Windows is the world’s most popular desktop and laptop OS, and we’re excited to see what Microsoft has in store for its desktop OS in the coming months. Microsoft announced Windows 11 on October 5, 2021, so we have some long-awaited upgrades in this rapidly changing technology landscape. Here’s the Windows 12 release date and what you can expect from Microsoft’s next OS update for PCs and laptops!
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We got Windows 11 version 22H2 in 2022 and multiple Moment Updates throughout 2023, with version 23H2 starting to roll out now. While Windows 11 is still fresh thanks to its frequent updates, all signs point to Microsoft launching Windows 12 sometime in 2024.
While the reports we’ve heard about Windows 12 have been less official, the company is committed to annual updates and minor feature updates for Windows 11.
When Will Windows 12 Be Released?
Microsoft has not announced a timeline for the release of Windows 12. In the Windows Insider program, you might notice Windows 12 features showing up slowly, especially in the Canary channel, though Microsoft will likely label them as Windows 11 features until we get closer to the release date.
After all, it was a secret until Windows 11 was almost out. Windows 11 was released after six years the release of Win 10, marking it as a surprising outlier in this fast-paced world. Earlier, Microsoft was a bit more consistent in its releases. However, the most recent ones include Windows 10 (released in 2015), Windows 8 (released in 2012), Windows 7 (released in 2009), Windows Vista (released in 2007), and Windows XP (released in 2001).
What Are The System Requirements To Run Windows 12?
Microsoft has not announced the details of the system requirements for Windows 12. If we’re allowed to guess, the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 will be the minimum required to run Windows 12.
Windows 12 may have higher requirements (we don’t know them yet), but if you don’t qualify for Windows 11, you’re unlikely to qualify for Windows 12.
Minimum system requirements for Windows 12 for your reference:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster with 4 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Graphics Card: Card compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: v2.0
- Display: HD 720p, color channel 8 bits per, 9-inch screen
- Internet connection: For device setup
Will I Be Forced To Upgrade To Windows 12?
Microsoft has not released anything including the name of the next update of Windows. The most likely answer is no. Microsoft has significantly reduced its pressure to force users to install new versions of Windows.
But as Windows XP, Vista, and plenty of others before them prove, Microsoft isn’t afraid to leave trends at the door. If your version of Windows is nearing the end of its support period, updating to a newer version of Windows may be mandatory. Windows 11 will likely get the same behavior when Windows 12 is released, so you won’t be forced to upgrade.
A big question is whether (and if) you’ll have to pay to upgrade when Windows 12 is released, but thankfully, that’s unlikely. Microsoft has been set to offer free major Windows updates to existing Windows users for several years now, and it only makes sense to continue doing so.
What’s New Features In Windows 12?
It’s still too early to know for sure what Windows 12 will include. However, some reports and leaks have seen us part of this big update.
Some parts of the operating system will be blocked from user access and placed on a separate partition. This will allow Windows to update more seamlessly, as the system can freely update these key partitions without having to worry about user intervention. Updates will install faster and require less downtime, which is something we’d like to see for some time.
A New Desktop UI
Microsoft inadvertently showed off an idea for Win 12 during the Microsoft Ignite keynote hosted by CEO Satya Nadella. The concept shows a few interesting changes, including a floating taskbar and some system icons that now appear at the top of the screen, such as the Wi-Fi and battery indicators, along with the weather widget.
Windows 11 made major changes to the taskbar for the first time in years, and if the perception is anything to go by, Windows 12 will bring even more drastic changes to the experience we’re used to.
Microsoft is looking to include more AI features in Win 12. One of these features is that Windows 12 can recognize the content displayed on the screen and suggest different actions depending on what is happening.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already a big part of Windows 11, thanks to the latest version 23H2. It adds the new Copilot AI assistant to the Paint feature that lets you remove the background of a photo or create an image with text input.
A More Modular Approach
Microsoft plans to make Windows 12 more modular, meaning that certain elements of the OS can be enabled or disabled for specific devices. This concept, known as CorePC, will allow for a more tailored experience for devices with different form factors and capabilities.
It’s a step in the right direction, but we still want sets to come back. Being able to group all the apps related to a specific workload or task makes a lot of sense and can be a big time saver when you have a lot to do.
Even the name isn’t necessarily set in stone at this point, but it’s the easiest way to refer to the next version of Windows. We’ll be sure to add more information over the next few years, so keep checking back for updates.