Microsoft reportedly introduced 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 screen.
According to Zac Bowden in Windows Central (opens in new tab)the next major Windows release is called ‘Next Valley’, continuing the Valley naming convention that started with Windows 11.
An image was shown during a demo at Ignite 2022 (opens in new tab)where the purpose of this design is supposedly to try to better adapt to different devices such as tablet and mouse peripherals.
While Bowden says no code has been finalized for the next major release, we wonder if we’ll see something more final in 2023.
Increasing to 12?
Cursed ignition mockup showing floating taskbar dock and desktop widget and icons pic.twitter.com/6n8EHjdCybOctober 12, 2022
I’ve already talked about what I’d like to see in Windows 12, like the return of MSN Messenger and a dedicated podcast app, but if we’re already seeing conceptual stages of the next big release, it might just be an evolution of what Windows 11 brought.
Seeing a floating taskbar makes sense when you’re in certain apps like Microsoft’s Designer app and even Paint, but if that’s for Windows 12, let’s see further.
Since the company has committed to a major release every three years, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the next major release show off in late 2023, followed by an Insider release in early 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 is not responsible for, it’s unrealistic to see a major update every year, which is why these ‘moment’ updates make the most sense.
It’s a safe bet to envision 2024 as a date for when Windows 12 might arrive, but whether it will include the floating taskbar is another matter.