Microsoft Surface laptop and tablets
Microsoft unveiled new Surface computers at an event in New York on Thursday and shared details about the release of this year’s version of Windows 11, including the built-in Copilot AI assistant.
The company introduced the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Laptop Go 3, and revealed the availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot, the complementary AI tool for core productivity apps like Word and Excel.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella kicked off the event by speaking about how the company’s Copilot AI tools will have a broad impact on its consumer and enterprise user base.
“I mean, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s kind of like the ’90s are back. It’s exciting to be in a place where we’re bringing some software innovation and really having fun with this whole journey.”
Rivals like Atlassian, Googling And Sales team have also raced this year to update their existing products with generative AI.
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 starts at $1,999, while the Surface Laptop Go 3 starts at $799. Both come with Microsoft’s updated Windows 11 operating system, including the Copilot software. The new Surface models will be available from October 3 and can be pre-ordered starting today, Microsoft said.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s news:
Windows 11 update
Microsoft’s updated Paint app for Windows 11 lets people create images by typing just a few words.
Microsoft said it will start rolling out the next major update for Windows 11 on September 26.
The update includes the new Copilot in the Bing search engine and the Edge web browser, and testers have been able to access some other features of the new release in recent months.
Here are some of the key features of the new version:
- Boot to the cloud. If you’re using a cloud-based version of Windows, you can log in directly to the cloud instance as your primary experience on your PC, Microsoft said.
- Cut smarter. Windows makes it easier and easier to extract text directly from screenshots. When you use the Snipping Tool app, you can copy text from a screenshot and quickly redact emails or phone numbers.
- Better backup. Microsoft will allow users to backup apps they previously installed on a PC so they can restore them, along with pinned app preferences, in the future.
- Paint with words. The long-standing Paint app is getting a facelift with the help of generative AI. People can type a few words of text, choose a style, and have Paint automatically generate an image that matches the description. It is similar to tools from Adobe and other companies, as well as Microsoft’s own image creator in the Bing search engine.
- More taskbar customization. Windows 11 introduced a stark new taskbar with the Start button and a series of app icons in the bottom center of the screen. Now users can view app icons with labels, similar to how things looked in Windows 10. Even apps that aren’t running can appear with labels. Users can also hide the time and date.
- Notepad with memory. Notepad automatically saves your status, so you can get right back to work when you close and reopen the notes app.
Co-pilot for advertising
Microsoft Advertising Platform gets a Copilot assistant that can create ad texts and images.
Microsoft is also integrating generative AI into its advertising tool, although the company hasn’t revealed when exactly it will do so. A co-pilot for the Microsoft Advertising Platform can create advertising content and answer questions.
“Using Copilot in the Microsoft Advertising Platform allows you to tailor content, design and strategies to your brand and advertising goals, helping you create stunning and effective ads in minutes,” wrote Kya Sainsbury-Carter, corporate VP Advertising at Microsoft, in a blog post.
Surface Laptop Studio 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 has a similar look and feel to the original model launched in 2021. It can be used as a traditional laptop with keyboard, but customers can also lay it flat and use it as a tablet. It runs on a 13th generation Intel processor and functions Nvidia studio tools, as well as additional ports and microSD card slots.
The device has a 14.4-inch screen and is the “most powerful Surface ever built,” Brett Ostrum, Microsoft’s VP of Surface devices, said at the event. He added that the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is twice as fast as the previous model, and that it also features an updated haptic touchpad, the “most inclusive touchpad on any laptop today.”
The Surface Laptop Studio 2 also offers “all-day” battery life, according to Microsoft. The original model supported 18 hours of battery life according to the company, but CNBC found it lasted closer to 4.5 hours overall.
The price starts at $1,999. The original Surface Laptop Studio started at $1,600.
Surface laptop Go 3
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
The Surface Laptop Go 3 is the latest update to Microsoft’s entry-level laptop. It features a 12.4-inch touchscreen and runs on a 12th generation Intel processor. Ostrum said it is Microsoft’s lightest and most portable laptop.
Microsoft said the new laptop’s battery will last 15 hours, compared to 13.5 hours for its predecessor. The device is available in four colors and, according to Ostrum, is 88% faster than the original model.
The laptop’s price starts at $799, up from the $599 starting price of the Surface Laptop Go 2.
Microsoft Surface Go For Business
Microsoft has announced the Surface Go 4, the latest miniature version of its Surface Pro tablet available exclusively to organizations. The company suggested in a release that the new model could be especially useful for businesses and frontline workers.
The Surface Go 4 can be connected to a monitor, used as a laptop with a paired keyboard, or as a tablet using the touchscreen.
It is powered by an Intel N200 processor. The Surface Go 4 also features a 10.5-inch touchscreen and supports 12.5 hours of battery life, which is more than the Surface Go 3’s 11 hours of battery life.
Surface hub 3
Surface hub 3
Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about the Surface Hub, the large touchscreen device for office use. An 85-inch model, as well as a smaller 50-inch option, provide organizations with an easy way to join Teams video calls.
The smaller version can switch between portrait and landscape modes. Two people can draw or write on the devices at the same time with Surface Hub Pens or Surface Slim pens.
Microsoft is touting a 60% increase in performance in the main processor of these devices and a 160% increase in their graphics processing units.
Microsoft 365 Copilot release for enterprises
Large organizations can start paying for Microsoft 365 Copilot from November 1.
The launch could provide a financial boost to Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, a key part of the company that had 382 million commercial users in the fiscal third quarter. Microsoft said companies can call their account representatives to get started.
Companies that have participated in the tool’s early access program will get the first chance to deploy the software, which will cost $30 per person per month on top of existing Microsoft 365 costs. Microsoft has also started allowing some small businesses to the early access program.