by Anton Shilov
01/13/2014 | 11:00 PM
Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 operating system so far has not gotten a lot of traction with both home and business customers. The OS has a number of limitations amid lack of clear advantages over previous-generation Windows 7. Apparently, the software giant fully understands the problems of Windows 8 and is about to start development of Windows 9 code-named “Threshold” that is expected to solve many of Win 8’s problems.
Unlike its predecessor, Microsoft’s Windows 8 needed to address not only tanking market of traditional personal computers, but also emerging market of tablets, bring support for ARM architecture application processors and achieve a number of other goals. As a result, the software giant adopted controversial Metro graphics user interface (GUI) and got rid of traditional Windows’ features, such as Start button, Start menu and so on. While tablets featuring Windows operating system are now available, traditional desktops and notebooks based on Windows 8 look less attractive for those who are used to classic Windows.
The forthcoming Windows 9 code-named “Threshold” will need to strike a right balance between meeting needs of emerging computing devices and over a billion of traditional Windows users, reports Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows.
One of the key things to achieve such a balance will be Metro 2.0 user interface that will bring support for windowed mode that works on the desktop. Another expectation is that the Metro 2.0 will bring back Start menu. The new version of Windows will also sport a number of improvements when it comes to controls using keyboard and mouse. Other details regarding the GUI of Windows 9 “Threshold” are not known.
Since the situation with Windows 8 is very tough for Microsoft, it is claimed that Windows 9 will be developed in a relatively short period of time. At this year’s Build conference in April, the world’s largest developer of software is projected to formally announce the “Threshold”, present its vision for next-gen Windows and determine its exact feature-set. Actual development of the OS is expected to begin only late in April and will be completed in three milestones which names remain unknown. Microsoft is reportedly targeting April 2015 for the release of Windows 9 “Threshold”.
Previously it was reported that Microsoft Windows 9 “Threshold” will be released in several flavours aimed at different types of PCs: traditional version for desktops/laptops; modern version for tablets, smartphones and so on that will lack compatibility with traditional apps for Win32/x86; and enterprise version designed for traditional enterprise users, who need backwards compatibility, support for group policy, device management, solid security and other things. The latter type of Windows “Threshold” will support PCs, tablets and other devices.
Considering the fact that the Windows 9 “Threshold” will be developed in about one year, it is hard to expect this operating system to become significantly different from Windows 8. The novelty will likely fix all, or virtually all, issues of Windows 8 and introduce certain new functions.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.