Microsoft could be preparing to name its next big OS update the “Windows 11 2022 Update.” References to this naming have appeared in near-final versions of the next big Windows 11 release, currently named 22H2. Twitter user XenoPanther spotted the Windows 11 2022 Update naming in the Get Started app that appears when you set up a new PC.
The naming could simply be a placeholder, or it could indicate Microsoft is finally simplifying its often confusing update names for Windows. We’ve seen a variety of names over the years, including the Creators Update naming for a big Windows 10 update, more mundane naming like the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, and more recently, the Windows 10 21H2 moniker.
Microsoft had considered naming its updates after animals or people but transitioned to the more safe monthly naming instead of point releases like Apple does with iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and many other software updates. A move to just the yearly naming for Windows 11 updates would make sense if Microsoft is planning fewer big drops of features.
A recent report suggested Microsoft has scrapped plans for a “23H2” annual update for Windows 11 in 2023, moving to prioritize rolling out new features throughout the year instead. Microsoft has changed its Windows Insider program recently, adding more experiments and prototype features that are tested far in advance. These changes could lead to Microsoft moving back to a three-year release cycle for Windows, with a new major version (Windows 12?) due in 2024.
I would still prefer to see Microsoft move to Windows 11.1 or 11.2 with its major updates. It’s easier to determine what the latest update is and to understand if your PC or laptop is up to date or you’re waiting on Microsoft or your OEM to approve the latest bits.
Either way, Microsoft’s next big Windows 11 update is due on September 20th, a week after the company’s regular Patch Tuesday fixes. Windows 11 22H2 — or could it be Windows 11 2022 Update — will include a number of new improvements, like app folders in the Start menu, drag and drop on the taskbar, and new touch gestures and animations.