Did Microsoft slip in sneaky Windows 12 reference at Build 2023?

Eye looking through the hole on cracked wall. Spy peeking through hole in brick wall. Spy concept.
(Image credit: Boxyray via Shuttertsock )

It seems Microsoft is gearing up to unveil its next big operating system Windows 12. While the company has been keeping things hush-hush on when exactly we will get the new OS (or even if it exists), the next generation of Windows did make a cameo appearance at Build 2023, the company's annual developer keynote.

Of course, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding Windows 11’s successor, as users across the globe gear up for their PCs to get a fresh new look. During the Build 2023 developer conference, the company spent a lot of time showcasing upcoming Windows 11 updates, including teasing the fact the company is working on Windows 12.

During one of the keynotes, audiences noticed a screenshot that mentioned a session called “next-gen of Windows” during one of the keynotes and sparked curiosity in the computing world.  The company mentioned “Next Valley Prototype Design”, which could be a term referring to Windows 12

Big promises

Rumors have suggested that Microsoft is planning to integrate AI into the new OS to enhance how the operating system works, and we could see a floating taskbar rather than the classic one we use now, is in Windows 11 is anchored to the bottom of the screen.

We’re still likely to see the Windows 12 update sometime in 2024 (unless you want to pleasantly surprise me, Microsoft …) and the TechRadar crew are excited to see how Windows 11 will be improved upon with the new upgrade. We have high hopes for what we could potentially see, including ‘live’ wallpapers that’ll let you have moving and dynamic wallpapers on your desktop, and a push towards themes and more comprehensive customization options.

Overall, the buzz around Windows 12 is positive and we’re anxious to get more, less sneaky, looks at the new OS and how it’ll change the way we interact with our PCs. Microsoft has made many… questionable choices with Windows 11, so there are plenty of lessons to be learned and places to improve. 

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).