Windows 9 rumors started circulating since a few months after the release of Windows 8. In fact, it was the failure of Windows 8 that fueled rumors of the next-gen operating system. Previous leaks suggest that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has internally codenamed it as “Threshold.”

Windows 9

Microsoft pressed for time to release Windows 9

The software giant’s Operating System Group (OSG) has sped up the development and delivery process of Windows 9. The company released Windows 8 in October 2012, came up with Windows 8.1 update in September 2013. And the next Windows 8 Update 2 is expected to be announced next month. So, Windows 9 is unlikely to be far behind.

Previously, there were reports that Windows 9 will be released in the second or third quarter of 2015. However, a recent leak by Russia’s Wzor puts the release date as “late 2014.” Now what we see in the actual OS will depend on what Microsoft engineers can do in such a short span of time. The schedule is more suitable for a Windows Phone update rather than a new version of the traditional desktop OS.

The Redmond-based company will reportedly launch a cloud-based Windows 365 version, It will have the basic features of the OS installed on the computer, but users will have to pay for additional features. A few months ago, leaked internal documents showed that Widows 9 will bring back the Start menu, albeit in a slightly modified format, and it will have the digital assistant Cortana.

Windows 9 to be suitable for all form factors

Windows 9 will reportedly have a new activation method, where the OS will be keyed in to the PC and an activation key will be sold to the user. More importantly, rumor has it that the new OS will be capable of recognizing the device it’s running, and will transform its UI accordingly. For example, it will have a desktop UI on a desktop or laptop. But Windows 9 will have a Metro style interface on tablets and smartphones. As for two-in-ones, the UI will change between traditional and Metro depending on whether a keyboard is attached.

That’s Microsoft’s larger strategy to offer a unified experience across all devices without compromising on usability on different form factors.

Microsoft shares gained 0.49% to $41.87 at 1:19 PM EDT on Thursday.