After Bing, Microsoft wants to bring AI to Windows 11

Windows 11 is set to be enhanced with AI tech in the next few years, and one area of the interface is due for a revamp with artificial intelligence soon enough, perhaps, if a new report is on the money.

That would be snap layouts, and the overall snap assist experience in Windows 11, or so Zac Bowden of Windows Central – a prolific Microsoft leaker – believes.

A smart snapping experience is going to be ushered in, according to anonymous sources, that will sport capabilities such as remembering set groups of snapped apps, so those commonly-used groups can be brought back up with a single click. Nifty.

Furthermore, it seems like Microsoft is mulling the idea of populating snap suggestions in the snap flyout – suggested apps positioned in various different snap configurations, with optical character recognition (OCR) tech incorporated here.

That OCR will allow users to more easily find the apps they need in the snap suggestions view. You’ll be able to find an app you wish to snap in by searching for a word (or image) that you remember spotting in, say, an application or web page (even if that word isn’t in the title of the page).

Another feature that’s currently being tested internally is the idea of dynamically switching apps to give the larger slice of screen real-estate to the one currently being used.

Say you have two apps running, one of which commands 60% of the screen, and the other has 40%, and you change to use the latter – Windows 11 will then give that 60% of the display, effectively switching the apps about intelligently depending on what you’re actually using.

Analysis: AI-powered snapping could be here soon enough

All of these features would considerably bolster the utility and overall user-friendliness of snap layouts. Funnily enough, the most recent Windows 11 preview build comes with a change to show the icon of the active app in the snap flyout, and a tweak to ensure that flyout is quicker to appear when the Restore button is moused over.

It seems Microsoft has major plans to bring snap layouts more to the forefront in multi-tasking within Windows, and as we noted in our previous article, a reference to snap suggestions (as mentioned above) has already been spotted in the new preview build of Windows 11 (hidden away in the background, mind).

This would suggest that the cogs are already whirring regarding adding the above outlined AI improvements to snapping in Windows 11, so we might see things happening in preview versions sooner rather than later.

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