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Microsoft Event 2024 live blog: All the Surface and Windows 11 AI announcements as they happen

Tune in on May 20 at 1PM ET for the latest Windows 11 and Surface announcements from Microsoft!

Microsoft Event
(Image: © Microsoft)

Microsoft is hosting a special press event on May 20 in Seattle, where the company is expected to unveil new Surface hardware powered by Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon X Series SoCs, as well as detail how it plans to add next-generation AI experiences to Windows 11 this year.

Unfortunately, the event is not being streamed live, but we will be on the ground to cover the announcements as they happen. So, to follow the event along with us, bookmark this page and return here on May 20 at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET) for our complete event coverage. We will be posting snippets, quotes, and images from the speakers.


Surface Pro and Surface Laptop with Arm are expected. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino | Windows Central)

We will be on the ground bright and early on May 20 at Microsoft's headquarters in Seattle to bring you all the announcements. The event will begin at 10 am PT (1 pm ET) and last about an hour.

What are we expecting to see? New Surface hardware is a Surface Pro and Surface Laptop powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X Series chips. Both devices should have updated displays and, on the laptop side, a new keyboard deck with a haptic touchpad.

We're also expecting to see new Windows 11 features, many of which will be tied to Microsoft's AI efforts. A new "AI Explorer" feature will enable several next-generation AI experiences, such as Recall and Snapshots, which will record everything you do on your computer and store it as a memory for you to recall later using natural language.

AI Explorer will also be able to see what's currently on screen and provide contextual prompts and suggestions based on what it can see with a feature called Screen Understanding. You can learn more about AI Explorer and its planned feature set in my in-depth write-up.

Looking for an in-depth write-up about what to expect from Microsoft's event on May 20? Be sure to check out our expectations post. Spoilers ahead!

We're just one day away from Microsoft's big event. Tomorrow, we're expecting Microsoft to unveil its vision for a new era of the Windows PC. Microsoft and Qualcomm have worked together over the last three years to bring to market an experience that hasn't been possible in the Windows space before.

We will see hardware and software come together to enable incredible new AI experiences, and Windows on Arm will be the foundation of this new generation of Windows devices. The Windows PC is about to get good, and Windows on Arm is about to have its moment in the spotlight. 

Lenovo yoga Slim 7x 14

The leaks ahead of today's expected Qualcomm onslaught started early.  (Image credit: Lenovo)

Microsoft isn't the only company we're expecting to see new Qualcomm-powered hardware from today. The leaks started pretty early, and one of those laptops we're hoping to get a closer look at is the Snapdragon X-powered Lenovo Yoga Slim 7. Fingers crossed!

Windows on ARM is going to be a big focus today. It's been around for a while, but with the arrival of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite platform, it's finally getting a real kick in the pants. But what the heck does it all mean anyway? We've got a full explainer on Windows on ARM for you to catch up with all the backstory to this point.

Microsoft Surface Pro X with third-party keyboard showing x86, x64, and Arm icons

(Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Windows on ARM is going to become a huge deal, finally, but there will be folks that are worried about making the switch. Especially when it comes to using their regular applications. Will they work OK? Will you need to make any changes to how you work? The good news is that you don't need to worry. Even Google Chrome is native for ARM now. We've got an explainer that'll tell you everything you need to know

Want to catch up on what Microsoft should be announcing today? We first saw leaks of a new Snapdragon powered Surface Pro back in April. Today's the big Microsoft event, so, you know, we'll soon know how accurate this was. 

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

We're in. Just getting seated in the venue. Looks fancy! 

Where the magic happens...

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

30 minutes until kick off. We're expecting a new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, both powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X chips. The Surface Laptop is expected to feature a new design, the first design refresh the Surface Laptop line has ever seen...

We're also expecting to hear more about AI. Microsoft is expected to unveil some next-gen AI features for Windows 11 today, which will be exclusive to new PCs launching with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X chip, at least at first. 

Microsoft Copilot logo

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Looks like we're about to begin! Satya Nadella now on stage

Satya Nadella at the Microsoft May 20 event

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Satya is setting the stage. Telling us that PCs will soon be able to anticipate what we want, and our intent. And it starts with Copilot.

"It's pretty early still on this platform shift. The fundamental driving force behind this AI wave are these scaling laws."

Today, we're going beyond the cloud, to the device. AI functionality on your PC is happening. 

Microsoft announces "a new category" of devices. An entirely new class of Windows Pcs, engineered to unleash the power of AI: Copilot+ PCs!

Copilot+ PCs are the combination of Windows, Systems, and Silicon coming together to deliver unique AI experiences.

Yusef Mehdi now on stage to talk more about what makes a PC a "Copilot+" PC.

"We've made a huge leap forward in technology with these PCs. They are the most powerful PCs ever built."

Copilot PCs have an NPU that can run 40 trillion operations per second. 

58% faster than MacBook Air M3!

Copilot PCs have batteries that can last "all day."

Copilot is being integrated across Windows. In File Explorer, Edge, Notifications, Settings, and more.

Microsoft Copilot

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is now demoing a "phone call" between you and Copilot. You can ask Copilot to help you out in a task. In this example, the user is playing Minecraft and is asking how to create a sword. Copilot is able to see what's in his inventory.

Copilot here is contextually and visually aware. You can ask it to help with whatever is on-screen.

Microsoft announces Windows Recall. It's a feature that uses AI to help you find everything you've done on your computer, using natural language.

Recall leverages the power of AI to make it possible to access anything you've seen on your PC.

Windows Recall is exclusive to Copilot+ PCs.

Windows watches everything you do, but it's all handled on device. Nothing is sent to the cloud.

Recall is able to bring up snapshots based on your specific search criteria. If you're trying to find a dress you were looking at a few days ago in Edge, you can just describe the dress to Recall and it will bring you back to the moment when that dress was on-screen.

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Recall includes a timeline interface that lets you scroll back in time depending on whether your search criteria has multiple results.

Everything Recall does is handled locally on the device. Microsoft will not use any of the data it's captured to train its AI models. It's all yours, and nobody elses.

Pavan Davluluri now coming on stage, likely to talk about Surface.

"We're weaving AI through every layer, from chip, to system, to cloud."

We're now getting another Recall demo, this time with a break down of how the technology works.

There are a number of different models built into Windows 11 to make this happen. These are deeply integrated, not bolted on, Pavan Davuluri says.

There's an incredibly robust approach to privacy. You can pause, stop and delete captured content. You can even filter out specific apps or websites so Recall can't see it.

There are more than 40 AI models here that bring Recall and the Windows Copilot Runtime together.

The Windows Photos app can now understand what it's seeing. It will suggest things to edit based on the photo you have open.

Now getting a demo of Copilot being able to help during gaming. You can ask it for tips and, based on what it can see, will suggest things.

We're now hearing from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm about how everyone is coming together for Copilot+ PCs.

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

"Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD are all in."

16GB RAM minimum on these Copilot+ PCs. 

Notably, only Qualcomm is ready with a Copilot+ chip right now. Intel and AMD's Copilot+ chips seemingly won't be here until later.

Microsoft says it's rebuilt Windows 11 inside out for Arm.

Now touting incredible performance, beating the MacBook Air M3.

Microsoft is highlighting how most of the apps you probably use are now natively compiled for Windows on Arm.

Announcing Prism, a new emulation layer for Windows on Arm that is 20% faster.

Brett Ostrum now on stage. It's Surface time.

New Surface Laptop and Surface Pro announced.

As expected, the new Laptop has a new design. Thinner bezels, haptic touchpad.

It's 80% faster than Surface Laptop 5. 

The new Surface Laptop beats the MacBook Air in battery life benchmarks. Incredible!

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Now getting a demo showing how the Surface Laptop beats the MacBook Air in pretty much all tasks. 

Adobe is bringing more of the creative cloud to Windows on Arm soom, including Premiere Pro.

New Surface Laptop at the May 20 Microsoft event

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Curiously, no time spent with Surface Pro yet.

Now talking about Live Captions, which is now able to translate languages in real-time from live or pre-recorded audio.

Now it's time for Surface Pro!

Surface Pro is 90% faster than Surface Pro 9. Crazy.

Confirmed: The new Surface Pro has an OLED display with HDR.

And a quad-HD camera!

The keybord is now called Surface Pro Flex Keyboard. It can be used attached or detached.

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft Copilot event May 20 2024

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Now talking about image generation on Windows. Cocreator, lets you "explore the full range of your imagination."

You can use Cocreator to bring to life a sketch. 

Just as an aside, the new Surface Pro still has that venting gap around the chassis. That means it's using the same chassis as the Surface Pro 9, and not the thinner Surface Pro X chassis.

Quick demo of CapCut, using the NPU to remove the background in a video. This is now three times faster on the new Pro compared to Pro 9.

Surface Pro and Surface Laptop are just the start, says Brett Ostrum.

Although it doesn't appear we're getting any more Surface hardware today.

All the major Windows hardware makers are on-board with Copilot+. Many shipping new hardware this summer with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X chips.

Now getting a tour of some of the new OEM devices

They all look like laptops...

Lenovo, Dell, Acer, ASUS, Samsung are all shipping Copilot+ PCs. 

Copilot+ PCs start at $999.

New Surfaces at the May 20 Microsoft event

(Image credit: Windows Central)

And that's a wrap! To recap: New next-gen AI features, new Surface Pro, new Surface Laptop, all powered by Arm. Pretty exciting stuff.

This is the era of the Copilot+ PC. We'll have hands-on with the new Surface devices shortly.