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Everything we know about Windows 12 so far

Everything we know about Windows 12 so far

Everything we know about Windows 12 so far

Everything we know about Windows 12 so far

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The prospect of a brand-new version of Windows appeared remote in early 2021. Microsoft previously referred to Windows 10 as “the final version of Windows,” and the company continued to add new features at least twice a year.

However, the release of Windows 11, which went from abstract concept to official announcement in a matter of weeks, shattered those plans. Microsoft’s decision was influenced by the cancellation of Windows 10X, but Satya Nadella and company had clearly been considering a new desktop OS for some time.

With no guarantees about Windows 11’s longevity, it’s natural to expect a successor at some point. Furthermore, there are rumors that it is not far away, with Microsoft rumored to be working on Windows 12 internally. Here’s everything we know at this point.

Will there be a Windows 12?

Yes, most likely. Windows XP and Windows 7 received updates for another 12 and 11 years, respectively, whereas Windows 10 will be a decade old when support ends in October 2025. The exception here is Windows 8, which has had four years of mainstream support, but this is primarily due to its overwhelmingly negative reception. If Microsoft continues on this path, Windows 11 will be phased out between 2031 and 2033. If this is the case, a new version must be available a few years sooner.

However, there are indications that Windows 12 will be released much sooner. According to a recent Windows Central article, a significant new version of Windows will be released every three years. According to author Zac Bowden, development has already begun, with Windows 12 “currently in early planning and engineering stages.” It even has an unofficial codename: “Next Valley.”

An earlier report from the German tech site Deskmodder suggested that Microsoft was starting to plan for Windows 12. The article referred to “our information,” but it also referred to a now-deleted tweet from SwiftOnSecurity, who later revealed it was a joke:

When will Windows 12 be released?

According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, if Microsoft sticks to the three-year update cycle, Windows 12 will be released in 2024. Nothing more specific has been rumored at this time, and making predictions this far in advance is nearly impossible.

To put things in context, Windows 11 was announced in June 2021 and released a few months later in October. However, because a full rollout to all compatible devices took months, it’s likely to be a similar story.

Will Windows 12 be free?

It should be, at least at first. Microsoft provided a free upgrade to Windows 10, which is still technically available. Upgrading to Windows 11 will also cost you nothing if your device meets the hardware requirements, and there’s no indication that Microsoft will discontinue this anytime soon. When Windows 12 is released, it will almost certainly be free for a limited time. Microsoft will understandably want as many people as possible to use the new operating system.

Will Windows 12 have different hardware requirements?

Most likely, but it’s impossible to say what they might be. While laptops and PCs have had the same core design for decades, many other specifications have changed rapidly. The hardware requirements for Windows 11 have sparked debate, but security features like TPM and Secure Boot are only likely to become more important to Microsoft in the future. You’ll almost certainly need a recent chip from Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm, but other chipmakers may be popular by then. Expect to see an increase in the current minimums of 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 720p display.

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