Microsoft does DLSS? Look out world, AI-powered upscaling feature for PC games has been spotted in Windows 11

Windows 11’s big update for this year could come with an operating system-wide upscaling feature for PC games in the same vein as Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR (or Intel XeSS).

The idea would be to get smoother frame rates by upscaling the game’s resolution. In other words, running at a lower resolution, and artificially ramping it up to a higher level of detail, but with a greater level of fluidity than running natively, all of which would be driven by AI.

The ‘Automatic Super Resolution’ option is currently hidden in test builds of Windows 11 (version 26052 to be precise). Leaker PhantomOfEarth enabled the feature and shared some screenshots of what it looks like in the Graphics panel in the Settings app.

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There’s a system-wide toggle for Microsoft’s own take on AI upscaling, and per-app settings if you wish to be a bit more judicious about how the tech is applied.

In theory, this will be ushered in with Windows 11 24H2 – which is now confirmed by Microsoft as the major update for its desktop OS this year. (There’ll be no Windows 12 in 2024, as older rumors had suggested was a possibility).

We don’t know that Automatic Super Resolution will be in 24H2 for sure, though, as it could be intended for a later release, or indeed it might be a concept that’s scrapped during the testing process.

A PC gamer looking happy

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Analysis: Microsoft’s angle

This is still in its very early stages, of course – and not even officially in testing yet – so there are a lot of questions about how it will work.

In theory, it should be a widely applicable upscaling feature for games that leverages the power of AI, either via a Neural Processing Unit – the NPUs now included in Intel’s new Meteor Lake CPUs, or AMD’s Ryzen 8000 silicon – or the GPU itself (employing Nvidia’s Tensor cores, for example, which are used to drive its own DLSS).

As noted, though, we can’t be sure exactly how this will be applied, though it’s certainly a game-targeted feature – the text accompanying it tells us that much – likely to be used for older PC games, or those not supported by Nvidia DLSS, AMD FSR, or Intel XeSS for that matter.

We don’t expect Microsoft will try and butt heads with Nvidia in terms of attempting to outdo Team Green’s own upscaling, but rather supply a more broadly supported alternative, one which won’t be as good. The trade-off is that wider level of support, much as already seen with AMD’s Radeon Super Resolution (RSR), which is, in all likelihood, what this Windows 11 feature will resemble the most.

Outside of gaming, Automatic Super Resolution may also be applicable to videos, and perhaps other apps – video chatting, maybe, at a guess – to provide some AI supercharging for the provided footage.

Again, there are already features from Nvidia and AMD (the latter is still incoming) that do video upscaling, but again Microsoft would offer broader coverage (as the name suggests, Nvidia’s RTX Video Super Resolution is only supported by RTX graphics cards, so other GPUs are left out in the cold).

We expect Automatic Super Resolution is something Microsoft will certainly be looking to implement, more likely than not, to complement other OS-wide technologies for PC gamers. That includes Auto HDR, which brings HDR (or an approximation of it) to SDR games. (And funnily enough, it looks like Nvidia is working on its own take on that ability, building on RTX Video HDR which is already here for video playback).

As you may have noticed at this point, there are a lot of this kind of performance-enhancing technologies around these days, which is telling in itself. Perhaps part of Microsoft’s angle is a simple system-level switch that confused users can just turn on for upscaling trickery across the board, and ‘it just works’ to quote another famous tech giant.

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Windows 11 24H2 reference spotted – does this mean no Windows 12 next year?

While the rumor mill has been putting some stock in the idea that the next version of Microsoft’s operating system will be called Windows 12, and it’s expected to turn up next year, a little doubt has now sprung up around this.

Regular leaker @XenoPanther on X (formerly Twitter) was digging around in Windows (policy definitions, pretty dry stuff) and stumbled upon a reference to ‘Windows 11 24H2.’

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As the leaker notes, this could be a typo, as the references seem to skip from Windows 11 22H2 to 24H2, so maybe this is supposed to read 23H2?

If it is correct, though, it’s an early indication that the next version of Microsoft’s OS will be the 24H2 update for Windows 11 – rather than Windows 12 as rumored.

In other words, Windows 12 may not be coming next year, or at least that’s the conclusion some folks are rapidly drawing on social media thanks to this leak.

Analysis: Possible placeholder?

Putting the possibility that this is a mistake to one side – which it certainly could be – jumping to conclusions really is premature here. Even if it isn’t an error, a mere mention of Windows 11 24H2 could be a placeholder name for next year’s release, of course.

It is, however, at least a suggestion that Microsoft might not be going for a whole new version of Windows for next year after all.

That said, we’re not convinced of that by any means, as there have been quite strong signs that a next-gen Windows should be inbound in 2024. That includes most recently Taiwan’s The Commercial Times reporting on a new generation of Windows popping up in June of next year, and a bit further back, we witnessed an Intel exec talking about next-gen Windows for 2024.

Note carefully, though, that no one actually mentions Windows 12 as the name – instead, less specific terms like 'next-gen Windows' are employed.

It’s likely even Microsoft itself hasn’t decided on the final name yet, and so calling the next version Windows 11 24H2 could be a placeholder for next-gen Windows – which might end up being named Windows 12 – as much as it is a possible sign that Windows 11 will stick around for another year and another annual update.

We’ve previously bet on a future version of Windows being renamed due to its strong focus on AI (Windows Copilot, perhaps, even though Microsoft already used that name, or Windows AI even?). Whenever AI hits big-time for the OS, Microsoft will rename it accordingly to reflect that, we reckon – although in fairness, from the speed of Copilot development so far, that probably won’t be next year.

Via Windows Latest

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Microsoft’s Bing AI chatbot spotted in Safari and Chrome with new features

Microsoft’s Bing AI is about to appear in all major web browsers according to a new report.

This comes from Windows Latest, which tells us that according to sources, the Bing chatbot will no longer be exclusive to Edge, but will be available in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox – all the main browsers – at some point this week (in a few days apparently).

Take that with a pinch of seasoning, naturally, but we already heard from Mikhail Parakhin, Microsoft’s head of Advertising and Web Services, last week, who informed us that “hopefully” the first experiments in enabling third-party browsers would be happening soon.

So, it seems that hope is now a reality, or is about to become one, with Windows Latest further reporting that Microsoft actually tested Bing AI in Apple’s Safari browser over the past weekend.

If you blinked, you’d have missed this, though, as the test was a brief one.

Windows Latest also received an email through, apparently sent to some Bing AI mobile users, which mentions new features inbound for the AI. That includes the idea of “characters with personalities in Bing AI”, meaning a more in-depth choice than the simple creative, precise, or balanced personalities that currently grace the chatbot.

Microsoft is also planning to lift some restrictions, we’re told, so that could mean longer chat sessions with Bing AI are on the way, perhaps.

Analysis: Sarcastic mode? Oh yes, that’s real likely, we’re sure…

Windows Latest actually got to use Bing AI in the Safari test, and reports that it’s much the same experience as using the chatbot in Microsoft’s Edge browser. That’s pretty much what we’d expect, of course – there’s no reason it would be meaningfully different.

As we’ve discussed previously, it makes more sense for Microsoft to focus on driving usage of the Bing chatbot, than it does to use the bot as a lure to get people to switch to the Edge browser.

Yes, Edge is doubtless very important to Microsoft, but having its AI outgun Google’s Bard is surely a far more important consideration. And so having Bing AI in all the big browsers will help to that end, though we weren’t expecting this to happen quite as soon as this week. That would clearly indicate this is a real priority for Microsoft.

As for the idea of more varied personalities, this was something hinted at before in the very early days of Bing AI. Windows Latest points to leaked personalities that include ‘friendly’ and ‘sarcastic’ modes, though in the latter case, we’re skeptical as to whether this might be in the works.

Granted, sarcastic mode would be entertaining, certainly. But when folks have tried to get entertainment out of Bing AI in the past, pushing its buttons and boundaries, Microsoft has done its best to limit the chatbot’s more off-the-wall responses, and we’re not sure we see that changing anytime soon.

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