Rumor Details Changes to Windows 11 Lifecycle & Update Cycle
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New report says Windows versions to ship every three years, with more frequent feature drops

A new report from Windows Central's Zac Bowden is revealing a change in the way Windows's release schedule works. Per Bowden's sources, new Windows versions are now set to release every three years, and current Windows versions like Windows 11, will get updated more frequently.

This is quite different from what Microsoft has officially stated about Windows 11 and Windows 10 getting once-a-year major updates. Instead, it seems as though Microsoft is now shifting to increase the frequency of updates for Windows 11 with feature drops. These feature drops are apparently dubbed as "moments" in the engineering team, where new Windows 11 experiences come throughout different points of the year outside of major releases. It's unclear if Microsoft will call it that, however, and Zac isn't sure what will happen to Windows 11 version numbers, either.

The frequency could be at every few months, and up to four times a year, starting next year, per Bowden. We've seen this already when Windows 11 got the weather widget in the Taskbar. So, you can expect Microsoft to group together different features in testing with the Windows Insider program for these drops. You can think of it how Google often does different software updates for Pixel phones with major Pixel feature drops bringing new features ever so often.

"Many of the features that were planned for the now-scrapped Sun Valley 3 client release will ship as part of one of these Moments on top of Sun Valley 2 instead of in a dedicated new release of the Windows client in the fall of 2023," explained Bowden.

As for the next major Windows version, that's still well off. Zac Bowden is not aware of a codename for the project, though he has heard some people calling it "Next Valley." Microsoft did not officially comment on these rumors.

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