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Friday, February 14, 2014

Windows 9: What We Know So Far


Microsoft is already planning the next major round of updates to Windows 8 - the follow up to Windows 8.1, codenamed "Threshold".
Here, we'll track the latest leaks and rumours about the Threshold update, letting you know what to expect from Windows 8.2 - if that's what it's indeed called - when it arrives in early 2015.

The next major round of updates to Windows 8 is nicknamed "Threshold", according to Windows watcher Mary Jo Foley, who reports that the codename was mentioned in an internal email from Microsoft's head of OS Terry Myerson.

Despite that nickname, many started referring to the update as Windows 8.2.

But Microsoft is apparently reluctant to continue with the Windows 8 branding after its poor reception, instead considering calling the update Windows 9, according to Windows expert Paul Thurrott.

Threshold is expected to arrive in Spring 2015, Foley reported, which would be in keeping with previous reports that the next major OS update wouldn't come until then - which had led many to anticipate the release of Windows 9.

That doesn't mean Microsoft won't be releasing any updates in the coming year. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to arrive in early 2014, alongside an update for Windows Phone 8.1, though this isn't thought to feature any major changes.

And according to Thurrott, Microsoft plans to share its vision for Threshold at the Build conference in April. That won't mean a detailed outline or a developer preview, but a high-level outline.

Threshold will herald the return of the Start menu, according to Thurrott. The Start menu was controversially removed in Windows 8, and though the Start button returned in Windows 8.1, left-clicking it only returns users to the Metro/Modern UI start screen. Right-clicking the icon does bring up some of the Start menu's shortcuts, but still doesn't offer any way to launch applications within the desktop.

The next major update will see the Start menu resurrected - but only in desktop versions of the OS.

There will be three major versions of Windows following the Threshold update, according to Foley.

The first is a desktop version, designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse. It will feature the Start menu and may also allow Modern apps to run inside windows like more traditional applications.

The second is a Modern-style edition, focused on apps for tablets, while the third will merge Windows Phone and Windows RT to work across ARM handsets and tablets.

In addition to the consumer versions, there will also be an enterprise edition, but this may only be available via volume licensing



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