Microsoft is reportedly looking into a new development cycle for the world's most powerful desktop OS. According to Windows Central, the Redmond-based company will be moving Windows towards a three-year development cycle for major releases. In-between those major releases, smaller, feature-focussed updates are reportedly in the cards, with which Microsoft aims to deliver an increased cadence of new features.
If this new release schedule holds true, then Microsoft's previous plan of yearly Windows updates has been pared back. Not only would this give the company more time in-between updates to test new, version-worthy releases, but it might also alleviate the update stress for smaller businesses, institutions and creators. At the same time, it would go a long way towards making sure that Microsoft has enough features to rave about with each new version of the OS, which would likely be less true in an environment with a higher update cadence.
This would place Microsoft's next major OS revamp (word of mouth codenames it the "Next Valley" OS) sometime within 2024 - with the knock-on effect of Microsoft's planned 2023 client release of Windows (codenamed Sun Valley 3) likely having been scrapped.
Perhaps Microsoft might even move some of the planned new features towards the next version itself - it will certainly pick up some of the would-be-deployed 2023 features divided into some number of smaller, incremental updates. Think about the Taskbar weather button, introduced to Windows 11 earlier this year.
These smaller updates will reportedly be a part of Microsoft's new "Moments" software engineering effort, which are expected to start in 2023 as a way to introduce new features towards Microsoft's current version of Windows at a cadence of up to four updates per year.
In the meantime, the latest Windows 11 release, the 22H2 update, is already available for some users to install. There are some hoops to go through, but they're relatively simple - and you'll get to play with the OS' new features before most others.
Microsoft didn't comment to Windows Central regarding the reported change.