Microsoft Windows
A new leak suggests Microsoft is planning to make a big change with test builds of Windows. Pixabay

It looks like Microsoft is on the verge of releasing a big update, which is expected to carry the "Windows 11 2024 Update" moniker. A recently surfaced hint suggests the software giant is currently working on special builds from the ge_release, which alludes to a new platform dubbed "Germanium".

Despite the lack of an official confirmation, the word on the street is that the next operating system from Microsoft will be called Windows 12. In fact, Microsoft reportedly hinted at the next-generation Windows at the Build 2023 developer conference.

In contrast, multiple references to Windows 11 2024 Update and 24H2 were spotted in HP's specs sheet for its new Spectre lineup earlier this month. It is worth noting that there is no mention of Windows 12 in the documents.

Moreover, a Microsoft employee denied rumours hinting at the arrival of a Windows 12 OS, claiming there's no such thing. While Microsoft's marketing team will be making the final branding decision, these references confirm that the next release of Windows is called Windows 11 2024 Update.

Windows development: What can we expect?

The Redmond-based tech giant has a reputation for codenaming Windows updates after elements from the periodic table and following the same sequence seen in previous updates. The codenames in the sequence include Cobalt (21H2) and Nickel (22H2).

The latest update, "23H2", was based on the Windows 11 22H2 update codebase. Based on their understanding of Windows development, the folks at Windows Latest have indicated what could be happening with Windows releases.

  • Windows 11 (21H2): Codenamed "Sun Valley," this version was based on the "Cobalt" codebase and released in October 2021.
  • Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2): With the codename "Sun Valley 2," this update was based on the "Nickel" codebase and released on September 20, 2022.
  • Windows 11 2023 Update (23H2): Based on the 2022 Update codebase, this update was released on October 31, 2023, and was enabled via an enablement package.
  • Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2): This update is codenamed "Hudson Valley". It is based on the "Germanium" platform release. Notably, Germanium (24H2) will ship between September and October.

Microsoft watcher Xeno has spotted references to Build 27547, which belongs to the internal development branch. To those unaware, the "27xxx" series builds are meant to facilitate internal testing within Microsoft.

Microsoft might release these builds to consumers through the Canary channel after internal testing. It is also safe to assume that the "26xxx" series, codenamed "Ge" (Germanium) is actually a stable set of builds that are set to release soon.

In other words, Build 27547 is neither Windows 12 nor ge_release. Nevertheless, it hints that major changes are now tested internally.