What the leaked Windows 9 screenshots reveal about the operating system

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 12, 2014

Screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 9 leaked yesterday on the German website ComputerBase.

Microsoft calls this build Windows Technical Preview and the build number is 9834 (Windows 8.1 is 9600).

It is interesting to note that the 9 is missing in the name. While that does not have to mean anything, it could mean that the operating system will be launched under a different name after all (simply Windows for instance).

Microsoft plans to release a public preview build of the operating system at the end of September. While September 30 is the most likely date, it has not been confirmed by the company yet and it can happen that the build is made available at a later point in time.

The screenshots provide us with a closer look at the current state of development. It is likely that the feature set is similar to the one of the preview version that Microsoft will release later this month.

The first screenshot displays the new desktop start menu. While that is great for users who did not upgrade to Windows 8 because of it not being available in the operating system, it is quite different in several aspects.

Note: A hands-on video leaked earlier today. It is from another German site and concentrates on the start menu exclusively.

The start menu combines desktop programs, folders and apps on the left side with Start Screen tiles on the right. While it is likely that users can modify what is being displayed here, it is unclear if there will be a switch to only display desktop program links in it.

It appears possible however to pin tiles to and remove tiles from the start menu.

Another difference is that the shutdown button is not at the bottom of the menu but at the top next to the username of the logged in user.

older start menu screenshot

A right-click on an app on the left side displays the familiar menu that you get on Windows 8.1's start screen as well. You can open or uninstall apps using it, or pin/unpin the app to/from Start or the taskbar.

Several other Start-only menus have been moved to the desktop as well. PC Settings, a configuration menu that is only available on the Start interface in Windows 8.1 is now available as a window on the desktop. The same is true for the store interface which also runs in a window yet.

It was clear that the Start screen interface would not simply go away for mouse and keyboard users. Microsoft's compromise appears to be that it moved several Start-only features to the desktop. This includes a start menu that displays live tiles and programs like the store running as windows on the desktop.

The PC Settings screenshot that shows the settings running in a window indicates that there won't be a unified Control Panel available unless Microsoft plans to move all Control Panel applets to the PC Settings window as well (which is unlikely).

Another feature that has not been removed completely from the preview is the Charms Bar. The taskbar and start menu properties window refers to it which means that it is still part of the operating system.

While Microsoft could remove it at a later point in time, it is unlikely that it will do so after the preview gets released. So, it is likely going to stay even on non-touch systems.

If you have watched the video embedded above, you may have noticed that the animating tiles can be quite irritating at times. It is unclear if you can disable the live tile functionality directly. What you can do however is reduce the size of the icon to get rid of it.


Windows 9 will introduce some changes for desktop users including the return of the start menu. It is too early to tell if Microsoft's main effort was to move important Start-only features to the desktop or if there will be substantial new features as well. We only know of one so far, a multi-desktop environment.

If remains to be seen if the changes go far enough to convince companies and users to upgrade to the new version of Windows.

What's your take on this first preview? A step in the right direction or not what you expected it to be at all?

What the leaked Windows 9 screenshots reveal about the operating system
Article Name
What the leaked Windows 9 screenshots reveal about the operating system
Find out how Windows 9 will look like and how it will differ from Windows 8.1 and previous versions of Windows.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.