Microsoft’s Windows 12 might be on the way, according to Intel

Intel gives a window into Microsoft's next OS, or at least an update.

The Windows 11 logo, but purple with the number 12 instead.

Just three years after Windows 11 landed on digital shelves, we could see Microsoft introduce yet another operating system. Looking towards 2024, Intel predicts it will have a good year and mostly pins it on an upcoming “Windows refresh.” Now, we’re not saying Windows 12 is definitely on its way, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard whispers of a new OS.

Windows 11 was released in October 2021 to little fanfare. Criticisms primarily targeted raised system requirements, awkward UI, and performance bugs that the company has gotten chiefly under control since. Historically, most people are reluctant to take the free upgrade early doors. Still, the current operating system has a staggeringly low adoption rate, with StatCounter showing a 23.61 per cent market share two years on. Even I reverted back to Windows 10 to avoid the stutters I was getting in Rainbow Six Siege.

We first heard rumours of Windows 12 just nine months after the current OS launched, with 2024 in mind. Now, corroborating this release schedule is Intel’s CFO, Dave Zinsner, who sat down with Citi (via PC Gamer):

“We actually think ’24 is going to be a pretty good year for client, in particular, because of the Windows refresh. 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.”

It’s not so shocking when you think back to Microsoft’s old release schedule. There were roughly three years between Vista, 7, 8, then 10. 2024 puts the company right back into its old ways. Still, this isn’t concrete evidence that we’re getting Windows 12, either, and there’s nothing official in the way of announcements just yet. Something’s likely coming, we just don’t know what form it’ll take.

Even without a number change, Windows 11 could get a chonky update. AMD and Intel’s focus on hybrid cores and Nvidia’s monumental leaps in AI spotlight what could be Microsoft’s next focus. Whatever comes, here’s hoping it’s still a free upgrade that you can easily downgrade if things go wrong.