BY Fast Company 4 MINUTE READ

For the third time in roughly a week, a major tech company is showing off its near-term plans for the future of generative artificial intelligence. This time, it’s Microsoft’s turn.

The company will kick off its Build developer conference Tuesday in Seattle—and is expected to unveil how the Windows operating system will make AI computers the new standard. The three-day event comes a few months after CEO Satya Nadella said 2024 would be the year that AI becomes the “first-class part of every PC.” Build is where the company hopes to show what it has in mind.

On Monday, it began to show its hand, with a keynote presentation that preceded the conference, showing off what these machines could do—and what systems will be able to take advantage of the offerings.

The potential for AI integration into PCs and laptops has reinvigorated analyst and investor interest in the personal PC sector after a slowdown over the past several years. Gartner estimates shipments of the AI-focused PC will double this year, then double again in 2025, making up to 43% of the overall PC market by the end of next year.

Build comes just days after Google unveiled its most powerful AI system to date at its Googe I/O conference; and OpenAI’s own event on May 13, where it debuted ChatGPT-4o. Here’s a look at what Microsoft has said so far and what you can expect to hear more about as it pushes its AI effort.


Nadella, in his keynote address, introduced a wave of new hardware, including new AI-focused PCs, which the company calls CoPilot+ PCs. Dubbing them “the fastest, most AI-ready Windows PC ever built,” Nadella said the company expects to sell 50 million units before the end of the year through a variety of manufacturers. Microsoft claims these systems are 58% faster than the Macbook Air M3, and they will incorporate the latest Open AI GPT model (ChatGPT 4o) onboard. Battery life will last a day, the company added. The new systems will feature chips from AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm.

One demo showed a person playing Minecraft with Copilot observing the onscreen action and responding via voice, suggesting ways to improve and walking the player through the process of crafting materials.

“How do we build computers that understand us, instead of us having to understand them? I feel like we’re close to that breakthrough,” said Nadella. “”We have this new reasoning capability that helps us complete complex tasks. We’re entering this new era where computers not only understand us but anticipate what we want.

“We’re bringing real joy and a sense of wonder back to the PC,” he added.

Prices will start at $999, the company said.


One of the chief features of the AI-focused Copilot on these systems is dubbed Recall—a reminder functionality so you don’t have to keep dozens of browser tabs open or send emails to yourself to remember to do something. Recall will also act as a photographic memory for your PC, pulling up anything you’ve accessed before, whether that’s something you forgot to pin on Pinterest or an older chat where you were discussing something with a friend or colleague. (Microsoft did not elaborate on privacy implications in its discussions of the technology.) The new Copilot will also offer tips in Xbox games that are run on PC.

A Cocreator function in Copilot also promises to look at your photos and give you ideas for compositions and restore older photos to higher resolutions. Cocreator can generate an AI-driven image on request, but it can also work with your own art efforts via an electronic pen to enhance your images.

Additionally, Copilot will offer instant captions on any audio from your PC, instantly translating 40 different languages in real time as well as live captioning of your native language. Microsoft said that feature is not limited to Teams, either. Any video-calling app or entertainment app will benefit from Copilot as well.


Microsoft’s close ties with OpenAI have made its dedication to incorporating the technology clear for some time, but the details unveiled at the Build keynote, as well as those that are expected to come out over the next few days solidified why the company was going all-in on AI: finances.

To access the Copilot features shown today, you’ll need to upgrade to one of these new PCs. The jargon gets thicker than the fog in the Bay Area, but what it comes down to is, in order for PCs to handle AI as Microsoft has presented it in its keynote, consumers will need four times the operational power they have today. Newer chips will allow that at a reasonable price.

That not only helps Microsoft sell more software, it could be a welcome influx of users for PC manufacturers, who have been waiting for consumers to become active buyers again after a rush of demand in 2020.