- Windows 11 will continue to receive feature updates every year.
- Also, up to four times a year, we’ll see “moment” updates with new features.
- And every three years, Microsoft may release major version changes, such as Windows 12.
Microsoft confirms that it’ll continue to provide yearly feature updates for Windows 11 for the foreseeable future. Although the company has been releasing annual feature updates for its desktop operating system, recent rumors suggested that a new version release cadence every three years.
While we might still see new versions of Windows, the software giant may be referring to a version that changes the name (such as Windows 12) and not to feature updates for a specific release. As the company said, “Windows 11 will continue to have an annual feature update cadence, released in the second half of the calendar year.”
Microsoft also mentions that every feature update will have a 24 months support cycle for the Home and Pro editions and 36 months for the Enterprise and Education editions.
In addition to the commitment to provide feature updates annually, the company is also expected to deliver new features up to four times a year outside major release schedules through a new update mechanism that the company refers to as “moments.”
In other words, as of this writing, every major version of Windows is expected to receive yearly feature updates (at least during their support cycle) that will require complete reinstallation. And throughout the calendar year, the company is also expected to release “moment” updates that will bring additional features and changes as more minor non-security updates through a process that doesn’t require reinstallation. Then every three years, we may see the release of new versions, but with different names, such as Windows 12, 13, 14, etc.
As the company said, “we are committed to delivering continuous innovation by releasing new features into Windows 11 with increased frequency via our servicing technology (like a monthly update) and Microsoft Store updates, in addition to our annual update process. Our goal is to provide you with the best experiences year-round when new features are ready, based on quality and reliability.”
The first “moment” update for version 22H2 is expected to arrive as a preview in October, and it’ll include tabs for File Explorer, Suggested actions, Taskbar Overflow, Share to more devices features, and a redesigned version of the Photos apps. Microsoft has said that “moment” updates will include updates from Windows Update as well as from the Microsoft Store.
It’s still unclear what those yearly updates will include, but they may bundle new fixes and improvements as well as those features previously available through “moment” updates if they’re missing on the device.