Microsoft all but confirms its AI PC and Windows 11 on Arm plans with Build 2024 schedule

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 in photos
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Build conference runs from May 21-23, 2024 and is expected to focus heavily on AI PCs and Windows 11 on Arm.
  • Session titles and descriptions give us a glimpse of what Microsoft plans to announce during the event.
  • A "brand new Windows AI feature" is expected to be announced during Build 2024, which is most likely the recently reported on AI Explorer.

Microsoft Build 2024 is just around the corner. During the event, we should hear more about Microsoft's plans for AI PCs, Copilot, and Windows on Arm. We now have titles and descriptions for sessions at Build. While Microsoft doesn't share all of the details about what it will announce during these sessions, the pages provide a good idea of what the company will focus on.

One session titled "Introducing the Next Generation of Windows on Arm" will discuss Arm-powered computing, leveraging NPUs (neural processing units), and new experiences coming to Arm-powered PCs.

Build 2024 runs from May 21-23, which lines up perfectly with the special Windows and Surface event set to occur on May 20. Unsurprisingly given the current trend in computing, Build 2024 will focus heavily on AI PCs. Copilot is expected to be a key focus at the event. Microsoft may also detail Windows 11 version 24H2 and announce new AI features during Build.

In fact, we now have confirmation from Microsoft that the tech giant will announce a "brand new Windows AI feature." The company says as much in the title and description of a session during Build.

"Today, we're showcasing brand-new features that allow users deeper interaction with their digital lives on Windows through advance AI features," says Microsoft. "Come discover how your apps can integrate with these experiences and increase user engagement and satisfaction." While Microsoft does not mention the new feature by name, we have a good guess of what to expect.

AI Explorer

Surface Pro 9

The next Surface Pro will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite and include features such as AI Explorer. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The "brand new Windows AI feature" described on the Build website appears to refer to AI Explorer. Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden reported on AI Explorer alongside revealing details on the upcoming Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. AI Explorer is an "advanced Copilot" designed to differentiate AI PCs from non-AI PCs.

The new AI feature provides history/timeline that allows you to search for any moment from your computer using natural language. Rather than scrolling through a manual timeline hoping to find an instance of your workflow, you can type entries referring to specific moments.

"For example, you could type, "Find me that list of restaurants Jenna said she liked," and Windows can bring up the exact conversation you were having when Jenna mentioned those restaurants," explained Bowden. "Even vague prompts should work, like "Find me that thing about dinosaurs," Windows will pull up every word, phrase, image, and related topic about dinosaurs that you've previously opened on your computer."

AI explorer will understand searches contextually, so it will suggest tasks based on what's on your screen. New AI features, including AI Explorer, are expected to ship with the Windows 11 version 24H2 update this fall. Build 2024 should give us a closer look at AI Explorer and other features coming to AI PCs.

Windows on Arm

Snapdragon X Elite logo

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite has promising benchmarks and could revolutionizes Arm-powered computing on Windows. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite processor will start shipping in PCs later this year. The Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will reportedly run on the new Arm CPUs, as will a wide range of devices from other manufacturers. Windows on Arm is a major focus of Microsoft this year. Windows 11 version 24H2 will ship first on new Arm PCs before making its way to other devices.

The combined efforts of Microsoft and Qualcomm could make 2024 the year for Windows 11 on Arm. After ages of sluggish Arm-powered PCs and emulated apps both of which got better over time Windows 11 on Arm is expected to take a massive leap this year. Snapdragon X Elite benchmarks show that the chips should compete with Apple silicon. Windows 11 is also being prepped to take advantage of the upcoming Qualcomm CPUs.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at