Windows 12 may arrive in 2024 in major Microsoft tremors

Microsoft is changing how it releases major versions of Windows again, and that may mean we see a Windows 12 release in 2024. Windows Central reports that Microsoft is switching back to a three-year release cycle for Windows, which means that the next major version of Windows is now on its way in 2024. It’s another big change in how Microsoft develops Windows.

Microsoft initially 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 release of features every three years in a new Windows release, Windows 10 was updated twice a year with great new features. For years, many Windows watchers believed that Windows 10 would be the last big bang release of Windows after a Microsoft employee described Windows 10 as “the latest version of Windows.”

Microsoft never rejected those comments, saying instead at the time that they “reflected the way Windows will be delivered as a service that brings new innovations and updates on an ongoing basis.” That all changed with the release of Windows 11 last year, and Microsoft moved to an annual update cadence for both Windows 10 and 11.

Given Microsoft’s shift to Windows 11 branding, it’s fair to expect that any future major version of Windows will also see a branding change. We have so far not seen Microsoft adopt Windows 11.1 or 11.2 with its major Windows 11 updates, so many will now wonder if Windows 12 is on its way.

Windows 11’s successor could arrive in 2024.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Along with the next version of Windows in 2024, Microsoft still plans to keep Windows 11 fresh for years to come. The software maker has moved away from its original promise of major annual updates to Windows 11 in recent months and prefers to ship key features when they are ready. The next major update, 22H2, is currently expected to arrive in September or October, following the recent completion of Microsoft.

Microsoft has reportedly scrapped plans for a similarly large 23H2 annual update in 2023, and will now instead prioritize rolling out new features throughout 2023. This is more in line with Microsoft’s recent changes to their Windows Insider program, where more experiments and prototype features will be tested widely.

Microsoft has not officially commented on its Windows roadmaps. The company has put a renewed effort into Windows over the past two years after the pandemic increased Windows usage. Microsoft had originally planned to launch Windows 10X on dual-screen devices, but after declaring “the PC is back” at the beginning of the pandemic, it continued to rework 10X into what became Windows 11.

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