Windows 12 may arrive in 2024 thanks to Microsoft's renewed update schedule

Microsoft is switching up its update release schedule once again with a new roadmap that will bring one major update every three years — signaling the possible arrival of Windows 12.

According to sources speaking with sister-site Windows Central, Microsoft is scrapping its annual release schedule in favor of a three-year release cycle, along with increasing the number of new features coming to Windows 11. Back in 2021, the company said it would commit to releasing one major feature (opens in new tab) for Windows 11 every year. Now, it appears Microsoft is giving itself more time to release “major” versions of Windows while still rolling out new features.

The next major release is planned for 2024, leaving behind the rumored 2023 client release, Sun Valley 3. That’s three years after the release of Windows 11, meaning Microsoft could be making room to work on a “major” update. This indicates Windows 12 could be on the horizon, and if that’s the case, the next version could be scheduled for 2027. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

As the report points out, this doesn’t mean Microsoft will be slacking on updates and bug fixes to the current version of Windows. In fact, with Windows 11 Sun Valley 2, a new Moments feature will allow Microsoft to roll out new features easier throughout the year. The unnamed sources also state new features will start to arrive up to four times a year starting in 2023.

Instead of the bigger Sun Valley 3 update, Microsoft is said to release these updates as part of one of these Moments, meaning users will be getting new features sooner — instead of a big release generally taking place in the fall of each year.

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The report points out that these Moments are what the company has labeled them internally, and they may be named something else once released.

The new Windows roadmap is currently in its planning stages, with the 2024 release apparently currently being named “Next Valley,” although not much else is known. Whether Microsoft plans to stick to its annual release schedule or introduce a three-year release cycle is still up in the air, but we’re sure to know more once Sun Valley 2 officially arrives. If anything, a possible release of Windows 12 much sooner than the time it took between Windows 10 and Windows 11 will garner interest.

In the meantime, check out these 7 game-changing Windows 10 and Windows 11 hidden features you should be using.

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