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Forward-looking: The next major version of Windows is nearing completion and is expected to usher in a new era of AI computing. According to a recent report from Chinese financial newspaper Commercial Times, Windows 12 will hit the scene next summer – June 2024, to be more precise. The launch window seems to be gleaned from statements by Quanta chairman Lin Baili and Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen and, who were in town for the Taiwan Medical Technology Exhibition on November 30.
The Quanta chairman noted the increase in generative AI spending in recent years, which exceeded $1.37 billion in 2022 – roughly equal to the total of the previous five years combined. He also said that once Windows 12 arrives, he expects AI PCs to launch one after another. Demand is tough to estimate, Baili conceded, but the executive believes it will be a good opportunity for the industry.
Chen, Acer's CEO, expressed similar sentiments, and doesn't seem convinced that AI PCs will explode overnight. Rather, it'll take time for consumer behavior to adapt to what they have to offer. Eventually, AI PCs are bound to lead to new usage models which will further drive demand.
A mid-2024 launch date for Windows 12 aligns with earlier rumblings on the subject.
Back in October, Intel CFO Dave Zinsner mentioned a "Windows Refresh" expected next year. He also said the chipmaker believes the refresh will make next year a good one for its client-side business.
An earlier rumor pointed to a fall 2024 introduction for Windows 12, with a full release slated for 2025. Talk at the time suggested the OS will have a heavy focus on AI, and that it could include separate "states" that live on different parts of your storage drive. The feature will reportedly make managing and updating the OS easier for Redmond and less of a chore for end users.
A floating taskbar, which was accidentally teased during Microsoft's 2023 Ignite conference, could also make it into the new OS.