Windows 11 might steal a popular macOS feature


From smart speakers to ChatGPT and Bing Chat, AI has slowly crept into our lives, but not all instances of AI are as prominent as those three examples. Sometimes, the effect is subtle, but still pretty nice. It appears that Microsoft is working on one such instance of AI-enhanced tech that could make using Windows 11 just a little more pleasant. We’re talking about AI-powered live wallpapers, and they might be coming soon.

First spotted by Windows Latest, Microsoft is readying an AI-powered desktop that could make the whole user experience feel a lot more interactive. The idea is to adjust depth perception and make some backgrounds appear more “alive” when moving your cursor or the entire device. The wallpaper might move or shift, depending on what you’re doing on the desktop.

There are also reports of Microsoft adding a “parallax effect” in an upcoming update. This creates the illusion of the wallpaper image moving slightly slower than the content that sits on top of it, once again adding depth and immersion.

AI-enhanced moving wallpapers sound like they’d work best with highly interactive devices, like tablets, but rumor has it that they will also work with mouse movement. It’s possible that a lot of images would work with this effect, so you may not be locked to a select few templates.

Microsoft, much like most of the other tech giants, has been betting on AI pretty heavily lately. The inclusion of Bing Chat in the Windows search function was one of the first major steps toward introducing AI to a wider user base. The idea of “live wallpapers” is quite cool, although it might struggle on older hardware, and it’s easy to imagine it would look a lot smoother if you’re using a solid laptop or desktop PC.

What’s the next step? Perhaps Microsoft could venture into something like the video screen savers we’ve seen in the macOS Sonoma update. This feature lets users pick one of Apple’s predesigned video screen savers. When the screen saver ends, it doesn’t end abruptly. Instead, it slowly pulls up to a stop and becomes a static image, which then becomes your Mac’s background. It’s possible this feature we’re hearing about functions in a similar way.

The news comes in close proximity to Microsoft’s September 21 event, where we expect to hear about the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the updated Surface Pro 10. We’ll also likely hear about updates to Windows Copilot, which could include these new wallpapers.

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