Windows 12 may arrive in 2024 as Microsoft shakes up Windows roadmap

Microsoft is once again changing the way it releases major versions of Windows, and this could mean that we’ll see a Windows 12 release in 2024. Windows headquarters reports that Microsoft is returning to a three-year release cycle for Windows, meaning the next major version of Windows is now due in 2024. This is another big change in the way Microsoft develops Windows.

Microsoft originally moved away from its three-year cycle with the release of Windows 10 in 2015, prioritizing the idea of ​​Windows as a Service. Instead of a major feature release every three years in a new Windows version, Windows 10 was updated twice a year with major new features. For years, many Windows watchers thought Windows 10 would be the last big bang release of Windows after a Microsoft employee described Windows 10 as “the last version of Windows.”

Microsoft never dismissed those comments, instead saying at the time that they “reflect the way Windows is delivered as a service that continually brings new innovations and updates.” That all changed with the release of Windows 11 last year, and Microsoft switched to an annual update cadence for Windows 10 and 11.

Given Microsoft’s move to Windows 11 branding, it’s reasonable to expect that each future major release of Windows will also see a branding change. We haven’t seen Microsoft take over Windows 11.1 or 11.2 with its major Windows 11 updates, so many will now be wondering if Windows 12 is on the way.

The successor to Windows 11 could appear in 2024.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Aside from the next version of Windows in 2024, Microsoft still has plans to keep Windows 11 up to date for years to come. The software maker has moved away from its original promise of major annual updates to Windows 11 in recent months, preferring to ship key features as soon as they’re ready. The next major update, 22H2, is currently expected for September or October, having recently been finalized by Microsoft.

Microsoft has reportedly scrapped plans for a similarly large 23H2 annual update in 2023 and will now instead prioritize the rollout of new features throughout 2023. This aligns better with Microsoft’s recent changes to its Windows Insider program, with more experiments and prototype features being tested extensively.

Microsoft has not officially commented on its Windows roadmap plans. The company has made a renewed effort to embrace Windows over the past two years after the pandemic boosted Windows usage. Microsoft originally planned to launch Windows 10X on dual-screen devices, but after declaring that “the PC is back” earlier in the pandemic, it revamped 10X into what became Windows 11. Windows 12 may arrive in 2024 as Microsoft shakes up Windows roadmap

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