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It could be here as soon as 2024 Early in 2021, the possibility of a whole new version of Windows looked improbable. Microsoft continued to introduce new features to Windows 10 at least twice a year despite calling it “the last version of Windows” in the past.
With the introduction of Windows 11, which went from an abstract idea to an actual announcement in a matter of weeks, the corporation, however, shattered those ambitions. Microsoft’s decision was impacted by the cancellation of Windows 10X, although Satya Nadella and company had undoubtedly been debating a new desktop operating system for some time.
It makes sense that Windows 11 will eventually be replaced, even if there are no guarantees about its longevity. Furthermore, there are rumors that Windows 12 is currently being developed internally at Microsoft, so it may not be too far off. Here is what we currently know.
Will there be a Windows 12?
Yes, most certainly. When support for Windows 10 expires in October 2025, it will be ten years old, although Windows XP and Windows 7 both received upgrades for 12 and 11 years, respectively. The exception here is Windows 8’s four years of mainstream support, but that’s mostly because of how poorly it was received. If Microsoft keeps on this pace, Windows 11 will become unsupported between 2031 and 2033. If so, a fresh version must be made accessible a few years sooner.
There are indications that Windows 12 could be out much sooner, though. According to a recent story on Windows Central, a significant new version of Windows will be launched every three years. Even according to author Zac Bowden, Windows 12 is “now in early planning and engineering phases” and that work has started. Even an unofficial codename, “Next Valley,” has been assigned to it.
A previous report from the German technology website Deskmodder said Microsoft was starting to get ready for Windows 12. The report included “our information,” but it also made reference to a since-deleted tweet from SwiftOnSecurity, who later clarified that it was a joke:
When will Windows 12 be released?
So, we have evidence that Windows 12 is on the way. The next question is obvious: when will it be available?
According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, if Microsoft follows the three-year upgrade schedule, Windows 12 would be made available sometime in 2024. At this point, no further particular information has been reported, and making forecasts this far in advance is very difficult.
To put things in perspective, Windows 11 was unveiled in June 2021 and made available to the public in October. But it took several months to go out completely to all eligible devices, so the situation is probably similar.
Will Windows 12 be free?
It ought to be, at least at first. The free update to Windows 10 that Microsoft provided was still theoretically accessible as of this writing.
If your device satisfies the hardware requirements, updating to Windows 11 won’t cost you a thing either, and there’s no sign that Microsoft will stop doing this anytime soon. If so, you could end yourself shelling out close to the asking amount for Windows 10 (starting at £119.99/$139).
It’s almost clear that Windows 12 will be free for a period after its debut. It seems sense that Microsoft would want to install the new OS on as many computers as possible.
Will Windows 12 have different hardware requirements?
It’s difficult to foresee what they could be, but it’s likely. While the basic structure of laptops and PCs has remained the same for decades, many other specifications have evolved significantly over time.
Although there has been debate regarding Windows 11’s hardware requirements, Microsoft is expected to prioritize security technologies like Secure Boot and TPM in the future.
You’ll likely require a current processor from a manufacturer like Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm, though other chipmakers may be well-known by that time. Expect the minimum requirements of 720p display, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM to all climb.
What new features will Windows 12 have?
As you might anticipate, we don’t know what new features Windows 12 will offer. Microsoft probably doesn’t know at this early point either.
Many of the improvements that are now rumored will probably be included to Windows 11 before a brand-new version because it will be receiving additional features throughout the year. There have been some rumors that the upgrade known as “Sun Valley 2” (Windows 11 was originally nicknamed Sun Valley) may turn out to be Windows 12, although the 22H2 release is far more plausible.
Deskmodder asserts that Windows 12 won’t be based on earlier iterations but rather be completely new. Before many features were ultimately implemented into Windows 11, that is what we observed with Windows 10X.
This makes it possible for a drastically different look, however significant modifications would not be well-liked by Windows’ sizable user base.
There were no new features mentioned in the early Windows Central article that alluded to the 2024 release date. It did, however, imply that new features will be added to next iterations of Windows on a semi-regular basis, perhaps even four times a year. Internally, they are referred to as “Moments,” but according to author Zac Bowden, the branding may not carry over to the public edition.