Microsoft is on the verge of introducing a groundbreaking new version of its operating system, currently known by the tentative codename "Hudson Valley," which may eventually be marketed as Windows 12. Slated for release in the second half of 2024, this version is poised to revolutionize the Windows experience with a strong emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI).
Early iterations of Hudson Valley are already being tested in the Windows Insider Canary channel, with the final Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version expected in April 2024. This new update places a significant focus on enhancing user experience through the integration of AI. One of the key features is an AI-driven Windows Shell and an "advanced co-pilot" Copilot AI assistant. This assistant is designed to operate continuously in the background, enhancing various functions such as search, application launches, workflow management, and context understanding. AI's deep integration across the operating system suggests that new Neural Processing Unit (NPU) hardware will be required for optimal performance. This integration indicates a significant increase in hardware requirements, potentially rendering older computers incompatible with some of the AI-focused features.
Windows 12, with AI-focused features, arriving in the second half of 2024
The assembly rate of AI-equipped PCs, featuring NPUs, is expected to surge, with forecasts by IDC suggesting an 81% increase by 2027. This points to a trend towards the mainstream adoption of AI in the PC market. Recent updates in Windows 11, including the Copilot AI update and Background Removal feature in Paint, further demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to AI-powered advancements. Moreover, a new roadmap for Windows update cycles is reportedly being developed.
In addition to the advanced Copilot, Hudson Valley is rumored to introduce AI-powered wallpapers with dynamic parallax effects and interactive capabilities, a Super Resolution feature to enhance the quality of images in photos, videos, and games, an improved energy-saving mode, and a potential redesign of the desktop interface with the system tray positioned at the top. However, the final name and full list of features for Hudson Valley remain unconfirmed.