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While Apple introduced new features with underlying hints of generative AI in Series 9 watch with Siri and iPhone 15, Microsoft is trying to define the next era of personal computing leveraging generative AI in the form of personal assistant — copilot. “It’s like your PC is kind of now becoming CP (copilot). We believe copilot will fundamentally transform our way with technology and usher in a new era of personal computing,” said Microsoft chief Satya Nadella.
With its presence right on the taskbar and a convenient Win+C keyboard shortcut, copilot will be at your fingertips whenever you need it. Copilot is seamlessly integrated, offering assistance effortlessly across all your applications. Copilot will start its early rollout as part of free Windows 11 update, beginning on September 26. Interestingly, on the same day, Apple is set to release the latest macOS update, macOS Sonoma.
We are at a very crucial juncture in the technological shift with generative AI. Surprisingly, at the recent Apple event, it didn’t mention the word AI even once with regard to macOS.
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macOS needs an upgrade
Apple macOS Sonoma currently doesn’t boast of generative AI capabilities, however it does improve on previous macOS versions. macOS Sonoma includes several new video conferencing features, such as Presenter Overlay and new reactions. However, it comes nowhere close to Windows 11, which now truly has an AI personal assistant. While Apple currently hosts Siri on Mac, the Santa Clara-based company should seriously consider rolling out an upgraded Siri with generative AI capabilities as soon as possible.
Moreover, history has proven the significance of being the first mover in the generative AI segment. We have seen this in the case of Google and OpenAI. Currently, OpenAI can be touted as leading the generative AI race with its GPT-based models while Google is still trying to catch up. Meanwhile, Microsoft is making the most out of its partnership with OpenAI.
“What Microsoft did today was to reset customer expectations higher than all but a few competitors can even come close to meeting,” said AI advisor Vin Vashistha. He further elaborated that in the next 6 months, customers won’t accept having to bounce between applications and remember which apps provide access to specific data types or support specific workflows. The generative interface must handle orchestration seamlessly.
Many businesses rely on Microsoft 365 for their daily work. If they discover that copilot can significantly improve their productivity, it could become a significant challenge for macOS systems. Meanwhile, even other Apple products require major upgrades, including the web browser Safari. In contrast, Microsoft has been actively enhancing its offerings, particularly Bing. Initially, it integrated ChatGPT into Bing, and now it’s taking another leap by incorporating DALL-E 3 into it as well.
It is still not clear if the updated version of Windows 11 would require an internet connection to work or not but Microsoft has made its intentions clear that it is soon going to host LLMs locally on PCs. The company has been in talks with Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, and NVIDIA for developing support for AI on the silicon level, allowing edge computing on Windows devices.
Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Studio 2 is equipped with the latest 13th Gen Intel Core processors, which are part of the Intel Evo platform. It offers a variety of NVIDIA GPU options, including the RTX 4050, RTX 4060, and RTX 200, giving users a wide range of powerful graphics options to choose from.
Also, Apple doesn’t lack the infrastructure to run generative AI capabilities on devices. Its M2 chip has a dedicated Neural Engine with 16 cores, which is specifically designed for AI and machine learning tasks. The M2 also has a powerful GPU, which can be used to accelerate generative AI tasks such as image generation and text translation. Additionally, Apple came up with the A17 chip in iPhone 15 Pro, which is also capable of running AI capabilities.
Apple often promotes its products based on their commitment to “privacy”. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of the key benefits of Apple’s AI is that it works directly on devices, keeping users’ data safe and private. Moreover, according to recent reports, Apple is expanding its budget for creating conversational AI to millions of dollars a day to develop new features for Siri where customers can use just voice commands to automate simple tasks.
Apple needs to make a move before it’s late.