Intel’s Chief Financial Officer, David Zinsner, during Citi’s analyst conference on September 6th, hinted at a significant “Windows refresh” in 2024. Intel hopes this update will drive consumers to upgrade their PCs, subsequently boosting Intel’s revenues.
Key points from Zinsner’s comments:
- 2024 is anticipated to be a profitable year for Intel’s client-side business due to the Windows update.
- A substantial portion of the PC install base is outdated and will require a refresh.
- Intel predicts this Windows update will serve as a catalyst for this massive upgrade wave.
Windows 12 in the Making?
Zinsner’s remarks, which were highlighted by PC Gamer, arrived just months after Intel internal documents leaked, hinting at “Windows 12.” Furthermore, Intel is rumored to be preparing its Meteor Lake desktop platform for the next-generation Windows, presumably named Windows 12. For now, Intel has officially announced only the Meteor Lake mobile chips, launching in December. These chips stand out as they come with a dedicated AI coprocessor.
Microsoft’s AI Push in Windows
While Microsoft has remained silent on plans for a Windows 12 release, several indicators suggest that AI-powered features will play a pivotal role in future Windows versions. Some evidence includes:
- Microsoft’s recent addition of the AI-powered Copilot to Windows 11.
- An emphasis on AI at Microsoft’s latest Surface event.
- Introduction of a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) chip in Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio 2, primarily enhancing Windows Studio Effects.
- Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, mentioned in an interview with The Verge earlier this year that the company is considering more AI integrations in future Windows versions.
Next Windows Version: What to Expect?
With development reportedly in full swing, Windows 12 is expected to:
- Emphasize deeply integrated AI and cloud experiences.
- Feature an updated interface along with other quality improvements.
- Not necessitate a subscription for its usage.
From earlier rumors, Microsoft might release Windows 12 in the latter half of 2024, potentially with a complete launch in 2025. This version could incorporate generative AI features across the OS, building upon recent AI improvements seen in the Windows 11 23H2 update. Additionally, Windows 12 might introduce an overhauled user interface and altered partition structures for enhanced security and easier patching.
Windows 11’s Slow Adoption
Despite Windows 11 being available for two years, it hasn’t managed to surpass Windows 10’s market share. According to a Statcounter report, Windows 10 remains the preferred choice for over 70% of Windows users. Windows 11’s adoption rate has stagnated at 23% since April, although Steam’s software survey shows a slightly higher adoption at 37%.
Meteor Lake Series: Intel’s Future in AI
Intel’s Meteor Lake series, expected to launch next year, will reportedly be equipped with AI acceleration cores. These cores aim to enhance system responsiveness during AI-related tasks. Microsoft is collaborating with CPU vendors like Intel and AMD, indicating a close integration of Windows 12’s AI features with the latest processors. AMD’s Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs, which already include a dedicated engine for Windows Studio Effects, further validate this trend.
The AI Era in Personal Computing
The integration of advanced AI functionalities into the Windows OS and next-generation processors is poised to revolutionize personal computing. As AI becomes more prevalent, users can expect:
- Increased Efficiency: AI accelerators in the CPUs can handle complex tasks swiftly, ensuring a smoother computing experience.
- Enhanced Personalization: The operating system, with the help of AI, will better understand user preferences and behaviors, offering a more tailored user experience.
- Security Improvements: AI can proactively detect and counter threats, ensuring a safer computing environment.
The synchronization of advanced AI-powered hardware with a potential Windows 12 OS could mark the beginning of a new era in personal computing. Both consumers and industries will eagerly watch how these developments influence PC upgrades and computing experiences in the years to come in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.