Windows 9, Windows Threshold, TH or just Windows?
Starting at the top, different sources have suggested all of the above as the name of the next Windows. Threshold/TH seem to be Microsoft’s internal code names for the project, and it seems unlikely that the company would use that for the public release. More likely is Windows 9 or Windows. The latter is a possibility as one of the aims of the Threshold project is unification of the Windows/Microsoft eco-system on PC and mobile. It may be that Windows will just be called Windows whatever the device, and will be updated regularly via Microsoft’s new monthly updates.
The big news about ‘Windows 9’ for most users will likely be the return of the Start Menu in the traditional desktop. It’s been seen in early builds, and it looks developed enough to be permanent. It’s return is also likely considering that Microsoft is now trying to listen to consumer demands more closely, and this is one of the more common requests. The new start menu will likely change color depending on the Windows theme you choose.
Windows Phone’s voice assistant Cortana could also be arriving on a desktop near you, as she has also been found in early versions of the operating system. There will be a notification center, and Windows will probably be getting a ‘multiple desktop’ feature like OS X for the first time.
What you’ll have to pay for ‘Windows 9’ is hotly contested. Some have suggested that Windows 8 users will get the update free, mostly because convincing users to upgrade to 8 from Windows 7 has been a struggle. However, with this logic, the company might offer Windows 9 free for other Windows versions too. Alternatively, it might simply be cheaper, a system which worked well for Apple with OS X for some years.
When will I get it?
It’s unlikely to be released before 2015, but there will be a ‘technical preview’ released before then, which you’ll be able to test. However, we’d never recommend doing that on your primary device, as it will likely be missing features and be buggier than the official release. It looks like the preview will be available in October.
The caveat for all of this is that Microsoft has said that the event will focus on Windows and Enterprise, so there could be little of interest for the general user. However, because we know that the next Windows is in development, many people are expecting some kind of announcement. Stay tuned!
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