Windows 8 is a zombie, a dead OS walking. Now all eyes are set on Windows 9, which is expected to release in 2015. If the next-gen operating system doesn’t offer great user experience, people may move to Mac, Chrome or even Linux in large numbers. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) realizes this thing. So, a big question is whether Microsoft can revive its franchise.

windows 9

Windows 9 to have a different UI for each form factor

The Redmond-based company tried to offer one OS for multiple form factor devices. J. Peter Bruzzese of InfoWorld says this approach isn’t going to revive the Windows franchise. Of course, there are benefits of a common underlying OS, but users want different UIs for different form factors such as desktop, laptop or tablet. Windows 9 can make a solid comeback if it offers suitable UI for each form factor, though they could have a common underlying OS.

That’s what Microsoft is going to offer. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet says that Microsoft will make traditional desktop will be the default UI for Windows 9. But the new OS will be capable of detecting the platform it’s running, identify the peripherals connected and morph into the relevant UI. People will have the option to choose a different UI if the prefer. That’s important for two-in-one devices where some users prefer the traditional interface while others like the new Windows UI. The UI modes will change based on whether the keyboard is attached.

Windows 9 preview to arrive later this year

In the traditional desktop mode, Windows 9 will have a Start menu similar to the concepts the company showed at its Build developer conference earlier this year. For tablets and smartphones, it will have the tiled Start Page interface. Reports suggest that Windows 9 preview will be unveiled later this year, and the official release will take place in early 2015.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is gearing up to release the second major update to its Windows 8 OS, which is expected to arrive in August. There have been reports that Microsoft could make Windows 9 free to existing Windows 8 Update 2 users.

Microsoft shares rose 0.10% on Wednesday to close at $41.91.