During the Snapdragon X launch event in Hawai, Qualcomm dropped substantial hints suggesting the arrival of Windows 12 in 2024. Windows 12 is Microsoft’s long-rumoured next-gen OS with more focus on AI features like Copilot, Paint Cocreator, web apps, and Microsoft Edge.
- Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X Elite was tested on an unspecified “Windows OS”, leading to speculation about a new version of Windows, possibly Windows 12.
- Rumours suggest Windows 12 may arrive in the second half of 2024, focusing on ARM optimization and AI integration, possibly featuring an evolved Copilot.
- Windows 12 is expected to have a similar design to Windows 11 with potential new features like a “floating” taskbar and desktop widgets. A web-centric variant targeting the educational sector is also in development.
Qualcomm has partnered with Microsoft to rival Apple in the ARM race with Windows on Snapdragon-powered hardware. Apple Silicon “M” chips are famous for minimal power consumption while delivering power-packed performance in single and multi-core tasks.
Though announced earlier, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite has its market entry slated for mid-2024. In one of the CPU presentation slides, Qualcomm noted that the new ARM chip was tested on an unspecified “Windows OS”, differentiating it from the “Windows 11” used for Intel tests.
In the benchmarking process, Qualcomm said it tested the Snapdragon X Elite “Qualcomm reference design” laptop on “Windows OS.” In contrast, the Intel i7’s 1360P CPU (12 core) and i7-1355U (10 core) were tested on “Windows 11” using Samsung Galaxy Book3 models.
“CPU Performance is based on Geekbench v6.2 Multi-thread on Windows OS run in October 2023. Snapdragon X Elite was tested using a Qualcomm laptop reference design on Windows OS. The i7•1360P (12 core) and i7-1355U (10 core) were tested using a Samsung Galaxy Book3 360 13″ 2023 (NP730QFG) laptop and Samsung Galaxy Book3 15.6″ 2023 (NP750XFG) laptop, respectively on Windows 11,” the slide reads.
The difference in operating system naming during these tests was interesting and observed multiple times.
Qualcomm’s use of a generic “Windows OS” for their upcoming CPU, while the specific mention of Windows 11 for Intel, adds weight to the speculation about the arrival of a new version of Windows around the same time as Snapdragon X Elite.
As Windows Latest exclusively reported, Windows 12 could be optimized for “ARM chips” and debut in the second half of 2024. Additionally, Microsoft is believed to be working on a new “ChromeOS-like” variant of Windows 12 tailored for specific markets, such as low-end hardware for students.
Windows 12’s long-rumoured fall 2024 debut aligns with Qualcomm’s plan to launch the new Apple M2-killer Snapdragon X Elite PCs in mid-2024.
Intel has also confirmed Windows is getting a significant refresh in 2024.
Windows 12 could be a big deal for Qualcomm and Microsoft
Microsoft is betting big on AI with Windows 12.
One of the flagship features of the operating system could be a full-fledged “Copilot”. While Copilot is already shipping with the Windows 11 Moment 4 update, it could evolve into a more powerful AI Assistant on Windows 12 with deeper integration.
For example, you can expect AI features in Camera, Photos, Paint, Office apps and other places.
Speaking of design, Windows 12 won’t be dramatically different from Windows 11, but it could sport a new “floating” design for the taskbar.
Similarly, Microsoft may add widgets to the desktop, allowing users to pick the widgets from the widget board. The integration could be similar to “gadgets for Windows Vista”.
As mentioned at the outset, Microsoft is also working on a web-first variant of Windows 12 to challenge Chrome OS in the educational sector. The web-centric variant, which could be similar to Windows 11 in S Mode, won’t replace the familiar Windows desktop experience.
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