According to recent reports, Windows 9 could be unveiled in a special event held by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on September 30. But what can we expect from this latest and greatest PC operating system? Here is a rundown of all the latest rumors, leaks and confirmed information about Windows 9.
Windows 9 Unified Operating System
Although Windows 8 was heavily criticized for attempting to provide a one-size-fits-all package, it is clear that the new iteration of the Microsoft flagship operating system will not depart from this too greatly. The new CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has already commented on the future of Windows, and very much indicated that Windows 9 will represent a unified operating system across all platforms.
Whereas previously Microsoft have had numerous teams working on different versions of Windows, Nadella has made it clear that the development for Windows 9 is based on a single team utilizing a comment architecture. This will ultimately result in universal Windows apps. It will be interesting to see how this works in practice, but the intention is clearly to mend the fissures between Windows Phone, Windows RT and Windows desktop.
As reported previously by ValueWalk, Windows 9 will also see the return of the strongly missed Start menu. The much maligned Windows 8 release made the mistake of completely eliminating this accustomed feature from the operating system, and Microsoft has been forced to listen to the extensive criticism which it has received about this aberration. Consequently, for some time it has been made clear that the Start menu will return in Windows, and it would seem to be nothing short of commercial suicide for Microsoft to do otherwize.
Windowed Modern UI Apps
Aside from the physical improvement of the new Start menu, the latest leaks from Microsoft also suggest that there will be another improvement to the Windows setup with truly windowed Modern UI apps being included. This innovation has been revealed by the publication Myce, which has provided a screenshot allegedly taken from a recent build of the so-called Threshold prototype version of Windows 9.
There can be no doubt of the success Apple has had in pushing a device model based around the downloading of apps. And it seems that Microsoft is ready to follow suit and pick up the baton with this particular trend when it releases Windows 9. Additionally, Microsoft is looking to create unified applications between Windows Phone and Windows RT. Attention will also go into scaling applications in order for them to more readily fit differing sized screens.
It goes without saying that Windows 9 will be focusing strongly on cloud computing. As this still relatively embryonic technology has continued to grow in significance over the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that the cloud will be the future of computing. Already prognoses are being made that 80% of small businesses will be utilizing the cloud in their day-to-day operations by 2020. Microsoft is hugely reliant on this corporate client base, so obviously Windows needs to evolve to be as cloud compatible as possible.
In accordance with this, WZOR has reported that Windows 9 will revolve around a Chrome OS-like operating system which requires a constant Internet connection.
Recent reports emanating from Microsoft have indicated that Windows 9 will completely change the way that the operating system deals with power management. The corporation considers that it had already significantly improved the power management fundamentals in Windows 8, but now that Windows Phone 8 is based on the Windows Phone kernel, there is no doubt whatsoever that power management in Windows has to improve considerably. Comments coming out of Microsoft indicates that they are aware that this needs to be a serious priority for Windows 9, so we may ultimately see a much more power efficient operating system when it sees the light of day.
Increasingly, technology manufacturers are heading away from compelling users to be physically tied to a keyboard and mouse to interact with devices. Perhaps the Nintendo Wii video games console was the first successful example of gesture technology reaching a mass-market ahead of more traditional control methods. Now numerous tech companies are catching on to this, with Google already launching a beta Version of a speech-based search engine.
Thus, Windows 9 will attempt to deliver similar functionality, so that it is possible to utilize at least some of the features contained within Windows without having to bother with a keyboard and / or mouse. Speech and gesture-based functionality is going to become increasingly important in the few years, so Microsoft is evidently working on this right now to deliver a more intuitive Windows 9 experience.
Price of WIndows 9
Rumors continue, from more than one source, to suggest that the shell of Windows 9 will ultimately be free. Time will tell on this one, but it looks like an increasing possibility.