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Poll: Windows 12? Windows 11? What should Microsoft call its next operating system?

Surface Pro 8 with keyboard
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will shift to a new development cycle, according to our sources.
  • The company will move to a three-year release cycle for major versions of the Windows client but will also ship new features between major releases.
  • Some have speculated that the shift could bring a new name to the next version of Windows.

Microsoft will move to a new engineering schedule for Windows, according to our sources. Our senior editor Zac Bowden exclusively reported this week that Microsoft will shift to a three-year release cycle for major versions of the Windows client. The company will simultaneously increase the rollout of new features to the current version of Windows, allowing the operating system to improve between major releases.

The current plan is for a new version of Windows to release in 2024, which would be three years since the launch of Windows 11. It's important to note that plans can always change, but the latest information suggests a dramatic shift in how Microsoft rolls out new versions of its OS.

Some have speculated that the shift to a new development cycle could also come with new names for future versions of Windows. While that's certainly possible, nothing is confirmed at this point. So rather than focusing on what Microsoft will call the next version of Windows, we'd like to know what you think the company should call its next OS.

Having a fresh name every few years would give Microsoft a chance to remarket Windows to general audiences. The launch of Windows 11 wasn't exactly smooth, and it left a poor taste in some peoples' mouths. No matter how many updates roll out to Windows 11, some will always associate it with its early-day issues.

Even if the next version of Windows is largely the same as Windows 11, calling it Windows 12 would provide a fresh start for Microsoft's operating system.

On the other hand, Microsoft may prefer to update what it has and focus on convincing people that Windows 11 is over its initial hiccups. This isn't the 90s. Games, operating systems, and other pieces of software can be dramatically improved with updates and don't always need new names to change their reputation.

Microsoft could also just remove its numbering system altogether for Windows, though if the company was going to do that, it likely would have done so with the launch of Windows 11.

What do you think Microsoft should call its next operating system? Let us know in the poll above and jump on over to our official Discord to share your thoughts in our forum. Also, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.