Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature

Martin Brinkmann
May 21, 2024
Updated • May 24, 2024
Windows 11 News

On a special event at Microsoft Campus, Microsoft unveiled Copilot+ PCs officially. This new type of Windows PCs, formerly known as AI PCs, mark the first step into introducing AI capabilities in Windows devices.

Much of what Microsoft revealed on Monday was already known through unverified leaks.

The first batch of Copilot+ PCs are powered by Qualcomm processors and not Intel or AMD silicon. These will come later this year though.

As far as requirements are concerned, these match the leaks:

  • at least 16GB of RAM.
  • at least 256GB SSD storage.
  • Integrated NPU.

No word on the Copilot key requirement though from Microsoft at this point.

Microsoft will launch two new Surface devices, the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop. Hardware partners, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, and Asus have announced Copilot+ PCs as well, which will come out in the coming months.

During the presentation, Microsoft claimed that the new laptops are 58% faster than MacBook Airs with an M3 processor. It did not make it clear if this is true for all Copilot+ PCs or just the PCs that use Qualcomm's ARM chips.

Microsoft promises improved battery life, with devices supporting up to 15 hours of web browsing. These numbers come down usually when they are put to the test in benchmarks. It is too early to tell how well the devices will perform when it comes to battery life, but ARM-powered Windows PCs perform better usually in this department than their Intel or AMD brethren.

Introduction of Recall, formerly known as AI File Explorer

The new breed of Copilot+ PCs will support a number of exclusive AI tools and features.

Recall was Microsoft's big reveal during the event. While it did highlight other tools, including Cocreator in Paint and Live Captions, these we not exactly new features.

Recall is a memory feature that Windows users can tap into. The main idea is that the AI feature records what users do on their PC and that users may tap into the memory at any time using natural language.

It may remind users of the Timeline feature that Microsoft introduced in Windows 10, but stopped supporting in 2021.

Microsoft revealed that Recall takes snapshots of the screen "every few seconds". These snapshots are stored encrypted on the local PC and users may find previous activity using search or by browsing a timeline.

The AI then analyzes the selected snapshot and users may interact with the content. This includes options to search in videos or through teleconference meetings.

Microsoft says that users have full control. They can exclude apps or websites from the tool and also pause, stop, or delete content at any time. The AI feature will also ignore DRM-protected content or private browsing sessions in Edge. Whether that is also true for private browsing sessions in other browsers is unclear at this point.

Microsoft provides the following information:

  • Website blocking and filtering of private browsing activity in: Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.
  • Private browsing activity filtering only: in other Chromium-based browsers.

Other information, including passwords, codes, social security numbers, financial information, or other sensitive data, may be recorded, however.

Recall sounds like a feature that comes straight out of movies such as Minority Report. An all-knowing AI feature that unveils a user's entire activity on a PC to however has access to it.

Microsoft tried to reassure those concerned with privacy that Recall runs locally only on devices and that the content is not used for AI training either.

Recall is available as a preview at the time of writing. It is optimized for a handful of languages only at the time, including English, German, and Japanese.

Microsoft says that the feature requires at least 50 GB of free space on a hard drive. It uses 25 GB for storage, which, according to Microsoft, is good for storing about 3 months worth of activity on the device. Users may change the storage use of the feature in the settings.

Closing Words

The first batch of Qualcomm-powered Copilot+ PCs will arrive in the coming weeks and months. Later this year, PCs powered by Intel and AMD silicon will also arrive, complementing the lineup.

The first major feature that is exclusive to this new type of Windows PCs is Recall, which turns users into transparent users. While access is limited to the particular user, there are situations where users may be coerced to allow others to access it. This may happen during border crossings or during police or state investigations.

What about you? Do you plan to buy a Copilot+ PC in the future and use Recall?

Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature
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Microsoft announces Copilot+ PCs and AI-powered Recall feature
On a special event at Microsoft Campus, Microsoft unveiled Copilot+ PCs and the AI feature Recall officially.
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  1. TelV said on June 1, 2024 at 2:40 pm

    Is there any data on how much storage space a single snapshot consumes? Since it takes one every five seconds, that amounts to 720 snapshots an hour.

    The good news at the moment at least is that it requires both Co-Pilot and an integrated NPU. I’ve already turned off Co-Pilot using a registry hack and my machine doesn’t have an NPU, but if this is the way Microsoft is heading in the near future it constitutes a privacy nightmare.

  2. Anonymous said on May 27, 2024 at 1:37 pm

    Recall is called spyware

  3. guest said on May 24, 2024 at 2:22 pm

    the gov has said ai is a clear danger to the people of the world
    1. Thousands scammed by AI voices mimicking loved ones in emergencies
    2. Experts Say That AI Has Made Hacking Your Password Easier
    3.AI could pose extinction-level threat to humans and the US must intervene, State Dept.-commissioned report warns
    so i say never to ai and recall from microsoft they broke the law of stealing info from a round the world to build ai and that is called theft

  4. I REFUSE TO USE MAFIA WARE said on May 22, 2024 at 8:57 pm


    “and without forcing older people to try and learn an OS they’ve never seen or dealt with.”

    Every..Single…Person I’ve setup Linux for has thanked me dearly for it. They were already used to using Firefox and Thunderbird anyway, and they didn’t have to use any scanning tools for malware.

    OTOH, Grandma isn’t going to have the capacity to check for broken Windows Updates or comb through the tired old Registry.

    Windows IS the problem.

    Microsoft = Corruption

    You are defending a convicted monopoly. Criminals, ALL OF THEM.

  5. Daniel said on May 22, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    It’s “only” a copilot thing right?

    If so, disabling it should do the trick.

    Nice ‘n easy hé?

  6. John said on May 22, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    I am skeptical all this AI will sell more devices specifically designed for AI. Snapdragon X looks interesting but its success depends on how well it works in real life use cases. I know for myself that I would not buy a device specifically to get all the fancy AI features Microsoft is pushing.

  7. guest said on May 22, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    microsoft spyware is Microsoft AI screenshotting everything on your screen
    shut it down

  8. Mike said on May 22, 2024 at 6:06 am

    This whole thing actually got me thinking. So what if it’s local, it’s still risky (and wrong) to store that much data about what the user has been doing. So long as the data exists somewhere, it will always be accessible to others, be they hackers and extortionists, or pigs and tyrants. These people are quite good at finding ways to get what they want.

    My point is though, what about those people who use smart TVs as computer monitors? I assume anyone doing this is smart enough to not connect them to the Internet, because automatic content recognition is a thing, openly advertised by all manufacturers, and probably ran on all inputs of the TV. But the concern that this story especially ignited in my head today, is whether a smart TV is storing screenshots internally like this of PC use, and whether that poses a risk in the event that the TV is stolen or recycled or donated. Could someone sift through screenshots stored in the TV and see what used to be on your screen? I had always thought about the TV sending screenshots to the manufacturer during e.g. PC use, but I hadn’t thought about TVs saving masses of screenshots over time internally. Does this happen?

  9. No thanks, Microsoft said on May 21, 2024 at 10:11 pm

    Intelligent Spyware

    1. 45 RPM said on May 22, 2024 at 1:09 pm

      And galactic sized stupidity Microsoft. +Seriously evil on even the most basic level.

  10. BellLabs said on May 21, 2024 at 9:32 pm

    I don’t understand how this functionality would be beneficial. Why would someone require a daily overview of their activities? Do we no longer have brains? What’s more fascinating are the non-AI aspects, such as ARM processors, more software compiled for ARM, a better battery, and less heat.

  11. Mandy said on May 21, 2024 at 6:41 pm

    I’m so glad my Linux mint machines don’t have this cacapilot + “feature”

    1. T. K. said on May 21, 2024 at 9:52 pm

      I wonder why people who supposedly using Linux needs to comment and announce s/he’s a Linux user to every non Linux related articles…

      I am now ashamed I was about to install Mint to an older laptop, might as well install Xubuntu instead. :P

      1. Nonya said on May 22, 2024 at 4:25 pm


        Consider the linux announcement similar to a lifeguard yelling so the drowning person will snap out of their panic, notice the floatation device right next to them and grab it…

        Hard to watch people self destructing when there is a way out within arms reach.

  12. Tom Hawack said on May 21, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    As I see it, with ‘Recall” Microsoft will allow the user to access his own tracking data which was up to now kept only on Microsoft servers : ain’t that a sweet and generous move?

    The article states, quote “Microsoft says that users have full control. They can exclude apps or websites from the tool and also pause, stop, or delete content at any time. The AI feature will also ignore DRM-protected content or private browsing sessions in Edge. Whether that is also true for private browsing sessions in other browsers is unclear at this point.”

    If the user has, now and in future times, the ability to indeed pause and even stop the AI gathering, if the feature is opt-out or opt-in (former presumably) then there is a margin of hope for users who dislike the whole thing. But am I mistaking?

    I’m not a Microsoft fan to put it mildly and should I ever install a modern Windows11+ OS that I’d strive to deactivate to the extent of feasibility all that is related to AI, this insane ‘Recall’ feature to start with.

    Heck! humans have brains and memory and both should be exercised as muscles. As I see it the mad trend of increasing digital assistance not only is a gathering intrusion into our lives but as well a brake to personal and intellectual development, AI being the rotten cherry on the rotten cake. We are bound to become brainless consumers.

    1. Anonymous said on May 30, 2024 at 2:36 pm

      no recall keeps it on your pc microsft says but windows 11 show that it calls home a lot and edge
      was find to have a keylogger in it all in windows 11 is sent to microft go get Wireshark and watch
      more data is sent to microsoft each day big time

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 30, 2024 at 4:09 pm

        Thanks @Anonymous for the info which will prove to enlighten users of Windows 11 and potentially of ‘Recall’, of which I am not, definitely not.

    2. Lizard said on May 21, 2024 at 7:37 pm

      They say we have control of it it’s not true and one should never trust Microsof. “Recall” is why MS is pushing for Microsoft account for every user…now we know why.

  13. Bob said on May 21, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    Everything will be stored locally, nothing will leak, our trusted third parties will receive nothing, trust your privacy with us! Nothing to hide, nothing to be afraid!

  14. Mike said on May 21, 2024 at 5:51 pm

    Gonna be so much fun to watch this mess unfold from a safe distance, i.e. Linux.

  15. Tony said on May 21, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    Microsoft revealed that Recall takes snapshots of the screen “every few seconds”.

    What’s the point of antivirus products if your OS is a virus? Adware, spyware, ransomware all in one OS.

  16. ECJ said on May 21, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    The enshittification will continue until morale improves…

    Not only does AI crap consume a lot more power, it’s now consuming a large amount of disk space too – requiring twice as much disk space as the entire operating system alone requires. And presumably because this AI crap consumes a lot more power, they’re requiring local hardware chips so that they can offload it to end users.

    Anyone buying a Windows machine should look for one with Intel or AMD silicon, so they don’t have this Copilot+ crap – also Qualcomm are a scummy company anyway.

    It’s like Microsoft looked at what all the crooks were doing to make money: adware, spyware, unwanted software bundling, browser hijacking, search engine hijacking, etc. and thought “hey, we should copy those guys”.

    Now they’re going to install a screen/keylogger-on-steroids called Recall. The fact that Microsoft thought this privacy-nightmare was a good idea, sums up what a junk company they have become. Bunch of crooks.

    1. Mike said on May 22, 2024 at 5:16 pm

      @ECJ: Yep, it’s driving the prices of hardware through the roof. Graphics cards that aren’t garbage (8GB or lower), and hard drives/solid state drives too.

      As much as the industry is pushing AI, I haven’t seen nearly as much excitement for it on the consumer side. And the copyright/IP maximalists are getting closer and closer to suing the AI companies by the day. Some lawsuits have already been filed, and all it takes is setting one precedent.

      So it is quite possible that the AI bubble will pop spectacularly by the end of the year, and then we can have affordable hardware again.

    2. Guido Mehriekez said on May 21, 2024 at 3:15 pm

      >Intel or AMD silicon
      Please don’t continue this silly trend Apple started. Since over 50 years every transistor is silicon. You cannot make a germanium CPU. It’s too leaky for semiconductors other than microwave diodes.

  17. guest said on May 21, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    you know not person cares that ai has taking over pc’s around the world has locked people out and not microsoft care it start’s with you can’t print it show up on your pc’s screen and on the printer screen printing but it don’t print and the does the same on the scanner and then it says you have not right to boot this pc and when you call microsoft tec’s they say you have to refomat your pc’s
    and microsoft is sending out this
    1. Microsoft admits Russian state hack still not contained This has tremendous national security implications
    2. Microsoft AI Researchers Accidentally Expose 38 Terabytes of Confidential Data
    3. Microsoft employee AI tool should be removed until offensive images can be addressed
    and there is more but there is not one bit of help from microsoft no tec’s they fired all of them and put in ai DANGER DANGER DANGER microsoft has put us all in danger with ai

  18. John G. said on May 21, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    If this continues in this way, Windows will become a telemetry and spyware bloatware.
    Oh sorry, it already is now. Thanks for the article. :]

  19. Chris said on May 21, 2024 at 1:26 pm

    What possible real world use is this? How much overhead does this “snapshot” require? How much faster would the system be if it was off?

    1. 45 RPM said on May 22, 2024 at 1:14 pm

      It’s cheaper and easier for a company than having an HR person standing of your shoulder to make sure you don’t goof off on their dime. And have proof to boot. Think sweat-shop level “support centers” for one.

  20. Lizard said on May 21, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    All I can say is..I am so glad I switched to Linux. The future of Windows is more Spyware in worse way one can think. AI will know everything you do on Windows it will know you better than you know yourself.

  21. 45 RPM said on May 21, 2024 at 8:15 am

    The Soviets already had this, it was called the KGB.

    1. Nonya said on May 21, 2024 at 12:40 pm


      Never forget that Microsoft has root access to Windows machines, can mandate any changes, at any time via forced update channels and they do scan and capture data for telemetry purposes.

      Between US Cyber officials identifying Microsoft as a national security threat and the GDPR lawsuits, I wouldn’t put anything even remotely sensitive on a Windows machine.

      To put the risk severity in perspective, we were contacted for a job last week by a man who’s wife had a medical emergency. All of their data was on his wife’s machine and that machine was Win 11 and secured by a Microsoft Account and he could not get in. Microsoft fought him on getting the machine unlocked so he could get in and access the data they owned while also trying to deal with the medical issues.

      Were there options to avoid this situation? Yes… Very intelligent couple but they were not computer savvy and followed Microsoft recommended settings which almost broke them.

      Explained the situation and it only took about 5 minutes for them to decide they were done with Microsoft and Windows. A few DD commands and 3 LMDE Cinnamon installs later and they were free again.

      Hate to think what would have happened if they had encrypted drives on those machines. Don’t trust Windows 11 and please help others understand the settings so they aren’t stuck in the same situation or worse.

      1. bruh said on May 22, 2024 at 10:22 am

        You sound like a trash tech, it’s not hard to setup windows with a local account, without bitlocker turned on, and without forcing older people to try and learn an OS they’ve never seen or dealt with.

      2. Nonya said on May 22, 2024 at 5:07 pm

        Yup… that’s me. Had nothing to do with customer choice at all.

      3. bruh said on May 23, 2024 at 11:07 am

        Don’t you get it? By helping those guys out, you became someone authoritative on the subject matter, someone who’s opinion they will take seriously into consideration. You’re allowed to have your own opinion but you should also think about more than just yourself.

        A neutral person might have said “we can make sure you never get into this same issue ever again, and you can stay on Windows”, I bet such an option was not made very clear to them, was it? Because you’re a linux proselytiser, it’s not hard to tell. You just said “Microsoft is evil” and you’re pretending that they came to their own independent conclusion to ditch Windows, lol.

        So what now, say they have an issue or an error with their laptop some months down the line, maybe something small, maybe something big, whoever they have in their family that has a knack for dealing with computers is gonna be thrown off by the Linux, they literally would have never seen it before – and if they google an error, instead of getting taken to some megathread on official ms forums, which has tens of people chiming in, and a fix on page 2, they get sent to an obscure linux forum where the fix involves using the command prompt and basically they can’t do it. They’ll pretty much have no choice but to come to you in the future. I get it bro, repeat business :)

        The only thing they’ll be able to use with confidence now is the browser, really expanded their horizons there… Did you at least give them chrome? You know, the browser that everybody develops websites for, and prioritises compatibility with?

        Again, you sound like a trash tech. “Bad experience? Here, take this niche thing nobody uses, but trust me, it’s the future!”

        Tell me i’m wrong, and also, tell me where i’m wrong.

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