Microsoft’s Strategic Shift: No Windows 12 in 2024, Focused Evolution of Windows 11

December 12, 2023

In recent months, the tech community has been abuzz with anticipation for the potential release of Windows 12 in 2024, with speculations centered around a revolutionary integration of artificial intelligence into Microsoft’s flagship operating system. However, a recent report by renowned Windows leaker Zac Bowden suggests a surprising twist in Microsoft’s strategy, indicating that Windows 12 might not materialize as expected, paving the way for a more evolved Windows 11.

Bowden’s report introduces the possibility of a deviation from the anticipated Windows 12 release, shedding light on Microsoft’s contemplation of a new update codenamed “Germanium.” Contrary to expectations, this update might not align with the speculated Windows 12, as Microsoft strategizes to avoid further fragmentation of its user base.

The potential reason behind this strategic shift lies in the challenges faced by Windows 11 since its launch in October 2021. Despite the announcement of Windows 10’s end-of-life date and the provision of paid security updates until 2028, only 28.6% of current Windows users have migrated to Windows 11. Introducing Windows 12 in 2024 could exacerbate the situation, creating more complications in user adoption.

Microsoft’s decision to extend support for Windows 10 until 2028 gives users the option to delay upgrading, contributing to the slow adoption of Windows 11. The company faces the risk of Windows 12 meeting a similar fate if introduced prematurely. Currently, a mere 400 million out of 1.4 billion Windows users have transitioned to Windows 11, citing hardware requirements and skepticism about the new operating system’s performance as key reasons for the slow adoption.

Bowden’s report hints at a new operating system in development named Hudson Valley, which might internally be considered a substantial upgrade akin to a new version of Windows. However, the uncertainty lies in Microsoft’s branding and marketing strategy for this potential evolution of Windows 11.

One noteworthy aspect highlighted in the report is a shift in Microsoft’s update strategy. Under the previous leadership of Panos Panay, Windows moved away from annual updates, opting for major updates every few years supplemented by periodic small updates. According to Bowden, the current leadership at Microsoft is contemplating a return to the annual major feature update model, a decision that could have significant consequences for users, especially those constrained by older hardware.

The report implies that Hudson Valley might indeed represent a reimagined Windows 11, with a strong emphasis on artificial intelligence. If this speculation holds true, the anticipated release in 2024 could bring forth a Windows 11 iteration enriched with advanced AI functionalities, including the likes of Copilot and other recent developments by Microsoft.

This potential strategic shift aligns with industry trends emphasizing the integration of AI into operating systems to enhance user experience and support. Microsoft’s renewed focus on AI-driven features could mark a significant step forward in the evolution of Windows, offering users a more intelligent and intuitive computing environment.

In summary, the much-anticipated Windows 12 may not see the light of day in 2024, as Microsoft navigates the complexities of user adoption and hardware limitations. Instead, the tech giant appears to be gearing up for a substantial evolution of Windows 11, centered around artificial intelligence, with Hudson Valley potentially being the harbinger of this transformative update.

As the tech landscape continues to evolve, Microsoft’s strategic decisions in the coming months will undoubtedly shape the future of its operating system and impact the millions of users within the Windows ecosystem.

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Mike Johnson is a writer for The Redmond Cloud - the most comprehensive source of news and information about Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Cloud. He enjoys writing about Azure Security, IOT and the Blockchain.

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