Microsoft windows 12

Microsoft moves to new Windows development cycle with major release every three years, feature drops in between

Microsoft is shifting to a new engineering schedule for Windows which will see the company return to a more traditional three-year release cycle for major versions of the Windows client, while simultaneously increasing the output of new features shipping to the current version of Windows on the market.

The news comes just a year after the company announced it was moving to a yearly release cadence for new versions of Windows. According to my sources who are familiar with these plans, Microsoft now intends to ship “major” versions of the Windows client every three years, with the next release currently scheduled for 2024, three years after Windows 11 shipped in 2021.

This means that the originally planned 2023 client release of Windows (codenamed Sun Valley 3) has been scrapped, but that’s not the end of the story. I’m told that with the move to this new development schedule, Microsoft is also planning to increase the output of new features rolling out to users on the latest version of Windows.

Starting with Windows 11 version 22H2 (Sun Valley 2), Microsoft is kicking off a new “Moments” engineering effort which is designed to allow the company to rollout new features and experiences at key points throughout the year, outside of major OS releases. I hear the company intends to ship new features to the in-market version of Windows every few months, up to four times a year, starting in 2023.

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