Microsoft will attempt to distance itself from Windows 8 by announcing its successor, Windows 9, at the company's annual Build conference in April, according to prominent Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott.
The new OS, which is said to ship in April 2015 and is currently codenamed "Threshold," will reportedly aim to be to Windows 8 what Windows 7 was to the unpopular Vista. "To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking," wrote Thurrott on his blog.
Chief among the updates will be an attempt to mature the divisive interface. Thurrott said "it's not clear what changes are coming, but it's safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that."
The report says that Microsoft is yet to begin developing Windows 9, and is currently finalising its feature set before commencing work late in April.
Alongside any potential new OS unveiling, Microsoft's annual conference is expected to focus on both the Xbox One and Windows Phone.
Microsoft is also in the process of replacing outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer.