Windows 9 Might Actually Be Just A Small Step Forward, Low On New Features

What We Know Then again, the reports that Windows 9 might launch this year, and Microsoft would want to stick to its yearly update cycle could be grandly exaggerated. Contrary to some rumors that Windows 9 is scheduled to hit RTM status this year, there is now another point of view that suggests otherwise. This one comes from Mary Jo Foley, the always reliable, and she claims citing her unofficial sources that Windows 9 will not be released to manufacturing this year. Microsoft, she says, is still planning to release this new operating system in April 2015. Windows 9, the next major upgrade to the platform, is expected to bring the Start Menu back in Windows, and the software titan is expected to share more news on this at the BUILD 2014 conference set to take place this April. Then again, the company may not have all that much to say, if we believe this new report below.

Small Steps

Paul Thurrott has a bit of a hit or miss record for these type of things, and he says that the major reason Microsoft is keen to bring Windows 9 to market so soon is because the company does not plan on adding in any big new features into this version. A returning Start Menu, perhaps, to go with a merged tablet and phone operating system? That’s the call, according to the story above. Sure there will be refinements aplenty in Windows 9, particularly pertaining to the Modern UI environment, Metro apps and all. But then again, the same can be said of the Windows 8.1 Update 1 that is on track for release in just a couple of months. If this is the case we just may have some hints on whether Windows 9 is to be an evolutionary or revolutionary operating system.

Familiar Territory

Nevertheless, Dell’s senior executive told V3 in a recent interview that while Windows 8.1 increases consumer appeal for Microsoft’s modern platform, it is Windows 9 that is expected to drive the migration forward. The Windows XP migration, that is. In the words of Margaret Franco:
“When Windows 9 comes out, we’re also seeing a lot more interest around developing the transition strategy for their OS. There is a pressure point in order to start accelerating OS migration because in April, that’s when the support for XP ends. We’re seeing much more interest around OS planning and strategy planning, such as finding out what the benefits of touch are.”
Given the fact that such transitions usually involve purchase of new hardware, maybe the core Windows XP user base, the one that is jet set on staying with the old platform for the near future, is waiting to gauge the direction things settle before finalizing their choices. Or it could just be a case of enhanced focus on desktop — as some have pegged Microsoft to be doing, going forward. Metro is here to stay, but the desktop environment has been a bit stagnant when it comes to new bells and whistles. In any case, all involved parties would be hoping that Windows 9 goes the Windows 7 route when it comes to adoption rate, sales and response. Windows 8 may (or may not) be the new Vista, but Windows 9 cannot afford to be.]]>

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