Windows 11 is struggling to establish itself and yet the first information about its successor is already stirring the gazettes. Microsoft is indeed working on Windows 12, some clues to draw a robot portrait of the future operating system. Release date, design, price… We take stock.

This is what the Windows 12 interface might look like © Windows Central

In October 2021, Windows 11 came out of Microsoft’s hat. But until then, success is far from there for the operating system. As StatCounter revealed in December 2022, Windows 10 still accounts for nearly 70% of the Windows market share compared to just 16.2% for Windows 11. In addition to compatibility issues, component shortages have hampered the production of new computers equipped with the OS, which partly explains the low adoption rate.

What’s more, the aesthetic innovations and new features of Windows 11 have not unleashed the crowds, with users reluctant to leave the cocoon of Windows 10. While the results are disappointing, Microsoft is already looking to the future. The Redmond giant is working on Windows 12, its successor known under the code name “Next Valley”.

Release date, new features, interface, prices… We have compiled all the information and rumors about the future OS in this file that we will update regularly.

When will Windows 12 be released?

According to information from Windows Central, Windows 12 will be released in 2024. And for good reason, Microsoft would now seek to deliver new major iterations of its OS every three years. Windows 11 was released in 2021, so it would make sense for its successor to come in 2024. Of course, all of this is not set in stone and Microsoft could be pushed to delay the launch for one reason or another.

Anyway, Windows 12 will probably have the right to a similar release pattern to that of previous versions. As a reminder, the first version of Windows 11 Insider Preview was available a few days after the formalization of Microsoft and a few months before the public release of the OS. A similar schedule should be followed for the future operating system. In particular, you will be able to access a preliminary version of Windows 12 via the Windows Insider program.

Will Windows 12 be free?

Given the uneven success of Windows 11 (which is free to upgrade), it is hard to imagine existing users rushing to Windows 12 if it is paid for. It is therefore very likely that Windows 12 will be offered as a free and optional update for Windows 11 users but also for Windows 10 die-hards.

What will the Windows 12 interface look like?

Microsoft would have already unveiled a draft of Windows 12 © Microsoft

On October 14, 2021, Microsoft presented the innovations of Microsoft 365 and Edge at the Ignite 2022 conference. And to illustrate the new features of Teams, the giant used an image revealing a version of Windows never seen before. It could well be the first glimpse of Windows 12 or at least a draft of the interface towards which Microsoft would like to tend.

As the famous screenshot was blurry, Windows Central made a mock-up to give us a clearer idea of ​​the new features spotted:

  • In the lower part of the screen, we distinguish a renovated taskbar. Now floating, it features rounded corners.
  • Another change that strikes the eye, a search bar floating throne at the top. It will allow you to launch a search without using the functionality dedicated to this purpose on the taskbar.
  • Usually located at the bottom right, time, date, remaining battery life and WiFi icons are now placed at the very top macOS style.
The search bar, taskbar and contextual icons expected on Windows 12 © Windows Central

What other new features are expected on Windows 12?

It is also rumored that the Redmond giant is working on a new lock screen and a new notification center. More generally, Microsoft would seek to create a coherent interface which will be optimized both in touch mode and for users of the keyboard/mouse combo. A way to satisfy all users as the market is now taken by storm by 2-in-1 hybrid laptops.

At the moment, it is not yet known what other features will surely arrive with Windows 12. Here are some possibilities:

While waiting to learn more, here are some Windows 12 concepts imagined by videographers. This one highlights in particular an adaptive wallpaper widget with the most beautiful effect:

What will be the minimum configuration to install Windows 12 on your PC?

To install Windows 12, the requirements should be similar to those required to install Windows 11. Namely:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 64 GB of storage
  • 1GHz 64-bit dual-core processor
  • UEFI, Secure Boot, TPM 2.0 and DirectX 12 compatibility
  • 9-inch screen with a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels
  • An Internet connection and a Microsoft account (for initial setup)

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