The big question for about 80% of Windows users has been when will Windows 9 be available. The answer, at least for the beta version, might been in a couple of months. According to the rumor mill Windows 9, codenamed threshold, will be released for public beta testing by either late September or October probably the latter since October seems more traditional for operating systems. The user version of the operating system should be available about 6 months after the beta testing making its debut early spring of 2015.
Windows 9, if that is to be the official name, will still have the live tile interface but also make some changes to give it feel more like earlier versions of Windows. The biggest of these changes will be the return of the start menu that Windows 8 and 8.1 lacked. Some of the other changes might include the elimination of the charms bar, that somewhat annoying bar that shows up when you move your pointer to either right-hand corner, and integration of Cortana, Microsoft's new voice-activated virtual assistant.
When the public caught their first glimpse of Windows 8 at the 2011 CES (consumer electronic show) the radically redesigned operating system was not well received. There was much criticism about the 'metro' interface, the lack of a start menu, that it was geared more toward touch screens and the list went on. So, it was no surprise that when the OS was officially released on October 26,2012 there was little interest. Shortly after the release Redmond-based Microsoft to start working on a major update. It was almost a year later that the Windows 8.1 upgrade came out for free download. It did address some of the complaints about Windows 8 but was still not well received.
Representatives at Microsoft have still not said if the operating system will be released as an upgrade for Windows 7 user, if they will need to have Windows 8 to upgrade or do a fresh install. Since the goal is to win the hearts of the users that did not upgrade to Windows 8 it would be smart to make it a Windows 7 compatible upgrade. If it does end up as an upgrade that requires users to have Windows 8 it could potentially turn away the majority of the loyal Windows users.
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