Multiple sources with insights into Microsoft and its industry partnerships have disclosed that the tech giant is in the process of developing a web-focused version of its upcoming major Windows release, commonly referred to as Windows 12, which aims to rival Chrome OS.
This cloud-powered Windows 12 isn’t meant to replace the traditional Win32 desktop experience; rather, it’s tailored for specific markets. Microsoft’s primary objective is to create a modern, modular, and lightweight Windows variant designed for use on low-end educational devices, targeting the education sector’s technology landscape.
One of the iterations of the next-gen Windows will be web-focused. Microsoft has already confirmed the establishment of a new team, named “Windows and Web Experience,” tasked with developing the future iterations of both Windows and web products.
A job listing further affirmed the company’s plans to “define and deliver the next generation of Windows experiences and applications that span across Client and Cloud.”
In another job listing, which has since been removed, a chipmaker disclosed the existence of the “next generation of Windows” featuring significant graphics enhancements, specifically referring to the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) drivers.
While the nature of these significant graphics improvements remains undisclosed, the listing did reveal that the “next generation of Windows” is slated for release in 2024.
Microsoft Prepares Windows 12 Upgrade to Compete with Chrome OS
Microsoft is placing a strong emphasis on the integration of Microsoft Edge and AI in the upcoming web-centric Windows 12 version. This strategy involves turning Microsoft Edge into an intelligent web browser by harnessing advanced machine learning models to understand web content and user behaviors.
This initiative is part of Microsoft’s broader plan to infuse AI into Microsoft Edge and WebView, with the goal of significantly impacting the development of Windows 12.
Next generation of Windows
At the recent Build 2023 developer conference, Microsoft unveiled several updates for Windows 11, including Windows Copilot and enhanced AI integration. This hints at a significant upgrade planned for 2024, referred to as the “Next-gen of Windows.”
Microsoft has been working to modernize Windows in recent years by decoupling its component layers, aiming to create a more lightweight version of the OS. Windows 10X was one such attempt, originally designed to compete with Chrome OS but ultimately not released as a commercial product.
In terms of design, Windows 12 is expected to feature a floating taskbar. The focus on AI experiences in the next Windows iteration aligns with Microsoft’s ongoing efforts.
With the development of a web-centric Windows 12, Microsoft is targeting the educational sector, where Chrome OS currently dominates.
While previous attempts with Windows 10X didn’t result in a commercial release, there is renewed optimism that the upcoming generation of Windows will introduce innovations and potentially disrupt the market.