In Qualcomm’s latest earnings call, CEO Cristiano Amon said the firm was aiming to launch its Snapdragon X Elite CPU alongside the “next version” of Windows, which the CEO expects to arrive in the middle of the year (via Beta News). While this aligns with previous rumors that suggested a June launch date, Amon came short of explicitly naming Windows 12, and the timeline for a mid-2024 launch may not make sense anymore.
The launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and the “next version of Windows” has everything to do with AI, which it will certainly be a major focus for both. Windows 12 is expected to integrate AI-specific features and utilize AI hardware (as do the Meteor Lake and Hawk Point processors), ushering in the era of the AI PC. With rumors already pointing in the direction of a mid-2024 release date, it seems Windows 12 is almost upon us.
Considering it’s now February, and Microsoft hasn’t said a word about Windows 12, a mid-2024 release would imply an announcement must be almost around the corner. With Windows 11, we received an announcement five months before launch, and Windows 10 got its announcement nearly a full year before it came out. Additionally, Microsoft has reportedly moved to a three-year cadence for new Windows versions, and since Windows 11 came out in October of 2021, we should expect Windows 12 late in the year, or even as far out as 2025.
But this is the CEO of Qualcomm; Amon is very unlikely to be misinformed. Though he said “version,” Amon may be talking about the rumored 24H2 update to Windows 11, which is also expected to deliver many AI updates. Rumors about Windows 12 and the 24H2 update may even refer to the very same software; Zac Bowden of Windows Central reports that this update has been referred to Windows 12 but believes it’s likely it will actually turn out as the 24H2 update.
There’s also a third option, that the Qualcomm CEO is talking about a Windows update or version exclusive to Arm chips. The Snapdragon Elite X, after all, isn’t just a CPU with AI hardware but a CPU built on the Arm architecture. Since Windows on Arm still isn’t quite up to par with regular Windows when it comes to software support, perhaps Microsoft is planning for a big update for its Arm-based OS.
Though Qualcomm’s CEO certainly confirms that Microsoft is planning on some sort of major AI-focused Windows release, it’s far from clear what that will actually be. Whatever it is, we should expect an announcement shortly given that the due date is fast approaching.