Microsoft Windows 12: release date, download, beta, update

Microsoft Windows 12: release date, download, beta, update

Windows 12 is set to be the next big release for the Windows operating system, following on from Windows 11 and the 22h2 update. In this article we will look at everything that is known about Windows 12 so far.

When will Windows 12 be released?

Whilst there has yet to be an official confirmation from Microsoft, it is rumoured to have a release date in 2024, 3 years after Windows 11 was released. If Windows 12 follows the trend that it has set will new releases every 3 years: Windows 7 (2009), Windows 8 (2012), Windows 10 (2015), Windows 11 (2021), Windows 12 should be released towards the end of 2024. There could well be another Windows 11 update in 2023 before a further update to Windows 12 in 2024. Members of the Windows Insider Program may even see new updates that Microsoft are working on for Windows 12. 

What will the Windows 12 features be?

As no official announcement has been made by Microsoft about Windows 12, it is difficult at this point to give a detailed list of the features we can expect in Windows 12. 

New design

  • In a recent Microsoft Ignite keynote, they showed off an interface that had a floating taskbar (somewhat similar to that of MacOS).
  • A possible new lock screen and animated wallpapers.
  • An effort to give Microsoft products a universal design language (Android phones, Windows computers, Xbox Series X|S). This is something that Apple have achieved with the iPad, iPhone and Mac devices.
  • A new taskbar that makes searching on your computer easier. 

Android app integration

  • Windows could allow app installation and integration on PCs, again, in a similar way to that of Apple's App Store on Mac OS. 
  • The ability to install Android apps with their APK file would open the possibilities of cross platform compatibility and interaction. 

The return of MSN Messenger

  • There is potential for a return of the classic instant messenger: MSN Messenger. It was first released in 1999 and ran until 2013. It was one of the first instant messaging service that allowed you to chat with friends and family, send messages, photos and more. 

Will Windows 12 be a free upgrade?

If you are a current Windows 11 user, it is fairly certain that the next major Windows upgrade will be free, much like the last upgrade. Microsoft typically offers major updates to their OS for free. This may not necessarily apply if you don't already have Windows 11, you will need to purchase it. 

The cost of Windows 12 should be similar to that of Windows 11: 

  • Windows 12 Home: $139.99
  • Windows 12 Pro: $199.99

Will you need to upgrade?

Ultimately it will be up to you. If the new features on offer, the potential for improved performance and improved user interaction appeal to you, then you can upgrade when Windows 12 becomes available. If you want to be one of the first users to upgrade then it is recommend that you sign up to the Windows Insider program and keep an eye out for any news. 

Windows 12 system requirements

The Windows 11 requirements were as follows:

  • Processor 1GHz single-core processor.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM memory.
  • Storage: 64 GB free disk space.
  • Graphic Card: DirectX 12 compatible.

We can expect the Windows 12 requirements to be similar, but also slightly more advanced. For example a requirement of 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB. It is more than likely that if your computer can currently comfortably run Windows 11, then it won't have any problems running Windows 12. 

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