Microsoft preparing for Windows 9 release in early 2015

1 Jul 2014

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Although it is preparing a Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft is planning to release its next operating system Windows 9 early next year. Code-named ‘Threshold’, Windows 9 is aimed at winning over stubborn Windows 7 users who prefer traditional features.

Released in 2009, Windows 7 ranks as one of Microsoft’s most successful operating system releases of all time, more than making up for the shortfalls and problems encountered in the Windows Vista OS that most people would happily forget.

The release of Windows 8 two years ago brought a tablet and touch experience to a host of next-generation hybrid PCs but has still, however, failed to win over die-hard Windows 7 users who crave familiarity and stability.

According to StatCounter, Windows 7 accounts for 50.6pc of operating systems on computers worldwide. Windows XP, which Microsoft stopped supporting in April of this year, is still on 14.8pc of computers. Windows 8 is currently on 7pc of computers worldwide.

Windows 8.1, which saw the return of the familiar Start button, has brought with it many improvements in terms of functionality and familiarity, especially in terms of ease of access to applications, but still die-hards are remaining loyal to Windows 7.

The new Windows 9, due out in spring, is apparently designed to be more 'palatable' to hold-out Windows 7 users, according to ZDNet.

Long live the desktop

The new OS will come with features specifically for people who prefer a desktop or laptop experience with mouse and keyboard.

It is understood Windows 9 will be designed to work optimally with different hardware types. For example, desktop/laptop users will have Windows desktop pushed to the front while those running two-in-one tablet/PC devices will continue to have the option of switching between Metro and Windows.

In some cases, users will be able to turn off the Metro-style Start screen completely, as it is currently an option for business users of Windows 8.

The desktop/laptop SKU is also believed to include a mini Start menu, harking back to the traditional Microsoft Start menu.

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Windows 8 laptop image via Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com