Microsoft Kicks off Product Event with AI Devices in Focus

 A view shows a Microsoft logo at Microsoft offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, February 9, 2024. (Reuters)
A view shows a Microsoft logo at Microsoft offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, February 9, 2024. (Reuters)
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Microsoft Kicks off Product Event with AI Devices in Focus

 A view shows a Microsoft logo at Microsoft offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, February 9, 2024. (Reuters)
A view shows a Microsoft logo at Microsoft offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, February 9, 2024. (Reuters)

Microsoft kicked off a product event on Monday where it is expected to debut hardware and software related to consumer devices and AI.

At the event on its campus in Redmond, Washington, the Windows maker is expected to reveal a new version of its Surface Pro tablet and Surface Laptop that feature Qualcomm chips based on Arm Holdings' architecture.

After Intel's processors dominated the personal computer market for decades, Qualcomm and other makers of lower-power Arm components have tried to compete in the Windows-PC market.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chips include a so-called neural processing unit that is designed to accelerate AI-focused applications, such as Microsoft's Copilot software.

Microsoft held the product event a day before the start of its annual developer conference.

Microsoft aims to extend its early advantage in the race to produce AI tools that consumers are willing to pay for. Its partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI allowed it to jump ahead of Alphabet, as other Big Tech companies race to dominate the emerging field.

Last week, OpenAI and Alphabet's Google showcased dueling AI technologies that can respond via voice in real time and be interrupted, both hallmarks of realistic voice conversations that AI voice assistants have found challenging. Google also announced it was rolling out several generative AI features to its lucrative search engine.

The PC industry has been under increasing pressure from Apple since the company launched its custom chips based on designs from Arm and ditched Intel's processors. The Apple-designed processors have given Mac computers superior battery life and speedier performance than rivals' chips that use more energy.

Microsoft tapped Qualcomm to lead the effort to move the Windows operating system to Arm's chip designs in 2016. Qualcomm has exclusivity on Microsoft Windows devices that expires this year. Other chip designers such as Nvidia have efforts under way to make their own Arm-based PC chips, Reuters has previously reported.



Saudi Arabia’s stc Group Boosts Network Capacity in Madinah to Serve Pilgrims

stc significantly expanded its data network capacity in Madinah, exceeding last year's capacity by over 35%. (SPA)
stc significantly expanded its data network capacity in Madinah, exceeding last year's capacity by over 35%. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s stc Group Boosts Network Capacity in Madinah to Serve Pilgrims

stc significantly expanded its data network capacity in Madinah, exceeding last year's capacity by over 35%. (SPA)
stc significantly expanded its data network capacity in Madinah, exceeding last year's capacity by over 35%. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s stc Group has deployed its technical expertise and digital services to support the thousands of pilgrims visiting Madinah following the Hajj, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday

stc significantly expanded its data network capacity in Madinah, exceeding last year's capacity by over 35%.

This enhancement ensured smooth operation of 5G services, keeping pace with the surging demand for high-speed data. As a result, data traffic volume surged by more than 60% compared to the previous year, building upon the success achieved in Makkah city and the holy sites.

Committed to serving pilgrims, stc played a vital role in facilitating their digital experience. The group meticulously planned for the Hajj season by studying call and data usage patterns in Madinah. It analyzed performance indicators to proactively activate and optimize phone and data services before and during the season.

The comprehensive plan encompassed a thorough inspection of network elements, preventive maintenance, and performance testing to verify network stability. stc analyzed call traffic and data flow patterns to develop contingency plans and ensure network resilience.

stc further expanded its service offerings to enrich the spiritual experience of visitors in Madinah. The group strategically enhanced Wi-Fi access points and implemented internal solutions, aiming to facilitate communication between pilgrims and their families.

This commitment aligns with the Pilgrim Experience Program, a key initiative within Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, ensuring the highest service quality for all pilgrims.