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Windows 12: Expected release date and the latest rumors
Windows remains the world’s most popular desktop and laptop OS, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for Microsoft’s desktop OS in the coming months. Microsoft announced Windows 11 on October 5, 2021, so we’re due for some long-awaited upgrades in this rapidly changing tech landscape. Windows 11 continues to get meaningful feature additions and bug fixes through the months, but a version bump up for Windows will bring along some of the most significant changes. Here’s Windows 12’s release date and what you can expect from Microsoft’s next OS update for PCs and laptops!
Microsoft has not revealed any official information about the next Windows update. Based on past release patterns, we predict Windows' next release could be called Windows 12, and it could release sometime in the second half of 2023.
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When will Windows 12 be released?
Microsoft has not announced any timeline for the release of Windows 12.
Unlike Android, iOS, and macOS which see annual updates, Windows updates operate differently. Windows receives monthly security updates and other security updates as and when needed. For features, Windows receives an annual feature update, usually in the second half of the calendar year, housing new features and enhancements for the OS. In addition to this, Windows also sometimes receives some of these features through monthly security update releases.
As evident, Windows has a much more continuous update cycle, which is best compared to the Google Pixel with the monthly security patches, the feature drops, and then the annual OS version upgrade. But in the case of Windows, the OS version upgrade has a significantly more expansive timeline.
Windows 11 was released over six years after the release of Windows 10, marking it as a surprising outlier in this fast-paced world. Before that, Microsoft had a bit more consistency in its release. Windows 7 was launched in 2009, Windows 8 in 2012, and Windows 10 in 2015.
If Microsoft continues to follow its earlier timeline, we can expect to see Windows 12 launch sometime in 2024. As the company has not officially confirmed any timeline, this is our best guess based on past trends. We do not have an exact Windows 12 release date yet, but we will update the article when we receive credible information.
Is there going to be Windows 12?
Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied that a Windows 12 update is coming.
Given the popularity of Windows 11 and Microsoft’s market share of laptops and desktops, it is safe to presume that an update to Windows 11 will certainly arrive. What remains unknown is when the update will arrive and what it will be called.
Will the update be called “Windows 12”?
Microsoft has not revealed anything about Windows’ next update, including its name.
We predict the update to be called “Windows 12” in line with past trends. But as Windows XP, Vista, and plenty of others before them are proof, Microsoft is not afraid to leave trends at the door. Windows 12 remains the best guess for the name of the next update until credible information suggests otherwise.
What are the system requirements for running Windows 12?
Microsoft has not announced the system requirement details for Windows 12.
If we are allowed to speculate, the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 will be the absolute bare minimum needed to run Windows 12. Windows 12 could have higher requirements (we don’t know them yet), but if you don’t qualify for Windows 11, there’s very little chance that you would qualify for Windows 12.
Here are the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 for your reference:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Graphics: Card compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: v2.0
- Display: HD 720p, 8 bits per color channel, 9-inch screen diagonal
- Internet connection: For device setup
Will Windows 12 be a free upgrade over Windows 11?
Microsoft has not announced the pricing or upgrade details for Windows 12 yet.
However, the company has frequently allowed existing Windows license holders to upgrade to the latest Windows version for free. It is unlikely that Microsoft will be changing this trend, so you can optimistically expect Windows 12 to be a free upgrade over Windows 11 if you already have a valid Windows license.
However, if you do not own a valid Windows license at all, then you will have to pay for Windows, and by extension, for Windows 12.
When will Windows 12 beta begin?
For Windows 12, Microsoft will very likely hold an announcement event whenever it plans to launch it, to showcase the upcoming update and its features. We predict Windows 12 betas to begin the week following this launch announcement, as Microsoft ran the Windows 11 betas in this fashion.
The betas will expectedly run for a few months until most critical bugs are ironed out, and then graduate into public releases in the stable channel.
Microsoft has not revealed pricing information for Windows 12. For reference, a Windows 11 license costs $139 for Home and $200 for Pro.
Microsoft has not revealed any features or performance information about Windows 12. However, it is safe to presume that the company will work on improving the performance of its OS. So Windows 12 is naturally expected to be faster than Windows 11.
No. Windows 12 has not been announced yet.