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Has Microsoft Just Reinvented The PC? Microsoft Copilot + PC's are here. Privacy May Be A Problem Though.

Updated: May 23

Last week Google and ChatGTP, this week its Microsoft's turn.

A PC has always been a fairly simple device. A processor (CPU), some ram and a hard drive was the hardware and an operating sytem (ie Windows) to make everything work together. Evolution has brought us to touchscreen laptops , 4k screens , powerful graphic cards (GPU) for gaming and CAD, faster storage but essentially this architecture has not changed in decades.

So whats changed? The introduction of a Neural Processing Unit , a NPU. NPUs can perform AI and ML (machine learning) tasks significantly faster than CPUs or GPUs, leading to faster response times and improved user experiences in AI-powered applications. To qualify as a "Microsoft Copliot + " computer, the hardware must include a NPU.

Microsoft Copilot + PC

Microsoft claims " They are up to 20x more powerful and up to 100x as efficient for running AI workloads and deliver industry-leading AI acceleration".

Take a look at the short video below to get a flavour of what these machines claim to be able to do :-

What Micosoft want you to take away is that these machines can give you tools and experiences unlike anything before.

An example is a feature called "Recall". With Recall, you can access virtually what you have seen or done on your PC in a way that feels like having photographic memory is the claim. What is actually happening is that Copilot is constantly screenshotting everything you do on your PC and using AI to analyse the screenshots which then delivers the answer to your query. The full keynote video is below, and if you jump 15m 30s in you will see the demo of Recall :-

The Recall index is stored only on the PC, locked to your account and is not uploaded to servers so Microsoft claims your privacy is intact. Watch this space! The UK data watchdog is already investigating.

And what about your employer? If your device is corporately managed can your employer access the index to see what you have been doing . Microsoft say " Copilot+ PCs are also designed so that even the AI running on your device can’t access your private content. In addition, IT admins can use Microsoft Intune to disable Recall from saving any snapshots, and new policies are coming later to enable IT to centrally filter specific apps and websites." So the answer is ???

We suspect this is going to be one of those Microsoft moments when there is going to be a huge backlash.

There are many useful features on Copilot+ PC's . Our favourite is "Live Caption" which can translate 40+ languages into english, realtime on video calls, recordings and streaned content.

The most important new feature?

Improved security! Microsoft Pluton security processor will be enabled by default on all Copilot+ PCs.

Pluton helps protect credentials, identities, personal data, and encryption keys, making it significantly harder to remove, even if a cyberattacker installs malware or has physical possession of the PC. A detailed blog from Microsoft is available.

One thing is certain, the architecture of Pc's has changed. The NPU is here to stay.

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