According to estimates and reports, Microsoft’s Next Valley (often referred to by outsiders as Windows 12) system may still be about a year away from launch, but we may already have a pretty good idea of what this next-generation version of Windows will look like.
Around October last year, Microsoft may have accidentally leaked a new Windows 11 interface showing a floating taskbar and notification area at the top. The first leaked image wasn’t very clear, but the new, clearer image has the words “Next Valley Prototype Design” clearly written at the top.
Microsoft seems to be gradually moving towards such a design goal. The company has quietly added strings to Dev build 25300 that add the following features: hide the taskbar clock, hide the time and date in the system tray, and turn on this option to hide the time and date information in the corner of the taskbar.
Brad Sams, vice president and general manager of Stardock Software, believes that the above changes are due to the fact that Microsoft may be testing Next Valley’s floating taskbar.
Here is the Windows 11 interface with these strings enabled:
In addition to the Windows 12 interface, Microsoft also seems to have made some small progress on the feature front. Senior exec Panos Panay says the next generation of Windows 11 and Windows 12 will be a combination of cloud and artificial intelligence-driven experiences, and Microsoft is slowly making progress in that direction. On the security front, the company is phasing out legacy components like MSDT, as well as VBScript, which has been exploited by hackers in the past.