In 2021, Windows 11 was introduced on October 5th, much over six years after Windows 10’s introduction. Microsoft is now preparing to deliver Windows 11 version 22H2, but Windows 12 may be next on the company’s agenda. After Windows 10, it seems that Microsoft will no longer provide significant upgrades annually, instead releasing major new versions of Windows every three years.
Microsoft has not publicly introduced Windows 12, and the company has even played down the rumors around it. The business has publicly stated that Windows 11 would get yearly upgrades and incremental feature additions. But it’s never too soon to look forward, and Windows 12 is likely to arrive when Windows 11 does. Let’s look forward to the current forecast in more detail.
When Will Window 12 Be Made Available To The Public?
We have heard that the next major version of Windows will be released in 2024, around three years after Windows 11 first appeared. That’s about all we know at the moment, and it might be a long before we hear anything more on that front.
The release of Windows 12 is anticipated for the autumn or at least the second part of this year, based on the timing of previous versions of the operating system; however, this is not fixed in stone.
Microsoft has rejected rumors that it is developing Windows 12, but given the product’s expected release date, the corporation may just be being coy.
Meanwhile, Windows 11 will continue receiving updates, and on occasion, new features will be added to ensure the OS never becomes stale.
Windows 11 version 22H2 is on the horizon, and it will be a substantial upgrade that introduces new touch gestures and enhances the Start menu among other features.
Over the following two years, Windows 12 features will be sent out to Windows Insider Program participants, however Microsoft is likely to continue referring to them as Windows 11 features until we get much closer to the release date.
With a protracted release cycle like this, the Insider programme makes a lot more sense, as members get to explore new features before the general public.
Do Microsoft Plan To Provide Windows 12 As A Free Upgrade?
When (if) Windows 12 is released, one of the most pressing concerns you may have is whether or not you will have to pay to update.
Microsoft has been committed for many years to providing free major Windows upgrades to current Windows customers, and it makes perfect sense for this trend to continue.
Of course, Windows 12 won’t be free on its own, so if you don’t already own a Windows license, you’ll still have to purchase one.
Whether or not your computer is compatible with it is what could convince you to buy it, but it is a separate issue that deserves its own paragraph.
Can I Avoid An Obligatory Upgrade?
A resounding “no” is probably the best guess here. Microsoft’s pressure on customers to upgrade to new versions of Windows has been greatly reduced.
Users of Windows 10 may choose whether or not to upgrade to Windows 11, and this will likely remain the case in future versions of Windows.
Nonetheless, if your Windows version is reaching the end of its support term, you may be required to upgrade to a newer version. If you have Windows 11 Home or Pro, for instance, you will get 24 months of support after the first release.
As a result, although Windows 11 version 22H2 isn’t required, it will likely be installed automatically in 2023 so that users may continue receiving future security upgrades.
The same reasoning likely applies to Windows 12, however how exactly support durations will work with the new three-year release cycle is yet unknown.
Since significant updates would only be released every three years, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a two-year support cycle for each version. The future of Microsoft’s lifecycle strategy for key Windows releases is uncertain.
Windows 12: Will It Work On My Computer?
Since Windows 11 has much higher minimum system requirements than Windows 10, this is an interesting subject to consider. Will Windows 12 once again be incompatible with older computers? Although it’s too soon to tell for sure, it’s possible that not all computers will be compatible.
While we don’t foresee a need for the future Windows version to require more than that, it is plausible that this may happen, given that Windows 11 now requires processors launched from approximately 2018.
Also, it’s difficult to speculate on any additional prerequisites. Windows 12 will likely need at least as much memory and storage space as Windows 11, which is 4GB of RAM and 64GB, respectively.
Microsoft will not back down on criteria like TPM, but you may be able to install Windows 12 using an ISO file even if you don’t satisfy all of the requirements.
It’s safe to assume that when Windows 12 is released, the finest laptops now on the market will be able to run it.
Is There Anything New In Windows 12?
It’s too soon to tell what features Windows 12 will include. The 2022 Update, often known as version 22H2, is the most recent major upgrade to Windows 11. If you’re curious about the changes made to Windows 11 in 22H2, you can learn more about them here.
In addition, by investigating the Windows Insider Program, we may get hints of what could be forthcoming. Every week, Windows Insiders get a new version, which often includes new features and modifications, such as the redesigned search bars seen above.
While many of these features are expected to be included in Windows 12, others may instead be made available to Windows 11 users, and some may never be released at all.
You can see what Windows Insiders are now testing by looking at all the features of Windows 11 that are currently available in preview. It’s possible that some of these capabilities may only be available in Windows 12, while others could emerge in Windows 11 sooner with sporadic feature drops.
Just as with Windows 11, most of Windows 12’s modifications may be kept under wraps until much closer to launch, which is scheduled for June 24th, 2021.
All we can tell about Windows 12 at the moment. This is the simplest way to refer to the next Windows release, even if the name isn’t finalized quite yet.
Please check back in the coming years, as we will be updating this post with any new information that becomes available.