“Last year we had Windows 8. In the next few minutes, the next few days, we’ll be releasing Windows 9,” Alain Crozier stated at a press conference.

Despite other officials remaining tight-lipped on Windows 9, Crozier seemingly let slip that the world will soon be able to see just how much has changed since the disaster that was Windows 8.

Windows 9 release date, features: What to expect?

Leaving Windows 8 behind

Windows 8 alienated many users with the introduction of the colorful tile menu in lieu of the classic start menu. Speculation abounds that the start menu will make a return in Windows 9, although users will be able to use tiles if they prefer.

Windows 9 is expected to feature Microsoft’s digital personal assistant, Cortana, as well as the ability to switch between multiple desktops, which according to Expert Reviews is “a great productivity tool and something that Windows has been missing for a long time”.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was at the cutting edge of operating system design last time out, and leaked screenshots have shown that Windows 9 will feature even thinner window edges and planer icons than its predecessor.

Windows 9: A wider change in focus

“Windows 8 was not a shining moment for Microsoft,” said Michael Silver, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner. “Probably the biggest issue that lingers is the negative brand equity in the name.”

The new operating system is known internally as “Threshold” or Windows 9, but a new name is expected before its release next year.

The name change symbolizes a shift in strategy for Microsoft as a whole, ending their aggressive focus on Windows and PCs in favor of selling services to users of all devices.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella has duly noted the fact that sales of PCs have leveled off, with sales of Windows following suit. Due to the surge in popularity of smartphones and tablets, only 14% of computing devices sold last year were powered by Windows.

The diversification of services provided by Microsoft is the hallmark of Nadella’s reign as CEO, and industry insiders are excited to see in which direction he will take Windows 9 as part of the Microsoft portfolio.