February 26, 2024

The rise of AI PCs: How 2024 will redefine the personal computing landscape

Mark Murphy
HPi National BDM, Data#3

Hi, I’m Mark Murphy, the HP Inc National BDM at Data#3. For many years I’ve been involved in the technical and business strategy side of the PC industry. Helping customers navigate digital transformation is a key aspect of my role.

2024 is shaping up to be a significant year for the personal computer, with the Windows 11 transition, the introduction of AI-enabled PCs with Intel’s new 14th generation Core Ultra processor, and further initiatives for Copilot from Microsoft; reaffirming that the PC industry is doubling down on AI.

The transition to Windows 11 and Windows 10 end of support.

Back in April 2023, Microsoft confirmed that free support for Windows 10 will end in October 2025. After this date, regular updates and security patches will cease, exposing unprotected customers to serious risk. Concerns about security should be a primary consideration for customers transitioning to Windows 11.

Analysts report that the migration to Windows 11 has been slower than previous major transitions, despite advanced notice from Microsoft and requirements being widely published. As Windows 11 has stricter hardware requirements than previous transitions, estimates suggest only two thirds of devices in organisations will be able to run Windows 11, with Market intelligence organisation Canalysis projecting over 240 million PCs worldwide are technically incompatible with Windows 11 – effectively obsolete.

Data#3 has successfully guided hundreds of organisations along their Windows 11 transition through its comprehensive readiness assessment program. This program, available at no cost for eligible organisations, includes a thorough technical evaluation and pilot deployment to minimise risk and ensure a seamless upgrade experience.

The Copilot Key – effortlessly engage with Copilot in Windows.

At CES 2024, Microsoft announced a dedicated Copilot key would appear on devices for one-touch activation of Windows Copilot. Strategically positioned next to the right Alt key, the Copilot key allows instant access to Microsoft’s AI-powered productivity feature. It epitomises an industry push for seamless AI integration into familiar digital environments.

The AI PC – computers just got smarter. A lot smarter.

AI integration at the hardware level will revolutionise PCs, vastly expanding their capabilities. These AI-enhanced PCs are pivotal for organisations’ digital transformation strategies, driving innovation and competitive advantage.

The AI PC is a new design of computer with additional specific components running powerful AI-accelerated software, delivering greater performance and device quality. Without these components, typically called Neural Processing Unit (NPU), the AI workloads may run slowly or, in many cases, not run at all.

The distinction between AI software and standard software on your device today lies in how each type of application processes the work you ask it to do. Unlike standard applications that operate as static tools requiring user expertise, AI software equipped with NPUs will harness the ability to learn from data, make decisions, and execute complex tasks autonomously.

The local, on-device integration of AI capabilities with the NPUs enables the software to process information and perform tasks directly on your computer; much like a skilled assistant who learns to anticipate your needs. This local AI processing power not only allows for real-time automation of intricate tasks, but also ensures a highly personalised computing experience.

The convergence of AI software and NPU technology is set to redefine the performance and utility of personal computers – making them not just tools, but intelligent partners in the workplace. With the growth of the AI PC, these AI capabilities operate natively in more applications as smart, self-executing features. Word processors, spreadsheets, presentation tools, and email clients can all leverage embedded AI to automate rote tasks, and adapt to individual user preferences and workflows over time. This new paradigm transitions software from passive tools to intelligent, personalised aides augmenting human capabilities.

It may be easier to look at the utilisation of AI software as a series of layers:

The AI PC is transforming computers into intelligent collaborators, actively enhancing our capabilities in many ways. These advancements are key to saving time, unlocking creative potential, enhancing security, improving governance, and maximising the value of technology. Very soon, the absence of AI assistance may be seen as a deficiency across nearly all categories of desktop applications. AI is rapidly becoming an indispensable ingredient that enhances application usability from the inside out.

The Processor units – the smarts behind your computer.

Underlying this complex stack requires dedicated and specific hardware. There are three core processor units that make up the AI PC.

The central processor unit (CPU) is probably the most familiar component. It executes general computing tasks and orchestrates the overall operation of the computer. The graphics processer unit (GPU) accelerates graphics rendering and parallel processing for complex calculations. The neural processing unit (NPU) is specialised for artificial intelligence tasks, efficiently handling data-intensive machine learning algorithms – it is the specific inclusion of NPUs that identifies a device as an AI PC.

This division of labour allows for optimal performance and efficiency, as each processor is tailored to work on tasks best suited to its architecture – leading to faster processing, a smoother user experience, and optimised power usage enhancing a device’s battery life.


The introduction of the AI PC into the workplace marks a significant shift, promising substantial improvements in how we work by augmenting our capabilities. The AI PC is set to vastly magnify these improvements, and should be considered integral to every organisation’s strategy for digital transformation.

Interested to find out if you’re eligible for a free Windows 11 Readiness Assessment, and to be first in line for demonstration of new AI PC devices as they become available? Contact us today to find out more.