An Intel executive has let slip that Microsoft is likely to release Windows 12 next year.
In an interview with the Citi website, Intel’s chief financial officer, David Zinsner, said the company was expecting a boost in revenues next year to coincide with a new Windows release. “We actually think ’24 is going to be a pretty good year for clients, in particular, because of the Windows refresh,” Zinsner said.
“And we still think that the installed base is pretty old and does require a refresh and we think next year may be the start of that, given the Windows catalyst. So we’re optimistic about how things will play out beginning in ’24.”
Although Zinsner doesn’t categorically mention Windows 12 by name, it’s safe to assume he’s not talking about the now annual feature updates, suggesting there’s something big brewing in Redmond.
Windows 12 launch date
If Microsoft were to release Windows 12 next year, it would be three years since the release of Windows 11.
Although there was a huge six-year gap between the release of Windows 10 and Windows 11, that was because Microsoft changed its strategy with the release of Windows 10. It claimed it wouldn’t release another major version of Windows but simply keep updating the Windows 10 codebase with biannual feature updates.
Microsoft abandoned that strategy in 2021 when it surprised everyone with the quick release of Windows 11. That operating system adopted the look of the abandoned Windows 10X — which brought touch to the fore — but changed relatively little under the hood.
Windows 12: the AI operating system
There was no small amount of speculation that Microsoft would release Windows 12 this autumn, using it as a vessel for the Windows Copilot AI. However, that has since been added to Windows 11, with Microsoft also due to release Microsoft 365 Copilot next month, bringing AI features to Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
However, the current iteration of Windows Copilot only skims the surface in terms of integration into the operating system, giving the AI assistant superficial access to settings and apps. If Windows 12 is built from the ground up to deliver full support for AI, with Copilot fully able to interact with both Microsoft’s own apps and third-party software, it could be enough to distinguish it from Windows 11.
There has been speculation that Microsoft is seeking to make Windows 12 available on an annual subscription, a rumour that backs up the theory that Windows 12 will lean heavily on expensive-to-run AI.
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