Windows 12 may be coming in 2024 if Microsoft shakes up the Windows roadmap

Microsoft is changing the way it re-releases major versions of Windows, and it could mean we’ll see a Windows 12 release in 2024. Windows Central reports that Microsoft is going back to a three-year release cycle for Windows, meaning the next major version of Windows is now due in 2024. It’s 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 release of features every three years in a new Windows release, 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 latest version of Windows.”

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

Given Microsoft’s move to the Windows 11 branding, it’s reasonable to expect that every future major version of Windows will also see a brand change. We haven’t seen Microsoft adopt Windows 11.1 or 11.2 with its major Windows 11 updates until now, so many will now be wondering if Windows 12 is coming.

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

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

Microsoft has reportedly scrapped plans for a similarly major 23H2 annual update in 2023 and will now prioritize the rollout of new features in 2023. This more closely aligns with Microsoft’s recent changes to its Windows Insider program, which includes more experimentation. and prototype functions are tested on a large scale.

Microsoft has not officially commented on its Windows roadmap plans yet. The company has reinvested in Windows in the past two years after the pandemic increased Windows usage. Microsoft originally planned to launch Windows 10X on dual-screen devices, but after declaring that “the PC is back” at the start of the pandemic, it went on to rework 10X into what became Windows 11.