After Panos Panay exited Microsoft, many speculated that Microsoft might not go with the three-year update cycle for Windows. And that’s been proven true. Today, in its official Windows Insider Blog, Microsoft has finally ended the speculation saying that “Windows 11 24H2 will be this year’s annual feature update.” It means that Windows 12 is not coming in 2024, and we may have to wait till 2025 to experience the next major Windows update.
Windows 11 24H2 Will Be the Big Update of 2024
The changelog was first spotted by WindowsCentral on the Windows Insider Blog where Microsoft announced the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052 release to Canary and Dev channels. The changelog states the following:
Starting with Build 26-xx today, Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels will see the versioning updated under Settings > System > About (and winver) to version 24H2. This denotes that Windows 11, version 24H2 will be this year’s annual feature update. As mentioned here, Windows 11 will have an annual feature update cadence that releases in the second half of the calendar year.
It’s abundantly clear that Windows 12 is not coming this fall, and Microsoft has also underscored that Windows 11 will follow an annual feature update cadence, released in the second half of the year. It’s again a departure from the smaller Moments updates for Windows 11 that we saw under Panay’s leadership.
The new Microsoft executives heading the Windows division are likely concerned about increased fragmentation with another new version. Windows 10 still accounts for 66% market share and Windows 11 stands at a measly 28%. Releasing Windows 12 in 2024 would further fragment the Windows platform, and Microsoft wants to avoid it.
Instead, you will be getting brand-new AI features and the latest advancements with the Windows 11 24H2 update. The AI-powered Windows 12 desktop shell with a floating taskbar is not coming in the next Windows 11 update for sure. You will have to wait for a big visual refresh of Windows till 2025, at the least.
By the way, the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 build will be released to manufacturers (RTM) in April and will reach general availability in September or October of 2024.
So yeah, Windows 12 is not dead, but it’s not coming this year. What do you think about the overall development? Are you disappointed by Microsoft’s decision to stall Windows 12? Let us know in the comment section below.