Windows 12 rumoured for June 2024 release with renewed focus on AI hardware

Expect to hear much more about Windows 12 in the coming months.

Windows 12

Microsoft may launch the next major version of its Windows operating system as soon as June 2024.

The first real inkling of a firm launch window comes via Taiwan’s Commercial Times (CTEE), citing major PC manufacturers who are expected to introduce AI-enabled PCs in what is colloquially being referred to as “the year of AI.”

Such reports reaffirm earlier suggestions that Microsoft had moved to a three-year release cadence following the arrival of Windows 11 in 2021. A stark reversal for a company who once described Windows 10 as the last version of Windows.

Eagerness to bring Windows 12 to the fore is not unexpected, as the industry hopes to ride the AI bandwagon that has taken the server space by storm. Chip manufacturers are eager to convey the benefits of local AI on client PCs. Intel will champion the technology with the release of next-generation ‘Meteor Lake’ CPUs carrying an all-new NPU AI Engine. The upcoming release has been described by Club386 as Intel’s most important innovation in 40 years.

An unrelenting shift to AI-enabled PCs is already underway, with Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 update marking the debut of Windows Copilot. Such features are expected to feature prominently in Windows 12, though it remains to be seen whether or not dedicated AI hardware will be recommended to make full use of forward-looking AI enhancements.

Controversially, Microsoft introduced Windows 11 with heightened system requirements back in 2021, insisting on devices with a dedicated security coprocessor. While Windows 12 is unlikely to require AI-capable hardware as a minimum, manufacturers will be eager to extol the virtues of running the new software in tandem with purpose-built components.

So far, leaked specs alongside a Windows 12 screenshot suggest not too much will change from the current operating system. Still, it has some time left in the oven before we’ll see the real deal.