Microsoft’s Ignite is the company’s preeminent developer and IT conference, and Ignite 2022 came with a few surprises and one rather substantial tease. This year, during a presentation at Ignite 3 days ago, Microsoft showed a preview mockup of what might be the future successor to Windows 11. Windows 12 is in active development, and Microsoft seems to be slating it for a possible 2024 release.
The mockup in question, pictured above, was posted to Reddit on the same day as the conference and has come under heavy scrutiny over the last few days. Some users claim that the image is actually from a completely different OS, GNOME, while others put forth that it is simply a heavily modified version of Linux. However, a Windows Insider MVP on Reddit, Froggypwns, confirmed that the image is indeed a screengrab from the conference and, therefore, a legitimate Windows OS mockup.
‘The image in OPs submission is an enhanced mockup of a screengrab from a presentation today. The original is fairly low quality. This may be the direction Microsoft is going with their OS design in the future, but it is too early to say for sure. There are tons of similar screengrabs from the past that never actually came to be.’
Froggypwns suggests that we take OP’s screenshots with a pinch of salt, and I’m inclined to agree. There is no way that the final Windows 12 UI will be completely sorted at this early stage. Even if this is a mockup for Windows 12, we can expect the design to change a lot between now and 2024. We have to consider how much the world and technology can change in 1-2 years.
At the moment, Windows 11 is the modern Windows OS. Therefore, it makes sense for Microsoft to be using an adapted Windows 11 skin to test features of the possible next OS. However, as tech changes, we’ll likely see a very different experience by the time the new OS releases.
Unpopular opinion: this could even be a mockup for a future update to Windows 11. In other Windows news, you might need to disable Windows 11 security features for the best gaming performance.