Love it or hate it, Windows 8 was Microsoft first big attempt to design an operating system that runs equally well on desktop PCs and tablets. A lot of folks aren’t fans… and there are rumors that while the next major release of Windows will still support touch-friendly “Modern” style apps, it’ll also be a bit more comfortable for long-time Windows users thanks to the return of a classic Start Menu, among other things.

According to WinSuperSite the next version of Windows will be code-named Threshold, officially called Windows 9, unveiled at the BUILD developer conference in April and launched to the public a year later, in April 2015.

Windows 8 logo

That’s more than a year away, and there’s still time for Microsoft to change the branding or other details.

At this point, it looks like we’ll have to wait a while to see what the new OS actually looks like or get our hands on a developer preview (although if history tells us anything, it’s that leaked builds of the operating system will probably hit the streets before official builds). But WinSuperSite reports that among other things users may be able to run Modern-style apps downloaded from the Windows Store in resizeable desktop-style windows.

In other words, when you’re using a tablet, you can use the tablet user interface with a Start Screen and full-screen apps that Microsoft introduced with Windows 8. Have a desktop or notebook? Feel free to use something closer to the desktop UI Windows users have been familiar with since the 90s.

There’s no news about the future of Windows RT at this point. When Microsoft announced plans to port its desktop operating system to run on low-power ARM-based chips a few years ago, the move made a lot of sense. Tablets and other mobile devices were on the rise. ARM was kicking Intel and AMD’s rear ends in power consumption, enabling devices to have crazy-long battery life. And Microsoft wanted Windows to be able to run on those devices.

By the time Windows RT hit the streets though, one of the best features was missing: the ability to run the thousands of Windows apps that were already available for Windows on x86 processors. With only the ability to run third party apps downloaded from the brand new Windows Store, Windows RT felt a bit like any new platform at launch… not particularly useful unless you just wanted to stick to the built-in apps.

What’s more, in the meantime Intel did a great job of reducing power consumption of both its Atom and Core family processors so that it’s not uncommon to find a Windows tablet or notebook that can run for 10 hours or longer on a charge.

All told, if Windows 9 is an admission that Microsoft might have made some mistakes with Windows 8, I wonder if the company even has a strategy in mind for the future of Windows on ARM.

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24 replies on “Report: Windows 9 to launch in 2015, preview coming in April 2014”

  1. The only thing that now actually help microsuckcock is their MS office Applications, and also Exchange mail server and SQL. The rest of their products more or less are SUCKS.

    If by any chance, other vendor can provide a 100% fully compatible MS office application and Outlook clone to connect to MS Exchange then i think microsuckcock will have a tough time, because after that slowly people will start migrating and staying away from MS.

    Open office is good, but somehow the feeling still not the same as using the real MS office.
    Thunderbird also good but until now also cannot connect to MS exchange natively. Only can use imap or pop3.

    Btw this world more or less now using IT product from 4 biggest bloodsucker companies : Intel, Apple, microsuckcock, Samsung. LOL

  2. ARM based devices still have benefits over Intel based ones. They run cooler and can still fit in slightly smaller and thinner cases. Windows RT is also easier to maintain than Windows 8 and it’s not prone to viruses and malware.

    I think that as long as ARM is popular there will be a Windows on ARM… either Windows RT or Windows Phone that will go onto phones and tablets.

    The way I think of it… if Windows RT had the same apps as iOS and Android would it be a contender? I would argue that it would be better since Windows RT can do things that the others cannot: snap multiple apps, familiar USB functionality, familiar multiple user accounts (Android has this now too, but it’s not as good) and the ability to extend to an external monitor instead of just mirror along with many other things. It is unfortunate that they didn’t allow desktop apps on RT for at least power users as that would have been pretty monumental and I believe we would have seen developers get behind that feature and probably would result in developers spilling over into creating Modern UI apps as well.

    That is the real issue with RT. Like the post points out, when it was released it was a brand new platform with no apps. The app store continues to grow and is far better than it was a year ago. iOS and Android are hot and developers aren’t rushing to build Modern UI apps. It also just takes time to build up a good library of apps. The good thing is that Windows 8 and Windows RT can run the same “Modern UI” apps so any Windows 8 sale benefits RT.

    The potential changes in Windows 9 sound like they would be good. I imagine it would be nice to run Modern UI in a windowed desktop environment. Right now Windows 8 feels like 2 OSes in one and that isn’t a great user experience. I hope they also update 8’s desktop chrome/theme to match the Modern UI look. What Microsoft should not do, in my opinion, is backtrack on Modern UI. They should keep pushing and improving it because it’s a great tablet UI and if they start to backtrack it’s only going to push developers away.

  3. Microsoft will still be around for decades to come due its enterprise software, but it could lose the consumer software market if Windows 9 doesn’t bring consumers back. I hope Google and Apple
    capitalize on MS’s missteps so there is greater competition on the desktop to benefit the
    end user.

    The introduction of Android powered “desktop computers” could be a portent of Microsoft’s worst consumer nightmare.

  4. Windows 8 is usable on laptops/desktop. You just need to install third party software (Start8 or Classic Shell) to make it so. I am surprised computer retailers have not been installing this third party software on their stock in order to move it out the door. Windows 9 sounds like it should fix most of the worst problems. It won’t help Windows8 being ugly as ~!@#$% but at least it will be more usable.

  5. I wonder if people who felt “swindowed” into Windows 8 will trust Microsoft when Windows 9 rolls around?

      1. Nope it won’t help a single bit. M$ is doomed because of Vista and Windows 8.

  6. Funny how these “leaks” are coming out right after CES 2014 and the growing availability of Android desktops. Are businesses that have put off replacing old XP machines really going to wait another almost two years before doing something? Could be I suppose, or this delay might just spur more interest in an alternative.

    1. I forgot to add that April 2015 seems unlikely to me, and I’d expect something more like October or November 2015.

    2. What’s wrong with Windows 7? My company has been replacing Windows XP PCs with Windows 7 ones.

        1. Which are likely the businesses you were talking about, right? Businesses don’t normally buy retail copies of Windows. Other companies I know of are also switching to Windows 7.

          From your link, businesses (including consumers) who have Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise can downgrade to Windows 7. I did this for Vista to XP before on a personal ThinkPad with the help of Lenovo.

          1. For the second paragraph, I want to be clear that I was talking about volume and OEM licenses.

            Of course, I think MS should still be concerned with non-business customers and those who don’t opt for the Pro version (no downgrade rights) on OEM PCs. Those people will and I believe are looking at alternatives. Those alternatives seem to be tablets and even phones right now. So I think MS’ push into the touch/pen friendly UI without throwing away the desktop is a good decision. I’m sure there will be improvements as well. It’s definitely not perfect.

    3. Maybe but these changes were originally rumored for the Windows 8.2 update but some people don’t pay attention unless they hear that a new version of the OS is due out rather than a update and may have been what prompted this… also, it’s kinda like when they renamed Vista Windows 7… there’s some stigma around the name now that maybe a version/name change can change regardless of how much they change the OS…

  7. It should be codenamed “Toilet”, as in sh!t or get off the pot Microsoft! Because if this fails, all your dominance is going to be flushed down the swirlies.

    1. M$ is officially screwed either way. Just like AMD M$ is screwed in SO MANY ways that nothing they do can prevent their destruction!!!!

  8. For UMPCs, I think the whole dual UI is great. Not so much on notebooks and desktops though. Although I use Linux on my notebook, I plan on getting the Asus Vivotab Note 8 if nothing better comes out by Spring. With notebook and desktop sales slowing/declining and small tablet sales increasing, it makes sense to make an OS target small tablets without losing the desktop features.

    I’m also keeping an eye on Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch. Maybe next year it’ll be stable enough for me for everyday use as a phone and UMPC. I hope the devices that get released this year do well.

    1. I’m hoping for a high end terminal friendly slider with Ununtu Touch comes out. It’ll replace my Droid 4.

      1. If one of the Ubuntu phones coming out this year is like that then I may try out Ubuntu Touch earlier than I had planned.

  9. Oh well, that’s my new PC acquisition put off for another year then. Unless of course I go Linux – very tempting except that as a web developer I have to show consideration for what my clients are blighted with.

    1. Aren’t IE’s numbers pretty low now? And it’s pretty easy to setup Windows in a virtual machine for testing purposes.

    2. That isn’t much of an issue anymore. Once upon a time IE was a platform unto itself and most web sevelopment ended up being a port operation where you supported ‘the Internet’ with one version and IE in a separate port. And more than a few simply did the IE version first and stopped there. But as Microsoft fell out of their 90% monopoly position and down to closer to 50%, they couldn’t demand everyone put that sort of effort into supporting IE on machines where every one of those users could install Chrome or Firefox with a click. Meanwhile the new platforms couldn’t run IE if they wanted to.

      1. Look at users hanging on to Vista and Windows 7. Vista users already can’t even GET the newest versions of IE, and are being gradually forced to use a 3rd party browser even if they WANT to use IE. Win7 users are up next.

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