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It’s not “Windows 12”: Microsoft keeps Windows 11 branding despite major changes

The new Surface Laptop powered by Arm.  These Copilot+ PCs are all shown with an updated version of Windows 11
Enlarge / The new Surface Laptop powered by Arm. These Copilot+ PCs are all shown with an updated version of the Windows 11 “Bloom” wallpaper.

Microsoft

Microsoft is announcing some pretty big changes to Windows and the Surface line as part of its Build developer conference this week, but there’s one thing that’s definitely not coming, at least not now: a Windows 12 update.

Speculation about the “Windows 12” update began to spread sometime last year with reports suggesting that Microsoft was returning to a three-year release cycle like that used for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

And Microsoft may have intended to call this fall’s release “Windows 12” at one point, and it comes with substantial changes above and under the hood to better support Arm systems and emphasize Microsoft’s AI.

“We’ve been really focused on modernizing this Windows 11 update,” Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s vice president for Windows and devices, said during a tech briefing on the Microsoft campus mid- april. “We built this Windows 11 update with a real focus on AI inference and leveraging the Arm64 instruction set at every layer of the OS stack. For us, that meant actually create a new compiler in Windows We have built a new kernel in Windows on top of this compiler We now have new schedulers in the operating system that take advantage of this new SoC architecture.

Microsoft hasn’t said whether the updated system components will have any notable benefits for users of current x86 systems, although these updates are likely the reason the operating system was moved from “unsupported ” to “unbootable” on some systems with early 64-bit x86 processors.

Even with these changes, at one point the company made the decision to stay the course with Windows 11’s UI and branding rather than starting from scratch and abandoning the momentum that Windows 11 had achieved to reach. By some indicators, Windows 11 usage has continued its slow but steady increase; for others, it has essentially stagnated this year. Leaked internal data suggests that Windows 11 currently has between 400 and 500 million active users, a slower pace of adoption than Windows 10 at this point in its lifecycle.

Whatever Microsoft decides to call it, Windows versioning has little to do with the fundamentals of the operating system. The first version of Windows 11 was essentially Windows 10 with a new UI on top – at one point it was known as “Windows 10X”, and the Windows 11 branding was a surprise when it was released. announced three years ago. Many apps and games continue to identify it as a version of Windows 10.

Microsoft has decided to impose stricter system requirements for Windows 11 than for Windows 10, but these are enforced by a handful of easy-to-change registry settings. Once you bypass the Secure Boot or TPM 2.0 requirements, early versions of Windows 11 will install and run on virtually any 64-bit PC that can run Windows 10, highlighting their common basis . Even with the new CPU requirements, unsupported installations will continue to work on virtually any PC made in the last 12 or 13 years (the official system requirements remain unchanged).

The Windows 11 24H2 Update will hit most Windows 11 PCs when it officially releases later this fall, although Windows Insiders in the Dev channel can now get the version being updated.

News Source : arstechnica.com
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