Windows 24H2 may come to Snapdragon X Elite laptops first, but missing some key AI features

Windows 11 on a laptop
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Beata Zawrzel)

Earlier this year, Microsoft teased that "AI [would] be seamlessly woven into Windows from the system, to the silicon, to the hardware" and plainly stated that 2024 would be "the year of the AI PC." According to Windows Central via industry sources, AI PCs are indeed on the way from all major OEMs this year, but Snapdragon X Elite laptops may be the first AI PCs, receiving the AI-heavy Windows 11 24H2 update a few months before others.

Unlike the initial Windows 11 launch, the 24H2 update will roll out in two waves. The first wave will launch only on Snapdragon X Series Arm-based hardware in June, missing a few next-gen AI features, while the second wave will roll out fully-featured in September for all compatible PCs.

These Arm-based laptops with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Series chips require Windows 11 24H2 to function properly, which is the only reason they're receiving the OS version early and reportedly releasing in the summer, before Microsoft has a chance to deck out 24H2 with all the new, next-gen AI experiences.

Next-gen AI experiences planned for Windows 11 24H2

The biggest AI feature for Windows 11 24H2 is internally known as "AI Explorer," and it'll make finding things on your computer immensely easier. Using natural, conversational language, you can ask AI Explorer to search through your recent apps, webpages, documents, photos, videos, and more to find what you're looking for. For example, you could ask AI Explorer to "find that cauliflower soup recipe I looked at the other day."

AI Explorer will also be able to analyze what's currently on your screen, like an open webpage or photo, and offer helpful suggestions, like removing an image's background. Privacy-conscious users will be happy to know that according to Windows Central's industry sources, AI Explorer doesn't send data to the cloud, and is instead stored locally on-device.

Microsoft Surface device

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft reportedly has plans to update live captions with the ability to translate different languages in real time, also on-device and not via the cloud. Many generative AI features that are available right now in the current version of Windows 11 — like AI image generation in Paint and Copilot for Windows — will ditch their cloud dependency in favor of on-device AI for laptops with supported NPUs.

Windows Central reports that Microsoft might also add text generation features to new apps, like Notepad and Phone Link SMS. This feature will function just like it does right now in Word and Outlook.

Although laptops equipped with a Snapdragon X Elite SoC won't be able to fully harness the AI capabilities of Windows 11 24H2 until the second wave, we're not sure yet which AI features they'll be lacking. It's possible they might have all of the AI experiences mentioned above, with only a few limitations or bugs, or they could be lacking whole features entirely until the second-wave update rolls out.

Regardless, these Arm-based laptops are expected to be the most efficienct Windows laptops we've seen to date, with the most powerful NPU on the market right now. Stay tuned for more updates after Microsoft's May 20 event.

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