Windows 12: Release Date, Features, And Rumors

Unlike Windows 10, people have mixed feelings about Windows 11; they either love it or aren’t big fans and stick with Windows 10. Even the first major update of Windows 11, Windows 11 22H2, could not change their minds about the operating system. Which is why they would be glad to hear that Microsoft is now working on Windows 12.

Like all earlier versions of the Windows operating system, Windows 12 is the next big thing. Here, we discuss everything about what Windows 12 will bring, what to expect, and how soon we can expect it.

When will Windows 12 be Released?

When you hear about Windows 12 right now, the first thing that comes to mind is when to expect it. Since Microsoft has not made any official announcements yet, the expected release date is based on rumors and hearsay.

After considering various sources as well as the history of Windows releases, Windows 12 can be expected as early as the second half of 2024. We say this for two reasons:

First, Microsoft recently changed its Insider channels for Windows consumers. Previously, there were only 3 channels: Dev, Beta, and Release Preview. Now, Microsoft has also included the “Canary” channel. this change has stirred up curiosity, as it suggests Microsoft has now begun working on a new operating system.

Perhaps the Canary channel will include features and improvements that can be a part of Windows 12 when released to the public.

The second consideration we made while predicting the release date for Windows 12 is the release history. Before Windows 11, all operating systems were released 3 years apart. Although Windows 11 was released after 6 years of Windows 10, we have reason to believe that Microsoft will now revert to the 3-year major release schedule.

Here is a history of recent releases of Windows versions:

  • Windows 7 – 2009
  • Windows 8 – 2012
  • Windows 10 – 2015
  • Windows 11 – 2021

TIP: Check out the exact release dates and expiry dates of all Windows Operating Systems.

By the look of the release pattern, it is safe to assume that Windows 12 will debut in 2024.

Cost of Windows 12

If you already have a licensed version of Windows, whether it’s Windows 7, 10, or 11, upgrading to Windows 12 should be free.

As we saw with Windows 10, upgrades to Windows 11 were free as long as you had a valid license key. However, if you own a Windows 12 computer with a previous license key, you must surely pay a price for it.

At the moment, there are no confirmed costs for the different Windows 12 editions. However, it will likely be the same for Windows 12 as they are for Windows 11, which are:

  • $140 for the “Home” edition
  • $200 for the “Pro” edition

Windows 12 System Requirements

Microsoft has not made any comments on anything relating to Windows 11, including the system requirements for it to run. However, we believe that it would have at least the same system requirements as Windows 11.

When Windows 11 first launched, it changed the operating system landscape by making Secure Boot and TPM mandatory. The supported computers were able to upgrade their operating systems to Windows 11.

However, we believe that such new restrictions will not be made with Windows 12, but it will retain the same minimum system requirements as Windows 11.

Check if your computer meets the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

As per various sources, Windows 12 will also have the following requirements:

  • 64-Bit architecture only.
  • Minimum 2 CPU cores.
  • TPM 2.0 is required for installation. TPM 2.0 was mostly integrated into 8th-generation CPUs. So at least an 8th Gen CPU is required.
  • Only UEFI will be supported.
  • At least 4 GB RAM.
  • At least 64 GB storage space.
  • An active internet connection and a mandatory Microsoft account while setting up the computer.

How to Upgrade to Windows 12?

As with Windows 11 and Windows 10, we expect the upgrade process to Windows 12 to be the same. This means that users will most likely receive an enablement package through Windows Update that will upgrade the operating system’s version and build to Windows 12.

Enablement packages are small Windows Update packages that only enable the hidden (disabled) features of the Windows OS. This means that new features and improvements will have already been installed/downloaded onto your computer through previous updates, and will just be disabled.

For users performing fresh installations, Microsoft will also provide ISO images. These will likely be available as standalone ISO images, and also through the Windows Media Creation Tool.

Additionally, you can also use the Installation Assistant from Microsoft to update your existing OS directly to Windows 12.

That said, you will not be forced to upgrade to Windows 12. At least not yet.

Windows 10 is supported until October 2025, which means that it will continue to receive security updates. Similarly, Windows 11 will also be supported for an extended time. Therefore, until older operating systems are supported, it will not be mandatory to upgrade to Windows 12.

However, after the support date has surpassed, it is recommended that you upgrade your OS to keep it secure, receive security patches, and mitigate vulnerabilities.

Windows 12 Features: What to Expect

New and Improved User Interface

There are rumors that Windows 12 might have a new, more modern UI than its predecessors. The rumors are based on information disclosed in the Microsoft Ignite 2022 keynote where attendees may have glanced at the potential new UI for Windows 12.

Windows 12 UI
Windows 12 UI. Source: Windows Central

Although no direct remarks were made about the new UI for Windows 12, this image has received criticism for looking very much like the recent macOS.

Either way, a new user interface is expected to be seen with Windows 12.

Modular Segmentation with CorePC

According to Zac Bowden over at Windows Central, there are reports that Microsoft is working on an OS with core isolation features. The project’s codename is “CorePC.”

CorePC is supposed to be the modular version of the regular Windows OS, that is both lightweight and customizable on the core level. It will have capabilities to enable and disable certain parts of the OS as per the select devices.

For example, if a particular type of computer does not support 32-bit applications, it will disable the entire 32-bit application support. CorePC will allow Microsoft to customize Windows 12 editions are the core level.

This “state separation” approach will allow Microsoft to adjust the operating system according to individual system requirements, reduce installation size, minimize overhead resource utilization, and faster system resets.

Microsoft previously tried to release a similar operating system by the name Windows 10X but failed to roll it out to users. Now, Microsoft is at it again and trying to develop the same concept as Windows 12.

AI Integration

As of right now, everything around us is getting built-in AI features, like the Bing search engine, Microsoft Edge, Skype, and whatnot. Similarly, Microsoft is planning to include Ai support right inside Windows 12.

There are no official reports yet, or any hints at the moment, that AI will be embedded in Windows 12, but this information is based on current Microsoft practices and general market trends.

It is rumored that Windows 12 will have the ability to read texts and other data from inside images. It might also have the ability to jumpstart applications and programs based on the current information on the display.

Smaller Windows Updates

Another feature that Windows 12 might include is smaller update packages, and hence quicker installations.

Since Windows 12 will be a state-separated OS, it will receive smaller updates through Windows Update. This means that some parts of the OS will be segregated from the others. This will allow the operating system to update seamlessly.


Windows 12 is anticipated to be released in the second half of 2024. It is expected to have a new UI with AI features and many other improvements. However, some criticize the rumors to have a resemblance with macOS. This can be both good and bad, depending on whether you are a fan of Apple’s proprietary operating system.

Let us know what you think of the upcoming Windows 12 in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there going to be a Windows 12?

Although Microsoft skipped Windows 9, the chances of a Windows 12 are very likely. It is believed that Microsoft is already working on it and is expected to release it in 2024.

What editions will Windows 12 have?

As with Windows 10 and Windows 11, Windows 12 is likely to have the same editions, which include Professional, Education, Enterprise, Home, IoT, and SE. Note that Windows 11 is the equivalent of Windows 12’s project CorePC, so it might be renamed.

Will there be a Windows 13?

If Microsoft continues its 3-year release cadence, Windows 13 could be available as early as 2027, with Windows 14 to follow 3 years later.

When is the release date for Windows 12?

Unfortunately, there is currently no official release date for Windows 12. However, if we look at the history of Microsoft releasing a new Operating System every three to four years, it is likely that Windows 12 will be released in late 2024 or early 2025 (exactly when Windows 10 expires).

What are the new features rumored for Windows 12?

Since there is no official confirmation for Windows 12, there are no confirmed new features. However, there are rumors that Windows 12 may include a redesigned desktop, new wallpaper, a floating taskbar, better AI features and faster updates.

Will the search bar and taskbar get a redesign in Windows 12?

Microsoft has not confirmed a redesign for the search bar or taskbar for Windows 12. However, if we connect the dots, we’ll be able to see that the taskbar and search bar features were revamped in Windows 11. Hence, these features will definitely get an update on the new operating system.

Will the File Explorer be updated in Windows 12?

Microsoft has not confirmed whether File Explorer will receive an update on Windows 12. However, as File Explorer is a key component of Windows, and Microsoft is already working on a new UI of File Explorer, we can speculate that File Explorer will get a major revamp in Windows 12.

Will third-party apps be compatible with Windows 12?

Unlike the Apple echo system which tightly revolves around Apple products, Microsoft cares about third-party hardware and software integration and compatibility. Microsoft is expected to continue the same path and ensure that third-party devices and apps remain compatible with Windows 12.

Will Windows 12 be an update to Windows 10?

As mentioned earlier, there is currently no confirmed information about Windows 12. However, as Microsoft is moving towards the subscription model, we can expect Windows 12 to receive a free upgrade from Windows 11 and previous operating systems.

What is Windows Core OS?

Windows Core OS is a modular version of Windows that Microsoft has been working on for a while. It enables Microsoft to create one version of Windows that can run across various types of devices.

If you liked this post, Share it on:
Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

Leave the first comment

Get Updates in Your Inbox

Sign up for the regular updates and be the first to know about the latest tech information