Microsoft announces unified AI assistant, new Surface devices

The logo of Microsoft is seen outside their offices in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel December 27, 2022. REUTERS/Rami Amichay

(Reuters) - Microsoft on Thursday announced a "unified" artificial intelligence (AI) for its Windows 11 platform and four new Surface devices, upping the appeal of its products spruced with the latest technology.

The new AI tool, called Copilot, will work across the company's web and productivity applications Bing, Edge browser, and Microsoft 365 software suite.

The updated AI software will roll out with the latest changes to Windows 11 on Sept. 26. It will be available in Microsoft 365 Copilot on Nov. 1, when the highly anticipated enterprise AI tool will be generally available for purchase.

Microsoft released 365 Copilot in preview earlier this year and said in July that the features would cost its customers $30 per user every month at list prices on top of their existing subscriptions.

The company also said its Bing search will get OpenAI's DALL-E 3, an image-generating AI.

Thursday’s news follows months of Copilot announcements. Redmond, Washington-headquartered Microsoft is stacking its growth on generative AI - computer programs capable of generating text, images, sounds, and other data - and has incorporated the technology across a large section of its products and services.

Microsoft's aggressive AI push is likely to put Big Tech peers Alphabet and Apple on the watch as customers lap up the new services powered by GenAI.

Microsoft on Thursday announced three laptops - Surface Laptop Go 3, Surface Laptop Studio 2 and Surface Go 4 For Business - and Surface Hub 3, the newer version of its interactive whiteboard.

The launches come days after Microsoft's longtime product chief, Panos Panay, stepped down and the company elevated Yusuf Mehdi, the head of consumer marketing, to take over the Surface and Windows businesses with the external PC makers and retail partners.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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