[note note_color=”#f2f292″ text_color=”#0a0399″]Update: Microsoft has skipped Windows 9 for Windows 10 – the next generation of unified OS. Read our review of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Just to let you know, all our predictions of Windows 9 are equally valid for Windows 10 as well.[/note]
Microsoft’s next generation of operating system (OS) Windows 9 is expected to be released somewhere on Spring 2015. A public beta is expected towards the end of this year, till then top Windows 9 features have already been best speculated.
With much public anticipation, Windows 9 is supposed to carry features that have been lacking in earlier version Windows 8 which limited enterprise users to widely adopt Windows 8 as their mainstream device. Code named “Threshold”, Windows 9 is also largely aiming at business users as Microsoft has officially announced the end of support date for business users of Windows 8. Windows 9 release date as of now is end September, probably 30th, for Windows 9 preview build for developers or public beta.
Based on Microsoft’s official Windows blog, Valuewalk and other websites, we present here an overview of features that Windows 8.x was seriously making users unhappy and Windows 9 will try to include the re-established Microsoft’s leading position in the operating system where Android and Google’s Chrome OS has already been gaining momentum.
Windows 9 Start menu:
Undoubtedly Microsoft is to bring back the Start menu with Windows 9, but wait not the same vanilla style Windows 7 Start menu with that Orb button. This one is going to bea full-fledged and revamped Windows 9 Start menu where in users will be presented with quicker access to recent apps, both
Metro apps Windows 8 style modern apps and classic desktop apps. We can expect features like live Weather reporting and other features as found in Android and iOS devices. However, there has always existed ways to bring the classic Start menu back to Windows 8.
Windows 9 Taskbar gets interactive:
With all previous versions of Windows, taskbar is rather boring as there is so less to do with it. Pin any opened Windows or your most visited websites or your favorite app, or say that aero effect (discarded, right?) – but now Windows 9’s taskbar is to go interactive – taskbar to be no longer a house for static location for icons. Even, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the interactive taskbar is aimed at improving productivity which we can expect with next edition of Windows, obviously Windows 9.
Virtual desktops in Windows 9:
Feature that was needed long before – Virtual desktop feature in Windows 9 is aimed at improving productivity and targeting enterprise users at-large as virtual desktops allows one to have multiple versions of the same desktop on the screen, allowing one to have various setups on each screen as per need. To say, Virtual desktops in Windows 9 will let users dedicate their different desktops for web browsing only, or gaming only or office/works only in its own desktop – no more cluttering everything on the same desktop. Virtual desktop feature is already available for Ubuntu and Mac OS X users. And had you noticed that Virtual desktop feature was available even in Windows XP with Power Toys.
Microsoft’s Unified OS:
Exactly what One Microsoft is all about. One Windows and that’s all Microsoft will have everywhere – the unified operating system for consumer market, mobile business and integrated solutions. As Microsoft has already started universal apps aiming the same app for Windows 8 devices and Windows 8 mobile devices, we foresee a single app store for PCs, smartphones and tablet apps; and possibly integrated or embedded OS editions. Having said that, Windows 9 is going to establish a balance between the mobile capability and desktop muscle which was lacking since beginning.
Charm bar gone with Windows 9:
Well, it’s seriously irritating to have your mouse gestures to bring in that long vertical charm bar at the end of the screen right end. While Charm bar lets users with options like sharing, settings, searching and computer power options, it is relatively time consuming to open the Charm bar itself. Microsoft should probably be into having farewell to Charm bar totally or make it an easier access like the Start menu or get scaled to what most users will find it adorable to use. Read: Reddit / Windows 9 will kill Microsoft’s awkward Charms menu
Go voiced with Cortana in Windows 9:
By this time we have already known that Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri on iOS and Google Now on Android devices. Cortana that was released as a virtual assistant with the Windows Phone 8.1 is most likely to make its way to Windows 9 desktops, at least the RT versions of Windows 9. Even though Windows OSes now have voice feature for narrating and voice commands it is not that much intelligent to find replies to our most queries, Cortana is not likely to replace the existing voice command feature but value add-in just like a new app residing on the interactive taskbar, requiring no activation and always listening to what you are up to it.
Free Windows 9?
We had so many hints from the giant. Microsoft’s core business is shifting towards the cloud and the unified operating system as mentioned in earlier Windows 9 features. Windows 9 could be free for existing Windows users, probably Windows 8.x users. This could be the best offer Microsoft can deliver to its customers. Read: Windows 9: Will Microsoft Give It Away For Free?
So what’s your speculations of features that should not be missed from Windows 9. Share your expectations.
[box title=”If you haven’t already, check out these Windows 8.x news stories.” style=”noise” box_color=”#efef4d” title_color=”#6d37ec”]
- If you hadn’t already, you can check these top unique features and improvements brought to Windows 8.1 aka Windows blue. Top 25 unique features and improvements of Windows 8.1 updates
- You definitely need to check this: Top 10 features of Windows 8 in Infographics
Image credits: first image Windows 9 concept wallpaper by air software in deviantart, second image Windows 9 concept with more familiar look and start menu on valuewalk, rest images by TechSansar itself.