Microsoft used to follow a pattern of releasing a major version every three years. However, Windows 10 (2015) stuck around for six years before we got Windows 11 in 2021. But now, the company might return to its old scheme, which means Windows 12 could see its release in 2024. So, what brought us to think about Windows 12? Let’s dive into all the rumors and features we know about Windows 12 so far.
Major Windows 12 Tease:
At the Citi 2023 Global Technology Conference (transcript here), David Zinser, Intel’s Chief Financial Officer, talked about “Windows refresh” and how 2024 will be an exciting year for Windows. Here’s what he said:
We actually think ’24 is going to be a pretty good year for client, in particular, because of the Windows refresh. And we still think that the installed base is pretty old and does require a refresh and we think next year may be the start of that, given the Windows catalyst. So we’re optimistic about how things will play out beginning in ’24.
Here, Zinser talks about a “refresh” to Windows, the same word used back in 2021 to refer to Windows 11. The year also aligns with the previous claim that Microsoft will start bringing major versions every 3 years.
Windows 12 Rumors:
The new version of Windows (i.e. Windows 12) will come with a lot of new improvements and features, that’s for certain. But what might be those features? Let’s dig deep.
We got a look into the new desktop interface of possible Windows 12. At Microsoft Ignite, an annual conference for IT professionals, a blurry image of a desktop running what is assumed to be a new version of Windows was leaked. This picture features a floating taskbar at the bottom, as well as a search bar at the top and system tray icons at the top-right. The redesign is so subtle to be a new Windows version, but you never know!
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The Windows trend of releasing new AI features has gone uphill ever since the release of ChatGPT. Bing’s AI powered by GPT 4 was followed by 365 Copilot, and now Microsoft Copilot in 23H2. This trend might not stop shortly, as a blog post in Windows Insider mentions an AI-powered recommendation section in the Explorer window.
Moreover, both Intel and AMD are rolling into the trend of artificial intelligence. They brought a neural processing unit (NPU) for separate in-house processing of language models. The new Windows 12 might as well employ this hardware component for computing offline AI-related features.
People have found out that the Canary build of Windows Insider includes subscription type, subscription edition, and subscription status in its code. This made people think that Windows 12 would be a subscription-based OS, but it is uncertain if this is only for the enterprise version or the whole OS.
Furthermore, there are some rumors surrounding the ad-supported Windows version. If these leaks become true, one thing is certain: the company will face a lot of backlash. But at least the PC price will drop a bit, as you will be paying it slowly later.
Windows 12 Release Date and Availability
The Windows 12 release date is uncertain, as Microsoft hasn’t talked about it yet. That being said, it is suspected that this new OS version will launch halfway through 2024. It is possible that the 24H2 update will not be released for Windows 11, supporting its successor’s launch.
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