While Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are still very common as they provide ample bandwidth for the vast majority of people, the next version of the technology is already well into the pipeline and is expected to take off by next year in 2024.
Also, 2024 happens to be when Microsoft is expected to unveil its Next Valley OS, codenamed Hudson Valley, casually referred to as Windows 12. This is because the tech giant apparently plans to move back to its three-year launch cadence. Hence, Wi-Fi 7 is going to be one of the big selling points.
Meanwhile, if you are on Windows 11 and wondering about its compatibility with your system, a document from Intel, spotted by Twitter (X) user Chi11eddog, seemingly confirms that Windows 11 is going to be supported. And although the document does not mention Windows 12, which is expected given that the product has not even been officially announced yet (Microsoft recently revealed the release date for Windows 11 23H2).
While this is certainly expected, users who would have stuck to their Windows 10 PCs, either due to the hardware being not on the support list or simply because they prefer the older OS over the new ones, are likely going to be out of luck as the supported OS does not mention Windows 10.
The Chi11edog adds to this by saying Windows 10 does not have the necessary Wi-Fi 7 drivers certified by Microsoft, though it must be pointed out here that Windows 10’s underlying code may not necessarily have the required capability to harness the power of Wi-Fi 7. However, seeing how Windows 10 will be supported for almost another year post-Wi-Fi 7 release, it will be interesting to see whether support for the technology expands to the outgoing OS as well.
In case you are wondering what Wi-Fi 7 will bring to the table, the easiest way to answer that is faster speeds, up to 2.4 times compared to Wi-Fi 6E and around 4.8 times compared to Wi-Fi 6. The max theoretical data rate for Wi-Fi 6 is ~9.6 Gbps while that for Wi-Fi 7 is around 46.1 Gbps, and twice the bandwidth (320 MHz channels vs. 160 MHz channels for Wi-Fi 6). It will rely on the IEEE P802.11be standard, which is said to enable extremely high throughput (EHT) and much lower latencies.