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Windows 9 in line as Microsoft drops Windows 8 flops?

15 Jan 2014

To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9.

That’s according to respected Windows blogger Paul Thurrott, who claims Redmond will introduce its new operating system in April 2015, codenamed “Threshold.”

According to the report, Microsoft will discuss its vision for the future of Windows at the BUILD developer conference in April 2014, before releasing a rebranded OS the following year.

“In some ways, the most interesting thing about Threshold is how it recasts Windows 8 as the next Vista,” Thurrott claims.

“It’s an acknowledgment that what came before didn't work, and didn't resonate with customers.

“And though Microsoft will always be able to claim that Windows 9 wouldn't have been possible without the important foundational work they had done first with Windows 8—just as was the case with Windows 7 and Windows Vista—there's no way to sugarcoat this.

“Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good.

“These things don't happen in isolation—the big and slow Vista arrived inauspiciously just as netbooks were taking off and Windows 8 arrived just as media tablets changed everything—and it's fair to say that the technology world of today barely resembles that of 2006, creating new challenges for Windows.

“Threshold will target this new world. It could very well be a make or break release.”

Despite no official comment from Microsoft, or indeed its New Zealand branch, Thurrott’s sources claim:

Windows 9:

To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking.

BUILD vision announcement:

In case it's not obvious that the Sinofsky era is over, Microsoft will use BUILD to provide its first major "vision" announcement for Windows since, yes, Longhorn in 2003. Don't expect anything that grandiose, but the Windows team believes it needs to hit a happy middle ground between the KGB-style secrecy of the Sinofsky camp and the freewheeling "we can do it all" days that preceded that. As important, the firm understands that customers need something to be excited about.

No bits at BUILD:

Microsoft will not be providing developers with an early alpha release of "Threshold" at BUILD, and for a good reason: The product won't even begin development until later that month. Right now, Microsoft is firming up which features it intends to deliver in this release.

Metro 2.0:

Maturing and fixing the "Metro" design language used by Windows will be a major focus area of Threshold. It's not clear what changes are coming, but it's safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that.

Three milestones:

Microsoft expects to deliver three milestone releases of "Threshold" before its final release. It's unclear what these releases will be called (Beta, Release Candidate, etc.) or which if any will be provided to the public.

April 2015 release:

Microsoft is currently targeting April 2015 for the release of Windows 9 "Threshold."

Should Microsoft drop the Windows 8 brand name and start afresh? Where do you see the future of Windows? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below

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