The latest release of Windows 11, known as 24H2, has made its debut ahead of its scheduled launch at the end of the year. New Windows Insider builds have been released to both the Canary and Dev channels which roll their version numbers to “24H2,” indicating that they are the earliest builds of what Microsoft will eventually release to all Windows users sometime in the fall. The build includes numerous new features including the addition of Sudo for Windows, better support for hearing aids, support for creating 7-zip and TAR archives in File Explorer, an energy-saving mode, and new changes to the SMB protocol. The build also removes both the WordPad and the Tips apps.
Microsoft has, in the Windows 11 era, released new features in several small batches throughout the year, so some of these features may be released to all Windows 11 users before the end of the year. The decision to adjust the numbering to 24H2 earlier than last year’s release has raised speculation about the future of Windows 12, with some believing that the rumored “Windows 12” won’t happen this year. However, the release of 24H2 doesn’t necessarily preclude a Windows 12 launch, and the focus on AI in Windows 11 updates hints at further developments in the future.
As for the system requirements for Copilot and Windows’ other generative AI features, Microsoft has not imposed any specific requirements so far, but this could change if more of Windows’ AI features begin relying on local processing rather than cloud processing. So while the release of 24H2 is significant, it does not provide decisive evidence regarding the future of Windows 12 or the continued focus on AI in upcoming updates.