The new AI era isn’t beginning in the way Microsoft envisioned when it announced its new Copilot+ PCs at a media event in Redmond less than a month ago. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Microsoft and its PC partners Tuesday pressed ahead with the release of the first Copilot+ PCs despite delaying the AI-powered “Recall” feature to address security and privacy concerns.

Rather than offering Recall at launch, as originally planned, Microsoft said last week that the feature would first be released and tested through its Windows Insider program in the coming weeks.

The move comes amid broader scrutiny of Microsoft’s security challenges, as reflected in a Congressional hearing last week, and the company’s pledge to prioritize security over new features.

Combined with growing competition from Apple and others in the field, the developments have sapped some of Microsoft’s momentum as it tries to reinvigorate its flagship PC operating system.

In addition to the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop from Microsoft, new Copilot+ PCs are also available as of today from HP, Lenovo, and other computer makers.

In the absence of the Recall feature, the company is touting capabilities of the Copilot PCs including all-day battery life, a powerful Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and new AI experiences including Cocreator in Microsoft Paint.

Recall captures screenshots at short intervals, making it possible for users to quickly query their history and find information later. Among other changes since the May 20 announcement, Microsoft detailed plans for new levels of encryption and said Recall would be turned off by default unless activated by users during setup.

Apple last week unveiled a series of AI features for Mac, under the name Apple Intelligence, in a preview of macOS Sequoia at the company’s WorldWide Developer Conference. Apple also announced an AI partnership with OpenAI, the longtime Microsoft partner in which the Redmond company has invested billions of dollars.

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