Windows 11 version 24H2 announced, but no Windows 12 in 2024

Windows[German]Microsoft has announced the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052 (for the Canary and Dev Channel) on February 11, 2024. What is normally quite unspectacular is this time causing "news in blogs and IT sites". With the presentation of this Insider Preview build, Microsoft has confirmed that there will be a feature update in 2024, which is referred to as Windows 11 24H2. It is set to be the only Windows update for Windows this year. This means that rumors that there will still be a Windows 12 in 2024 are no longer valid.


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Preview Build Build 26052 announced

It was just one of the usual Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052 (Canary and Dev Channels) blog post for a Windows 11 Insider Preview build at the end of the week on Friday that has sent the IT world into something of an "uproar". In the text of this post from February 8, 2024, it says under Changes and Improvements:

This denotes that Windows 11, version 24H2 will be this year's annual feature update.

This means that Windows 11 version 24H2 will be the annual feature update of this year. And according to the usual rules, the H2 means that this upgrade will come in the second half of 2024. Also explicitly confirmed in the post with the note that Windows 11 will only get an annual feature update, which will be released in the second half of the calendar year.

Rumors about Windows 12 in 2024 are dead

Some time ago, there were rumors that a "new Windows 12" could be released this year – I reported on this in the blog post Windows 11 24H2 and "Windows 12" are proably scheduled for release in 2024. Zack Bowden from Windows Central fueled the topic of the "next Windows AI generation" in this post in December 2023. OEMs are to receive the preliminary versions of a Windows 11 successor as early as the summer, according to hardware companies from Taiwan and statements from Intel, which were interpreted as an "announcement of Windows 12".

Now we shall read this Microsoft blog post, that we won't have a Windows 12 in 2024. This is because the Windows 11 24H2 version announced for fall 2024 will include "AI functions". This also fits the schedule for delivery to hardware manufacturers in summer 2024 so that they can launch machines with this operating system build in late fall.

Windows 11 24H2 is coming

With the announcement of the Windows 11 Insider Preview build in the blog post Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052 (Canary and Dev Channels), however, Microsoft has specified the roadmap for Windows 11 24H2, which is expected in fall 2024, and provided some hints as to what users can expect.


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Windows gets sudo

I reported in the blog post Windows 11: Is Microsoft working on a sudo implementation? that Microsoft is working on an implementation of a sudo command known from Linux. This week, Microsoft published a blog post on sudo and then immediately retracted it.

Now the confirmation is there, Windows 11 24H2 will get an implementation of the sudo command. The sudo command offers a new, yet familiar way to activate processes directly from the command line, it is said. The article Sudo for Windows explains the details and explains that Sudo for Windows can be activated on the Settings > For developers page of the Windows settings via the Enable Sudo option. The Microsoft blog post contains a video that explains the use of sudo in the new Insider Preview build.

News on accessibility

It was already announced in October 2023 that Windows 11 will receive accessibility improvements. This will include direct pairing for audio streaming and seamless call handling for customers with Bluetooth® Low Energy Audio (LE Audio) supported hearing aids on LE Audio-compatible PCs. In the Insider Preview, these features, which will become generally available with Windows 11 24H2, will be available as new features to control audio presets, ambient sound, and experience enhancements under Settings – Bluetooth & Devices.

Microphone test program

As of the Insider Preview, Windows offers an audio microphone test program for testing audio settings in various processing modes (standard and communication mode). This new utility can be found in the microphone properties under Settings > System > Sound.

More Copilot

The AI assistant Copilot is now to be "improved" once again. Microsoft describes it for the preview as "We're trying out a new experience for Copilot in Windows that shows you how Copilot can speed up and improve your work" and writes that Copilot supports helpful actions that users can perform with text content. In this scenario, the Copilot icon changes its appearance and becomes animated to indicate that Copilot can help you, according to the blog post.

Copilot actions in Windows 11 24H2

If the user moves the mouse pointer over the copilot symbol, a menu with actions that can be performed appears. Users can, for example, summarize or explain the copied text. If an action is selected from the menu, Copilot is started with the completed action. Microsoft also wants to support the option of launching Copilot when users drag an image onto the Copilot icon in the taskbar. An action can then be entered that is to be carried out for the image content.

It is unclear to me whether Microsoft will also release Copilot in Windows 11 24H2 for users in the EU. So far, this function has not been activated by default because Microsoft is adapting to the EU Digital Markets Act and has to clarify some things beforehand. I wrote something about this in the article Windows 11 23H2: Rollout chaos; no copilot in Europe thanks to DMA.

Further improvements

In the blog post Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26052 (Canary and Dev Channels), Microsoft describes some minor improvements. The energy-saving icon for desktop PCs (PCs without batteries) has been updated and is displayed in the taskbar when energy-saving mode is activated. It also appears in the quick settings and under Settings > System performance and battery.

There are improvements in the discovery of BlueTooth devices and color management in the Control Panel settings. The registry editor now supports limiting the search to the currently selected key and its subkeys. The blog post lists further fixes and improvements in the preview, which can be read if required. The Know Issues section also lists bugs in the preview.

Whether there will still be a Moments 5 update in April 2024 (see Windows 11 Moments 5 update could be 24H1 and arrive by April 2024) has remained open to me. Windows Central writes here, that they expect the Moments 5 update in February 2024.

Mixed reality and MDAG are EOL

It is interesting to note that Windows 11 24H2 will no longer support Mixed Reality. Plugging in a Windows Mixed Reality headset will no longer work from this build onwards. I announced the end of this "innovative technology", which was introduced just a few years ago, in December 2023 in the article Microsoft declares Windows "Mixed Reality" – and also Defender Application Guard for Edge as deprecated.

The Microsoft Defender Application Guard (MDAG) is also no longer available as a feature on demand from this build onwards. Redmond recently discontinued the Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office and Edge as deprecated.

Similar articles:
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New hints about Windows 12 from Intel
Microsoft's new Windows Insider Canary Channel – Preparing for Windows 12?
Plug pulled: The End for Windows 10X …
Windows 12? New plans for a Core OS
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Windows 11 24H2 and "Windows 12" are proably scheduled for release in 2024
Windows 11 Moments 5 update could be 24H1 and arrive by April 2024


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