve seen before, Microsoft appears to be planning to add support for tools like live captioning, advanced studio effects (including real-time filters), and local generative AI tools that help create photos can do more on site.

Microsoft wants an AI co-pilot in everything. The company first launched Github Copilot in 2021 to give programmers the ability to use AI to tackle everyday coding tasks. At this point, all of the company’s other AI tools were also rebranded as “Microsoft Copilot” (including Bing Chat and Microsoft 365 Copilot for productivity apps). With Copilot Pro, a $20 monthly offering launched earlier this year, the company offers access to OpenAI’s latest GPT models, among other premium features.

But all of Microsoft’s Copilot tools still have one disadvantage: they require an internet connection. Very little work actually happens locally, on your device. However, that could soon change as Intel confirmed that Microsoft is already working on ways to make Copilot local. This means it may be able to answer simpler questions more quickly, like basic math questions or questions about files on your system, without even having to access the Internet. As impressive as Microsoft’s AI assistant may be, it still usually takes a few seconds to process your questions.

With all of the new hardware and software announced, Build is positioned to help developers lay even more groundwork to better support these new AI and advanced Copilot features. Microsoft has already announced things like Copilot on Edge and Copilot plugins for 365 apps, so we expect to hear more about how these will work. And if we take a look at some of the sessions already planned for Build, we can see that there is a massive focus on all things AI, with breakouts on customizing Microsoft Copilot, Copilot in Teams, Copilot extensions and more.

While Microsoft will certainly attract a lot of attention, it’s important to note that it won’t be the only manufacturer launching new AI PCs. In addition to the revised Surfaces, we expect a whole range of other laptops with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chip (or possibly the X Plus) from other major providers such as Dell, Lenovo and others.

Admittedly, after the intense focus Google placed on AI at I/O 2024, the last thing people might want to hear about is more AI. But right now, Microsoft, like most of its competitors, is relying heavily on machine learning to expand the capabilities of Windows PCs.

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