Microsoft seems to be preparing to change the release cadence for new Windows versions, according to a new report by Windows Central‘s Zac Bowden. Microsoft is apparently going back to the old way of releasing new Windows versions, releasing major new Windows versions every three years or so, meaning we could be getting Windows 12 in 2024.
According to the report, Microsoft has seemingly canceled what would have been next year’s major update (known as Sun Valley 3) – and instead will wait for 2024, three years after the original release of Windows 11 – to release the next version of Windows ( presumably Windows 12). However, that doesn’t mean Windows 11 users will be left with nothing new to try out in the meantime.
Microsoft is going to be dropping new features for current Windows 11 users, so some of the features Insiders get to try out will make their way to the general public before the next major Windows release. These feature drops will happen every few months, up to four times a year, according to the report. We’ve seen some glimpses of this when Microsoft brought weather information to the taskbar earlier this year. These new features are referred to as “Moments”, and many of the features that were planned for next year’s major update, will be released this way for users running Windows 11 version 22H2.
It’s clear that Microsoft doesn’t always need to release major Windows updates to enable new features. For example, the Windows Subsystem for Android was essentially just an app you could install on Windows 11, and it rolled out a few months after the OS was first launched. At the same time, this new release cadence can make each new version of Windows more exciting, since there’s more time to build new features into each release, plus there’s more time to find and squash any bugs before general availability.
Still, this is a big shift from the path Microsoft has been on for the past few years. Since Windows 10 was introduced in 2015, we generally got two major new versions per year, and with Windows 11, Microsoft said it would release a major new version every year. That was just one year ago, so this is certainly an unexpected change in direction. Either way, Microsoft has yet to officially announce this change, which means internal plans could still change.
Souce: Windows Central