Posts with tag windows 9
Unveiling at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern
Windows 9 is coming. Sure, Microsoft may not call it that – not today, and perhaps not ever – but whatever Microsoft announces at their “future of Windows” event today, it is the next major release of Windows, one that will stand just as tall as the Windows 8’s, 7’s, Vista’s, and XP’s before it. Despite remaining relatively secretive about the future of Windows beyond what little of a next generation Start Menu that was revealed at BUILD 2014, we know a surprising number of details about what the future of Windows will look like and how it’ll work. Let’s get started.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming industry events. All entries thus far have focused on Apple events, however a big new version of Windows doesn’t come along every day, so we think it’s important to take an in-depth look.
I'm going to make it call me Chief
Microsoft made a splash with Cortana when Windows Phone 8.1 finally launched a couple of months ago, and after months of testing people have gotten a pretty good idea of how accurate and useful Microsoft’s Siri alternative truly is – and as it turns out, Cortana is actually pretty impressive. It should come as little surprise then that Microsoft is working on bringing its Cortana Personal Assistant to the next major version of Windows, Codename “Threshold”, which will likely be named Windows 9 upon its release in 2015. According to Neowin, who has provided accurate information in the past, current development builds of Windows Threshold actually do have placeholders for Cortana, however it has yet to be fully realized in the most recent builds.
Rumor has it Microsoft will integrate Cortana deeply into the core of the operating system, as opposed to acting as just a separate application that runs on top of the operating system. Microsoft currently takes a similar approach to Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1. Windows Threshold is rumored to be announced later this year at an upcoming Special Event alongside an early Developer Preview of the operating system and will be home to a significant reworking of the way Windows currently works and looks. Recent rumors indicate that Microsoft is killing off the much loathed Charms bar in Threshold while also bringing native support for virtual desktops – a feature that has been in most Linux distributions and Mac OS X for quite some time now.
Recently leaked screenshots have also revealed that Microsoft has reimplemented a newly redesigned version of the Start Menu in Windows Threshold, which seems to be a monster mash between the Windows 7-era Start Menu and the Windows 8 Start Screen. Recently opened applications are seen on the left side of the Start Menu while the right is dominated by live updating tiles, which users could presumably pin for easy access to glanceable information.
Windows for power users
Although we’ve heard this for a couple days now, Mary Jo Foley has posted that the next version of Windows will indeed feature virtual desktops, a feature that Linux has had for nearly 20 years and one that Microsoft has historically never added as their own studies found users would often get confused as to which desktop they were in.
That’s not all that’s coming to Threshold – The Charms Bar, which has been a feature of Windows 8 since the first developer preview, will be going away in Threshold. According to Mary Jo Foley’s sources, not only will it be going away for desktop users, it’s going away for all users, including touch users. The functionality of each of the charms won’t be going away as every Metro app will have a new menu bar with the charms added to it, or developers can manually add a charm to their own app.
While this is another major score for the 100% of Windows users still using the desktop, I can’t help but shake the feeling that Windows Threshold is becoming nothing more than Windows 7 with an extra extension of .NET bolted onto it. But then again, maybe that’s for the better.
Slated for early 2015 release
Windows 8.1, which was originally codenamed “Blue,” is now officially out the door and into the hands of the general public – and you know what that means, Microsoft has already feverishly begun work on the next major new version of Windows. According to the ever reliable Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, that new version is currently dubbed Windows Codename “Threshold” – and it’s coming sooner than you might think, currently slated for a Spring 2015 release.
While details are, of course, quite sparse on Threshold at the moment, Mary Jo believes that the next version of Windows will come even closer towards unifying Microsoft’s big three Windows NT based products – traditional “Windows”, Windows Phone, and Xbox – all of which run on the same codebase as we speak. Threshold could hypothetically unify the three platform’s app stores, allowing developers to create one version of an app that works on your phone, computer, and television.
It’s not yet known what NT version Threshold will carry – it would make sense to assume that Windows NT 6.4 is the most logical choice in order to maintain compatibility with more applications and drivers that already exist in the Windows ecosystem – however Microsoft has been resting on the NT 6 kernel for quite some time now, and it could be time for a more significant upgrade to arise.
We’ll keep you in the know on Windows Threshold going forwards, so keep an eye out.
While one would perhaps expect Windows 9 to be the logical continuation of the Windows line, it would appear that this isn’t the case – well connected Microsoft enthusiast Mary Jo Foley has confirmed via a post on ZDNet that the next version of Windows following Windows 8 is currently codenamed Windows Blue, and that it will supposedly act as an interim release between Windows 8 and a planned Windows 9.
It’s important to note that “Blue” is simply a codename – Microsoft had previously used codenames in all major versions of Windows before Windows 8. Windows XP, for example, was codenamed Windows Whistler, Windows Vista was codenamed Windows Longhorn, and Windows 7 was codenamed Windows Blackcomb (for a very short time in its planning).
Mary Jo Foley also reports that her sources have told her that Microsoft is planning a late 2013 release for Windows Blue, however things are likely very fluid at such an early stage of development.