Microsoft hits pause on Recall feature for Copilot+ PCs

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Key notes

  • Microsoft delays release of Recall feature for Copilot+ PCs due to security concerns.
  • Recall will be tested with Windows Insiders before wider release.
  • Copilot+ PCs launch on June 18th without Recall.
Recall feature on Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft is pressing pause on the launch of its Recall feature for Windows 11 Copilot+ PCs. Recall will now undergo testing with a limited audience before reaching all users; it was initially set for a June 18th debut alongside the new Copilot+ PCs.  

Recall caused a stir upon its announcement in May. The feature captures screenshots of your screen activity, which are later used to search for past information. Security experts all around the internet raised concerns about the possibility of hackers exploiting Recall and accessing sensitive data.

Microsoft has apparently acknowledged these concerns. Their updated blog post talks about using the expertise of Windows Insiders to ensure Recall meets the company’s “high standards for quality and security.”

Update: June 13, 2024: Today, we are communicating an additional update on the Recall (preview) feature for Copilot+ PCs. Recall will now shift from a preview experience broadly available for Copilot+ PCs on June 18, 2024, to a preview available first in the Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks. Following receiving feedback on Recall from our Windows Insider Community, as we typically do, we plan to make Recall (preview) available for all Copilot+ PCs coming soon.

We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security. This decision is rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot+ PC users. Additionally, as we shared in our May 3 blog, security is our top priority at Microsoft, in line with our Secure Future Initiative (SFI). This is reflected in additional security protections we are providing for Recall content, including “just in time” decryption protected by Windows Hello Enhanced Sign-in Security (ESS), so Recall snapshots will only be decrypted and accessible when the user authenticates. The development of Copilot+ PCs, Recall and Windows will continue to be guided by SFI.

When Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how to get the preview. To try Recall (preview) WIP customers will need a Copilot+ PC due to our hardware requirements. We look forward to hearing Windows Insider feedback.

The delay also allows Microsoft to gather valuable user feedback. Windows Insiders, a community of experienced testers, will get early access to Recall in the coming weeks. Their insights will be crucial in refining the feature before it reaches the general public.

While Copilot+ PCs will still launch on June 18th, they won’t include Recall. However, Microsoft assures users that security remains a top priority. They’ve implemented safeguards like “just in time” decryption protected by Windows Hello, ensuring Recall data is only accessible when the user authenticates.

More here.

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