Microsoft Sends Out Invitation for Windows 9 Event

Press today received invitations from Microsoft to attend a media event this September 30th in San Francisco. And before you ask – yes, it’s all about Redmond’s next operation system. The invite bears the tagline “Join us to hear about what’s next for Windows and the enterprise” and is accompanied by a date underneath. Rumours suggest that it will be Joe Belfiore and Terry Myserson leading the press conference, who are expected to be drilling home information specifically for power users and enterprise.

Microsoft’s been on the receiving end of user criticism for their Windows 8 operating system, which has caused consumer outcry over a number of design element changes and fundamental desktop operations. We’re hoping that Microsoft finally streamline interfaces between mobile and desktop users – allowing for a proper, uninterrupted and logical experience for both modes. Windows 9 thus far has been hard for Microsoft to keep hidden from prying eyes, with a large set of desktop screenshot leaks hitting the net just a week ago – as well as the now confirmed accurate date rumours regarding this September 30th conference.

We can’t wait to hear more about what Microsoft has in-store for us with Windows 9 – hopefully it’ll be the big leap forward in interface design and functionality we’ve all been waiting for.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

New Videos Show Windows 9 Desktop in Action

The technical preview release date for Windows 9 is still a few weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped videos of the new operating system from leaking online. This is the first time I’ve seen the OS in action and so far it’s looking far better than I expected it to. The clips below show various features of Windows 9 including the start menu, notification system and the multi-desktop mode. The start menu has clearly been improved upon, bridging the gap between the more traditional start menu featured in Windows 7, with the app focused functions of the Windows 8 metro-style interface.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/–wgAsHWNRE[/youtube]

The notifications system is certainly improved, featuring more extensive customisation options; it now has more in common with a smart phone notifications system than a desktop one.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/7hG_0pLq49s[/youtube]

Multi desktops are nothing new, but having the feature more directly wired into the stock OS offering is no bad thing; especially for those who work on multiple projects, or want to keep their gaming and work desktops separate.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/VF4Eva_4UNE[/youtube]

Don’t forget that this is all from a pre-release build, so many aspects could still undergo a lot of changes, but for now, it looks like Microsoft are on the right track and the new version of Windows is shaping up nicely.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.

Windows 9 Screenshots Leak

The next version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system has long been rumoured – but now fresh Windows 9 screenshots seem to have leaked onto the web, revealing the future of the desktop computer. More than 20 photo’s have been shown off from sites WinFuture and ComputerBase – even though it would seem that the photo’s are from a “Windows Technical Preview” – they still offer a very good insight as to what’s to come.

The Start Menu and Windows taskbar have all received some fairly fresh new design work with new icons and buttons that look like a link to virtual desktop features. Everything seems to have been even further flattened with the design UI language across the board. The virtual desktop is shown off in some of the leaks in later photos, with a handy pane that runs across the bottom of the Windows desktop that enables easy swapping between both the desktop area of the OS and the virtualised system. Big news on top of it all is the inclusion of Metro-style icons hitting the regular desktop.

Things seem to be shaping up rather well for the new operating system, and should hopefully meld together a more refined experience for both business and consumers across devices.

As of writing Microsoft hasn’t commented on the leaks.

Image courtesy of WinFuture and ComputerBase.

Windows 9 Rumoured to Launch as “Windows”

Reports are swirling that Microsoft’s looking to change things up for its next major release of its desktop operating system – opting for the name “Windows” over “Windows 9”. Key driving forces behind the potential decision from Redmond come from a lack of consumer awareness and understanding behind “Windows RT” and “Windows 8” monikers, with many consumers expecting the RT variant to offer a full subset of Windows functions and features.

If the decision goes ahead – Microsoft’s marketing department will have to work in overdrive to ensure the new desktop operating system doesn’t get swept away or cause even further confusion in the sea of OS’s. It’d be a bold manoeuvre – but one that has the potential to help assist in binding all of Microsoft’s software, new direction and core architecture home to consumers and business – if they can pull it off. We could very well spot Microsoft referring to “Windows” alone across desktop, tablet and mobile in the very near future. In addition to the potential streamlined name, new additions and improvements are expected in the upcoming release. With heavy emphasis on revising the desktop and Modern UI aspects – Microsoft looks to improve ease of use and make things easier for customers. Hopefully with a bit of luck and vision this can shape up to becoming a version of Windows everyone can get behind.

Microsoft Blog Post Accidentally Leaks “Windows 9 is Coming Soon”

Who better to give us more information on Windows 9 than Microsoft themselves! Looks like the technology giant will be having words with their Chinese division after the team leaked a logo (now believed to be a mockup, not the final) with the phrase “Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?” but quickly removed the post after it was posted on their weibo blog.

As is always the case with these things, people saw it before it was taken down and while I believe that “leaks” tend to happen on purpose quite a lot these days, as a genuine marketing technique, the location of this post makes me think it wasn’t meant to reach the public at this time.

The posting certainly implied that the OS is coming soon and with Microsoft set to hold a press event on September 30th, as well as a Technology Preview of the OS being distributed to developers later this month / early October, we shouldn’t have long before we find out just how far away Windows 9 really is.

All we know of the OS so far is that it will introduce the new mini Star Menu, the Charms Bar has been removed, it will feature UI changes to how the desktop handles Windows 8-style apps and that at some point it will integrate Cortana.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Verge.

Windows 9 To Allow Cloud-Based System Image Back-Ups

Remembering to backup your operating system is something 90% of us probably forget to do, with Windows 9 that could change. Famous Windows leaker WZOR has explained that Windows 9 will featured a cloud-based backup system. Windows 9 will automatically backup images of your system’s OS to your OneDrive account meaning should your OS drive ever suffer damage or your OS becomes irrecoverably damaged, you can just download your most recent OS image from your OneDrive account and apply it to your current boot drive, or a new boot drive if your last one broke-down, and you’re good to go. This feature certainly makes sense from Microsoft’s perspective as they have already integrated OneDrive into Windows 8.X and furthermore this would act as a great opportunity for Microsoft to expand OneDrive with even more users.

What do you think about an integrated cloud backup system? Good idea or a security risk?

Source: WZOR

Image courtesy of CloudStorageBest.com

Windows 9 Start Menu To Have Full-Screen Option

The Windows 8 Concept Start Menu

We’ve heard that Microsoft’s Windows 9 OS will have two different versions: the first is centered around the desktop with no modern UI and the second is centered around the modern UI with no desktop. The first OS will be aimed at desktop and notebook users, the second at tablet and touch-device users. According to a new rumour that is circulating the desktop version of Windows 9 might still retain the start screen, but it won’t be as “offensively” implemented as before. The full start screen could be accessed when using the start menu in full screen mode, that gives desktop users the choice of whether they want to use the start menu normally: like they would on Windows 7, or whether they would like to use it in a Windows 8-style way. Expect more details about Windows 9 to emerge as we edge closer to the expected Preview reveal date of September 30th.

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 9 To Revamp The Modern UI, Only For Touch Devices

The Windows 8 Start Screen

We’ve already heard several times that there will be two versions of Windows 9 “Threshold” – one for desktop style users and the other for touch-device users. Of course, there will be exceptions to that rule: like Microsoft Surface devices are touch based but will likely run the desktop OS version, and some touch-enabled laptops might run the desktop variant too. For desktop-style devices the main feature of the OS will be the desktop while for touch-style devices the main feature is to be the modern UI interface. Winbeta reports that Microsoft is giving the modern UI interface a revamp and at the heart of this new approach is making the modern UI “front and centre”. That means for appropriate touch devices the modern UI is the only things users will experience, no conflict between the desktop and modern UI. The Start Screen is also set to get a few updates: notably it will get interactive live tiles which allow users to interact with them without opening the application. Other new additions include a notification centre, which is rumoured to be similar to the notification centre on Windows Phone 8.1, the addition of Microsoft’s assistant app Cortana and the removal of the charms bar.

Of course it is worth restating again that devices which run the desktop version of Windows 9 will not experience any of these updates since the Modern UI is not present. That means Surface Pro, Notebook and Desktop users will end up experiencing the desktop environment only. The upcoming preview of Windows 9 is said to be for the desktop variant only, Microsoft is unlikely to release a preview  for the RT-style version of Windows 9. Check out more details from WinBeta’s extensive report at the source link.

Source: Winbeta

Image courtesy of Softpedia

Windows 9 Will Reach RTM Before 2015

When the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of a Windows OS is released by Microsoft it means that the launch of that new OS is just a few months away. Microsoft sends its hardware partners the RTM version normally 2 months before the OS release to give them time to finish tweaking their products based on the new OS, we saw the same thing with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. According to famous Windows leaked WZOR Microsoft will release the RTM version of Windows 9 before the end of this year which means that we could see Windows 9 as early as February 2015.

The information provided by WZOR in Russian, translates as follows:

“According to the plans Sign-Off Windows 9 RTM is scheduled to end in 2014 … known only period of time when it can take place …”

Aside from that snippet of information WZOR didn’t disclose anything else that we didn’t already know. Windows 9 has been in the news a lot recently so we encourage you to stay on top of all our Windows 9 coverage right here. Given that the Windows 9 preview is only slated for a September 30th release it does seem a bit steep to assume that the final version would be ready by the end of the year. However, as I’ve said many times before WZOR has a great track record with Windows leaks so lets wait and see how this one pans out.

Source: WZOR

Image courtesy of Winbeta

Windows 9 ISO Will Leak Onto Internet After Sept 15 Says Reputable Source

The most recent information about Windows 9 points to a reveal date of September 30th, this rumour has already been backed by reputable sources such as The Verge and ZDNet. However, there’s a new twist to Microsoft’s Windows 9 calendar: the famous Windows leaker, WZOR, claims that after September 15th a Windows 9 ISO will leak online before Microsoft gets a chance to reveal the new OS at their event on September 30th. So far no leaked builds of Windows 9 have made their way onto the internet but with WZOR’s kiss-of-death that could all be about to change.

This is what the Windows 9 start menu is rumoured to look like

 

Obviously this is pure speculation, but given WZOR’s track record with Windows related topics I wouldn’t be surprised to see his claim come true. If it were to happen Windows 9 would be available en-masse for consumers to download and install onto their systems. With the Windows 9 preview on the horizon this seems like a plausible prospect. Windows 9 is likely to have similar hardware requirements to Windows 8 so it should be fairly easy for most people to try out.

Source: WZOR (Twitter), Via: Softpedia

Image #1 courtesy of Winbeta, Image #2 courtesy of MYCE

The Windows 9 Preview Gets A Confirmed Reveal Date

Windows 9 this, Windows 9 that: let’s face it you’re probably sick of the Windows 9 rumours by now. Well here’s to hoping that this is the rumour to end them all: The Verge is reporting that Windows 9 “Threshold” will be officially unveiled by Microsoft on September 30th, that’s in just over a month. Microsoft will host a special press event for the Windows “Threshold” unveiling and at the event Microsoft will begin to detail the changes that Windows 9 brings compared to Windows 8. A reveal is not a release so let’s be clear here: Microsoft won’t be offering anything with widespread access although a technical preview version will be made available to a select group of developers.

This is what the Windows 9 Start Menu is rumoured to look like

Why all the hype about Windows 9? Well if all the recent press and rumours are to be believed Windows 9 will dramatically change what we saw with Windows 8, and maybe give Windows 7 loyalists the successor they always wanted. Windows 9 “Threshold” could bring a start menu, the removal of the charms bar, several UI changes such as Metro Apps running on the desktop and even the introduction of the Cortana personal assistant. All of this is still to be confirmed, but Microsoft should be enlightening us all about Windows 9 next month, so stay tuned for that news.

Source: The Verge

Image #1 courtesy of Winbeta, Image #2 courtesy of MYCE

Windows 9 Preview Expected Next Month

We now for certain now that Microsoft are working hard on the next iteration of their operating system. Windows 8 was great overall, but a PR disaster for the company and with Windows 7 being a pretty solid operating system, people had no good reason to update. Naturally they’re now pegging their hopes on Windows 9 and to be honest, so am I, it’s time for a chance and hopefully this time around it will be for the better.

Now we are hearing reports that an early build of the OS will be heading for public preview in September or early October at the latest. The OS still has a lot of development to go trough, so this will likely be testing changes to core elements, with many more features being added through extensive updates over the coming months.

The OS is said to feature a new mini Start Menue, “metro-style” apps that float in separate windows on the desktop, virtual desktops, the charms bar is gone and the OS should even contain an early version of their Cortana service.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Windows 8.1 Update 2 Rumuored To Roll Out on The 12th of August

Microsoft is getting ready to roll out its Update 2 for the latest Windows 8.1 operating system this month. Rumours point to a launch date set for the 12th of August, which makes sense since it corresponds with the company’s Patch Tuesday rollout.

There is also word that Redmond is preparing for a MSDN launch on the 15th of August, 3 days after the update will get the update through Windows Update. Since Microsoft is still keeping a tight lip on this, there is no official confirmation for the given information. However, the rumours make sense at some level, even though people expect a MSDN launch before the update reaches Windows Update.

The Update 2 is said to only bring performance and security improvements. Head of OS division at Microsoft, Terry Myerson, said at the company’s BUILD conference that the new update will bring the long-awaited Start menu and options to run Metro apps in dedicated windows right on the desktop.

This promise is said to have been changed, since Microsoft is said to be focusing more on its Windows 9 operating system, which is expected to bring many more new features aside from the aforementioned ones.

While the Windows 9 preview version is said to come along with the Cortana personal assistant for desktop, it would make sense for Microsoft to divert all resources into its newest OS. As for the Update 2, the coming weeks should bring more concrete and official information about it.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia

Leaked Windows 9 Screenshots Show Metro Apps On Desktop And Start Menu

A couple of images of a Windows build have emerged online confirming a few of the new features Windows 9 “Threshold”. The two screenshots are quoted by the source as being for the upcoming Windows 9 Threshold operating system. The about Windows section still details it as Windows 8.1 Pro but this is expected to persist until Microsoft actually decides what it wants to name the Windows Threshold project, although most people are already assuming Windows 9. The first leaked image confirms that metro apps will be able to run on the Windows desktop within a traditional window. This is something we heard over three weeks ago when we learnt of an overhaul of Windows 9 for desktop users.

The second image reveals the illusive start menu. As we can see it features a similar tiled interface as the Metro UI but it still has a list of programs and the shut down/power options like we would see on the Windows 7 start menu most people are familiar with.

If these two images both turn out to be true then we could see very happy Windows fans next year. Having a proper start menu and being allowed to remain within the desktop environment is something desktop users have been adamantly calling for, especially when most desktop PCs are not touch-enabled to take full advantage of the Metro UI.

What are your thoughts on the look of these alleged Windows 9 screenshots?

Source: myce

Images courtesy of myce

Windows 8.1 Update 2 Release Date Revealed, No Start Menu Included

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Update 2 was released in its RTM version just recently meaning its release date is close. Now that release date has emerged courtesy of Russian site PCPortal, that release date is expected to be August 12th. However, despite all the hype surrounding Microsoft’s second major update for Windows 8.1 most users probably won’t even notice the change. Why? Because nothing on the surface (not a tablet pun) will observably change. There will be no start menu, no change in the way metro apps are launched and so on. Instead Windows 8.1 Update 2 will mainly be an “under-the-hood” update based on optimisations and major bug fixes that Microsoft has discovered over the past few months. This update will be delivered “silently” through the Windows Update mechanism on patch Tuesday.

What has happened to all those cool new features that were rumoured then? Well according to the source Microsoft has decided to withhold those new features like the new start menu and the ability to run metro apps in windowed mode on the desktop. These features will be released with Windows Threshold (expected to be Windows 9). Windows 8.1 Update 2 may therefore not be very exciting but it is very important: it marks the end of Microsoft’s focus on Windows 8.1. Microsoft will now channel all its development efforts into Windows Threshold (9) and Windows 8.1 will be serviced in the same way as Windows 7: with critical and important bug and security fixes only, no new features.

Source: WinBeta

Image #1 courtesy of Microsoft, image #2 courtesy of PC Portal

Windows 9 Tablet/Phone Kernel Could Be Called Windows “OneCore”

We’ve heard that Microsoft’s next operating system, codename Windows Threshold but expected to be called Windows 9, will come in two varieties. One for the desktop and traditional notebook users and another for tablet, smartphone and hybrid device users. Today we are hearing more details about the tablet/smartphone version. Apparently Microsoft will merge the tablet and smartphone kernel together a create a unified OS called Windows OneCore, or the “One Microsoft” OS. The information was leaked through a Microsoft careers listing and on a Microsoft employee’s CV.

“The XAML team is building the UI framework at the core of the ‘One Microsoft’ OS. Our framework is used by hundreds of thousands of developers, including many teams at Microsoft. Our goal is to provide the best modern UI framework, which is integral to the success of our platform and ecosystem. Our charter includes: Enabling developers to create UI that works well across all of our devices: phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox.” Reads the Career page listing.

If true the OneCore certainly makes sense: by unifying the OS needed for tablets, smartphones, the Xbox and PCs Microsoft can make its offerings more developer friendly. We are not sure how the OneCore will interact with the traditional desktop and notebook spaces, or whether OneCore only applies to the mobile platform space. We’ll have to wait and see if any more details emerge but given Microsoft’s rebranding on SkyDrive to OneDrive and the release of the Xbox One the “OneCore” and “OneOS” monikers make sense. I think the obvious challenge will be how Microsoft can cater for both ARM and traditional AMD/Intel/VIA x86 CPU designs if they do unify all platforms.

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of PCBeta

Windows 9 To Get Cortana and New Taskbar Functionality

Windows Threshold will be the next major update to the Windows platform. So far we anticipate that it will be called Windows 9 but this is not confirmed and so anything could happen in terms of the naming for the next Windows OS. So far we know the desktop version will be overhauled with the Start Screen being disabled by default for desktop users while mobile users will not get a desktop but instead a permanent modern UI overlay. Now some new details have emerged about Windows 9 courtesy of Neowin. These new details suggest there will be a totally distinctive UI that looks nothing like Windows 7 or 8.X. The main change will be with the taskbar, theis is expected to house “interactive” features such as icons which are “mini live tiles”. Microsoft is reportedly toying with a glance-and-go style functionality for the taskbar. The aim is to create a more productive operating system: if you can see what is going on in each app without having to open them all individually then this is great for productivity.

The next major update is that Microsoft’s Cortana assistant, currently on Windows Phone, will arrive with Windows 9 Threshold. Microsoft’s digital assistant will get some presence along the taskbar, whether that be a quick-launch implementation or something more sophisticated. Another final change is that we may see the return of desktop gadgets or widgets. Not much is known about what this might entail but they are certainly on the agenda to some degree. Many of these features may not even make their way into the leaked testing builds until a much later date. However, over the course of the year we should expect to see many more leaks coming out of Microsoft about Windows 9 Threshold so stay tuned for those.

Source: Neowin

Image courtesy of Neowin

Possible Windows 9 Start Menu Spotted

An image has emerged online of Windows Build 9788. This Windows Build was supposed to be associated with Windows 8.1 Update 2, as clearly indicated by the fact Windows 8.1 Pro is stated in the bottom right of the image, but now according to new information this new build will actually be associated with Windows 9 instead. The image shows a screenshot of the Windows Start Menu which is completely different to what current Windows 8.1 users have. Instead of the start button opening up the Metro Live Tile UI the start button opens up a “traditional” Windows 7 style start menu on the left, with a new “Windows 8 style” tiled area to the right of that.

Given all the rumours and issues surrounding Windows 8.1 and Windows 9 it is difficult to judge the authenticity of such a leak. If this is indeed what the Windows 9 OS will look like then I find it strange that the evaluation copy still states Windows 8.1 Pro. Interestingly the Start Menu displayed in the image above is virtually identical to the one Microsoft showed at its BUILD 2014 conference in April 2014. Whether that makes it more likely to be real or not is anyone’s guess.

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of MDL

No Windows 8.1 Update 3 Coming: Microsoft Seeking To Bury Windows 8

Not that long ago we heard that Windows 9 might be delayed to squeeze in Windows 8.1 update 3. Windows 8.1 Update 3 was to be the third and last major update for Windows 8.1 before Microsoft moves on to Windows 9. However, new reports from famous Windows leaker WZOR suggest Windows 8.1 update 3 has been scrapped entirely. Microsoft is going to push ahead with the second update which is coming in the very near future, possibly as early as next week, and then move straight onto Windows 9. The reason? Well Microsoft thinks Windows 8.X is a lost cause, a bit like a Vista 2.0. Instead of investing time and resources into Windows 8.1 update 3, that could be better spent improving Windows 9. This is a move that might anger Windows 8.X users – they’ve paid for the OS and now Microsoft wants to short change them because it hasn’t “sold enough”. 

Expect more details about Windows 8.1 updates and Windows 9 in the near future. Stay on top of all our latest Windows 9 coverage right here.

Source: WZOR

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft To Change Activation System For Windows 9, No More Product Keys

Infamous Windows leaker WZOR has been at it again revealing more interesting details about the upcoming Windows 9 OS. Microsoft is set to overhaul the way Windows 9 is activated and will ditch the current product key system. In its place Microsoft will make having a store account with them compulsory, you will have to buy your license from the store and it will give you a generic ISO file to install your OS with. Once you install that ISO file your system will then be profiled (most likely motherboard related details) and then linked to your account and activated. To move to another machine you simply deactivate the install on the last system, redownload the generic ISO file and go through the online syncing process again. The concept will be applied to 3-user and 5-user family licenses as well as individual licenses.

Straight away there are obvious issues with the new method of activation. Firstly, you have to get a Microsoft store account, whether you want one or not because your activation is linked to your account. Secondly, you will need an internet connection to use your PC and install your OS, this may not sound like an issue for home users but for business users this could be a deal breaker: especially those on closed networks. Thirdly, motherboard upgrades will essentially break your system so you will have to reinstall your OS, annoying if you’re just making a same chipset family upgrade: such as Intel H81 to Z87 where a reinstall is not needed. Fourthly, if all licenses are sold via the Microsoft store then Microsoft are cutting retailers and resellers out of the operating system market: they can no longer sell licenses if they have to be acquired via the Microsoft store because there are no product keys to sell. In summary Microsoft are trying to force an “always-online” style of DRM onto the Windows OS, if this is the case, I don’t think it will go down very well at all. We saw a huge community retaliation against Microsoft’s attempt to make the Xbox One “always online”, I am sure we will see a similar thing within the desktop environment.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s new Windows activation system?

Source: BetaNews

Image courtesy of Caltech.edu

Windows 9 OS Build 6.4.9788 Spotted Online

An image shared by Windows Phone 8.X and Windows 8.X developer Artem Shuba reveals that Windows 9 builds are already being tested. His proof is a screenshot of OS version details in the Windows Store app logs. The version pictured, 6.4.9788.0,  involves a switch from Kernel 6.3 (Windows 8.X) to Kernel 6.4 (Windows 9.X) which is believed to signify an operating system shift. This sighting adds fuel to the fire that Microsoft is planning to reveal the Windows 9 beta very soon, possibly at its Worldwide Partner Conference which starts on July 13th.

It was recently revealed that Windows 9 will get an overhaul for desktop usersMicrosoft is rumoured to be doing away with trying to force the touch-based layout of Windows 8 onto all Windows 9 users and will instead design features specifically for mouse and keyboard users. With Windows 9 desktop and laptop SKUs will get a separate version of the OS which puts the Windows desktop as the main focus of the OS, it will also sport a mini-Start menu that is user-customisable. Furthermore, there is rumoured to be a total disabling of the Metro-style start screen and live tile interface, all those metro apps will just run as normal applications on the desktop. There will be a second version of Windows 9 for tablet and smartphone users on touch devices.

Stay on top of all our Windows 9 coverage right here.

Source: Artem Shuba (Twitter)

Image courtesy of Artem Shuba (Twitter)

Windows 9 Preview Will Be Available For Download Later This Year

Microsoft’s Windows 9 “Threshold” operating system, which will replace the current Windows 8.X OS, is rumoured to be made available in public preview form this fall. As we’ve mentioned already Windows 9 will get a massive overhaul to tailor the OS for two different experiences: a desktop experience and a touch-based experience. The Microsoft concept start-menu (shown above) which Microsoft displayed at BUILD 2014 this year could make an appearance in Windows 9 for desktop users. With the preview arriving this fall the final version of Windows 9 could still be as far away as Q3 2015. Remember the first preview of Windows 8 arrived in September 2011 and the RTM version didn’t ship until August 2012 with the consumer version shipping October 2012, more than 12 months after the first preview.

Source: The Verge

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 9 Will Get Customisable Start Menu, Overhaul For Desktop Users

Microsoft will reportedly make an all-out assault to tailor its next Windows operating system to the Windows 7 “stronghold”. According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet Microsoft is going to make Windows 9 (codename: Threshold) more desktop-friendly. Microsoft will do-away with trying to force the touch-based layout of Windows 8 onto Windows 9 users and will instead design features specifically for mouse and keyboard users. Microsoft has already tweaked Windows 8.1 based on hardware-profiles so that desktop PCs boot straight into the desktop while touch-devices boot to the Start Screen: in Windows 9 these hardware-profiles will be more pronounced. With Windows 9 desktop and laptop SKUs will get a separate version of the OS which puts the Windows desktop as the main focus of the OS, it will also sport a mini-Start menu that is user-customisable. Furthermore, there is rumoured to be a total disabling of the Metro-style start screen and live tile interface, all those metro apps will apparently just run as normal applications on the desktop.

At the other end of the spectrum the phone and tablet SKU of Windows 9 will apparently ditch the desktop environment altogether, but will still allow for the side by side running of apps. This SKU will support ARM and Intel Atom based tablets and phones. The centralised hub of this SKU of Windows 9 will be the live tile interface and start screen. Microsoft will apparently put Windows 8.X on the back burner once the major updates are finished because the OS is already perceived as a “Vista 2.0” by many at Microsoft.

Source: ZDNet

Image courtesy of CNET (Lance Whitney)

Windows 8.1 Update 2 Coming July 13th Along With Windows 9 Beta

We’ve been covering the Windows 8.1 Update 2 for a fair while now, rumours are heating up so we know for sure it is coming by the end of this year. The latest rumour courtesy of WZOR, who have a good track record on Windows leaks, suggests that we could see it as soon as July 13th. That date marks the start of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and apparently Microsoft will unveil not only the second major update for Windows 8.1 but also the beta version of the next-generation Windows 9 operating system. Nothing has really been confirmed so far, we’ve heard contradictory rumours about Windows 9: some say early 2015 and others are saying mid-2015. That said we are significantly more likely to see Windows 8.1 Update 2 than Windows 9 just because of the time-frames at play. However, if WZOR’s revelations are anything to go by then there is a nice surprise coming for Windows fans. Fingers crossed!

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 9 “Threshold” Project Gets Unofficially Confirmed

Windows Threshold is a term that refers to a major Windows update that is coming in the future. It is believed to be a codename for a Windows project and now it seems the project is “official” after Neowin managed to dig out some details about it from the LinkedIn profile of a Microsoft employee. The latest expectation with Windows Threshold is that it refers to Windows 9. Neowin state that Windows Threshold should show up around Spring but the latest rumours suggest it will arrive later in June.

Microsoft is currently working on a lot more than just Windows 9 Threshold with Windows 8.1 Updates 2 and 3 currently in the works. Microsoft are also believed to still be working on a total start menu redesign that was revealed at the BUILD 2014 conference back in April 2014.

Source: Neowin

Image #1 courtesy of Neowin, image #2 courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 9 To Be Delayed For Windows 8 Update 3

We’ve heard a fair bit about Windows 8.1 updates and Windows 9 over the past couple of weeks and today we are getting some more details on both courtesy of Tom’s Hardware’s insider sources. The sources suggest that Windows 8.1 Update 3 does exist and will be arriving in Spring 2015. Windows 8.1 Update 2 will be arriving in August/September and Windows 8.1 Update 1 has already been released. The Windows 8.1 Update 3 launch window of “Spring 2015” means that Windows 9 “Threshold” has been pushed back to later on in 2015. The expected dates are now April 2015 for Windows 8.1 Update 3 and June for Windows 9.

Based on earlier rumours by WZOR it is expected that Windows 8.1 Update 2 will be free to Windows 8.1 Update 1 users, users coming from earlier versions of Windows 8.1 or 8 will have to pay a small fee to make the direct jump. Likewise Windows 8.1 Update 3 users will get the update free if they are on Windows 8.1 Update 2 and so on. This means you can get each update for free providing you manually make each update in each stage. Rumour also has it that Windows 9 users will get the OS for free if they are running Windows 8.1 Update 3. However, given Windows 7 users had to pay $40 to get to Windows 8 this does seem fairly unlikely unless Microsoft is pursuing a new fee structure.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

Image courtesy of WinBeta

New Windows 9 Details Leak Out

Information from the famous Windows leaker and Microsoft enthusiast “FaiKee” suggests that Windows 9 could be with us in its first preview form, the developer preview, from Q2-Q3 in 2015, that’s between March and September next year. The current codename for the next-gen Microsoft OS is Windows 9 but apparently that is subject to change at any time. The rumour confirms the fact that Windows 9 is now expected to be off-schedule, although other Microsoft-enthusiasts such as Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet believe Windows 9 is still set for a Spring 2015 release. FaiKee went on to state that Windows 8.1 update 3 is expected in Spring 2015, the current Windows 8.1 update 2 is expected to be released very soon. His rumours also suggest we might see a change of names with Windows 8.1 update 3 actually being called Windows 8.2. Check out more details at the source link.

Source: Microsoft-News / FaiKee

Image courtesy of Winbeta.org