How to watch the Microsoft Surface, Windows AI and Copilot event

It’s almost time for another Microsoft livestream event, the first since September of last year. The festivities start at 12PM ET on Thursday, March 21. The best way to watch everything unfold is via the official Microsoft stream; it doesn’t look like they’ll have a stream on YouTube this time. This is the first Microsoft live event without former chief product officer and longtime keynote presenter Panos Panay, who departed for Amazon last year.

What to expect from Microsoft

The event is being advertised as a “new era of work”, so there’s going to be a major focus on the commercial space. There are plenty of rumors that Microsoft will take the opportunity to unveil a spate of new Surface devices. Windows Central claims that an OLED Surface Pro 10 and a Surface Laptop 6 will headline the event.

The Verge suggests that both devices will only feature minor spec bumps compared to the previous generation. There’s also conflicting reports as to whether or not these Surface devices will get a more comprehensive redesign later in the spring to suit non-business consumers. We won’t know until Thursday.

A closeup of the Copilot key.

There’s one safe bet. Microsoft will continue its commitment to AI. Rumors swirl that the Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 will be powered by Intel Core Ultra and Snapdragon X Elite silicon CPUs with next-generation neural processing units (NPUs) that have been designed specifically for advanced AI tasks. To that end, there are reports that these devices will be called “AI PCs” and will include a dedicated button to bring up the company’s Copilot digital assistant. The Intel variants are expected to launch in April, while the Arm-based Snapdragon ones will reportedly show up this June.

AI, AI and more AI 

The rumor mill has been grinding overtime for this event. Reports also suggest that Microsoft will unveil a suite of new AI features that could be coming to Windows computers, including real-time captioning and translating, upscaling and frame-rate smoothing for games and upgraded Windows Studio Effects.

There’s also likely to be something called AI Explorer announced at the event. This is rumored to be a built-in timeline feature that is searchable via natural language. It’ll reportedly live on your device and log everything you do and see. So, you could ask AI Explorer to “find that thing I looked at earlier about dinosaurs” and it would search through every moment in your PC’s history to find the relevant content. This could be a privacy nightmare, but it could also finally make digital assistants actually useful. We fully expect Microsoft to offer security assurances when it comes to AI Explorer.

These AI features won’t be exclusive to the Surface Pro Pro and Surface Laptop 6, as reports indicate they will be part of the company’s annual feature update for Windows 11, which is expected this fall. Engadget will offer full coverage of the event and will spotlight all of the interesting tidbits.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at