./uploads/advanced-cache.php What to Expect at Microsoft Build 2024: AI Innovations, Surface Showcases, and Windows 11

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What to Expect at Microsoft Build 2024: AI Innovations, Surface Showcases, and Windows 11

Expect major announcements on AI, Surface hardware, and Windows 11 at Microsoft's upcoming Build 2024 event

Microsoft Build

In the tech world, AI has become the holy grail, with companies scrambling to infuse their products with the latest and greatest in artificial intelligence. Google’s recent I/O developer conference was a testament to this, with the company unveiling its eerily lifelike Project Astra assistant. Not to be outdone, OpenAI dropped GPT 4o, a conversational AI model that’s both free and disturbingly flirty. Now, it’s Microsoft’s turn to step into the AI spotlight with its upcoming Build 2024 developer conference in Seattle.

Build 2024: More Than Just Productivity

Normally, Build is a straightforward affair, focusing on Microsoft’s dedication to productivity with a sprinkle of on-stage coding to energize the developer crowd. However, this year promises to be different. Following the successful launch of the ChatGPT-powered Bing Chat in early 2023, Microsoft is gearing up to make even bigger AI moves. Couple that with rumors of new Surface hardware, and Build 2024 could be a defining moment for the tech giant.

Surface Showcase: A Prelude to Build

But before Build kicks off on May 21, Microsoft is hosting a showcase for new Surfaces and AI in Windows 11 on May 20. While it won’t be livestreamed, Engadget will be liveblogging the event starting at 1 PM ET. For the average consumer, this Surface event is shaping up to be the more impactful of the two, with rumors suggesting the debut of systems featuring Qualcomm’s Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chip and new features coming in the next major Windows 11 update.

The AI Gamble: Will Microsoft’s Investments Pay Off?

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing for Microsoft. Build 2024 will be a crucial test to see if AI will make or break the company. Will the billions invested in OpenAI and Copilot projects yield useful tools for consumers, or is the push for AI and the elusive “artificial general intelligence” inherently misguided, making computers more opaque and potentially untrustworthy?

New Surface Hardware: Thinner, Faster, and AI-Powered

On the hardware front, Microsoft is expected to unveil new 13 and 15-inch Surface Laptop 6 models with thinner bezels, larger trackpads, improved port selection, and the Snapdragon X Elite chip. We may also see an Arm-based version of the Surface Pro 10 with a similar design to the business model released in March, but with revamped accessories, including a Type Cover with a dedicated Copilot key. Microsoft is confident these new systems could outmatch Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air in raw speed and AI performance.

Emulation Improvements and Design Changes

The company has also reportedly revamped emulation for x86 software in its Arm-based version of Windows 11, addressing the poor performance that plagued the Surface Pro 9 5G. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft’s new consumer devices look any different than their enterprise counterparts and if the company can successfully leverage mobile chips in its consumer Surfaces.

AI Explorer: Microsoft’s Machine Learning Umbrella

On the software side, Microsoft is introducing AI Explorer, a catch-all term covering a range of machine learning-based features, including a revamped search tool, a new timeline, contextual suggestions, and local generative AI tools for creating photos and more on the spot. The company also plans to make its Copilot tools more localized, allowing for quicker responses to simpler queries without relying on an internet connection.

Build 2024: Laying the Groundwork for AI Integration

Build 2024 will provide developers with the opportunity to lay the groundwork for better support of these new AI and expanded Copilot features. With breakout sessions covering topics like Customizing Microsoft Copilot, Copilot in Teams, and Copilot Extensions, it’s clear that AI is the central focus of this year’s event.

Beyond Microsoft: A New Era of AI-Powered PCs

As Microsoft prepares to showcase its AI prowess, it’s worth noting that they won’t be the only manufacturer unveiling new AI-powered PCs. We can expect to see a host of other laptops featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite Chip (or possibly the X Plus) from major vendors like Dell and Lenovo.

The Future of Computing: AI at the Forefront

In the wake of Google’s AI-centric I/O 2024, some may feel AI fatigue setting in. However, Microsoft, like its rivals, is betting big on machine learning to grow and expand the capabilities of Windows PCs. Build 2024 will be a defining moment for the company, revealing whether its AI investments will revolutionize the computing landscape or leave users yearning for a more transparent and trustworthy future.

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