Windows 11 has been out for just a few months, but insiders are already testing features that will be available in the next version of the operating system. With so many testers and so much excitement and anticipation on released features and features that are yet to be released by the Redmond giant, people have been wondering what the next version of Windows 11 will be. We have been digging inside Azure code as well as talking with people with connections to Microsoft and in this article, we will tell you what we found.
What are development semesters?
In 2019, Windows development phase names switched from being named after the fictional Minecraft material "Redstone" to being named after named elements of the periodic table.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft still uses "Redstone" to denote the main branches of Windows development. This means that branches that are named after Redstone(
rs_prerelease) have the latest code.
What comes after the October release
To get straight to the point - The next update after the one released in October last year is Windows 11 22H2 based on the Copper(CU) codebase. This is confirmed by Windows setup dlls(appraiserres.dll in particular, shown below) ever since build 22449 from August last year.
Contrary to what some news outlets have been saying, there is no such thing as a 22H3 release or a 22H2 Nickel release. We are going to explain in a future article how windows development is laid out but for now the semesters are laid out like so
Now, how does that fit in with the builds insiders have been receiving for some time? As of writing, there are 2 builds for server and client. The former is based on the Copper codebase (build 25057 on the
rs_prerelease branch) and the latter is based on the Nickel codebase (build 22557 on the
ni_release branch). It is believed that the client version of 11 got a
ni_release build to allow a future Dev-Beta transition period that MS announced last week. We do not know at this time exactly when this window will open. What we do know is that after the window closes, builds will get more unstable so act quickly.
As for features we have quite the list of changes such as
Drag and drop in taskbar
New gestures for start
More redesigned apps(Notepad, Task Manager)
Mica in title bars
The ability to customize the recommended section
and many more.
Features we are still expecting
We have talked with some people as well as looked at tweets by reverse engineer experts like Albacore and have deducted that MS is toying with the following ideas
Universal dark mode (unused dark mode references discovered by the StartAllBack developer and the Rectify11 devs)
Taskbar app overflow flyout (discovered by Albacore)
Stickers (discovered by Albacore)
Redesigned print queue
and probably more that we do not even know about
There is conflicting information about the release date of 22H2. Zac Bowden from Windows Central says that the RTM will be made in May, but the H2 name would suggest an October release. We believe that the final build might be made in May, and from that point on to receive cumulative updates until the final release.