Reports about Microsoft working on “the next generation of Windows” behind closed doors have been floating for a while, with some reports speculating the release as early as 2024.

Windows 12 May Launch In Second Half Of 2024 With AI Features

Now, Windows Central reports that the Redmond giant reportedly plans to launch a forthcoming version of Windows, codenamed “Hudson Valley” (likely to be called Windows 12 later for marketing).

Hudson Valley is expected to ship on a new platform called Germanium, which will be released in the second half of 2024. However, OEMs are expected to begin shipping new Arm hardware with Germanium preloaded as early as June 2024.

Currently, the early version of the Hudson Valley is in the testing phase inside the Windows Insider Canary Channel, with the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version exclusive for retailers expected for release in April 2024.

Hudson Valley primarily focuses on enriching user experience through Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven features such as AI-powered Windows Shell, enhanced with an “advanced Copilot” that will run constantly in the background, improving search and workflow optimization and other developments.

This AI will be deeply integrated across the operating system, requiring a new, more powerful hardware called NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for optimal performance. However, this change could make older computers incompatible with some AI-focused features due to increased use of resources like processor, RAM, GPU, etc.

There will also be a new history/timeline feature that will allow users to “scroll back in time through all the apps and websites that Copilot has remembered”, the report adds.

Other AI features include Super Resolution, an AI feature that will use NPU hardware to improve the quality of videos and games, an enhanced version of Live Captions that supports real-time translations of some languages, and AI-powered wallpapers with parallax effects and interaction capabilities.

Additionally, there will be a dedicated “creator” area added to the Start menu and File Explorer, aimed at the creators, allowing them to create “things” in one place. This will essentially work as a quick launcher for Microsoft 365.

Currently, it’s unclear whether Hudson Valley is a major Windows 11 upgrade or a new Windows 12 OS. These are just speculations, and we may have to wait for a final official word from Microsoft. Stay tuned!


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