To many Windows 11 might seem like a brand-new operating system, but it could soon be ousted by Windows 12 if an alleged internal leak from Intel is to be believed.
This all stems from known hardware leaker @leaf_hobby (opens in new tab) on Twitter, who tweeted details of Intel's Meteor Lake Xeon chips containing a mention that these next-generation slices of silicon will have WIndows 12 support. The leaker has since deleted the tweet, but not before VideoCardz (opens in new tab) got its eyeballs on the information.
In addition to tweeting details like the 24 PCIe Gen4 lanes the next-gen Intel server-grade CPUs will supposedly support, @leaf_hobby had the line: “It says support windows 12 on OS list(?).” Now this could be an error in the information the leaker has, but it would track with other murmurs that Windows 12 is in the works.
The Meteor Lake range of Intel CPUs isn't expected to arrive until later this year or early 2024. So from that we could posit Windows 12 won’t launch until that time frame, though more likely 2024, given Windows 11 is still reasonably young in terms of operating system lifespan.
And while Windows 10 was meant to be the one OS that lived on forever in Microsoft’s plans, the Redmond company has reportedly moved back to a three-year release/refresh cycle for its operating systems. Windows 11 came out in 2021, so going by this a 2024 release — likely in the fall — would make sense.
Windows 11 was a rather big step on from Windows 10. While it retained a lot of familiar user interface design language, a lot of the overall design was changed, with the traditional Start menu redesigned as the Start button was recentered.
Given such changes, we’d expect Windows 12 to be more of an evolution of this design than a major overhaul. But going by Microsoft’s efforts with ChatGPT in Bing, we can likely expect AI chatbot tech to play a bigger part in Windows 12.
If this does end up being the case, it'll be a bit of a change of tack for Microsoft, which had downgraded AI-powered virtual assistant Cortana from being a key component of searching in Windows 10 to just an app in Windows 11.
In the meantime, Microsoft is being pretty gung-ho about updates for Windows 11, further bolstering its capabilities and seemingly making the OS a lot more robust than it was at launch, including squashing some weird bugs.