first details on Microsoft’s next system

According to credible sources, Microsoft has fundamentally changed its strategy around Windows. The next operating system is scheduled for 2024.

Source: Johny vino – Unsplash

Windows 10 was originally intended to be Microsoft’s latest PC operating system. The firm wanted to update it regularly without changing its name, a bit like Mac OS X which remained in place through its updates for many years. The firm finally had a change in philosophy with the revival of the PC market and chose to redo a major release with Windows 11 in 2021.

With this launch, Microsoft no longer wants to offer several updates per year, but only one annual feature update. We expect Windows 11 22H2 Sun Valley 2 for the end of the year, and Microsoft already seems to be working on Sun Valley 3 for 2023.

It was without counting a new change of strategy, described by the journalist Zac Bowden for Windows Central, expert when it comes to the internal development of Windows.

Windows 12 in 2024

The first major information of this change of strategy at Microsoft is the preparation of a new version of Windows with a three-year cycle. We would therefore have the next version of Windows scheduled for 2024, three years after Windows 11 in 2021. This future version has no name, but we can have the audacity to imagine that it will be called Windows 12, after Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11. Although we are never safe from a surprise. This future version is called “Next Valley” internally at Microsoft for the moment.

Microsoft will therefore focus its development efforts on this Windows 12 scheduled for 2024. According to Zac Bowden, this means the outright abandonment of Sun Valley 3, the update scheduled for 2023. Until then, things are rather simple to understand: the Redmond firm wants to return to what it offered before and which was rather successful for it. That is to say important releases that are “event” and that manufacturers like Windows 10 or 11. This makes it possible to prepare new technologies and a generation of PCs to be sold to consumers.

But nothing is ever really that simple with Microsoft, which has decided not to reserve all the new features for Windows 12.

Moments: new functions from time to time

In addition to a new version of Windows every three years, Microsoft would like to regularly offer “Moments” for Windows 11. Behind this name hide new features offered as updates without a very clear timetable. This is what the firm already offered in February 2022 with a first significant update for Windows 11.

windows 11 02 taskbar 1

It was with this update that Microsoft added a dynamic widget to the taskbar. In the United States, this update also brought the Amazon App Store and the Windows Subsystem for Android. It was a simple update by Windows Update, without a commercial name and only a few months after the launch of Windows 11.

With the Moments, Microsoft therefore often wants to offer new features for Windows 11, while waiting for the launch of Windows 12. We would thus have up to 4 such updates per year. The arrival of tabs for the Windows 11 file explorer could be one of these Moments. According to the journalist, the new features planned for the canceled Sun Valley 3 update should be deployed through several of these Moments.

This should allow certain development teams within the Windows division not to wait for major updates to offer their new features to users. For example, if the File Explorer team is ready, but the Taskbar team is not, the Explorer changes will roll out through a Moment.

It now remains to be seen whether Microsoft will stick to this new development strategy, or whether the firm will again modify its update cycles in the future.


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