Known as Threshold, Microsoft’s next operating system (OS) will reportedly be announced by the end of September before general release next year.
While it is expected to be named Windows 9 when it finally reaches the commercial market, sources within the company have told ZDNet that Threshold will be offered as an open beta version to the public, with users signed up to the trial being required to receive mandatory updates as part of its development.
It is understood the new OS will once again put a significant focus on touchscreen capabilities through a range of different features, some of which are expected to include a ‘mini’ start button, a virtual desktop that will allow the user to choose where his or her apps are run, as well as the removal of the Charms bar, which was a key feature of Windows 8.
Another big feature expected is the inclusion of Microsoft’s voice-activation and enquiry AI, Cortana, which has already begun shipping with the company’s range of Windows Phone 8s.
In terms of when the OS will see a full version release date, those within the company expect it should appear online and in stores sometime around spring of 2015.