Microsoft is planning to use artificial intelligence to fight Windows malware. Using a wealth of data from its cloud-based services, the company will create a smart antivirus feature that will make Windows Defender Advanced Threat Detection even better at preventing malicious attacks.

It's part of a number of big security improvements coming in Microsoft's next major update to Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update. It will allow ATP to instantly identify previously unknown malware on a PC, then quickly quarantine it and create a "signature" of its identity. This will then be used to protect other computers from the same strain of attack.

"The stack will be powered by our cloud-based security intelligence, which moves us from a world of isolated defenses to a smart, interconnected, and coordinated defense grid that is more intelligent, simple to manage, and ever-evolving," Microsoft explains in a post on its blog.

Right now, it takes researchers hours to identify and block new malware. In that time, it's likely it will have already carried out its attack and made its way to more machines. By giving AI the power to act instantly, Microsoft could greatly reduce the number of Windows 10 computers infected by viruses.

It could even put an end to widespread attacks like the WannaCry disaster, which saw more than 200,000 computers worldwide hit by malware that brought hospitals, businesses, factories, and more to a standstill.

Initially, the new ATP will only be available to enterprise users. However, Windows enterprise director Rob Lefferts told CNET that Microsoft plans to bring the feature to all Windows 10 users in the future. It also has plans to bring ATP to "more platforms beyond Windows," and has already taken steps to make that happen.

Microsoft is expected to release its Fall Creators Update preview between September and October, so we don't have too long to wait to find out whether its new AI capabilities can live up to the promise.