Microsoft held one media event in New York City this morning. The company took the opportunity to show off two new laptops from its homebrew Surface line, as well as a slew of AI-powered improvements coming to Windows 11 later this month. The hour-long presentation wasn’t live-streamed, but we were there to hear the announcements, watch the demos, and get hands-on with the new devices. Highlights are below.
The Surface hardware announced today is currently available for pre-order on Microsoft.com and will officially go on sale October 3.
Copilot is injected everywhere
Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI-powered assistant announced earlier this year, will be fully baked into Windows. Think of it as a side panel that you can open in almost any part of Windows 11, even the Edge browser. The goal is to help with mundane daily tasks. For example, you can copy and paste text into a long email and Copilot neatly organizes all the information in a way that’s easier to digest. You can snap an image and Copilot will automatically recognize the action and then ask you if you want to analyze the photo. Once it does, you’ll be given options for what you can do next with the image.
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 will be accessible from the Windows desktop as a standalone app, as well as within Microsoft 365 and in Microsoft Edge. The new feature will roll out as part of the next Windows 11 update, which will be released on September 26.
Do you want to use Bing to buy stuff? Microsoft says the Shopping tab will also get the Copilot treatment and you’ll be able to talk to the assistant for help finding what you want to buy. Copilot can guide you through a series of questions so it can better understand what you’re looking for and show you relevant shopping recommendations, including product reviews and pros and cons. It will be available this fall.
Copilot also has some business features. The AI assistant can search your most recent emails, chats, files and previous meetings to gather all the important information in those cases. It can also summarize unread messages, compose replies to chats and emails, and create events based on the guardrails you set. However, from November 1, it will only be available to business customers.
Surface Laptop Studio 2
It’s been two years since the launch of the first-generation Surface Laptop Studio, and there’s now a second-generation model of the most performance-oriented Surface notebook. Like its predecessor, it comes with a 14.4-inch touchscreen display with up to 120Hz refresh rate, and a dual-hinged mounting system (embedded in the center behind the display and base) that lets you adjust the screen to your liking . different angles. There’s a laptop mode for full access to the keyboard and touchpad; Stage Mode, where you can move the screen towards you and de-prioritize the keyboard when playing games and watching movies; and Studio mode for drawing and writing like on a tablet.