Windows 11 24H2 reference spotted – does this mean no Windows 12 next year?

Windows Logo on Laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock - Wachiwit)

While the rumor mill has been putting some stock in the idea that the next version of Microsoft’s operating system will be called Windows 12, and it’s expected to turn up next year, a little doubt has now sprung up around this.

Regular leaker @XenoPanther on X (formerly Twitter) was digging around in Windows (policy definitions, pretty dry stuff) and stumbled upon a reference to ‘Windows 11 24H2.’

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As the leaker notes, this could be a typo, as the references seem to skip from Windows 11 22H2 to 24H2, so maybe this is supposed to read 23H2?

If it is correct, though, it’s an early indication that the next version of Microsoft’s OS will be the 24H2 update for Windows 11 – rather than Windows 12 as rumored.

In other words, Windows 12 may not be coming next year, or at least that’s the conclusion some folks are rapidly drawing on social media thanks to this leak.


Analysis: Possible placeholder?

Putting the possibility that this is a mistake to one side – which it certainly could be – jumping to conclusions really is premature here. Even if it isn’t an error, a mere mention of Windows 11 24H2 could be a placeholder name for next year’s release, of course.

It is, however, at least a suggestion that Microsoft might not be going for a whole new version of Windows for next year after all.

That said, we’re not convinced of that by any means, as there have been quite strong signs that a next-gen Windows should be inbound in 2024. That includes most recently Taiwan’s The Commercial Times reporting on a new generation of Windows popping up in June of next year, and a bit further back, we witnessed an Intel exec talking about next-gen Windows for 2024.

Note carefully, though, that no one actually mentions Windows 12 as the name - instead, less specific terms like 'next-gen Windows' are employed.

It’s likely even Microsoft itself hasn’t decided on the final name yet, and so calling the next version Windows 11 24H2 could be a placeholder for next-gen Windows – which might end up being named Windows 12 – as much as it is a possible sign that Windows 11 will stick around for another year and another annual update.

We’ve previously bet on a future version of Windows being renamed due to its strong focus on AI (Windows Copilot, perhaps, even though Microsoft already used that name, or Windows AI even?). Whenever AI hits big-time for the OS, Microsoft will rename it accordingly to reflect that, we reckon – although in fairness, from the speed of Copilot development so far, that probably won’t be next year.

Via Windows Latest

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).