Rumor: Windows 9 to be released in April 2015

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 11, 2014
Updated • Jan 19, 2014

If you compare how Windows 8 has been doing until now to how Windows 7 did in its first two years of existence, you will come to the conclusion that it did not do as well.

Some say it failed as much as Windows Vista did, and while there are certainly similarities between the two operating systems, it is an unfair comparison.

While Vista and 8 shipped after hugely successful Windows versions, XP and 7 to be precise, the why they failed is different.

As far as Windows 8 is concerned, it failed because it concentrated too much on the creation of a unified platform, on mobile and touch features, and not enough on the desktop part of the system.

In addition, decisions to make life for desktop users difficult, by removing the start menu or forcing them to start on the Start Screen interface, added to the frustration of many users.

And then there is the slowing of the PC market, largely attributed by a shift to mobile and consumption, and by the fact that PC hardware has not seen any evolution in recent time.

Microsoft did restore some features with Windows 8.1, and the upgrade is seen by many as a baby-step in the right direction.

What we do know for certain is that a service-pack like upgrade will be released in April 2014 for Windows 8.1. It is not clear if it will introduce any new features or modifications to the operating system.

The update could however be the last for Windows 8, as Microsoft could release Windows 9 as early as April 2015 according to Paul Thurrott.

It is a rumor at this point in time, but according to Paul's unnamed sources, Windows Threshold could indeed be Windows 9.

Again, this is a rumor and subject to change. It would however make sense to move away from the Windows 8 name as soon as possible due to its performance up to this point. It would also keep the "every second Windows is a good Windows" rule alive, provided that Microsoft is improving the experience for desktop users on Windows 9.

Two of the previous rumors in regards to Windows Threshold are that it will bring back a full start menu, and that it will allow users to run apps on the desktop in windows.

According to Paul, Microsoft will deliver three milestone releases prior to the public availability of Windows 9 in April 2015. The company won't release an early alpha version on this year's Build conference though as work won't have started yet on that version.

Microsoft has a year to deliver Windows 9. Some may say that this is not a long time, and that it is unlikely that Windows 9 will ship with many major changes and feature additions in comparison to Windows 8.

It is however enough time to further modify the operating system to make it more appealing to desktop users.

What's your take on this?


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  1. Bill, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada said on January 19, 2014 at 1:52 am

    You have a tiny typo where “live” was meant to be “life” in “In addition, decisions to make live for desktop users difficult”.

    I found this article fascinating, Martin. Thank you!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Right, thanks for pointing that out, corrected ;)

  2. ilev said on January 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    After Microsoft (board of directors ? ) kicked every single VIP executive working on the failed Windows 8/Surface with the stupid jumping tiles, and the horrendous ribbon, starting with Ballmer, and with a new CEO coming into office, I don’t think that anyone, even not Microsoft, has any idea what the new Windows 9 will look like in 2015.

  3. insanelyapple said on January 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I really hope that they will get this guy and his concept:
    It’s good: it cares about device type which is/will be running on, blends perfectly two environments so people can still do things by way they were taught by years and still experience whole new ecosystem and look.

  4. Chris said on January 12, 2014 at 3:20 am

    The new CEO of MS needs to make a statement with Win9. It needs to either have a “Metro” fork or no Metro at all. Continue the under the hood improvements from 8 and take a ‘less is more’ approach to the UI. Users don’t want to be flipping from desktop to metro and having to learn 20 new shortcuts because the old ones don’t work.

  5. itchy said on January 12, 2014 at 1:50 am

    7 will probably be my last Windows. I don’t like the direction in which modern OS’s are going.
    Windows 8 looks like a bad joke. There’s a constant push to “cloud” your data – in a time where mass storage has never been cheaper — strange that….

    1. lol said on January 13, 2014 at 7:51 am

      What if you want to see your data in your Smartphone, 10 miles away from home? With skydrive and Microsoft account, I can save my stuff and get it in all my devices without doing tedious file transfers with wires and faulty HDDs. Plus I get free backup of my stuff, my house can get burn and my computer and backup drives get stolen, but my info is safe… with a secure password, 2 factor auntentication and bitlocker encryption.

      1. Jim said on January 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

        Setting up your own cloud service is trivial. While it doesn’t resolve the physical issues you mentioned, it offsets that with the ability to add enormous amounts of storage for only the cost of the drives, which is much lower than anything the cloud providers offer. For the paranoid, it also makes it a little harder for certain 3-letter agencies to access your data

  6. InterestedBystander said on January 12, 2014 at 12:40 am

    @RG: Hehe! Ballmer Version 2018: “Here is teh codez, world!” ReactOS: “Haha! Pwned! Ur monopoly dead!”

    Realistically? Windows, Mac, and Linux all had multi-pane windowing upfront and center on desktop/laptop OS. It’s ergonomic, and it’s what users have wanted for about 20 years now. Prediction: Windows 9 will restore multi-pane windowing to the default desktop. Windows phone OS (whatever it will be called then) will have it disabled by default, probably. Prediction: Windows 9 will have some form of hierarchical application manager, whether it’s the traditional Start button or something slightly different. Again, Mac has Finder, Linux has the Gnome menu. These fit with humans’ logical way of finding information. Windows 9 will have it too. Prediction: Windows 9 will in fact unite tablet, phone, and desktop codebases more tightly. Probably the OS will become smart enough to recognize the platform it’s running on and set its default behaviors appropriately. Whether MS will allow users great freedom to override these defaults or whether it will take Win9Tweaks to do it is an open question… ;)

    Do you guys think Win 9 will be a subscription OS — that after a year (or two years) it will begin popping up nag screens asking the user to pay for an upgrade?

    1. imu said on January 12, 2014 at 1:54 am

      I think what they are really focus on is Azure and yes, for them subscription system is what they want I bet.

      1. InterestedBystander said on January 12, 2014 at 2:30 am

        imu, I forgot Azure. Not sure how that will play out! From one perspective I see it as a bid to hold onto monopolistic dominance. Once you are on Azure, it’s all Microsoft all the time. Azure’s eventual aim appears to be to turn PCs into thin clients. Is that accurate, you think? Or, perhaps, to integrate them into an MS botnet? With all data on the botnet accessible on demand to the NSA, of course. Sigh.

  7. Karl J. Gephart said on January 12, 2014 at 12:31 am

    There’s absolutely no reason Microsoft couldn’t have had tiles and shortcuts (or one icon type) running on one desktop and a start menu (even if only for non-touch users). I must’ve been lucky with Vista – I never had any problems. Once I disabled that damn annoying UAC (which the later Win 7 allowed during OS installation), it was trouble-free for me. I’ve had more trouble with overheating laptop OEMs.

  8. Keith said on January 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    It doesn’t matter to me what MS comes out with next, I’ve lost all faith in Windows. I never ran Vista, I think 7 sucks, and 8 (not 8.1) as a desktop OS works just fine for me. But, because the 8.1 upgrade is mandatory within the next two years, I won’t get the full term of support for the Windows 8 software that I paid for. (I installed 8.1 and within 2 hours after complete install and testing, I was wiping the harddrive and reinstalling 8. The 8.1 “upgrade” actually made things worse, not better.) I’ve also been running CrunchBang Linux on another machine for a few years now, so MS can do whatever they want without my support (money). I’m set with Linux for all my computing needs.

  9. Gonzo said on January 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Vista brought a new kernel that required all new drivers and sw devs to conform to icals. It was initially installed on hardware that was incapable of handling the additional bloat. Vista SP2 on competent hw wasn’t too bad. Vista paved the way for Win 7 (drivers were now available and sw was now compatible). Vista was painful but necessary (icals significantly improved security).

    Win 8 is pointless and RT is a travesty. They’ve failed to bring devs and users to their store. Failed to bring smartphones, tablets and PC’s together (still debatable if that’s even desired). It’s not brought a new kernel (just a point release) or significant lower level changes. Even if 8.2 (SP2) restores a desktop friendly UI, it’s too late. Win 9 is only a year away and like before, people will just wait. I don’t like the Metro interface. I hope they start over. Considering it’s not popular, I suspect they might but that’s 3 years with nothing gained except painful lessons learned(?) and a bunch of email addresses.

    2015 sounds good. Win 9 on a 14nm Intel Skylake SoC with DDR4 and 512 bit AVX (or if HSA becomes more than marketing hype, something from AMD). Sounds like a worthwhile upgrade (unless MS introduces software-as-a-service licensing).

  10. RG said on January 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    2018 – Windows X, open source edition ;)

  11. Oxa said on January 11, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    So should I continue with WinXP until 2015 or buy a new computer with Win8, and then miss the supposedly better Win9? (I only upgrade the OS when I buy a new computer. Upgrading to a new OS is a waste of time and money IMHO.)

    1. Andrew said on January 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. If your machine is running fine with XP, and you have a strong AV & Firewall, you should be fine to keep it until Win9

  12. Tim said on January 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Not surprised because unless I’ve missed something it goes along with their three year cycle.

    2006 – Windows Vista
    2009 – Windows 7
    2012 – Windows 8
    2015 – Windows 9

  13. anonymous said on January 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Windows 9 Cirno Edition?

    1. Albino said on May 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Strongest Edition!

    2. Skip said on January 13, 2014 at 2:26 am

      I do not believe that windows 8 is that bad, in fact, I transitioned from xp and had no problems.
      However, I do have serious performance problems with IE 10 & 11. I am tired of the compatibility issues and load times.

      1. lol said on January 13, 2014 at 7:57 am

        For me, IE11 is the fastest browser, maybe because I have a dedicated GPU and IE uses the GPU a lot for graphics processing I guess… only a native App of the OS can have this grade of performance, but usually it causes some problems on unsupported hardware or bogus OEMs drivers.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 13, 2014 at 5:29 am

        While I agree with you, it is still not as usable as it could be. The Start Screen has little to offer for desktop users, and all the touch controls are silly.

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