Has Microsoft accidentally leaked what Windows 12 could look like?

Microsoft has allegedly showcased the next major version of Windows with a user interface that features a floating Taskbar alongside a translucent information bar at the top of a display.

According to Zac Bowden at Windows Central, the next major release of Windows is called ‘Next Valley’, carrying on the Valley naming convention that began with Windows 11.

An image was shown during a demo at Ignite 2022, where the aim for this design is allegedly trying to better adapt to different devices, such as tablets and mice peripherals.

Though Bowden says that no code has been finalized toward the next major release, we wonder if we’re going to see something more final in 2023.

Turning it up to 12?

Cursed ignite mockup showing floating taskbar dock and widget and icons in desktop pic.twitter.com/6n8EHjdCybOctober 12, 2022

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I’ve spoken before of what I’d like to see in Windows 12, such as the return of MSN Messenger and a dedicated podcast app, but if we’re already seeing concept stages of the next major release, it could merely be an evolution of what Windows 11 has brought instead.

Seeing a floating Taskbar makes sense for when you’re in certain apps, such as Microsoft’s Designer app and even Paint but if this is for Windows 12, let’s see it go further.

As the company has committed to a major release every three years, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the next major version showcased in late 2023, followed by a release for Insiders at the start of 2024.

With Apple releasing a major version of macOS every year since 2012, there’s pressure on Microsoft to do something similar. However, with Windows accessible to millions of devices that the company isn’t responsible for, it’s not realistic to see a major update every year, which is why these ‘Moment’ updates make more sense.

It’s a safe bet to imagine 2024 as a date for when Windows 12 can arrive, but whether it will include the floating taskbar is another matter.

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