Watch out Apple — Microsoft’s new AI-powered Surface devices are right around the corner

Watch out Apple — Microsoft’s new AI-powered Surface devices are right around the corner
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface event is confirmed for March 21, 2024 at 9:00 am PDT. The event, “New Era of Work,” is expected to focus on new Surface devices and AI updates. 

Will Microsoft's new Surface devices be able to keep up with Apple? We certainly hope so after the last few middling displays.

Here’s what we know so far.

Where to watch the March Microsoft event 

If you’re as excited about these upcoming announcements as we are, you can tune into Microsoft’s official livestream. A page for the digital event is already live, but the actual presentation won’t start until 9 AM PDT / 11 am CST / 12 pm EST on March 21. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the livestream – we’ll be covering all the highlights Microsoft unveils.

We could see the first round of AI PCs with Surface

Watch out Apple — Microsoft’s new AI-powered Surface devices are right around the corner

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The biggest potential announcement to expect from the March Microsoft event is new Surface devices. Rumors hinted at this, but the event announcement has now solidified Surface news. The description on the event page reads, “Tune in here for the latest in scaling AI in your environment with Copilot, Windows, and Surface.” 

So, it’s clear there will be some type of Surface announcement. The AI theme of the event hints at what we can expect from these new Surface devices, backing up even more rumors. Windows Central previously reported rumors that the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will be announced as Microsoft’s first AI PCs at the March 21 event. With Microsoft emphasizing AI in their announcement for the “New Era of Work” event, there is a high likelihood these rumors will pan out. 

What could these new Surface devices look like? If they are AI PCs, they will have Intel Core Ultra processors or the Snapdragon X Elite ARM-based chips for mobile devices. These chips will allow the new Surface devices to tap into more AI capabilities. The Surface 10 Pro could also get an OLED screen, an NFC reader, and an AI-enhanced webcam. The new AI processors could also help optimize battery life. 

It’s interesting that this event is happening within just a couple weeks of Apple’s M3 Macbook Air announcement. If the new Surface devices are as powerful as we’re expecting them to be, they could pose a real threat to the Macbook and iPad line-ups, especially with the help of Microsoft’s new AI features.

Major AI updates from Microsoft’s “New Era of Work”

Watch out Apple — Microsoft’s new AI-powered Surface devices are right around the corner

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Aside from a pair of new Surface devices, Microsoft is also announcing Windows and Copilot updates on March 21. AI is the highlight of this event, so we’re expecting these updates to center around new AI tools and features, which could launch on the new Surface devices. 

For example, one exciting feature rumored to drop at this event is “AI Explorer.” This tool will allow you to search your entire device using AI natural language processing. You could type in something like “find that email draft to Joe” and the AI will search everything on your device, including your past activity history, to find what you’re looking for. It’s sort of like a really advanced file explorer search feature. 

If you’re someone who keeps a lot of files on your device, this feature could be really useful for organization and efficiency. Of course, some Windows users may not like the idea of an AI scanning all of their files and activity. This is an onboard AI feature, meaning all of the natural language processing for the search function is happening locally. So, your files should remain private if you do decide to try out AI Explorer. 

This does mean that AI Explorer and any similar features Microsoft announces probably won’t be available on all Windows devices. These features rely on local AI hardware, so they would only be possible on devices with an Intel Core Ultra or similar AI-integrated CPU. 

It’s also possible any new AI features won’t launch until later in the year. Microsoft could release them as part of the 2024 Windows 11 update, version “24H2.” This update could bring some of the new AI features to all Windows 11 devices, such as improvements to Copilot. 

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Stevie Bonifield
Freelance Writer

Stevie Bonifield is a freelance tech journalist specializing in keyboards, peripherals, gaming gear, and mobile tech. Outside of writing, Stevie loves indie games, photography, and building way too many custom keyboards