There are reports that both Intel and Microsoft are preparing for the release of Windows 12, an as-yet-unannounced operating system. Hardware leaker @leaf_hobby has published details about Intel's Meteor Lake desktop platform, which reportedly mentions internally that its next-generation CPUs will support Windows 12.
Intel and Microsoft Preparing for Windows 12
While Intel has not commented on the leak, Microsoft has also declined to comment on the reports of Intel preparing to support Windows 12. However, there are already signs that Microsoft is looking to integrate AI-powered features into future versions of Windows.
AI Integration into Windows 11
Microsoft's head of consumer marketing, Yusuf Mehdi, recently spoke about the integration of AI into the latest Windows 11 update. Mehdi noted that the company is looking to develop future versions of Windows that integrate AI-powered features. These features include the new AI-powered version of Bing, which is now accessible from the Windows 11 taskbar, and AI-powered recommended content within the Start menu for business users. Microsoft is also reportedly working on AI-powered smart snapping features for Windows 11.
Both AMD and Intel are fighting to catch up to Apple and its latest M2 chips, which have a dedicated AI chip that can handle 15.8 trillion operations per second. Apple uses its Core ML platform to run machine learning models on MacBooks to accelerate voice recognition tasks, image processing, and more. All of this is power-efficient, as it uses the dedicated NPU instead of hitting the CPU and GPU.
AI Integration into Windows 12
If Microsoft is indeed planning for its next version of Windows to utilize AI more widely, it would need to work closely with hardware partners like Intel and AMD to optimize chips that can handle AI workloads. This might explain why Intel is reportedly mentioning Windows 12 internally already.
AMD recently launched its Ryzen 7000 mobile processors, which are the first x86 chips to contain a dedicated AI engine that can support Microsoft's Windows Studio Effects. Intel is not far behind on the AI front. Meteor Lake, which is expected later this year or in early 2024, is an important step for Intel, as it will be built on the company's Intel 4 (7nm) node and be its first "chiplet" design, with separate dies for the CPU cores, integrated graphics, and input/output. It will also include similar AI capabilities to those AMD introduced on its Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs.
Release Date for Windows 12
Microsoft reportedly shifted back to a three-year release cycle for Windows last year, meaning the next major version of Windows could be due in 2024. This is good timing for some new CPUs. Microsoft originally moved away from its three-year cycle with the release of Windows 10 in 2015, prioritizing the idea of Windows as a service. Windows 11 then marked the end of the idea that Windows 10 could be "the last version of Windows."
Microsoft has also started focusing on updating Windows 11 a lot faster than the big annual updates it originally promised at the launch of the operating system in 2021. The software maker delivered the latest big Windows 11 update earlier this week, with the AI-powered Bing added to the taskbar, improvements to widgets, a better touch mode, a screen recording feature, and lots more.
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