Although it might be weird to bring this up, seeing how we just went through everything that comes with a new operating system, Microsoft is apparently already working on a new one.
This might confuse a few people, as the Redmond tech giant said that Windows 10 would be the last ever Windows created by the company.
However, on October 5th, 2021, Microsoft introduced Windows 11 to the world, thus showing everyone that they weren’t done with their signature OS.
But what if we told you that there’s also a Windows 12 in the works? As funny and outrageous as it sounds, it appears that this is what happens behind closed doors at Redmond.
Windows 12 has a floating taskbar and is coming in 2024
It seems that the likelihood of us receiving Windows 12 in the near future is not as farfetched as we initially thought.
Apparently, Microsoft is changing the way it releases major versions of the Windows OS again, and it could mean we see a Windows 12 release in 2024.
Recent reports indicated that the tech giant is shifting back to a three-year release cycle for Windows, which means the next major version of Windows could become a reality in 2024.
You surely remember that, originally, the company moved away from its three-year cycle with the release of Windows 10 in 2015, instead prioritizing the concept of Windows as a service.
That being said, many of the features that were planned for the now-scrapped Sun Valley 3 client release will ship as part of one of these Moments on top of Sun Valley 2, instead of in a dedicated new release of the Windows client in the fall of 2023.
We were just talking about SunValley 3 when we showed you the latest Windows 11 Insider Release Preview Channel.
In fact, several tech websites claimed that Microsoft is working on the next version of Windows already, even though it just put out a major OS four months ago.
So, as it turned out, the screenshot Microsoft revealed during the Ignite conference is actually the prototype of the things to come in the near future.
This is the first look all of us got at this next-gen Windows OS which is actually codenamed Next Valley.
As we’ve previously said, Microsoft has decided to go back to releasing a major Windows upgrade every three years, and Windows 12 is on track to arrive in 2024.
The above-mentioned screenshot from the recent Ignite conference represents the design ideas Microsoft explores and considers implementing in Windows Next Valley.
As you can see, the tech company is exploring the idea to include a translucent bar for the items sitting at the top of the screen, similar to macOS’s menu bar.
It seems like Microsoft also plans to redesign other parts of the operating system, such as the login screen, notification center, and probably a lot more.
Clearly, such a dramatic UI change is a significant shift for the operating system and its UI principles, not to mention how well it will probably sit with Windows fans.
There are also talks about the idea of making Windows work better on traditional PCs, tablets, hybrid laptops, and foldable.
We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes since Windows 8 focused too much on touch, and Windows 10 went the opposite way and abandoned touch-based computers.
Consider the fact that the screenshots in this article do not represent the final model Microsoft plans to deliver in 2024, so let’s not get our hopes up too much.
It is clearly way too early to tell what the next Windows will look like and what changes it will bring, so expect more changes and refinements as we get closer to the next generation of Windows.
Previously, Microsoft released multiple Windows 11 Insider builds, two on the Beta Channel (KB5016701) and one for the Dev Channel.
Furthermore, hints of next-gen Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) version 3.2 have also been uncovered by Twitter users.
The string was found inside the DirectX Diagnostic tool (dxdiagn.dll) as you can see in the screenshot posted just below.
For the time being, it’s still unknown what the next WDDM version will bring to the table, but generally speaking, each revision adds some new features related to performance and efficiency enhancements.
Version 22H2, which is the upcoming Windows 11 major update, will introduce WDDM v3.1, just in case you were wondering.
For AMD users, this feature update is a huge performance if they are running OpenGL applications with driver 22.7.1.
Also keep in mind that WDDM 3.2 may be in the works for the next major Windows release, though at the moment it is difficult to pinpoint how or when it will be introduced.
And although sources are not yet revealed, they all state that this information is coming from Microsoft. Allegedly, Windows 12 will be a very different operating system.
Apparently, the tech giant even plans to drop part of the old foundation of Windows that is part of all versions of the operating system, including Windows 11.
Besides that, Windows 12 will require a Microsoft Account for Home and Pro users, the Microsoft Pluton security chip, and there are parts and bits of Windows 10X that will supposedly be used.
Also, TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot will play a larger role than they do now, so we’re thinking that the company is going to take security a lot more seriously this time around.
However, it seems a bit unlikely that Microsoft will remove core backward compatibility features or plan to push the next Universal Windows Platform again to get rid of Win32 once and for all.
As we mentioned, Redmond officials have not yet confirmed any of this outside of new job postings, and there’s really not much to go on for the time being.
Windows 10 will still receive support until 2025, and if Windows 11 just started its journey so it’s a bit early for us to wrap our heads around the idea of dealing with yet another Windows OS.
The earliest mentions of Windows 12 date all the way back to April 2020, when the Redmondmag wrote about it, but everyone thought this was just a hoax, nothing more.
We’ve come a long way since and there’s a Windows 11 now, so we’re just going to have to wait and see what Microsoft plans and if these rumors will actually materialize into something real.
SwiftOnSecurity deleted their first Windows 12-related tweet, through which they let people know that a new OS is coming.
In exchange, they posted a new one that is meant to be an apology for the joke they previously made, regarding Microsoft working on a new operating system.
What’s your opinion on the Redmond tech company’s latest reported endeavor? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.