During its recent online Ignite 2022 conference, Microsoft gave us a sneak peek at the next generation of Windows version, Windows 12, although accidentally.
The Redmond giant happened to reveal a UI (user interface) design prototype for Windows 12 when it had put up an image of a Windows desktop running Microsoft Teams. The next version is known internally as “Next Valley”. Microsoft is reportedly already preparing the next major version of Windows, which we expect to be Windows 12. Here's what we know so far.
According to Bowden’s sources, the prototype shown during the Ignite 2022 event is probably just one of the design goals that Microsoft is working on for the upcoming Windows OS. Also, there is a search bar at the top center as well as the weather widget in the top left corner.
A new desktop UI
While Microsoft hasn't officially announced Windows 12, we recently got an early look at a prototype. Microsoft inadvertently showed off a concept for Windows 12 during the Microsoft Ignite keynote hosted by CEO Satya Nadella. The concept shows a few interesting changes, including a floating taskbar and some system icons that are now displayed at the top of the screen, such as the Wi-Fi and battery indicators, along with a weather widget. This would make Windows more similar to macOS or some Linux distributions.
Microsoft hasn't officially announced a new version of Windows. In fact, it's downplayed reports we've heard about Windows 12. Officially, the company is committed to annual updates and smaller feature updates for Windows 11. Microsoft has denied the reports that it's working on Windows 12, but considering we're still some time away from its launch, the company could simply be holding its cards close to its chest.
In the meantime, Windows 11 will keep getting updates, and sometimes, it may get some new features, so it won't feel like the operating system is stale.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Will Windows 12 be a free upgrade?
One of the big questions you're likely to have is whether you'll have to pay to upgrade to Windows 12 when (and if) it releases, but thankfully, that's unlikely. Microsoft has been set on offering major Windows updates for free to existing Windows users for a few years now, and it only makes sense for that to continue. Of course, Windows 12 itself likely won't be free, so if you don't have a Windows license at all, you're still going to have to buy it.
2. Can my PC run Windows 12?
After Windows 11 significantly raised the minimum system requirements compared to Windows 10, this is another great question to ponder. Will Windows 12 leave older PCs behind once again? It's too early to say, but there's certainly a chance that some PCs won't be compatible for one reason or another.
3. Will I be forced to upgrade?
The most likely answer to this is no. Microsoft has significantly eased up on its push to get users to install new versions of Windows by force. Windows 11 is still an optional update for Windows 10 users, and most likely, that approach will continue with future releases.