Windows 9 Rumored to be Coming in April 2015
Windows 9 bits aren't scheduled to be released at this year's Build event, however.
Microsoft-focused developers wondering where the Windows operating system is going next now have a clue.
Microsoft's next desktop operating system, purportedly called "Windows 9," will appear in April 2015, according to a press source.
That claim comes from writer Paul Thurrott, who described what he knows about Microsoft's newest OS in a Jan. 11 post. Thurrott offered no sources for his claims. However, his position was backed up by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley.
Thurrott identified Windows 9 with the previously rumored Microsoft "Threshold" release. Threshold has been described as a wave of product releases, as well as three future product "SKUs" (stock-keeping units) associated with consumer and enterprise Windows use. Threshold is still a wave of releases, according to Foley, who explained that "Threshold will include updates to all three Windows OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone)."
Microsoft will not be providing Windows 9 bits to developers at its upcoming Build developer event, which is scheduled for April, according to Thurrott's account. However, he claimed that developers will hear about Microsoft's overall vision of the new OS at Build, and that Windows 9 represents a tacit acknowledgment of Windows 8's failure. Microsoft may aim at "fixing the Metro design language," including the ability to run "a windowed mode that works on the desktop," according to Thurrott.
Windows 8 currently allows up to four windows, running side-by-side, depending on the device's screen size. While that's considered to be a Windows 8 feature, it might be seen as a limitation compared with Windows 7 multitasking.
So far, Microsoft has offered no details about its next OS, and so Thurrott's claims remain at the rumor stage. However, Thurrott and Foley both get some of their Microsoft product information from insider tipsters, and that information has been accurate in the past.
Microsoft may also release an "Update 1" to Windows 8.1 sometime in 2014, according to Thurrott, which he described as a "service pack/feature pack-type update." He suggested that this update might get released in April, along with Windows Phone 8.1.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.