Windows 11 is still a relatively new operating system, but the world of tech always looks forward. As such, interest in Windows 12 is starting to grow. At this point, it's not confirmed what Microsoft will call its next major version of Windows, but we do know that the company is hard at work on a major update for PC. For the sake of simplicity, I'll call the next version of the OS "Windows 12," but that name is subject to change.
Our senior editor Zac Bowden discussed Windows 12 and what he'd like to see from the operating system. The OS update is in its early planning stages at the moment and currently has the codename "Next Valley" at Microsoft. The current target is for Windows 12 to ship at some point in 2024, but again, those plans could change at any moment.
Since not much is known about Windows 12 at this point, I'm going to focus on what we'd like to see, much like Bowden did in his recent piece.
Windows Central take — what I want in Windows 12
I'm sure that there are at least some people that would like to see all of these features and options in Windows 12. Some of them have been discussed for years and been on people's wish lists for every version of Windows for quite some time. While I'd love to see Windows 12 implement all of Zac's ideas, I think scalable functionality is the most important.
Windows 11, and all versions of Windows, are built to work on a massive number of PCs. That's good for things like backward compatibility, playing games, and getting work done, but it adds a lot of bloat for certain systems. I echo Bowden's question, "Does a low-cost education-focused PC need the Widgets Panel? Phone Link? [and] Xbox integrations?"
If Microsoft wants to compete with Chromebooks on the low end, it needs to strip out some of the bloat that's not designed for budget PCs. We saw this idea with Windows 10X and Windows Core OS, but those never saw the light of day. Microsoft adopted some of the design elements of Windows 10X into Windows 11, but it should focus on copying the functionality of the scalable OS when it makes Windows 12.
What do you view as the most important feature or element of Windows 12? Let us know in the poll above and reach out to me on Twitter
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.