In the aftermath of the much criticized Windows 8, Microsoft is looking to launch Windows 9 in the near future, with rumors emerging that the next version of the operating system will be released by as early as the end of 2014.
Microsoft received a lot of complaints on Windows 8, which prompted the company to rush the release of an 8.1 update. One of the major complaints regarding the beleaguered operating system was Microsoft's decision to get rid of the iconic Start Menu, which many viewed was a fundamental feature of Windows.
In addition, Windows 8 tried to utilize a single operating system over several kinds of devices, which while not really a wrong decision, goes against the tested strategy of utilizing the strengths of different devices through different versions of an operating system, similar to what Apple does with iOS for mobile devices and OS X for desktop and laptop computers.
Windows 9, codenamed Windows "Threshold," could launch a preview version this autumn. Early indications show that the upcoming operating system will be highly desktop-oriented, which would mean that it would be getting rid of the tile-based Metro UI that was a disastrous attempt at revamping Windows. The Start Menu will also be brought back, showing that Microsoft learned from its mistakes with the changes that it made for Windows 8.
Windows 9 will also look to capitalize on the different strengths of devices by being able to recognize what kind of device it is installed in, along with the input peripherals that the device uses. For example, Windows 9 installed in a desktop PC with a mouse and keyboard will default to a traditional Windows desktop with the new mini Start Menu, while Windows 9 installed in a touchscreen device such as a tablet computer will default to a tile-based Start Screen. Hybrid devices such as Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet computer will boot into one of the two modes depending if it is started up with a keyboard attached or not.
The new mini Start Menu will be fully customizable, with a list of the usual desktop apps accompanied by the tiles that were introduced in the Windows 8 interface. Users may choose to eliminate the tiles completely to bring back the traditional Start Menu or customize the tiles and show the desktop apps as tiles as well.
Microsoft, looking to improve its damaged relationship with consumers, will be offering current owners of the Windows 8.1 operating system a free update to Windows 9.
Microsoft is still looking to update Windows 8, but it can be assumed that the company is focusing more on getting Windows 9 out as fast as possible to rectify its mistakes with Windows 8.