Rumors Surface About Windows 9 Release Date and Free Upgrade
While, Microsoft is preparing a second update to its Windows 8.1, it is also focused on the larger “Windows 9” release. The new upgrade of the not entirely successful Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1, seems to be in focus.
Leaker WZOR claims that either Windows 9 will come out as a free update for those who installed Windows 8.1/Windows 8 Update 2 or these users could have the Windows 9 update with a good discount. Despite rumors of an aggressive development and shipping schedule, there’s no official word about what’s in the next version of Windows, however there are plenty of rumors.
ZDNet reported that “a preview of codename Threshold — which may or may not be named Windows 9 once it’s released — will be available later this year.” It is said that the public preview will be released this fall, and it may be after Windows 8.1 Update 2 is released. Microsoft had been planning to bring the Start Menu back with Update 2, but the company is now planning to deliver that change with Threshold.
There are also rumors that Microsoft is looking to merge Windows RT and Windows Phone into one “Phone/Tablet” SKU that will just use the Modern UI and will run on ARM-based tablets and phones, along with Intel Atom tablets. That version could also run two apps side by side, which is already a feature on Windows 8 and 8.1 but has yet to be added to Windows Phone. The Desktop/Tablet version of Threshold could offer the desktop UI as default.
The new update also features improvements to the Start Screen including the ability to boot straight into the Desktop, the return of shutdown on the Start menu and a more familiar task bar to unify the old and new user interfaces. The update was announced at Build 2014, along with features teased for Windows updates to come. Microsoft Communications Chief Frank Shaw said the company wasn’t ready to talk about how often Windows updates might come out.
Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 Update 2 is expected to arrive as part of Microsoft’s monthly security patches in August. The update will include the usual bug fixes, and improvements for upcoming hardware ahead of the holiday season. Windows’ 8.1 Update included a number of interface changes and functionality tweaks, and Update 2 is expected to include some additional minor interface tweaks.