Recently, Microsoft discontinued support for the previous Operating Systems like Windows 7 and 8 series. Windows 10 will be added to that list within a few years (likely three). It means Windows 11 will be the only official operating system they offer. So, the tech giant of Redmond will probably extend its support for Windows 10, either releasing a new version of its Operating System named Windows 12 or W12. However, there has yet to be an official statement delivered by Microsoft regarding this.
Not long ago, Microsoft mistakenly stated Windows 10 as the last version of its Operating Systems to arrive in the market. After a few years of that announcement, it introduced Windows 11 as the latest Operating System. Then it’s likely appeared another new OS version, Windows 12. The buzz comes from the Microsoft Ignite Keynote Presentation held on 12th October 2022, which momentarily shows an image of Microsoft Teams running on a Windows 11-style desktop. But there is a vast difference between that desktop UI and Windows 11’s UI. We’ve noticed some changes like;
- The floating taskbar didn’t meet the edges.
- The floating Windows Search Box is at the top-middle of the device screen.
- The System Icons and System Tray will be over the desktop background in the screen’s top-right corner.
- The Weather Widget will be displayed on the top-left corner and over the desktop background.
The opened Desktop windows will be shown at the top with a tab view beside the Windows
Tech enthusiasts guessed that UI could be a prototype of a further Windows version. Windows Central have addressed that the engineering code name for the following operating system will likely be the ‘Next Valley,’ while Windows 11 had the official code name ‘Sun Valley.’
What Could Be the System Requirements for Windows 12?
In the past, the hardware requirements of Windows 11 have proven controversial, with security features like TPM and Secure Boot becoming more important. Microsoft’s Pluton chips will become mandatory, and it would certainly decrease the number of devices that could be upgraded from Windows 11. It could be even further than the Windows 10 to 11 upgrades. Computer devices have retained the same core design for decades, while many specifications have rapidly changed over the years.
It is reported that Microsoft is working closely with its hardware partners, like AMD and Intel, to develop chips with AI capability. Intel and AMD, both hardware giants, are working on optimizing chips that can handle AI workloads. Intel has already announced its forthcoming Meteor Lake Desktop CPUs, which are expected to be released this year or next year, and will include AI compatibility. Also, it is expected to include 20 PCIe Gen5 lanes. So, it could be obvious that this forthcoming CPU will be compatible with Windows 12.
Earlier this year, Windows chief Panos Panay claimed that “AI is going to reinvent how you do everything on Windows” at CES. In an interview with The Verge last year, Steven Bathiche, the head of Microsoft’s applied sciences group, claimed that “AI will have a potentially profound impact on how you use your computer and how it will essentially evolve in regards to its form”.
The other hardware giant AMD has recently launched its Ryzen 7000 mobile processors, the first x86 architecture chips with a dedicated AI engine. It can support Microsoft’s Windows Studio Effects. The background noise removal and eye contact feature are only available for arm-powered hardware that can power the NPU (Neural Processing Unit). It seems clear that AMD and Microsoft have laid the groundwork for more AI-Powered features in Windows-operated machines.
The development of Meteor Lake Desktop CPUs is an essential step for Intel. This will be built on the Intel 4 node (7nm) and will be Intel’s first chipset-like design. Also, it will come with separate dies for the CPU cores, integrated graphics input-output, and similar AI capabilities to those AMD introduced on its Ryzen 7000 mobile CPUs. Intel has started working on Raptor Lake, the successor to its 13th Gen chips.
It is anticipated that Windows 12 will probably require a recent chip. Also, it is expected that the current minimums (4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a 720p display) to be increased. There’s also a considerable probability of requiring AI capabilities, which made Microsoft to investment in Open AI, the company behind the ChatGPT chatbot.
Microsoft doesn’t have any plan to bring changes to Windows 11’s system specifications. If it releases Windows 12, it won’t reduce the system requirements again, which means that customers can’t upgrade from Windows 10 to 12 directly if that option is even available. It is impossible to predict what the System
Requirements are for W12. Many whistles are blowing around it. Some whistles suggest that Microsoft will enforce similar or even stricter system requirements on its next OS than Windows 11.
When Will Windows 12 be Released?
Initially, there has yet to be an official news or statement about the initial release date of Windows 12. Previously, Microsoft had maintained a 3-year cycle to release its Operating System, though it had already broken the cycle with the release of Windows 11. Starting with Windows 7 in 2009, Microsoft released Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 10 in 2015. However, it took six years to release Windows 11. So, it seems Microsoft will probably release the next OS between 2024 and 2027. Some tech enthusiasts claimed it will be released in 2024 or 2025.
A Deskmodder article claimed that Microsoft started to work on Windows 12 in March 2022. If so, it is supposedly in the developing stages as of today. But it is also possible to be in the beta version, as the leaked desktop screen of Microsoft Ignite Keynote Presentation. Also, it is undeniable that the leaked desktop could be a beta update of Windows 11.
The recent versions of Windows OS have received around 10+ years of Microsoft support. Windows 8’s four years of mainstream updates were the only exception to that. However, it was mainly due to its poor reception. The upcoming years will be crucial for Windows and Microsoft. Windows 10 will run out of support in 2025, and millions of Windows 10 devices will still be in use that don’t meet the system specifications for Windows 11. So, it could affect Microsoft financially if they release Windows 12 in 2025, as there will be few compatible devices.
Most modern devices don’t have AI feature compatibility, which could have a massive impact on Microsoft to announce an initial release date of Windows 12. There are no official announcements about when Windows 11 will stop being supported, but a decade of support cycle suggests around 2031 or 2032. While the official support for Windows 10 will be discontinued in 2025, it is predicted that Microsoft could extend that support.
Today, Windows 11 is not the most used OS, even after almost two years of its release. It is currently getting between 1 to 2 percent of the monthly usage share. That means that a significant portion of the Windows user base is still stuck on Windows 10; when 2025 comes along, it will be a considerable percentage of the entire user base. However, only Microsoft knows the exact number if Microsoft sticks with its decision to end support in 2025 and could lose many users who will still be using Windows 10.
The release date of W12 isn’t the day to start using the OS. There will be a gradual rollout that will take several months. You might think that we don’t know about the initial release date of Windows 12. Yes, we have yet to determine when it will be released, as no official statement has yet to be delivered from Microsoft authority until this discussion. We are providing just some social media buzz and some investigative works by our tech enthusiasts team.
What Could be the Potential Features of Windows 12?
It is evident that AI will drive the next Windows version, as Microsoft’s investment in Open AI, the same one that introduced ChatGPT chatbot, the most modern chatbot ever existed till today. With a significant change in the UI and widgets, W12 will surely be a perfect match for your future need with the touch of AI. The following potential features could be available on Windows 12.
- It will be compatible with AI features.
- A floating customizable taskbar that didn’t meet the edges of the device screen.
- The floating pill-shaped Search bar is located at the top center of the device screen.
- The System Icons and System Tray will be sent to the top-right corner of the screen.
- The Weather Widget will be seen in the top-left corner.
- Tab support for Notepads to open multiple instances on a single window.
- The new location of the Windows Control Panel will be in the Windows Settings.
- Deeper integration with mobile devices.
Besides these, Microsoft will integrate many more new features in Windows 12. As there are no official announcements about it, we should wait till the official announcements come to the news. But it is evident that the above features will surely be available on the next version of Windows OS.
How Long Will Windows 11 Be Supported?
It is too early to think about the support cycle of Windows 11. Microsoft hasn’t announced anything about the support cycle yet, and it will continue to provide support for this OS with regular security and feature updates throughout the upcoming years. On 14th October 2025, exactly ten years after releasing Windows 10, its lifecycle will officially end. It is possible that Windows 11 will end its support within 2031, exactly a decade after its initial release of it, as each of Windows’s versions did get a decade of its official support. Though, there could be an expansion of that if Microsoft wants.
Slowly, Microsoft has started to roll out features to Windows 11 as part of regular updates from time to time, as it is still providing updates like 22H2 and 23H2 every year. In the Autumn of 2022, this latest OS got its first significant update, and Microsoft has announced that these updates will keep arriving every year. That means a significant update of this OS will arrive in the autumn of this year and next year. It can be anticipated that Microsoft will stop adding as many features to Windows 11 after the 23H2 update. However, further minor and major updates will keep arriving unless the arrival of Windows 12 or a further version is.
Not long ago, we noticed that the end of MSDT (Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool) was approaching retirement. The reason behind this could be making the upcoming and existing Windows versions more secure. The Redmond giants have now formally made the announcement regarding this. Explaining it as a gradual phase-out process that started last year and will last till 2025.
Microsoft continues to update Windows 11 with big annual updates, as promised at the operating system’s launch in 2021. So, it can be presumed that it’s not the time yet to have a retirement of this latest OS. We can assure you that the official support for Windows 11 will be continued until at least 2031.
Will Windows 12 be Free?
It is still not sure whether the upcoming Windows version will be free or not, but it can be anticipated that it could be delivered as an upgrade of Windows 11 (Like Windows 11 came as a free upgradation of Windows 10) with free cost. Probably, you can freely upgrade to Windows 12 if your device specifications meet the system requirements. Though Microsoft will surely cap it, the free upgradation could become technically unavailable after a certain period. Nothing is evident until the official announcements come from the Redmond tech giant. Till then, we all have to wait for it.
We should close the discussion by saying we can’t verify that Windows 12 is real until there are official announcements. We believe there will be single or multiple Windows versions that are yet to come after Windows 11. The curtains are on for today, have a great day.