Windows 12, AI, & ChinaWindows 12 has been in the news lately.

Specifically, rumors are swirling that not only will there be a Windows 12, but it will be “AI-powered”.

Of course, this requires support preferably from Intel’s next 14th-gen processors as well as from AMD’s equivalent offerings.

That means Windows 12 will probably have even tighter hardware requirements than Windows 11, sadly…

But hang on, does anyone even use Windows anymore?!

It’s a mobile world

To start, it’s interesting to take a look at worldwide operating system usage and how it’s changed in the past year. So, from StatCounter:

StatCounter Worldwide OS usage, Feb 2022 - Feb 2023

Click to enlarge

Unfortunately, their embed code doesn’t work here, and their PNG chart download is also broken. SIGH… But no worries! Here’s the important data:

  • Android: 40.82 -> 43.88%
  • Windows: 31.54 -> 27.71%
  • iOS: 17.14 -> 17.13%
  • OS X: 6.55 -> 6.27%
  • Linux: 0.92 -> 1.14%
  • Other: (teeny-tiny)

What the chart shows is that over the past year, global Android OS usage has gone up by 3% to 43%. Linux usage also crept up slightly. At the same time,Windows usage dropped by 4%, iOS usage dropped by 0.01%, and OS X usage dropped by 0.28%.

What this says to me is that people are ditching their Windows PCs and just using their (mostly Android) smartphones. This theory is corroborated by web stats for various sites I happen to run: In the past few years, mobile has blown past the 50% mark. Now, the majority of users are browsing web sites on phones (and sometimes tablets) – not PCs.

So what?

Well, you’ve got a point there: Who really cares? Well, a few people…

First, Microsoft should care. Sticking some AI in Windows 12 isn’t gonna do it. They already tried Windows Phone and Windows 8 With Tiles, both of which were an attempt to grab some of the mobile market… and both of which were epic failures.

Second, people like web designers should care. When’s the last time you designed and programmed a web site on a smartphone? Never? Well, that’s because you’re sane. Nobody would do such a thing on a smartphone because it’s just impractical.

But therein lies the rub: For real, practical work, PCs are still needed. Yet their popularity is decreasing steadily. As that popularity decreases, the time, energy, thought, and care put into upgrades and new OS versions also decreases accordingly. That means more crashes, more crap Windows updates, and generally more mayhem.

AI to the rescue!

So now we’ve got Windows 12 coming. Of all Windows users, 73% are still on Windows 10. Only 19% are using Windows 11. Naturally, a big reason for that is Windows 11’s increased hardware restrictions.

And now, Windows 12 is going to be packed with AI – which will most likely require latest-generation processors. Will that be a requirement to run the OS? Probably not. But given how Microsoft has done things lately, I’m not holding my breath.

In other words, several years ago everybody bet the farm on Mobile. It didn’t turn out the way anyone predicted.

Today, everyone’s betting the farm on AI – and I’m guessing that won’t be like anyone expects, either.

Or how about this: “Don’t worry! Just ask ChatGPT to design your OS or web site for you!”

Yeah, I’m sure that’ll work out just fine… 🙈

The times, they are a-changin’!

It’s difficult to predict what anything will look like a few years down the road. This is especially difficult given China’s meteoric rise in the tech industry.

Contrary to popular belief, China’s tech sector is utterly dominating cutting-edge research. As I mentioned in an earlier video, the majority of AI research papers are published by – you guessed it – Chinese researchers.

If AI is the future, then the collective West is… what? Racing to beat China?? That’s already an epic fail if the numbers are any indication. Just look at the Chinese auto industry. They’re ‘out-capitalism-ing’ the West, for crying out loud!

Sanction all you want, but the country that does the most research, the best research, and that also happens to be THE manufacturing powerhouse in the tech industry… Well, if I were a betting man, I would NOT bet against China right now.

Besides, everything has been Made in China for decades now. What difference does it make to me, the end user, if that stuff is also designed in China?

Am I supposed to be worried that the CCP is gonna spy on me? Why on earth would that concern me more than if Google – in cahoots with the alphabet soup agencies of my own country – is already spying on me?

Some unity might be nice…

What they don’t tell you in Western media is that this is the same China that built 10,000 km of roads a year since 2011, and they now have the world’s longest highway system.

This is the China that also has around 40,000 kilometers of high-speed railway, and half of it was built up in just 5 years. They throw together entire hospitals in a matter of DAYS.

The tech area is no different: processor lithography? China is advancing faster than the USA can blink (or sanction). You simply don’t know this because you’re not being told.

In other words, say what you will about China and her politics, but the fact is a united China gets more done – and better and faster – than the divided Western nations most of us inhabit.

While we’re busy poopooing each other over who we voted for or our vax status, those countries are rapidly surpassing us in many areas. That’s a fact. Ignore it at your peril.

So what happens next?

Who the heck knows.

One thing is clear: The future ain’t Windows. I don’t think the Next Big Thing will even come from the West… It will come from the East.

Unless we shape up and quit bickering, we will permanently lose all of our technological edge. In many areas, it’s already lost.

But in any case, it sure is gonna be interesting to watch!!

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