We reported on a rumor last week suggesting that Microsoft is already working on Windows 12, the next major version of Windows.
While Windows 10 is being depreciated in 2025, and Windows 11 is already on its way to receiving its first major update in the form of Sun Valley 2 later this year, it may be much too soon to start thinking about what's next for Microsoft's jewel.
But numbers in products matter, and ignoring the version numbers of web browsers, with Google Chrome approaching version 100, Microsoft may feel like it's been missing out, compared to Apple and Samsung's naming efforts in recent years.
Granted, this is the sketchiest of etch-a-sketch rumors in recent memory, but when you look around at the other operating systems that you and others use every day, it's not a huge stretch.
Why would I want to see Windows 12?
Every time we hear rumors about an upcoming release from Office, iOS, or macOS, there's usually a number attached.
Microsoft's method of bringing in updates, especially as someone who mainly uses a Mac, has been confusing, with monthly or yearly updates that seem to appear out of nowhere, especially if you're not on the Insider Channel.
To see a new Windows release with a 12, or 13, or 14 throughout the decade, would excite me more about what Microsoft could be working on for the operating system, whilst being clear about what releases are coming up.
Looking at an update called 'February 2022 Update for Windows 11', usually with a bunch of numbers after the letter K, doesn't excite me. It doesn't make me wonder what's next and feels synthetic and boring to me.
Let's see the next major update called Windows 12, with the fanfare that we see from Apple with macOS for example.
Following on from Apple and, Samsung
For years, Apple had version numbering for macOS included in its older name – Mac OS X.
With every version, which was named after a wild cat, then eventually Californian landmarks, there would be a .1 added on. This was between 2000 and 2018, and now we've already seen the jump from macOS 11 to macOS 12 with Monterey's release last year, with macOS 13 rumored to be next.
Some say it was to leap ahead of the naming of future iPhones, and for a customer looking for their next phone upgrade, it can sway their decision.
But between 2015 and 2021, the only Windows version was Windows 10, so it wouldn't be a stretch for Microsoft to consider the successor to Windows 11 already, but with a new number.
As ridiculous as it may sound, higher numbers to a new version of the software can make a big difference to some people. It's almost a playground battlefield, where a higher number means it's the latest and greatest, and that's it.
But Windows 12 sounds 'next-gen' for operating systems, especially when you consider that we're approaching the 40th anniversary of Windows in November 2025.
It wouldn't be a stretch to expect the next version of Windows to have a new number by then, and if it's another way of keeping up with Apple, Google, and others, then you can expect Microsoft to follow suit with higher numbers soon enough.
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