The upcoming Windows version due later this year is likely to be another iteration of Windows 11 rather than a major “Windows 12” update. This information comes from an official support page from Microsoft, as reported by Windows Latest, which mentions “Windows 11 version 24H2” for the first time.
This reference to “Windows 11 version 24H2” was found in a somewhat obscure support page related to the Process Status API (PSAPI) technology, last updated on January 29, 2024. It includes details about changes to the EnumDeviceDrivers function (psapi.h) in Windows 11 version 24H2.
Given that Windows 11 was released in the fall of 2021, it has since followed an annual release cycle with significant updates in the fall. With Windows 11 versions 22H2 and 23H2 already launched, the official support document indicates that 24H2 is next in line. However, the addition of “Moment” updates and “controlled feature rollouts” have complicated the release schedule, as Windows 11 now continues to receive new features throughout the year, as and when they are ready.
Considering that the next version of Windows 11 is anticipated to introduce several new AI features, it may be premature to announce a brand new version of Windows while so many users are still running Windows 10. According to Statcounter, Windows 10’s market share in January 2024 was 66.74%, while Windows 11 lagged behind at 27.84%. Furthermore, it’s likely that most Windows 10 users whose PCs meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 have already upgraded.
All in all, it may not be in Microsoft’s best interest to introduce more fragmentation by launching a new Windows version so soon. It seems that Windows 10 will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future, especially since Microsoft is now incorporating Windows 11 features such as the new Copilot Assistant into the older OS. Additionally, the Windows 10 Insider Beta Channel is reportedly making a comeback, while the company has also announced an Extended Security Updates program for the OS, available to consumers.