Microsoft Windows 9 Rumored to Debut In April
As Windows 8.1 struggles to win over Users, Windows 9 rumors have picked up steam. It is said to debut this April at the company’s Build 2014 conference.
Microsoft 9 alpha code will be available to developers as early as the end of this April, according to Windows SuperSite’s Paul Thurrott. However the actual Operation System will not be available to consumers until around April 2015.
“This signals an aggressive release cycle for Microsoft, but one I think it needs to execute on if it wants to be competitive in an increasingly mobile-centric world dominated by Apple. The timing is perfect. Over the next year, Microsoft will have finished its soul searching, and a new CEO will be able to put a stamp on the next Windows 9 OS,” said Larry Velez, CTO and founder of Sinu, a New York-based MSP partnering with both Google and Microsoft.
What can you expect from the next version of Windows?
Windows 9 is expected to restore the Start menu, which has been absent since the original version of Windows 8. It will also allow Modern apps, currently confined to the tile-oriented Start screen, to be run in floating windows on the desktop, presumably just like legacy applications.
Windows 9 will also likely introduce a more unified code base among Microsoft’s various Windows platforms. With assets such as SkyDrive, Windows 8 already enables users to seamlessly translate data across various devices and services. Windows 9’s common code should only advance this agenda.
What does this mean for Windows 8?
Rumors of Windows 9 come as disenchantment over Windows 8.1 among enterprise customers continues to dog Microsoft. In December, Windows 8.x barely crossed the 10 percent install-base milestone compared to Microsoft’s soon-to-expire Windows XP operating system, which still runs on 29 percent of PCs, according to a new report from Net Applications.
“An OS lifespan is only so long. With XP, it makes sense. But for the enterprise, I don’t think they are going to want to have to consider a new OS like Windows 9 anytime soon. Most of my business this year is going to be migrating XP systems to Windows 7,” said Bob Hochmutch, executive vice president of sales at SLPowers, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based solution provider and Microsoft partner. “None of my customers are thinking about Windows 8.1. Windows 9 is going to have to be remarkable if it wants to make an impression in the enterprise.”
Microsoft hasn’t given up on Windows 8.1. In April, Microsoft is expected to release a service pack Update 1 for the OS. Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 will also take center stage at Build 2014, with developers expected to have a huge presence at the developers conference. “Windows 8.1 was a first, yet imperfect, step to where Microsoft needs to go. I hope that Windows 9 will actually be a strong second step, before it’s too late for Microsoft to regain its innovative lead,” Velez said.
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