As Microsoft changes its update schedule, Windows 12 might not come out until 2024. (Again)

Every three years, there will be big changes, and in the years between, there will be drops in features.

Microsoft is changing the schedule for when Windows updates come out again. A report from Windows Central says that the company is now thinking about releasing one major update every three years and up to four smaller feature drops in between. This is a change from when they said they would update features once a year.

Most people liked the change from two updates a year to one big update, especially since previous updates often had bugs and performance problems. It also meant that IT administrators could take it easy since they only had to worry about updating systems once a year. Now, Microsoft is giving itself even more time to release “major” updates while keeping the current version of Windows updated with new features regularly.

By putting out new features every three years instead of every year, Microsoft should have enough time to fix any bugs before releasing an update that, for example, makes printers crash. It is said that the next version will come out in 2024, three years after Windows 11. That means that the (codename) Sun Valley 3 client update won’t happen next year, as had been saying before.

Windows users might complain about having to wait longer for major updates, but it’s important to note that Microsoft plans to increase the number of feature drops, which a clever marketing team is supposedly renaming “Moments” (this term hasn’t been used publicly yet). This year, Microsoft moved the Weather widget to the Taskbar, which was one of these Moments.

The changes will reportedly begin with Windows 11 version 22H2, also called “Sun Valley 2,” which will keep adding new features even between major OS updates. Windows Central says that unnamed sources say that starting in 2023, these will be released every few months, up to four times.

It isn’t clear if the changes will also affect Windows 10. Adding more features that are only available in Windows 11 could encourage businesses and people to switch to the latest OS version. At the same time, big companies with a lot of laptops, tablets, and desktops to manage might not like getting updates at random.

If or when Microsoft decides to make this new release system public, things should become clearer. What does it mean for supporting older versions of Windows if the company only puts out major updates every three years? Will the next major update (Windows 12) be a whole new OS? How do you expect companies to keep up with the newest features?

Since Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the report yet, nothing is for sure. Still, the company said in February that it was looking into new ways to add new features to Windows. It has already made small changes to the way Windows looks through updates that happen at random times.

Even though it sounds like a nightmare for businesses, I hope this goes forward and gives developers the scheduling flexibility they need to release updates that are always stable, which Microsoft hasn’t been able to do in recent years.