NIX Solutions: Microsoft Pauses Recall AI Amid Controversy

Microsoft is attempting to conceal the controversial Recall AI feature, even from the Windows Insiders who were meant to test it. Last week, the company announced its decision to withdraw Recall from the Windows build installed on the first-generation Copilot Plus PC. They noted that “insiders” would continue to test this feature. However, the latest Windows Insider builds for Arm have also seen the Recall feature and all mentions of it disappear.

Introduction of Screenray in Latest Build

Instead of Recall, another feature called Screenray was discovered as part of the latest Windows Insider Canary Build 26236.5000 for Arm64 devices. This feature also appears to be designed to record everything that happens on a PC, but its interface has been simplified to make it easier to navigate through the recorded activity data.

NIX Solutions

On June 18, the same day the first Copilot Plus PC laptops went on sale, Microsoft stopped distributing Windows 11 Build 26236.5000 to Insiders. “We have temporarily paused the release of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26236 through the Canary channel,” the company said on Tuesday.

Recall Feature Removal and User Concerns

On June 19, Microsoft released a new Windows Insider Build 26241.5000, which completely removes traces of Recall. Theoretically, you can still use Recall if the previous version 26236.5000 is already installed on your PC or if you have an ISO build file 26236.6000. However, OS version 26236.5000 can no longer be downloaded through official distribution channels for Windows builds.

Typically, when you need a previous Insider Build of an OS, you can use UUP Dump, a site that lists all builds of the operating system, offers the ability to download them, and create ISO images from them. However, when you try to download version 26236.5000 from UUP Dump, you receive an error indicating that the files have been deleted from Microsoft servers.

Obviously, Microsoft itself considers Recall in its current form very controversial and does not want anyone to use it now. It’s possible the feature will return in a future Insider Build, but it’s unknown when that will happen. We’ll keep you updated on any developments.

Previously, Recall aroused the ire of users who care about the privacy and security of their personal data, as the function keeps track of all activity on the PC, reminds NIX Solutions. Cybersecurity expert Kevin Beaumont discovered serious security problems in the beta version of Recall, including the fact that the feature stores information in a relatively easy-to-hack SQLite database. The UK’s independent data protection regulator (ICO) has even announced an investigation into this feature.

Without Recall, Copilot Plus PC systems are left with only three unimpressive new AI features: Codesigner (a Paint-based image generator), Studio Effects (webcam filters), and Live Captions with translation.