Windows 9: What’s The Fuss About WaaS?

Windows 9 preview will be unveiled on September 30. As the preview release date approaches, numerous rumors have emerged about the role of cloud in Windows 9, code named Threshold. The new OS will have OneDrive, Skype integration and possibly Rumors suggest that Windows 9 will have new backup capabilities, most likely from Azure.

WaaS a new way of delivering patches, features and updates

There have been reports of “Windows as a Service” or WaaS making its way into Windows 9. Some experts speculate that it will be the cloud version of Threshold, a subscription service like Office 365. However, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet has learned from her sources that there is no Windows 365. Then what’s the fuss about WaaS?

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Foley says WaaS is all about how Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to deliver new features, patches and updates to customers. Starting with Windows 9, the software giant will “flight” updates with different groups of customers. It will help Microsoft’s operating systems team determine which changes generate a positive response and which ones are panned by users.

Other cloud-centric units at Microsoft such as Azure and Bing already use this type of testing and deployment. That means WaaS is part of Microsoft’s effort to use telemetry and direct feedback to update products over the air. Windows 9 will have game-changing new features such as Cortana, virtual desktops, an improve Start menu, a fully revamped taskbar, and a unified app store. What’s more, Microsoft will remove the Charms bar that most enterprise users hated.

Monthly updates in Windows 9 preview will be optional

Previously, there were rumors that the Windows 9 preview will require users to opt-in to the monthly software updates. However, Mary Jo Foley has learned that the monthly updates will be optional. Users who opt in will receive updates. Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Chinese arm accidentally leaked that the Threshold will be named Windows 9. Its post on the Chinese platform Weibo also had a mockup Windows 9 logo. Before the company could remove that post, Chinese website Cnbeta had picked it.

Microsoft shares gained 0.47% to $45.17 at 1:22 PM EDT on Thursday.