Microsoft To Show Off Newest Version Of Windows On Tuesday

Chuck Bednar for – Your Universe Online
The newest version of the Windows operating system will be unveiled – along with a new official name for the software known internally as “Threshold” – at a Microsoft press event scheduled for Tuesday.
According to Reuters reporter Bill Rigby, analysts are predicting that the company will likely either launch an entirely new brand for their follow-up to Windows 8, or will simply refer to the product as ‘Windows’ when it is released early next year.
“The name change is symbolic of a new direction and style for Microsoft, which is veering away from an aggressive focus on Windows and PCs,” Rigby said. “The switch also represents a desire to erase the ill will generated by Windows 8, an ambitious attempt to redesign Windows with tablet users in mind, which ended up annoying and confusing the core market of customers who use mice and keyboards.”
Microsoft is reportedly hoping that the new OS will improve sales to businesses, many of which passed on the unfamiliar tile-based interface of Windows 8 and opted instead to remain with its four-year-old predecessor, according to Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian.
“Windows 8 was not a shining moment for Microsoft. Probably the biggest issue that lingers is the negative brand equity in the name,” said Michael Silver, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner. Among the complaints, Rigby said, was the loss of the popular start-button menu and the introduction of the modern user interface, which features a colorful grid of tiles that represented apps (a feature which could easily be changed to a traditional desktop).
“The Windows 8.1 update brought back the start button to Windows 8, but it simply opened the tiled start screen and not a start menu similar to Windows 7 or previous version of Windows,” said Gibbs. “Recent leaks indicate the start menu will come back in the next Windows, with an option of tacking on tiles if preferred.”
The Redmond, Washington-based company declined The Guardian’s request to comment on a potential new name, nor would they address speculation on what it planned to announce at Tuesday’s event, which will be held in San Francisco. It would only state that it would have a “discussion” about the future of the Windows OS.
“The choice of wording and venue are key to a humbler, lower-profile Microsoft” under new chief executive Satya Nadella, Rigby explained. Nadella “is keen to rebuild respect in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley as it moves away from the PC and to play a bigger part in the mobile computing world” of Apple and Google, he added.
“Nadella is resigned to the fact that sales of PCs have leveled off, and with it sales of Windows,” the Reuters reporter added. In a new era of computing that has been dominated by tablets and smartphones, Windows currently powers just 14 percent of all devices sold last year, Gartner told Reuters. Nadella is hoping to combat that by focusing on selling high-quality services, such as its Office suite of productivity software, and cloud-based document storage.
As previously reported by redOrbit’s John Hopton, experts are hoping that the new version of Windows will not only solve the issues associated with previous versions such as Windows 8 and Vista, but will also help close the gap in differences between the operating systems responsible for running the Xbox One and Windows smartphones.
The challenge, Rigby said, “is to come up with killer apps and services users can’t live without.” As Forrester analyst David Johnson said, the company “built their business on being very good at delivering what people needed in the moment… That’s what Microsoft has to get back to, innovating and creating things that people find indispensable.”