Intel and Microsoft seem to be hinting at Windows 12

Both Intel and Microsoft appear to be preparing for the as yet unannounced Windows 12. The hardware leak @leaf_hobby, known for revealing the full specs of Intel’s Xeon chips ahead of launch, has published details about Intel’s Meteor Lake desktop platform. Intel reportedly mentions internally that their next generation CPUs will support Windows 12.

While the tweet has since been deleted, VideoCardz notes that Meteor Lake is expected to include 20 PCIe Gen5 lanes and support for Windows 12. We asked Intel to comment on the leak, but the company declined. Microsoft also declined to comment on reports of Intel preparing to support Windows 12.

Although Microsoft has not announced any plans for Windows 12, there are already signs that the company is looking to future versions of Windows to integrate AI-powered features. “As we begin to develop future versions of Windows, we will think about other places where AI should play a natural role in terms of the experience,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, said in an interview with The Verge earlier this week.

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Mehdi discussed the latest Windows 11 update that integrates the new AI-powered version of Bing into the taskbar. This update also includes AI-powered recommended content in the Start menu for business users. Microsoft is also reportedly working on AI-powered smart snapping features for Windows 11.

Mehdi’s comment follows Windows CEO Panos Panay’s claim at CES earlier this year that “AI is going to reinvent how you do everything on Windows.” Microsoft’s Surface team has also hinted at how AI could change the way we use PCs. AI “will have a potentially profound impact on how you use your computer and how it will essentially evolve in terms of its form,” said Steven Bathiche, head of Microsoft’s applied science group, in an interview with The Verge last year.

If Microsoft is really planning for its next version of Windows to use AI more widely, it will need to work closely with hardware partners like Intel and AMD to optimize chips that can handle AI workloads. That may explain why Intel is reportedly mentioning Windows 12 internally already.

AMD recently launched its Ryzen 7000 mobile processors, boasting that they are the first x86 chips to include a dedicated AI engine that can support Microsoft’s Windows Studio Effects. These features, including background noise removal and eye contact, are typically only available to arm-driven hardware that can drive the features with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU). So it’s clear that AMD and Microsoft are laying the groundwork for more AI-powered features in traditional Windows laptops.

However, Intel will not be far behind on the AI ​​front. Expected later this year or early 2024, Meteor Lake 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 features to those AMD introduced on its Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs.

Both AMD and Intel are racing to catch up with Apple and their latest M2 chips, which have a dedicated AI chip that can handle 15.8 trillion operations per second – 40 percent more than the M1. 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.

Microsoft also reportedly went back to a three-year release cycle for Windows last year, meaning the next major version of Windows could arrive in 2024 — good timing for some new CPUs. Microsoft initially 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 much faster than the big annual updates it originally promised when the operating system launched in 2021. The software maker delivered the last big Windows 11 update earlier this week, with the AI-powered Bing added on the taskbar, improvements to widgets, a better touch mode, a screen recording function and much more.

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