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Microsoft debuts new Copilot+ PCs using OpenAI's GPT-4o while taking shots at Apple

Microsoft (MSFT) is going all in on AI for the PC.

The company on Monday announced a new category of PCs called Copilot+ PCs, a new variety of computers equipped with so-called AI PC chips and running Microsoft's latest version of Windows 11 and its Copilot AI software.

Microsoft also revealed that its Copilot+ PCs will now run on OpenAI's GPT-4o model, allowing the assistant to interact with your PC via text, video, and voice. Users will also be able to share their screen with Copilot and have a natural conversation with the app.

"The richest AI experiences will harness the power of the cloud and the edge working together in concert. This in turn will lead to a new category of devices that turn the world itself into a prompt," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Monday. "For us, this vision starts with our most beloved and most widely used canvas: Windows."

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Microsoft's new PC push comes as the PC market enters the early innings of a turnaround after two years of declines. According to IDC, PC shipments grew 1.5% in the first quarter, compared to a 28.7% decline during the same time in 2023.

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, said the company expects over 50 million AI PCs to be purchased over the next year.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gives his keynote during the company's Windows event on Monday, May 20 at its headquarters in Redmond. (Image: Howley)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gives his keynote during the company's Windows event on Monday, May 20 at its headquarters in Redmond. (Daniel Howley) (Howley)

Copilot+ PCs are an offshoot of AI PCs, which are generally defined as PCs running on Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD), and Qualcomm (QCOM) chips with built-in neural processing units, or neural engines, that can run generative AI applications locally without needing to connect to the internet.

Copilot+ PCs will include 16GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage to ensure performance.

In a pre-recorded demonstration of Copilot's GPT-4o integration, a user fired up the game Minecraft and asked Copilot how to craft a sword. The assistant could see what the user was doing in the game and walk him through everything he needed to do to build the item.

Microsoft says it will integrate Copilot for a number of gaming apps, and because it will run on your PC's NPU rather than its GPU, it shouldn't hurt overall performance.

Microsoft also touted the performance of its Copilot+ PCs and hammered home what it sees as a performance advantage over similar Apple (AAPL) devices.

According to the company, a laptop running one of Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chips will provide 20% more battery life than Apple's MacBook Air, 23% better peak performance, and 58% better sustained multithread performance. The company also demonstrated Adobe's Photoshop running on its Surface laptop and beating Apple's MacBook Air with M3 chips in certain tasks.

In addition to rolling out Copilot+ PC versions of its Surface Laptop and Surface Pro devices, Microsoft said this software will be featured in Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung products.

Microsoft's announcements come just a few weeks before rival Apple (AAPL) is expected to debut its own AI features across its product lines, including the iPhone and Mac, at its WWDC developer event on June 10.

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Subscribe to the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter. (Yahoo Finance)

Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoofinance.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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