In context: Some years ago, Windows 10 was mistakenly described as "the last version of Windows" to arrive on the market. Now, just a couple of years after the meager debut of Windows 11, Microsoft is seemingly working on the next generation of its desktop operating system.
Microsoft is hard at work on Windows 12, and Intel (and likely AMD) is working together with the Redmond corporation to provide the new operating system with advanced AI capabilities. No official confirmations or comments are available yet, but the well-known hardware leaker @leaf_hobby recently provided some revealing details about the upcoming Meteor Lake platform.
Meteor Lake is expected to arrive by the end of this year or in 2024, bringing several technology novelties to the x86 computing platform, including a new manufacturing process (Intel 4), a chiplet-based design, and (according to leaf_hobby) 20 PCIe Gen5 lanes. Intel's 14th-gen Core processors should also provide some sort of hardware acceleration for AI algorithms, as the recently launched Ryzen 7000 mobile processors from AMD do with a dedicated engine for Windows Studio Effects.
Information provided by Leaf_hobby in a now-cancelled tweet specifically list Windows 12 as an officially supported operating system on the Meteor Lake platform, and Microsoft has recently started to babble about the transformative power of AI algorithms for both its Bing search engine and Windows as a whole.
Redmond is already bringing some of these AI capabilities in Windows 11 with the latest update, but Windows 12 could integrate more advanced features not just for search or the Taskbar. According to Yusuf Mehdi, head of consumer marketing at Microsoft, AI would play a more "natural role" within the Windows user experience. Windows boss Panos Panay also said that AI is going to "reinvent" everything people do with a Windows PC.
While we wait to see how Microsoft would like to reinvent the wheel, the latest market results aren't particularly positive for Windows 11 yet. The latest operating system from Redmond was released to manufacturing 20 months ago, but according to Statcounter, it still is way behind Windows 10 in market share.
The web analytic service tracks more than 1.5 million sites globally, collecting information about the browser and the OS used by visitors. In February 2023, the service said, Windows 10 market share jumped from 68.86% to 73.31%.
Meanwhile, Windows 11 grew by just 1% (from 18.12% to 19.13%). January was the last month of extended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, so users and system administrators were essentially forced to upgrade directly to Windows 10 if they wanted to keep using their aging PC hardware in a secure way. There is no direct route to upgrade to Windows 11, as the new OS has tighter hardware requirements.