Chip manufacturer Intel appears to have lived up to its name, with a company chief suggesting he’s aware of a top-secret Windows update coming next year.

Microsoft has remained tight-lipped on the subject of Windows 12, but Intel may have let slip that something big is coming when the company’s Chief Financial Officer David Zinsner told the Citi analyst conference that 2024 could be “a pretty good year… because of the Windows refresh”.

Interestingly, “Windows Refresh” was the name given to Windows 11 when it was still in production.

Of course, Zinsner didn’t mention Windows 12 by name, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from lurching into action, with many saying that Intel’s position as a key supplier gives it the inside scoop on what Microsoft has planned for the year ahead.

By avoiding mention of Windows 12 Zinsner has also set tongues wagging on the subject of Microsoft’s naming convention. Whilst many expect it to continue with the straightforward numerical approach, others have said the company may try to include AI or Copilot in the mix, to really showcase the direction it wishes to take over the months and years ahead.

Some commentators believe a new Windows iteration can’t come soon enough for Microsoft. Techradar’s Darren Allan noted that Windows 11 hadn’t offered enough to capture hearts and minds on a wide scale – but the shift to AI-driven solutions could be the carrot needed to encourage a considerable number to upgrade.

These new features could come at a cost, though – quite literally. A configuration file has been discovered that details subscription “editions”, “types” and “status”. This led many to believe that Microsoft could be looking to charge for Windows usage on a monthly basis – as it currently does with its premium services such as OneDrive.

Microsoft has yet to formally comment on any of these rumours, so even if Windows 12 is indeed released in 2024, it’s not expected until much later on in the year.