Microsoft details Windows 11 AI PC requirements, appoints a new head for Windows | Laptop News

Microsoft previously announced a dedicated Copilot key for upcoming AI PCs, an attempt to highlight Copilot’s presence in Windows 11. We didn’t mind the idea of having a dedicated Copilot key, especially as Microsoft was developing useful AI features that would require more than just a basic CPU-GPU combination.

These AI PCs would rely on a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to handle the AI tasks natively. However, a recent statement shared by Intel to Verge reveals that a PC needs to have a few crucial features to be considered as an AI PC by Microsoft.

Intel shared that the PC must have an AI-powered CPU with NPU (like Intel Core Ultra), a Copilot keyboard key, and Copilot. However, some PCs have already shipped in 2024 without the Copilot key, which raises a concern.

Copilot is a software-level feature that you can launch using the Win + C shortcut, or the taskbar icon. Unless the Copilot key does anything other than that, we don’t see an issue why the PCs that already have all the AI-centric hardware cannot be deemed as an AI PC.

Users can still launch Copilot like they used to with the keyboard shortcut. Windows can use the embedded NPU in these systems for other upcoming features like AI Explorer, Windows Studio effects, etc. Excluding some PCs with capable hardware only because of a keyboard key doesn’t seem fair.

Keeping the whole AI branding aside, as long as the NPU-based features work in these PCs, there’s nothing to worry about. Microsoft recently launched its Surface lineup with Intel Ultra AI processors, which would be the first batch of true-AI PCs (Dell and Lenovo have released a couple) this year.

There has also been a new change in the…

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