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In the ever-evolving world of technology, the anticipation for the next big thing never ceases. With the launch of Windows 11, Microsoft shattered the notion of Windows 10 being the “final version.” Now, the tech world is abuzz with whispers and conjectures about the next leap forward: Windows 12. In this article, we’ll explore the “Windows 12 rumors: What we know so far,” sifting through the speculation, leaks, and the few facts we have about this potential game-changer in the world of operating systems.
Join us as we navigate through the maze of educated guesses, insider information, and the occasional backup of data to piece together a picture of what Windows 12 might bring to our PCs. Will it continue the path of refinement set by Windows 11, or will it chart a bold new course? Will the configuration profile see a major update? How will the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft’s equivalent of an Apple developer account, contribute to its development? Will we see a public beta program akin to WWDC for user feedback? Let’s embark on this exploration together.
Windows Insider Program: A Sneak Peek into Windows 12
The Windows Insider Program could provide early hints about what to expect in Windows 12. This program allows users to preview early builds of the Windows operating system, contributing to the development process by providing feedback about performance and potential bugs. It’s likely that the first glimpses of Windows 12 will be seen here, with insiders getting a first-hand experience of the new features and improvements.
Windows Central and Microsoft Ignite Keynote: Windows 12 Announcements
Windows Central, a popular source for Windows-related news, could provide regular updates and insights into the development of Windows 12.
Additionally, the Microsoft Ignite Keynote, usually delivered by CEO Satya Nadella, is another potential source of official information about Windows 12. It’s likely that significant announcements about the operating system, including its release date and key features, will be made during this event.
Windows 12: Release Date Rumors
Microsoft has yet to confirm the existence of Windows 12 officially. However, various pieces of information lend credibility to the idea that a new Windows version might be on the horizon. Specifically, all the data points out that Windows 12 would be released anytime in 2024.
According to Zac Bowden’s insights on Windowscentral.com, Microsoft is moving towards a new Windows development cycle, with a major release scheduled every three years. Following this cycle, we can expect the next significant Windows release, potentially Windows 12, in 2024.
A prominent leaker known for accurate Intel information, @leaf_hobby, pointed towards the existence of Windows 12 in a now-deleted tweet. Cited by VideoCardz.com, the tweet contained details about an upcoming Intel Meteor Lake desktop CPU, which intriguingly listed Windows 12 in its OS list.
Adding fuel to the fire, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, Yusuf Mehdi, mentioned “developing future versions of Windows” during an interview with The Verge. While this statement could simply imply a future update, it makes sense that a new major version would be part of Microsoft’s roadmap. Additionally, back in March 2023 Microsoft launched a new channel in the Windows Insider Program, dubbed ‘Canary’. According to Microsoft, it will be more experimental than even the existing ‘Dev’ channel, apparently featuring builds that are “hot off the presses”. It’s notable that in it’s summary of the Canary Channel, Microsoft gives no mention at all of Windows 11, leaving plenty of room for speculation that this channel might be exclusively for Windows 12 features.
Windows 12: Features
Among the most noteworthy aspects is the ongoing effort by Microsoft to modernize the Windows platform through a project codenamed CorePC.
CorePC represents Microsoft’s attempt to create a modular and customizable Windows variant. The intention is to adapt Windows to various form factors, allowing for different levels of feature availability and application compatibility. This move acknowledges the reality that not all Windows PCs require the full breadth of legacy Win32 app support.
The key change with CorePC compared to current Windows versions lies in the concept of “state separation”. Microsoft introduced this concept for the Windows 10X attempts, emphasizing four core innovations: faster updates, state separation, streamlined OS performance, and seamless integration with drivers and apps.
State separation ensures clear delineation between the operating system, drivers, and apps. As described in Microsoft 365 Developer Day, state separation allows for the OS to download updates and switch to them post-reboot. This feature ensures faster updates, with the process potentially taking less than 90 seconds.
But the revolution doesn’t stop there. According to Windowscentral.com Microsoft is also focusing on AI experiences as a pivotal aspect of Windows development in 2024. Advanced AI features, such as the ability for Windows to analyze displayed content and provide contextual prompts, are currently in the pipeline.
These prompts would enable users to jumpstart projects or applications based on the data being viewed at the moment. Some of these AI features will necessitate dedicated hardware to function, pointing towards the role of specialized AI chips in future Windows PCs.
These ambitious endeavors are all part of Microsoft is groundwork for CorePC. It’s this groundwork that, we believe, will lead to the release of the new Windows, codenamed Hudson Valley. While we can only speculate about the features of Windows 12 at this point, it’s clear that Microsoft is pushing the envelope to ensure its OS stays at the forefront of innovation. We’ve already seen the potential of what the Microsoft Office suite can do with the release of Microsoft 365 Copilot, making it clear that the company has its focus on pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence in computing.
During the Ignite 2022 keynote, Microsoft gave a glimpse of this updated desktop interface. Although the presentation was brief, it was enough to pique the curiosity of Windows enthusiasts and prompt extensive online speculation. One notable revelation came from @FireCubeStudios, a reliable Windows leaker, who shared the Ignite 2022 cutaway on Twitter.
The new interface is rumored to bring a range of practical updates and novel features. One of these is a touch-optimized lock and login screen, a much-needed adjustment for Windows users who use touch-enabled devices. Moreover, a new notification center is reportedly in the works.
The revamped notification system could group notifications not only by application, as is currently the case, but also by person. This change would streamline the user experience and make managing notifications more intuitive.
Floating Taskbar and New Features in Windows 12
One of the most anticipated new features in Windows 12 is the floating taskbar. This feature, which detaches the taskbar from the bottom of the screen, could offer a more flexible and intuitive user interface. Other new features could include updates to the start menu, improved touch inputs, and enhanced support for digital pens and voice inputs.
Another exciting feature is the possibility of pinning widgets directly onto the desktop. Allowing users to pin widgets on the desktop could provide a highly personalized and efficient workspace.
One of the more experimental features in the pipeline is a new dynamic wallpaper feature. This tool would use AI to create a parallax effect for 2D wallpapers, lending a subtle depth effect to the user interface. The depth effect would respond to mouse movements or device tilts, enhancing the immersive experience of using the OS.
These planned upgrades and features, if realized, are set to significantly enhance the usability and visual appeal of Windows.
TPM and Secure Boot: Enhancing Windows 12 Security
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Secure Boot are two significant security features expected to be part of Windows 12. TPM is a dedicated microcontroller designed to secure hardware by integrating cryptographic keys into devices. In Windows 12, TPM could be used to ensure the integrity of security functions and prevent unauthorized access to a computer system.
Secure Boot, on the other hand, is a feature in the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that helps to prevent malicious software applications and “unauthorized” operating systems from loading during the system start-up process. This feature could be a game-changer in Windows 12, providing an additional layer of security and ensuring that your computer only runs trusted software.
The Role of Microsoft Account and WDDM in Windows 12
A Microsoft Account provides a comprehensive and personalized experience across various Microsoft services. In Windows 12, it could play a more central role, possibly being required for certain features or settings.
The Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) is the graphic driver architecture for video card drivers running Microsoft Windows versions beginning with Windows Vista. It is a replacement for the previous Windows 2000 and Windows XP display driver model XDDM/XPDM and is aimed at enabling better performance graphics and new graphics functionality and stability. In Windows 12, we could see further refinements or changes to WDDM, enhancing the visual performance and stability of the system.
Windows 12: System Requirements predictions
If rumors are to be believed, Microsoft might continue with its trend of increasing requirements with Windows 12. German tech site deskmodder.de has speculated that Microsoft might raise the minimum RAM requirement from 4 GB to 8 GB for Windows 12. However, this remains unconfirmed at this point and should be taken as a mere assumption.
A key area of focus for Windows 12 is expected to be AI capabilities and to support this, Windows 12 will require PCs equipped with an NPU (Neural Processing Unit) or a GPU capable of handling on-device AI processing. This indicates a move towards more advanced computing and raises questions about the accessibility of the upgrade for users with less powerful hardware.
Windows 12: Final words
As we conclude our exploration into the “Windows 12 rumors: What we know so far,” it’s evident that the next major version of Windows holds a wealth of exciting potential. The anticipation is particularly high for a significant emphasis on AI capabilities, which could fundamentally transform how we interact with our devices.
Given Microsoft’s recent trajectory, the swirling rumors, and the occasional leak, it seems highly plausible that the tech giant is diligently working on the next iteration of Windows. Speculations about feature updates and minimum system requirements are already making the rounds. However, we await an official confirmation to substantiate these claims.
Remember, while rumors can be exciting, they are just that – rumors. Until we hear from Microsoft directly, all we can do is speculate and anticipate the potential that Windows 12 holds. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to monitor the situation closely.
Windows 12: FAQ
What can we expect from Windows 12?
From what we’ve seen so far, we can expect Windows 12 to emphasize AI-focused tools and apps, touch-optimized lock and login screens, and dynamic wallpapers, to name just a few potential features.
Does Windows 12 cost money?
While Microsoft has been offering major Windows updates for free to existing users, it’s expected that Windows 12 itself will not be entirely free. If you don’t currently have a Windows license, you will likely need to purchase one to use Windows 12. As always, official pricing details will only be revealed once Microsoft makes an official announcement.