Windows 11 will soon get a lot more AI, as Microsoft outlines plans to help developers supercharge third-party apps

Using Paint in Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

Windows 11 is going to get more AI abilities – which is a given, especially considering Microsoft’s big push behind Copilot+ PCs, aka AI PCs – and we can expect more of this in the future, not just with the OS and its default apps.

While Microsoft will of course be introducing new features that use AI for Windows 11 and its own stock apps, the firm is also encouraging developers of third-party apps to do the same.

Windows Latest spotted a new support FAQ that Microsoft has published which offers up a primer on AI and how it can be usefully incorporated in a third-party application for Windows 11 to all kinds of ends.

That includes discussing running AI tasks locally (on-device, using a powerful NPU to accelerate them, as seen in the mentioned Copilot+ PCs – and with the retracted Recall feature for Windows 11) or in the cloud (sending tasks to be remotely processed).

The document then goes on to dive into depth on some more technical details like what AI models a developer might want to use, or preferred coding languages in terms of bringing in AI to a Windows 11 app.

Analysis: The future is AI, of course

Obviously these details aren’t something that the average consumer will want to know – although some of the FAQ is surprisingly basic, and comprehensible to anyone, going as far as introducing an NPU even – but the point here is that Microsoft is putting in place considerable efforts to help third-party devs use AI in their apps.

We’ve seen evidence of this before, and while the main thrust of development for Copilot+ PCs and Windows 11 has been new features for the desktop OS, and supercharging Microsoft’s own apps with AI, we can expect a lot more of this across a broad swathe of third-party software before too long.

This is the key point really – we’ll have a lot more AI features everywhere across Windows 11 at this point next year. What will be interesting to see is how many of these capabilities will require an NPU for acceleration, and thus how much that’ll push Copilot+ PCs – or upgrades for desktop PCs to processors that have a powerful NPU (such as Intel Arrow Lake, rumor has it). Interesting times ahead, as they say.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).