What you need to know
- Recent documentation from Dell has raised questions about the name and availability of the next Windows 11 version update.
- The documentation claims "version 24H1" is coming in April, which would be much earlier in the year than expected.
- Microsoft confirms that nothing has changed in regard to the Windows update schedule, with the next version update expected in the second half of 2024.
Last week, Dell unveiled its new range of XPS laptops for 2024, complete with updated designs, a new Copilot button, and Wi-Fi 7 support. Curiously, support for Wi-Fi 7 is not yet in Windows, so customers buying this hardware now won't be able to utilize that functionality until an upcoming Windows update adds it.
First spotted by @ChangeWindows, Dell has published information alongside the new hardware that explains this, but the details about the next Windows version update that are listed have raised some questions.
According to Dell, Wi-Fi 7 support will be available in the Windows 11 version 24H1 update, which it claims will be available to download in April. This runs opposite to what Microsoft has done with Windows 11 so far, only shipping new versions of the OS in the second half of the year under the "2XH2" version format.
This also doesn't line up with what my sources have told me about the Windows roadmap for 2024, which is that the next major Windows OS update (codenamed Hudson Valley) won't be finalized until sometime over the summer, with a base RTM build expected in April.
This is likely where Dell is getting its wires crossed. Even though an RTM build of the next major Windows OS update is expected in April, the RTM build isn't the "shipping build" that the public ends up getting as an OTA update. Microsoft will continue working on version 24H2 over the summer, with general availability expected in the fall. This is exactly what Microsoft did with Windows 11 version 21H2 back in 2021.
I reached out to Microsoft just to confirm, and a spokesperson said "nothing has changed in terms of annual version updates for Windows [and] that they come in the second half of the year," seemingly confirming that "version 24H1" coming in April is incorrect.
HP also mentions Wi-Fi 7 support in its documentation, but attributes it to a more vague "Windows 11 2024" release. While it's possible that Microsoft might backport Wi-Fi 7 support to the current in-market version of Windows, we know for sure that it will be part of the next major Windows OS release.
For now, we are expecting that next major Windows OS release to be made generally available in September or October under the "version 24H2" moniker. We know it's going to focus primarily on next-gen AI experiences, which you can learn more about in my Hudson Valley report.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.