Microsoft says Recall is the future of AI-powered PCs

Microsoft is introducing Recall for Copilot Plus PCs, a new Windows 11 tool that meticulously tracks all your activities on your computer, enabling you to search and retrieve any action or content you’ve interacted with on the device.

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Internally dubbed AI Explorer, Recall’s functionality is extensive. It logs activities in various applications, tracks communications during live meetings, remembers all websites visited for research, and more. By performing a “Recall” action, akin to an AI-powered search, you can access a snapshot of a specific period, providing contextual memory details.

All activities on your PC appear on an explorable timeline that you can scroll through. This includes the ability to search live meetings and videos using Live Captions, which transcribe and even translate speech.

If Recall sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft previously attempted a less advanced feature called Timeline in Windows 10, which was discontinued in 2021. Additionally, there’s a comparable app for Mac called Rewind. Rewind, designed for M-series Macs, logs activities, listens to meetings, and provides a chatbot for information retrieval. However, Recall offers deep, native integration into Windows, unlike Rewind, which requires installation and granting system permissions.

Recall is exclusive to specific Windows 11 computers. You’ll need one of the new “Copilot Plus PCs” powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chips, which include the necessary neural processing unit (NPU) for Recall.

Microsoft assures users that the Recall index remains local and private on the device. Users have control over the tool, with options to pause, stop, or delete captured content or to exclude specific apps or websites. Recall will not log InPrivate web browsing sessions in Microsoft Edge or DRM-protected content. However, Microsoft notes that Recall does not perform content moderation and will not actively conceal sensitive information like passwords and financial account numbers.