Microsoft event to talk about fresh-start Windows 9

Windows 8
Windows 8 screenshot

Microsoft is about to introduce Windows 9 next week at an event, ahead of its widespread release in 2015. The project for the next Windows operating system has been given the internal code name as Threshold.

Microsoft watchers have noted that the next OS could indeed be a needed threshold move to win back business users who were put off by Windows 8 because of its tiles-based interface instead of the start menu they had relied on in Windows 7 and older Windows versions. The frustration was palpable last year, and one example was a posting in Micro Doctor, a technology solutions company, headlined "Windows 8.1 is a huge disappointment." Mark Richmond, CEO, said, "If Microsoft does not bring back the Start Menu, I predict Windows 8 will become the second biggest Operating System blunder since Microsoft Vista. Every PC we sell today has Windows 7 Pro installed or downgraded from Windows 8. Perhaps they need to Spin off Windows 8 Touch and Bring out a Windows 9 Corporate Edition with the start menu again."

There are hopes and expectations for a revamped treatment of a Start Menu that looks more familiar to Windows users before the onset of tiles. In addition have been discussions about what Windows 9 will be called—if not Windows 9. Reports indicate Microsoft might unveil a new name for the software. If so, the name change would be "symbolic of a new direction for Microsoft moving away from an aggressive focus on Windows and PCs," said a report in The Guardian by Samuel Gibbs and agencies. The report quoted Daniel Ives, an analyst at investment bank FBR Capital Markets, who said Windows 9 was a potentially game-changing product release for Microsoft.

Microsoft had sent out invitations to journalists to "hear about what's next for Windows and the Enterprise" on Tuesday in San Francisco, reported InfoWorld. Woody Leonhard, senior contributing editor, said in InfoWorld that next week's event, however, should not be expected to provide finer details, but instead to provide a preview to "show off the plumbing and the broad strokes of Windows' future."

Reflecting on possible release dates for Windows 9, Redmond Magazine reasoned in August that a release in spring next year would reflect timing with the next Build event for developers. "Microsoft has previously used its Build events as a main venue to show off its next Windows releases." Another date for the release being eyed is the week of May 4, 2015, which coincides with an event titled "Unified Microsoft Commercial Technology Event," thought to serve as a replacement for TechEd, SharePoint Conference, Lync Conference, Exchange Conference and Project Conference events.

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