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Microsoft debuts AI-powered Copilot platform, new Surface hardware

Microsoft (MSFT) is going all in on generative AI with the debut of its new Copilot platform. A new service that works across Windows 11 and Microsoft 365, Microsoft says Copilot is designed to help users better organize and interact with all of their data.

"Copilot is one experience that runs across multiple surfaces, understands your context, brings the right skills to you when you need them, adapts to you," CEO Satya Nadella said.

"We believe Copilot will fundamentally transform the relationship with technology and usher in a new era of personal computing: the age of copilots."

An AI Copilot everywhere

Copilot, which launches on Windows 11 on Sept. 26, is designed to quickly grab information from your own PC, work, or mobile device, and put it into context based on what you're trying to accomplish.

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For instance, if you copy a large swath of text in an email, Copilot will automatically pop up on the right side of your desktop. You can then use the app to summarize your email and search for information in it. For example, if you get a message about different interesting locations to visit in a city, you can copy it into Copilot and then ask it how far the nearest locale is, rather than having to copy and paste it into Google Maps.

If you're a student, or just really bad a math, you can use Copilot to capture a screenshot of a graph and Copilot will pop up and automatically solve the graph for you.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella debuted the company's new Microsoft Copilot platform on Thursday. (Image: Howley)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella debuted the company's new Microsoft Copilot platform on Thursday. (Dan Howley) (Howley)

The app can even grab content from your phone, such as information from your texts. So if you need to send your husband or wife your flight schedule, Copilot can find the right data in your text messages and pull it into your desktop. You can then quickly draft a text and fire it off from the same screen.

In the Edge browser, Copilot can remember your prior searches and use them for future searchers. So if you're looking for something to do this weekend and previously looked for things related to sports and dogs, Copilot will give you recommendations for activities related to sports and dogs without you having to mention them in your new search.

In addition to the consumer version of Copilot, Microsoft announced that its Microsoft 365 Copilot for enterprise will be generally available on Nov. 1.

Like the consumer version of Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot pulls in your enterprise data to help you do things like craft emails, plan events, and more. At the start of the day, for instance, you can ask Copilot, "What's hot in my inbox today?" The app will then sift through your email and then pull up and summarize the most pressing ones.

Copilot can also pull data from your latest emails, meetings — including ones you didn't attend — and other documents to get more information on your upcoming tasks.

In Word, Copilot can help summarize and better organize your thoughts in a document. You can then use the software to generate a header based on your text and put it directly into your piece.

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Sign up for the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter. (Yahoo Finance)

Outlook is also getting a new Sound Like Me feature through Copilot that can ape the way you write emails and draft them for you so that they sound like something you actually wrote.

Surface hardware

In addition to Copilot, Microsoft announced two new laptops, its Surface Laptop Go 3 and the Surface Laptop Studio 2. The Surface Laptop Go 3 is the company's lightest Surface device and sports a 12.4-inch touch screen. Weighing under 2.5 pounds, Microsoft says the Go 3 is 88% faster than the original Surface Go and offers 15 hours of battery life.

For creators, Microsoft debuted the Surface Laptop Studio 2. Its most powerful laptop yet, Microsoft says the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is more powerful in certain apps than Apple's MacBook Pro with an M2 Max chip.

Packing a 14.4-inch foldable touch screen, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 runs a 13th-gen Intel chip, an Nvidia RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 graphics card, and up to 64GB of RAM, making it twice as fast as the original Surface Laptop Studio.

Impressively, the laptop features a new adaptive touchpad that can work for individuals with various disabilities, including those without fingers.

Microsoft's announcements come just days after Panos Panay, Microsoft's now former head of devices and Windows, announced he was stepping down from his post. According to Bloomberg, the executive is moving to take over Amazon's devices business.

Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He's been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.

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