Windows 9 was been a hot topic of discussion even before the launch of Windows 8. The current Microsoft OS is almost two years old, but it has failed to impress users. Though the updates improved on some of the features, the sales numbers were less than expected. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is certainly aware of the situation, and it is widely expected that Windows 9 will be a big improvement on Windows 8.
Since there has been no official news, most of the available information on the Windows 9 comes from a series of leaks and rumors that refer to “Project Threshold.”
What’s the latest on Windows 9?
Most of the latest news related to Windows Threshold comes from WinBeta, where they learned about a refreshed user interface, release cycle and the name of the software. The new features revealed include tweaked interactive tiles, a notification center, which would be more like Windows phone, and a live folder also the same as Windows phone.
According to the report, there is little chance that Microsoft will reveal these changes in the upcoming preview in September, but there is a strong chance of these features being revealed in the second preview.
In the report it was revealed that Windows 9 would have ARM-specific preview in the starting of 2015 with a latest User Interface and functionality. The preview will be around the ARM devices like the surface (RT) and Surface 2 along with the Windows Phone.
The report also revealed previews titled “Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise”, reflecting that the operating system is a workable option for businesses, with features like a new start menu and windowed apps, virtual desktops and thel ike. As of now, September 30th is the generally anticipated date of this preview.
What to expect?
As there has been no confirmation regarding the features, tech enthusiasts are writing about the features that they would like to see in the Windows 9. What most of them are pitching on is a lower price for Windows 9 machines. A low price would allow the users to upgrade from the obsolete Windows XP and adopt a new version. Another desired feature is a longer battery life for Windows laptops, which is usually less than iOS devices. Users are also missing the Start button in Windows 8 and they want it back. Additionally, the restore system should be made simpler. Lot of users would like the company to simplify the updating feature in which the laptop does not switches off at odd times.
Suspense over the release date
In January, Microsoft communication Chief Frank Shaw said the company was not in a position to reveal the release date of the Windows product. However, he said, “you have certainly seen across a variety of our products a cadence that looks like that; Windows Phone is a good for example of that, our services are a good example of that.”
Two months ago, one of the ZDNet source said that Microsoft would release the preview this fall. However, recently tipster WZOR resurfaced saying that the upgraded version would launch in the same time frame.
According to some reports, Windows 9 might debut during the developer’s conference in 2015. There is a general consensus that the updated version would be launched somewhere in the spring 2015.
Microsoft expected to offer lucrative deal
Regardingthe price of the software, Windows 9 might be available for free or at a miniscule price depending on the version being used at the time of update. According to a report from MYCE, upgrading from Windows 8.1 to 9 might be free or come at a price of $20.
It is still not clear if the Windows 9 would be a standalone upgrade or a fee upgrade of Windows 8. Windows business chief Tami Reller said that there are “multiple selling season” for the Windows 8, which means that there will be more than one version of the upgrade, says a report from Techradar.
It is expected that Microsoft would throw an irresistible deal to those who are currently still sticking with Windows XP.
For the desktop version, the start screen is expected to be narrowed into the Start Menu, which can be expanded into a full-screen view. This might reflect as a big change when compared to Windows 8, but there is no real change. In the upgraded version, there will be no Start screen for the desktop version, a Windows 8 feature that has received criticism from all over. However, the Start screen would just be modified into a different shape, and the full-version screen will be at the background, appearing only when the user wants it to.
Some PC vendors are afraid that Windows 9 could suffer from “the Osborne” effect, a popular term in the PC industry. The term was coined when a computer company that announced a new product that killed the sales of an existing product, and later the new product failed to launch on time, thus killing the entire line.
Most PC vendors are disappointed over the release date of Windows 9, which will be during the Christmas holidays, one of the slowest times of year for PC sales. According to Russian tipster Wzor, some Asian vendors hate the idea so much that they are even planning to scale down the production of Windows PCs and tablets during the waiting period.
Wait and watch
As of now, there has been no official confirmation over the price, release date or features of Windows 9, but what we know is that Windows 9 will be a major upgrade from Windows 8. Updates to Windows 8 have already indicated the same by filling the gap between modern-style apps and windowed applications. Also, another update that would bring back the Start Menu is expected.
Windows 8 was not received well by the masses because of its complicated features, but CEO Satya Nadella is known for his ability to fix problems, so Windows 9 is likely to be better received.