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Windows 12 release set for 2024, report claims

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

If you’ve been expecting a Windows 12 release this year or in 2023, then you’d better get ready to settle for a Windows 11 feature release instead. Windows 12 is not coming next year either, as Microsoft appears to have changed its strategy. Again. According to a new report, Windows 12 will not launch sooner than 2024, but that’s not necessarily bad news.

Windows 12 release set for 2024

Remember when Microsoft didn’t want to move beyond Windows 10 with its operating system numbering scheme? Well, that all changed with the Windows 11 release last year. And it seemed like we’d be getting new numbered releases every year.

However, Windows Central claims it has learned that Microsoft scheduled the Windows 12 release for sometime in 2024. That’s three years after Windows 11.

We wouldn’t be surprised if that date saw additional changes as we approach the launch. After all, Microsoft has yet to make any official announcements on the matter.

But just because Microsoft might have altered its plans on the naming scheme for future versions of Windows doesn’t mean new features are delayed until then. They’ll just be part of regular software updates coming to the Windows 11 OS.

Microsoft Defender on Windows 11
Microsoft Defender on Windows 11 Image source: Microsoft

Expect multiple Windows 11 Moments

The same report notes that Microsoft scrapped the planned 2023 release of Windows (Sun Valley 3) in favor of increasing the number of smaller Windows 11 updates.

Dubbed Moments internally, these updates will bring new features to Windows 11 periodically. Per Windows Central, we might be looking at up to four Moments updates each year starting in 2023. That means the Windows 11 experience will continue to improve without the software’s name changing any digits.

It also means the Moments will deliver more minor features that Microsoft can test with beta users before making them widely available.

The Windows 12 update will be a significant release, codenamed Next Valley. But the features Microsoft has planned for the release haven’t yet leaked.

As for these “Windows 11 Moments,” Microsoft has already tested the system with the rollout of the taskbar weather button. This is the kind of minor but useful Windows 11 update that users can expect to receive every few months.

The report notes that many of the features that were part of next year’s Sun Valley 3 release will be included in Moments updates on top of Sun Valley 2.

The strategy change will also let internal teams at Microsoft ship new features on a different schedule. Rather than waiting for a major release, teams will be able to include new updates into Moments.

It’s unclear when the next Windows 11 Moment will be released, but Microsoft has already started testing new taskbar user interface changes. This shows new features must be on the way to your Windows 11 PC soon. And Microsoft will surely address these Windows 11 and 12 release changes in the near future.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.