In a surprising turn of events, speculations are rife that Microsoft’s upcoming system update might not be christened Windows 12, as many had anticipated. Instead, it appears to be a substantial revamp of the current Windows 11, set to incorporate extensive artificial intelligence (AI) integration.
According to a report from Windows Central, the anticipated “version 24H2” system is slated for release later this year, succeeding the Windows 11 version 23H2 launched in the previous year. While initial conjectures hinted at a numerical upgrade in the nomenclature, recent developments suggest a continuation of the Windows 11 sequence. This shift in expectations gains prominence following the departure of Chief Product Officer Panos Panay from the company.
The upcoming update, referred to by various codenames such as Hudson Valley and Germanium, will undergo preliminary release to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for hardware development. The Germanium platform release, scheduled for April, will precede the general release. Although the full system update for existing Windows 11 users may not be available until at least September, AI-equipped PCs featuring version 24H2 are expected to be unveiled around June.
Speculations about stringent Random Access Memory (RAM) and Neural Processing Unit (NPU) standards for AI PCs running the new Windows system have surfaced. However, the impact on upgrades remains unclear. Notably, Microsoft is purportedly adopting the “OS swap” method for installing version 24H2, a process that entirely replaces the old system version with the new operating system. This method is executable when the platform sequence remains unchanged, unlike the previous 23H2 update, which involved edits to the existing system.
Beyond the infusion of AI, version 24H2 promises a slew of new features for the Windows ecosystem. Microsoft, through its Insider Canary Channel, has been rigorously testing updates in performance, security, user experience (UX), and overall quality-of-life enhancements. While not all features from the testing phase are guaranteed to make it to the final release, they provide a glimpse into Microsoft’s ambitious plans for the next system update.
Among the anticipated updates are improvements to Copilot, including its relocation and a dedicated placement in the Settings app. Snap Layouts and File Explorer are set to receive updates, with added functionalities such as 7zip and TAR file creation. The Quick Settings panel on the Windows taskbar will see enhancements, including pagination and a new refresh button on the Wi-Fi list. Performance improvements for the Quick Settings panel are also on the horizon.
In addition to these enhancements, Microsoft appears poised for a significant clean-up in version 24H2. Legacy applications, including Cortana, Mail, Calendar, Maps, People, and Movies & TV, are slated for removal. Notably, the venerable rich text application WordPad is set to be phased out in a future update.
As the release date approaches, more details about version 24H2 are expected to emerge, shedding light on the comprehensive changes Microsoft has in store for its user base. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the nomenclature, the amalgamation of AI and various feature enhancements underscores Microsoft’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation with its upcoming system update.
The anticipation surrounding Microsoft’s next system update, tentatively titled version 24H2, points towards a paradigm shift in the Windows ecosystem. With a strong focus on AI integration and an array of feature enhancements, the tech giant seems poised to redefine user experiences. As we await further details closer to the release, the evolving landscape of Windows promises a dynamic and cutting-edge future for PC users.