Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Microsoft releases new Copilot Plus computers without the Recall feature

Microsoft announced that new Copilot Plus computers will be released next week without the Recall feature. The software maker plans to test this feature with the Windows Insider program. Recall was initially going to be available as an optional feature with additional security improvements.

“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community,” Microsoft said in an updated blog post. “Once Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how you can get the preview.”

This means Recall will not initially be available to either Windows Insiders or those who purchase a Copilot Plus PC. Windows engineers were known to try to test and implement security improvements in a timely manner. However, Microsoft now acknowledges that more testing is needed.

The Recall feature was first introduced as part of Copilot Plus computers last month, but privacy advocates and security experts have warned that the feature could be a “cybersecurity disaster” without changes. Microsoft promised three major updates last week: making the feature optional instead of default, encrypting the database, and authenticating through Windows Hello.

Using native AI models, Recall records almost everything you see or do on your computer by taking screenshots and then allowing you to search for and retrieve those items. An explorable timeline lets you go back and review what you did on a given day. Everything in Recall is designed to stay local and on-device, so no data is used to train Microsoft's AI models.

Microsoft's decision to delay Recall comes just after vice president and president Brad Smith testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. Smith stated that Microsoft puts security above all else. “This is even more important than the company's work on artificial intelligence.” said Smith.

Additionally, Smith announced that Microsoft will make security a mandatory part of the annual evaluation process for all employees. “With this change, cybersecurity will be taken into account in each employee's annual bonus and compensation.”

The Recall feature was created before Microsoft's massive Secure Future Initiative (SFI) began. Recall was developed privately at Microsoft and has not been publicly tested with Windows Insiders. Microsoft has identified some security issues with Recall and has begun working to modify and test the experience in recent months. The company makes it clear that it needs more time to ensure these changes comply with its security priority.

Danish Kapoor