High Tech

Microsoft shakes up Windows release schedule: Windows 12 in

Windows 11 home screen shot

Curtis Joe / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Microsoft will reportedly shift to a three-year release cycle for Windows.
  • This suggests we could see Windows 12 arriving in 2024.

Microsoft announced last year that it would be offering one feature update for Windows 10 and 11 each year, but it seems like the company might revert to a more traditional release schedule for major updates.

Windows Central reports that Microsoft is shifting to a three-year release cycle for “major” versions of Windows, citing its own sources. The outlet adds that the next major release is scheduled for 2024, purportedly code-named Next Valley.

It stands to reason that this new version of Windows could be called Windows 12. In saying so, there was a six-year gap between the Windows 10 release in 2015 and the Windows 11 release in 2021. So it’s entirely possible that the 2024 release doesn’t leap up to Windows 12. However, Microsoft’s approach with Windows 10 was to offer a regular release schedule that wasn’t heavily tied to a specific version number.

A return to Microsoft of yore?

Nevertheless, the switch to a three-year schedule would be in line with previous Windows releases. For example, there was a three-year gap between Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 10, while the gap between Windows 7 in 2009 and Windows 8 was also roughly three years.

Windows Central adds that Microsoft also plans to bring a collection of new features (dubbed Moments) to the current version of Windows up to four times a year. It sounds similar to Google’s feature drop concept for the Pixel series of smartphones, offering a smattering of new features each quarter.

Either way, it sounds like we should expect a major update in 2024. Here’s hoping this version of Windows enjoys a broader release than Windows 11, which saw a confusing, staggered release.

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