Windows 9 Threshold release date and features rumours - coming 2015
We round up everything that we know about the next version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 9 Threshold
Windows 8 wasn't quite the success that Microsoft had hoped it would be, with many users put off by the new interface and lack of a Start Menu. While Windows 8.1 was a lot better, it didn't go far enough for a lot of people, so Microsoft seems keen to cut its losses and move on to the next version of Windows, codenamed Threshold.
WINDOWS 9 THRESHOLD RELEASE DATE
It was originally assumed that the next major update to Microsoft's flagship Desktop OS would be called Windows 8.2, but it now seems that the company is keen to ditch that branding and move on to Windows 9 instead. According to Paul Thurrott, the code name will be Threshold.
Perhaps more surprising is that the new OS can be expected in April 2015, which means that we don't have that long to wait until we get to see it. In the meantime, the next couple of months will see an update to Windows 8.1, called Update 1.
According to Thurrott, we're likely to get some information on Microsoft's vision for Threshold at the BUILD conference in 2014. There, Microsoft will outline its vision for the next OS and where it wants Windows to go.
WINDOWS 9 THRESHOLD FEATURES
The big problem with Windows 8 was that the OS was trying to please everyone and work on every type of device. Thanks to the mishmash of a user interface designed for touchscreen devices, and a fully-blown mouse-oriented desktop environment, many people weren't sure what Windows 8 was and avoided it like the plague.
Microsoft may well have learnt from its mistakes, though, and with Threshold will provide an OS that appeals to its customers. This is likely to mean different versions of the OS, designed to suit different users and types of computers.
It makes a lot of sense. After all, Apple has dedicated desktop software for its laptops and desktop computers, and dedicated mobile software for tablets and smartphones. This has been working very well, and is something that Microsoft can learn from.
This means that with Windows 9 Threshold, we can expect to see a Desktop version, returning the OS to its roots; the second version will focus on the Start screen interface and the touch apps; a third version will be available for ARM-based devices, such as tablets.
The Desktop version is the one that's going to illicit the most excitement, as early rumours suggest that it will return everything that Windows 8 took away. This will mean a proper Start menu, giving users a way of launching new applications without having to move to the Start screen and Modern UI. Apparently, there will be provision for running Start screen apps in Windows 9 Threshold Desktop, although this is likely to be through a windowed-app.
At this stage, it appears as though the Start screen version will be closer to what's available now, although it will be interesting to see if Microsoft continues to provide a desktop mode here.
That's all of the currently available information for now and we'll have to wait until April to find out more about the new OS. If everything's true, though, it sounds as though Microsoft is moving in the right direction and Windows 9 may finally give people a reason to upgrade from older versions of Windows.