Microsoft launching “groundbreaking” AI-heavy Windows in 2024 — Report

Microsoft plans to launch an AI-heavy update to its Windows operating system in late 2024, according to a report from Windows Central’s Zac Bowden.

Bowden’s sources have outlined a new roadmap for the next major Windows client update, codenamed “Hudson Valley”, which will be based on a new build platform called Germanium.

Germanium is expected to be ready for Release to Manufacturing (RTM) in April 2024.

Hudson Valley itself won’t be completed until August 2024 and is only planned to start shipping to current PCs around September or October 2024.

The update’s core focus will be on next-generation AI experiences “woven and integrated throughout the OS”, Bowden said.

The main new “groundbreaking” feature will be an AI-powered Windows Shell with an advanced Microsoft Copilot that can constantly work in the background.

It will reportedly be capable of enhancing search, jumpstarting projects or workflows, and understanding context.

Bowden also listed the following features as highlights:

  • A history/timeline feature will let users scroll back in time through apps and websites Copilot remembers
  • Search will support natural language to find previously seen or opened items
  • Windows will be able to understand vague queries without much detail
  • Super Resolution to upscale the image quality of videos and games with
  • Enhanced Live Captions with real-time translation of different languages
  • AI-powered wallpapers that can identify layers with machine learning to create a parallax effector interacting with a mouse cursor or built-in gyroscope
  • A dedicated creator area in the Start Menu and File Explorer where users will find quick access to Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Up to 50% longer batter life for certain hardware thanks to improvements in energy saver mode

Bowden added that some of the AI features above would likely require newer neural processing hardware.

Windows 12? Likely not

Hudson Valley’s final name remains unconfirmed, although Bowden reckons it is unlikely to be called Windows 12 as Microsoft is wary of further fragmenting its users across operating systems.

Windows 10 is still running on nearly 70% of Windows PCs, more than double the market share of Windows 11.

However, Bowden said the final decision will likely be down to what works strongest for marketing.

While it might stick with Windows 11 for this update, Bodwn said that Microsoft employees internally consider the updated OS an entirely new version.

Another interesting bit of information is that after the launch of Hudson Valley, Microsoft will return to an annual update cadence.

That means that users can again expect at least one major feature update once a year.

Under previous Windows chief Panos Panay, who recently left the company to take up a position at Amazon, Microsoft planned a switch to offering major updates every three years, with smaller “Moment” updates in between.

Now read: Meta testing over 20 new AI features for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

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Microsoft launching “groundbreaking” AI-heavy Windows in 2024 — Report