Windows 12 will likely be Microsoft’s follow-up to Windows 11 – and it may arrive sooner than you think.
Rumors suggest that the imaginatively titled operating system could arrive in 2024, and the possibility that Windows 12 could follow as soon as Windows 11 has delighted some of us at .
And while that still leaves Microsoft behind the annual updates that macOS and some other operating systems manage, Microsoft’s upcoming ‘Moments’ releases will at least have more regular updates.
Whenever it comes, we’d like to see a bigger evolution compared to what Windows 11 brought. So what improvements and new features might Windows 12 have? Users have been feeding Microsoft with feature requests, with some of those desires being met with the 2022 update, which brought a refined taskbar.
With that in mind, here’s everything we’ve discovered so far about the next major Windows update, plus five features we’d also like to see in Windows 12.
Windows 12: Get straight to the point
- What is it? Windows 12 is the successor to Windows 11
- When are you leaving? Possibly 2024 based on the three-year timeline
- How much does it cost? It should be free like Windows 11 is currently
Windows 12 release date rumors
That’s still too early for Windows 11 – we’re still not at the one-year anniversary of the announced update. However, in previous releases, we expect to see Windows 12 arrive in late 2024, just as support for Windows 10 is ending.
Windows 12 compatible devices
When Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 11, the main requirement was that the machines have a hardware feature called TPM enabled, which is a security feature that can be found on most motherboards.
While the same requirement will likely be asked by Microsoft again, it could be at a point where almost all PCs have TPM enabled anyway.
Other than that, it will likely have similar requirements to Windows 11:
- 64 bit processor
- 1GHz clock speed
- 4GB of RAM
- 64 GB drive
- UEFI, support secure boot
- TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)
- A screen larger than 9 inches with HD resolution (1366×768)
- DirectX 12 / WDDM 2.x compatible graphics
- Internet connection
what do we want to see
We still don’t know much about Windows 12, or if the update will ever become a reality, but we have a pretty good idea of what we want with it, with the following features at the top of our list.
1. Merge Skype and Teams in MSN Messenger 12
It’s no secret that Microsoft’s efforts at video calling and collaboration through messaging apps have been less than stellar in recent years. At a time when people needed to communicate more remotely, it was Zoom that took the lead and Skype was disconcertingly sidelined.
While there have been some new features brought to Teams and Skype, there’s still an air of confusion about which one you should use. If you need to attend a job interview in Teams, for example, chances are you need to install the app quickly and make sure it works.
Instead, we’ll see them retire and mark a fresh start for Windows 12, with the return of MSN Messenger to do the work these two apps did.
Not only would we like to see the return of nudges, winks and classic sounds if users want it, but we’d also like powerful features to make it match Zoom, Google Meets and FaceTime. Maybe it has integration with Slack, so if a video conference is needed, she can request it in a channel and with a button, MSN Messenger will start with the required guests.
Microsoft needs to restart how it perceives itself for messaging apps, and the return of MSN Messenger could be a great start to that.
2. Live wallpaper
A request from Senior Computing Editor Matt Hanson is intriguing. There have been similar features on iPhones and Android phones for a few years now, with animations moving around on these devices. But for PC and Mac, they were relegated to third-party apps like wallpaper mechanism (opens in new tab)to be able to have live wallpapers with the ability to display information from your PC.
For something similar in Windows 12, Microsoft could ramp up its theming efforts even further, something that has seen improvements in Windows 11 thanks to its dark themes.
Having a dedicated section for wallpapers, where you can put static bytes of information on your desktop that works with an animated live wallpaper, can appeal to all types of users.
Microsoft may also bring back earlier wallpapers, like Windows XP’s hillside, but liven up, alongside some clouds displaying battery status or the weather.
This can substantially refresh the desktop and make it much more up-to-date, without having to rely on widgets or a taskbar to show changes.
3. Dedicated podcast app
While it was great to see the return of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, having additional features like podcasts seems irrelevant to what the Media Player is for.
macOS has had its own podcast app since Big Sur in 2019, but if you want to use a similar app on Windows, it’s not clear where to start as Microsoft doesn’t offer a dedicated podcast app.
That’s why Windows 12 should include a dedicated podcast app that can also be used on other platforms like iOS and Android so your subscriptions can be synced across all your devices.
Podcasts are very popular and managing them in their own app would be great for Windows users. It’s something that can really help spur the company’s effort to make content available on nearly every device.
4. Dedicated streaming application
A sensational idea from our resident computing writer Jess Weatherbed, as there’s still no built-in option in Windows to stream what you’re playing.
There have been apps like OBS and Twitch for years that offer ways to stream what you’re playing or watching with others. However, these apps have always taken extra effort to ensure that you stream to viewers with good quality and low latency.
Then there’s the added aspect of peripherals that streamers use to help show them off in a better light, or Stream Decks to easily control their settings with hotkeys.
It can be difficult to manage multiple apps just to control them all, which is why Windows 12 can benefit from having one app that can manage your streams and peripherals.
Microsoft has been promoting games on Windows 11 since its June 2021 announcement, with a redesigned Xbox app and HDR support. But countless gamers also stream these games through Windows, so there’s a huge opportunity here.
Having an app to control, say, the touch lights and streams for viewers is appealing, shifting the heavy lifting to an app. It could automate the streams based on the schedule and games being played, along with different lighting scenarios for different times of day.
This could encourage more gamers to see Windows as a service, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been claiming since the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, as well as making Windows 12 an attractive prospect for streamers to gain more followers and income for their communities. careers.
5. Companion App for Android
A suggestion from our editor-in-chief of Pro, Desire Athow – this could be an expansion of Your Phone, Microsoft’s effort to sync your phone with Windows. But when you open this new app on Windows 12, it will have a layout that resembles Windows Phone and its tile layout and would allow for a desktop experience from your phone.
This would be similar to Samsung DeX, which can turn your Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S22 Ultra into a desktop when connected to a peripheral.
This new app would go beyond Microsoft’s DeX and Your Phone efforts. When you connect to a monitor, it becomes a complete Windows 12 desktop, showing everything from your main PC. And when you click an icon, it downloads the content from the cloud and displays it in its native resolution.
It would be an innovative cloud extension where you can access your files from wherever you are. Here, you would be carrying your desktop with you and all you have to do is connect your smartphone to a monitor, either with touchscreen capabilities or keyboard and mouse.
As with the streaming feature above, this would again further Nadella’s plans to see Windows as a service. Having your PC in an app is an attractive idea and can help in those situations where you have a small window of opportunity to get some work done with a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse somewhere.