Microsoft launches Windows 11 24H2 for Copilot+ PCs, creating a confused multi-tier system of Windows users

Copilot key

With the official launch of Copilot+ PCs, Microsoft has also unleashed Windows 11 24H2. This most recent update to Windows 11 has been a long time in the works, and there have been numerous preview builds available.

What is interesting is the way in which this launch is taking place. Copilot+ PC are now available with Windows 11 24H2 pre-installed, and it is also available to Insiders. The fact that systems have this version of the operating system installed means that development is complete (well, as complete as such work ever is), but the launch is dividing the Windows userbase into haves and have-nots -- in more ways than one.

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The launch of Windows 11 24H2 has already been marred by Microsoft's (probably wise) decision to delay the release of the Recall feature because of privacy and security concerns. But the launch is problematic and somewhat controversial for other reasons.

In the release notes for Windows 11 24H2, Microsoft points out:

Windows 11, version 24H2 is targeting Copilot+ PCs devices and devices that were previously using Windows Insider 24H2 builds.

In reality, a very larger proportion of the new features and updates to be found in Windows 11 24H2 can only be used by those with a Copilot+ PC because of the need for special hardware. Given that Copilot+ PCs have only just been released, the number of people who can take advantage of what the latest OS update has to offer is small. Absolutely tiny.

 Despite the fact that Windows 11 has been available for the best part of three years, it has proved nowhere near as popular as Microsoft must have hoped. The creakingly old Windows 10 remains significantly more popular, with users seeing little reason to make the jump to Windows 11.

This has effectively split the Windows userbase in two; those willing to move to Windows 11, and those hanging doggedly on to Windows 10, closing their eyes and ears to the looming end of support. Now with the weird, staggered launch of Windows 11 24H2, Microsoft risks dividing the Windows 11 userbase into two camps as well. Those who can afford to invest in a new Copilot+ PC will gain access to all of the AI-powered features it has to offer. But then there are plenty of people who do not have the means to buy a new PC, or simply want to avoid Microsoft's AI riddled OS update.

The number of different types of user Microsoft now has to cater for is expanding -- Windows 10, "standard" Windows 11, AI-powered / Copilot+ PC Windows 11 users, and that's before we even consider business and enterprise users, and those who have not even been tempted to move from Windows 7 or 8 to 10.

Things are getting messy, and if Microsoft isn't careful, it could collapse into unmanageability.

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