Microsoft BUILD sessions hint at Windows 11 AI and ARM developer focus

Microsoft is refocusing on consumer Windows experiences at its developer conference

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BUILD 2024 Satya Nadella

Microsoft has unofficially and officially hinted at its big Windows 11 artificial intelligence push scheduled for later this year, and now session lists from their upcoming developer conference further buttress the company’s focus on AI and Windows on ARM (WoA) development for 2024.

The Verge reported that Microsoft plans to hold a special Surface and AI event a day before the company hosts its annual BUILD developer conference. The event is rumored to highlight Microsoft and Qualcomm’s partnership on ARM powered Surface devices and highlight several demos aimed directly at competing with Apple’s M3-Series CPUs. In addition to persuading developers that WoA this year is worth considering, Microsoft will also be unveiling a “big new Windows AI” feature during this special Surface and AI event.

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has minimized its focus specifically on Windows development during its BUILD conference in favor of pushing other company objectives such as Azure, Quantum Computing and Security.

However, this year seems to be a bit of a return to Windows being a larger priority for the company as it schedules a special event prior to its developer conference while also hosting several sessions that emphasize specific Windows 11 and WoA development.

The BUILD developer sessions list was revealed earlier today and includes Designing for a brand-new Windows AI feature hosted by Rebecca Del Rio and Adrienne Pauley who are both product managers at Microsoft. Another session labeled Build richer experiences with Copilot in Windows hosted by product manager Ryan Forstie also hints at the company courting developers to expanded Windows 11 functionality because of its most recent AI push.

Perhaps the most standout session highlighting Microsoft’s confident venture into Windows on ARM once again might be the Introducing the Next Generation of Windows on Arm which is described as,

The Windows on Arm platform is bringing industry leading performance and experiences to applications. Learn about the exciting new experiences for Arm-powered Windows this year, such as intelligent Windows apps that leverage rich capabilities of the NPU. Get the inside scoop on what Microsoft and our partners have been doing for developers with runtimes, tooling, and infrastructure for Arm. Leave this session feeling inspired, with a newfound vision for the platform’s potential.

BUILD 2024 Session Catalog

With BUILD 2024 a little over a month away, it’s already been teased that Microsoft plans to introduce a new AI-infused experience simply called AI Explorer that will be coming to Windows 11 devices later this year as part of that continued push of machine learning and pre-generative AI packaging for the OS.

AI Explorer is rumored to work like a timeline of local events that can be recalled on a PC, giving users a robust search of almost any and every activity that occurs on a device.

Microsoft is also rumored to only be displaying Windows on ARM powered Surface devices during its May Surface hardware event, which hints at a first-ever divided in its Surface line up that delineates between Intel-powered commercial devices and soon-to-be ARM-powered consumer PCs.

It’s been a while since Microsoft has taken such big bets with its Surface devices as well as with Windows development. It’ll be interesting to see how these investments pay out for the company as well as consumers in the Fall.

More about the topics: Windows 11