windows 9 rumors
August 23, 2014

Windows 9 Rumored For September 30th Unveiling

John Hopton for - Your Universe Online

Plans to unveil Windows 9 are being kept under wraps by Microsoft, but a preview of the updated operating system in late September or early October is being rumored, with a date of September 30th reported by The Verge.

The site references unnamed “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans,” who say the Windows 9 debut could come at a special press event which will detail changes that have been worked on and tweaked over the past several months.

Likewise, veteran Microsoft watcher Mary J. Foley of ZDNet predicts a similar release date for the new incarnation of the OS, which is codenamed “Threshold” but which will most likely end up being known as Windows 9.

News of an updated Windows is of importance because Microsoft has the opportunity to lay to rest the problems of previous versions like Windows 8 and Vista. It is also hoped the new version will close the gap in differences with the software that runs Xbox One and Windows phones.

Foley also reports that we may see a “mini” start menu, as well as “windowed Metro-Style applications that can run on the Desktop; virtual desktops; and the elimination of the Charms bar that debuted as part of Windows 8,” and “Cortana integration with Windows Threshold is looking like it could make it into the OS, as well.” Contribution to touch and non-touch usability in Microsoft products is also a desire for Windows 9.

A full roll out in the first half of 2015 is expected following the predicted unveiling event next month, however when recently contacted by PC Magazine's Angela Moscaritolo, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the reports saying, "We have nothing to share." Foley also said that “Microsoft execs have declined to comment on what will be in Threshold, when it will be available, how much it will cost or what it will be named.”

It all adds to the anticipation, but there are reasonable suggestions that too much excitement is unwarranted given that the old system of operating systems purchased once and in full for long term use is on its way out, to be replaced by the cloud system with regular new services and incremental updates, as well as online storage. Massive releases of a full system will be a thing of the past.

“Let's get real” says Larry Dignan for ZDNet. “Microsoft's future is much more Office 365 and Azure than Windows. Subscriptions will trump paying Microsoft money for the privilege of installing the company's latest operating system. Windows needs to provide a good experience, but financially and strategically the OS will become less important over time.” However, he also suggests that Windows 9 is still significant as “the bridge between Microsoft's past of big bang releases and a licensing model to one focused on the cloud, innovation that's easier to consume, and services.”

Whenever it is finally released, Windows 9 may mark the end of an era, but will be a platform that facilitates our access to all kinds of other services.