Microsoft believes that Windows on Arm can finally defeat Apple.

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Microsoft is getting ready to fully unveil its vision for “AI PCs” at an event in Seattle next month. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans say. the edge That Microsoft is confident that a round of new Arm-powered Windows laptops will beat Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air in both CPU performance and AI-accelerated tasks.

After years of failed promises from Qualcomm, Microsoft believes the upcoming Snapdragon X Elite processors will finally deliver the performance it’s been looking for to push Windows more aggressively on ARM. Microsoft is now betting big on Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X Elite processors, which will ship this year in a variety of Windows laptops and Microsoft’s latest consumer-focused Surface hardware.

Microsoft is so confident in these new Qualcomm chips that it’s planning a number of demos that will show how these processors will outpace the M3 MacBook Air for CPU tasks, AI acceleration, and even app emulation. . Microsoft claims, in internal documents seen by the edgethat these new Windows AI PCs will have “app emulation faster than Rosetta 2” — the application compatibility layer that Apple uses on its Apple Silicon Max to translate apps compiled for 64-bit Intel processors to Apple’s own processors. does.

App emulation has been a major problem for Windows on Arm over the past decade, but Microsoft provided x64 app emulation for Windows 11 more than two years ago. This helps ensure that apps can run on ARM devices on Windows when there is no native ARM64 version. Native Arm apps are key to better performance on upcoming Windows on Arm laptops, and Google recently released its ARM64 version of Chrome ready for these upcoming devices.

Microsoft has already announced the Intel-powered Surface Pro 10.
Image: Microsoft

I’m also told that Microsoft is planning to ship consumer models of its upcoming Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors instead of Intel’s Core Ultra chips. Microsoft has already announced business-focused versions of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 that ship with Intel Core Ultra processors, but the Arm models will be marketed to consumers.

Microsoft describes the devices running the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor internally as “next-generation AI Copilot PCs,” aiming to differentiate them from current PCs that use AMD’s latest chips or even Intel’s. Runs on Core Ultra processors. This new class of PCs will be the first to have access to new AI-powered Windows features, including an AI Explorer app that lets you “recap everything you’ve seen or done on your device.”

AI Explorer is designed to act as a timeline that you can call up on your computer. Windows Central AI Explorer first reported the details last month, and it looks like a timeline feature in Windows 10 that Microsoft eventually removed. While the timeline used to rely on app developers to operate, this time, AI Explorer uses the neural processing unit chip on the device to scan the timeline of events. It will work with any Windows apps, allowing users to recall what they were previously working on.

I’ve been told that Microsoft is trying to improve video streaming on handheld Windows devices with a new AI-powered feature that will ship to those “next-generation” AI PCs. These PCs will also include access to Windows Studio Effects for background blur and more, as well as the ability to create images with AI models for free and options for Copilot to access your computer’s context and Options to improve answers will be included.

Qualcomm is also confident in its new processors, most recently offering media opportunities with the Snapdragon X Elite chips. Qualcomm has shown benchmarks that beat Apple’s M2 processor in many areas and Intel’s latest Core Ultra 7 chips. Qualcomm also claims that most Windows games should “just work” on its upcoming Arm laptops, so we could eventually see some gaming laptops powered by Arm processors.

Microsoft’s big AIPC reveal will take place just a day before the company’s annual Build developers conference on May 20. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will talk about the company’s “AI vision in hardware and software,” setting the stage for its latest Windows on Arm push and investment in AI features for Windows 11. will do

Sources tell me that Microsoft’s vision includes the idea of ​​a “Copilot for everyone” slogan, which is intended to hearken back to Microsoft’s decades-old “PC in every home” vision for Windows. It’s a big push for AI in Windows within Microsoft, and I’m told the company expects 50 percent of new Windows devices to be running AI-capable chips by the end of 2026. Arm devices in June, just a month after Microsoft detailed its AI PC plans.

the edge AI will be covering Microsoft’s PCs event on May 20, so stay tuned for full coverage of the new Surface devices and Microsoft’s Build developers conference.

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