Panos Panay teases 'next generation of Windows' is coming in fireside chat at Ignite 2021

Panos Panay
Panos Panay (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Panos Panay has teased that the "next generation of Windows" is coming.
  • The tease happened during a fireside chat with Roanne Sones at Ignite 2021
  • Panay's comments suggest there's big Windows announcements on the way.

In a fireside chat with Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay and Corporate VP & Product Manager, Roanne Sones, Panay briefly talks about Windows and the future of the platform, teasing that he's pumped about what's coming next but that Microsoft is not ready to talk about it just yet.

In the 15 minute one-on-one, Panay and Sones answer questions presented to them in the style of a WIRED auto-complete interview powered by Bing. The last question poised to Panay is "What is the question Panos gets asked the most?" Sones says it must be "Why?" in regards to Windows, and Panay responds with the following:

Windows is such an important platform, for connecting people, helping people be as productive as they possibly can be. It is the heart beat right now of what is modern work. It really is, just take a step back. But it's also the heart beat of what we do every day in our lives. It's familiar, it's intuitive, it adapts to you. These are really important elements.This is a product right now that more than a billion people all over the world are relying on every day, to work, to learn ... and ultimately to create. And that's what this is about, how we continue to see where technology can take us versus what it does for us today and where is it that we will be and how can technology be there for you, Windows is the core of that.It's there to light up Microsoft 365 experiences, it's there to light up the devices for OEMs, but most importantly like we talked about it's there for people to connect, create, and ultimately be productive as they need to. We have new features coming—here I got to tell you this—look and I haven't talked about the next generation of Windows and what's coming next, but I can tell you I am so pumped. We're not talking about that today."... because we have so much right now, we talked about the depth of features and the breadth of what Windows can bring for each of you for IT Pros ... I know that the future of Windows is incredible, what we're bringing to the table for sure. But ultimately we're here today to talk about Windows 10 and what Windows 10 brings to the table, and how we can support our customers and partners here at Ignite.

It's interesting to see Panay refer to the future of the product as "the next generation," which could imply that big changes are on the horizon for the platform.

We already know that Microsoft is working on a big Windows update codenamed Sun Valley that is expected to launch at the end of this year. Panay took charge of Windows' client experiences in February 2020, and it's beginning to look like he has some big plans for the platform this year.

Microsoft is also expected to launch Windows 10X this year, a new version of Windows built on a modern core and designed for PCs in the education and enterprise sector. It'll be interesting to see how 10X fits into the rest of the Windows ecosystem, and how it evolves to maybe one day become the new default version of Windows for most people.

Panay's comments confirm that Microsoft is planning to talk more about Windows later this year. The question now is where and when will those announcements take place? Rumors suggest a dedicated Windows press event is on the cards, but there's no indication as to when that'll be happening just yet.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Panay's comments about Windows? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads