Windows 11
A new report suggests Windows 12 OS may not require a subscription. Pixabay

Much to the relief of those looking forward to the arrival of the next-generation Windows OS, a new report suggests that the much-awaited Windows 11 successor will not require a subscription.

The rumour mill has been churning out a lot of speculations surrounding Windows 12 lately. In line with this, past leaks imply the new Windows operating system will be subscription-based.

After the introduction of "Windows as a Service", reports suggesting that the next Windows will be subscription-based have started to surface online. According to Microsoft, Windows as a Service was introduced to provide a consistent Windows 10 experience for customers.

The folks at Neowin recently found references to a subscription model in the latest Windows preview build. This was a major sign that the Redmond-based tech giant could be planning to force users to pay monthly subscriptions to use the latest Windows OS.

However, a Windows Central report suggests the recently discovered references could be linked to the "IoT Enterprise Subscription" edition of Windows 11 rather than the client version of Windows vNext. Furthermore, the publication's Zac Bowden says the upcoming version of Windows isn't likely to boast new features that may require a subscription to use.

While Microsoft is reportedly integrating deeper Windows 365 support into upcoming Windows, the company already charges a monthly subscription to provide access to Windows 365 Cloud PC. Windows 365 is currently an enterprise service, but things are likely to change in the future.

Reportedly, the company is planning to launch Windows 365 for consumers in the coming months. As a result, anyone will be able to subscribe to a Windows PC in the cloud for their computing needs.

Windows 12: Everything we know so far

If rumours making the rounds online are anything to go by, Microsoft is sparing no effort to integrate AI into the next version of its Windows OS. The new OS is expected to carry the Windows 12 moniker and compete with Google's Chrome OS.

Furthermore, the purported Windows operating system may be web-based. Sources recently told Windows Latest that the tech giant is working on a new version of Windows 11. This newfangled Windows 11 will be extremely lightweight, web and cloud-based,

To recap, Microsoft previously developed a lightweight competitor to Chrome OS dubbed Windows 10X, which did not even see the light of day. Understandably, the company is leaving no stone unturned to succeed this time.

While a Microsoft employee recently denied the existence of Windows 12, some reports confirm the next-gen OS will heavily rely on the company's newfound AI prowess in the form of Bing Chat. The company is also reportedly working on Windows CorePC on full steam, which will make the OS modular.