Windows 9 to be unveiled in April, distances itself from Windows 8 - Report

Microsoft said to be gearing up to announce a new Windows desktop OS at annual Build conference in April.

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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.

Discussion

830 comments
kweeni
kweeni

A lot of W8 haters out there but I actually like the OS. The start menu is easy to use with a KB/M, don't understand why everyone keeps bitching that it's not. And I like how you can pin everything you want on there as well as re-arrange everything the way you like. It helps keeping everything clean and organized.

I also don't understand why people keep saying that it takes more clicks to open something than it did in 7 because it doesn't.


But whatever, I only wish they'd let you open metro apps in desktop mode and give you the option to pick the size of the start menu so the desktop wouldn't disappear when you click on the start button. That's all I really want atm though it's not a big deal.


Anyway Windows 9 should be interesting. But if it'll be just 8.2 with a different name I hope MS would at least let 8.1 users upgrade for free, it would really suck otherwise.

alaskancrab
alaskancrab

I always run the latest version,  heck don't even mind running the Beta's either these days.  And for those folks who like Windows 7,  you do realize it's Vista Service Pack 3?  Most of the changes were superficial, where as Windows 8 actually had new technologies under the hood.  And whatever Windows 9 is, it will definitely just be 8.2


I also wonder how many people moaned about Windows 8, and then never gave it a second thought when they got their Xbox One and were forced to use Metro.

wezkilla
wezkilla

well since xp was good vista was bad 7 was good 8 is bad 9 should be good by that 

notorious98
notorious98

I guess Windows 8.1 didn't do what they were hoping for....

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

Removing Metro & removing the stupid 120hz mouse limit would be nice

naz99
naz99

Does anyone really trust microsoft not to mess it up again....


WINDOWS STORE VERSION 2.0 ONLY AVAILABLE ON WINDOW 9...DIRECT X 11.3 ONLY AVAILABLE ON WINDOWS 9.....SOME RANDOM CHEAP ASS INDIE GAME ONLY AVAILABLE ON WINDOWS 9.


They really have lost the plot over the years and i think they are too short sighted to ever get it back, i mean what company who has a monopoly on a whole platform manages to loose it to a games company (Valve) due to gross negligence and lack of foresight....MICROSOFT!...thats who :/

UKFX
UKFX

Fix Windows 7 and Windows 8 bugs first (and the broken Superfetch service in Windows 8.1) and I'll consider getting your, "make-money-every-3-years-and-waste-potential-on-each-previous-OS-Windows-9).


zintarr
zintarr

Can we just go back to Windows XP?

megakick
megakick

What WINDOWS 8 is still to complicated? \

quakke
quakke

Wonder if they try to force this dumb Metro theme even more on this?

randalmcdaniel8
randalmcdaniel8

fuck that, just release service pack 2 for windows 7 and toss everything else in the trash. 


Im sick of installing windows7(with service pack1) and having to download 184 updatesright after

jmc88888
jmc88888

Wait, so if I put that through the MS BS filter that means that they are developing Windows 9 to be like Windows 8 but it's different because it's a new product because it's '9'?


For Windows 9 to be successful like Windows 7, XP,  98SE, or 95, etc.  then they actually need to improve it.   Start button.  Aero Glass.  With all the simple functionality to multitask fast need to be there.


I don't want it to take 300 clicks to do what I can do with 1 or 2 on Windows 7.  It needs to be prioritized for a mouse interface, not smartphone touch.


Hopefully they bring back all the functionality from Windows 7.  Like how I can have 15 or so firefox or whatever browser windows open with 20 tabs in each window, and can switch among them simply with a mouse over and 1 click in a couple of seconds. 


There's nothing wrong with adding in additional functionality like the option for Metro, it's the whole we're going to take away what works that screwed Windows 8.


Ideally they would add to the functionality of what worked on Windows 7 and previously while at the same time kept what some liked of Windows 8 and improved that as well and let the end user at their own pleasure decide to use what aspects fits THEM most.


Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

For the love of....I just got used to Win 8 and they already make 9? Are they planning going annual release or something?

dark_rage864
dark_rage864

Notice the pattern - 


Windows XP: Good

Windows Vista: Bad

Windows 7: Good

Windows 8: Bad

Windows 9: Good?

Stinger78
Stinger78

In April, will it happen to be on April 1st?

nurnberg
nurnberg

I hope Windows 9 also flops.  Microsoft will do everything they can to force consumers to upgrade, though.

XBones
XBones

LOL Windows 8 = Vista.. Why can't they learn to just make what people want in the first place!?!?!

rarson
rarson

@kweeni 

Here's why people bitch about Windows 8:

1. They don't know a single keyboard shortcut. They're used to clicking on everything and find using Windows 8 mouse-only to be a pain in the ass. I don't necessarily disagree with that last part, which is ironically why I love Windows 8: because it encourages you to use the keyboard. If you use keyboard shortcuts, Windows 8 is awesome. But I would say that about the other versions of Windows, too (that keyboard shortcuts make operation much easier).


2. They don't understand the difference between an app and a program. I think problem one also kind of compounds problem two. When you're not familiar with how to navigate the OS, you're more likely to click on the first thing that you think is what you're looking for. Having two different versions of IE, for instance, on the same OS is a killer when your average customer is computer illiterate (and they are). So I do think this was a bad decision on Microsoft's part.

3. Some minor inconveniences, Metro-style settings screens, and more importantly, the lack of a boot-to-desktop option, the fact that it takes at least three clicks to shut down, etc. Most of this has been addressed already with 8.1, and the changes are welcome.

4. Lack of a visible Start button. By the way, I'm sick of people complaining about the lack of a Start button. The button is there, it always has been. With 8, it's only visible when you mouse over it. With 8.1, it's always visible. And regardless, it does the same damn thing as the Windows key on your keyboard. What they're really complaining about is the fact that the Start screen has a totally different layout to the menu that they're used to. I don't mind that it takes up the whole screen, as I rarely need to see the rest of the desktop or other programs when I'm using the Start menu, but I do think that it's way too spread out and scrolling through everything with a mouse on a widescreen is a pain. But again, that's what the keyboard is for. Hit the Windows key, and start typing the name of the program you want. You don't even need to type the complete name in, just start typing and then hit enter, and your program is opened instantaneously. So the Start screen is a complete non-issue for me.


Also, the right-click menu for the Start button in 8.1 is much improved. Control panel, command prompt, and shutdown options are just some of the many readily-available options. So basically, it's your new Start menu.

SoulNefarious
SoulNefarious

@alaskancrab 8 wasn't really all that much different from 7 under the hood. Microsoft themselves have said they're going to focus on smaller, incremental windows releases, rather than huge changes. We won't see a Win 2000 to XP jump, or XP to Vista jump anytime soon.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

@alaskancrabTo be fair it wasn't so much Windows 8 itself that was the subject of the moaning.  It was the very touch-focused interface still having to be used with Mouse and Keyboard.  That has been improved a lot in Windows 8.1, but we need to see more choice in Windows 9 :)

tester_guy
tester_guy

@naz99 Haha. I completely agree with your post. The problem with companies getting bigger and slower is that they start having way too many variations of their products that become confusing and time confusing. This leads them unfocused.


Sony went crazy in the late 90s and early 2000s by making electronic pencils and toasters or something (there probably IS a Sony toaster haha). Apple had printers and other crap before Steve Jobs came back and slapped some sense and focus back into his team.


Microsoft is losing focus on their core business and customers. Instead, they are trying to hop onto bandwagons and trends in a game of catch up; the result is a mutant child called Windows 8 that no parent wants.


Microsoft can still be saved if the next CEO is a "products" person that is more focused on building great high-quality products rather than "expand into this Ukraine" or increase market penetration. Make a great product, Microsoft. The market penetration and revenue will follow naturally after that.

UKFX
UKFX

@zintarrOr Windows 7, because it is essentially the same thing, but looks better, supports a lot more things natively and performs brilliantly. Don't be stindgy, Windows 7 OEM costs £70.

Now if only Microsoft would not take 4+ years to fix bugs in their Operating Systems - oh no wait, they don't care.


pyro1245
pyro1245

@quakke well the focus of windows 9 will be metro 2.0, so......

rarson
rarson

@jmc88888 

I'm not sure what you're complaining about. Multitasking is just as easy with 8. It doesn't take 300 clicks to do anything, especially if you're using 8.1. Do you know how to use a keyboard? Then you should love Windows 8.

halofreak3487
halofreak3487

@jmc88888"I don't want it to take 300 clicks to do what I can do with 1 or 2 on Windows 7.  It needs to be prioritized for a mouse interface, not smartphone touch."

Very well put.

rarson
rarson

@dark_rage864

Vista was only bad initially. After SP1, it was serviceable. And by the time SP2 came out, it was decent.

And 8 isn't bad, either. It's a significant improvement over 7.

jmc88888
jmc88888

@dark_rage864


It goes like this. (when the pattern started)


Windows 95 good

Windows 98 bad

Windows 98 SE Good

Windows ME Bad

Windows XP Good

Windows Vista Bad

Windows 7 Good

Windows 8 Bad

Windows 9 ...well lets hope the trend continues at least this next time.

Kiigora_LoP
Kiigora_LoP

@XBones Vista actually brought a lot of good functionality.

Is 7 a good OS, sure, but consider that they're using the Vista kernel for 7. 

Vista's not as terrible as it's made out to be, at least it has a start menu ;).


At Vivons: The network shortcut is on the start menu by default in Vista, not sure how you missed it. The service packs eliminate the major issues with Vista.

deathstream
deathstream

@XBones 


Windows 8 scared stupid people.  Now they have to rebrand the same thing.  Typical.  Windows 7 wasn't a huge improvement over Vista after the first service pack, but idiots refused to move on, just like now.

rarson
rarson

@SoulNefarious

I would say that Windows 8 is at least as different from 7 as 7 was from Vista. It boots faster, runs faster, installs hardware MUCH faster, has some new features (like file transfer graphing, system performance graphing, and Skydrive is nice for saving OS settings to your Microsoft account). In fact, the more that I think about it, the more I like Windows 8's improvements. These days, Vista SP2 isn't that far behind Windows 7. 7 does offer a nice performance bump, but that's basically it. 8 offers some good new features along with a graphical theme that is both simpler and easier to see. It really is better in most ways than 7, in my opinion.


Windows 2000 to XP jump? They were basically the same thing!

rarson
rarson

@tester_guy

Nothing that Jobs did was sensible. He made it work because of his great marketing skills. Watch the company flounder again now that he's dead.

I think Microsoft needs to focus more on their core business. They make far more money off business customers than consumers. I'm not saying they need to ditch the OS market, but maybe spin their consumer products off or focus less on making sweeping changes and focus more on just providing a solid product. Spend way less money on marketing and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

halofreak3487
halofreak3487

@tester_guy@naz99I agree with what you're saying. I always get the feeling that Microsoft is trying to show its colors; that it can be as cool and hip as Apple with their new Malibu Mavericks OS instead of having the image like it did in the past: a standard OS that is meant for getting the job done, be it for enterprise, gaming, or home use.

rarson
rarson

@UKFX

Windows 7 isn't even remotely the same thing as XP.


That's like saying XP is the same thing as 98.

rarson
rarson

@jmc88888

98 was good. Vista was bad, initially. ME was just bad.

And then there was XP 64-bit, which was completely broken.

quakke
quakke

@jmc88888@dark_rage864 

I actually wouldn't consider Windows 98 as "bad". I thought it was pretty darn good. I beleive that was also the OS Half-Life and Quake 2 were designed for?

Vivons
Vivons

@deathstream@XBones Are you KIDDING!!!! I used Windows Vista! IT IS SO COMPLICATED! Windows 7 is smooth and easy to navigate. I'm a person who is quite up there in computer knowledge, and everytime i hoped on someone's Windows Vista computer, i was an idiot, because I struggled hard to figure out how to get to easy stuff like networks or stuff like that. It takes 3 or 4 steps to do what Windows 7 can do in 1 or 2. Also, Windows Vista is buggy. Same with Windows 8. Windows 7 isn't. And I'm not the only person who says this about Vista so get your facts straight. In terms of looks, yes, Windows 7 isn't much a change from Windows Vista. But in terms of functionality and navigation, there are huge differences between the OSs

jmc88888
jmc88888

@deathstream@XBones

Also what everyone isn't saying is how many downgrades there was in Win 8.

Show me where on Windows 8 I can decipher and choose between 15 firefox windows and 20 tabs in each and choose the exact one I want with 1 or two mouse clicks and all in a couple of seconds.


The sheer mouse multitasking joy isn't there. 

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@deathstream @XBones Pretty much what everyone else is saying. Excluding the actual User Interface changes, just the sheer number of improvements under the hood gives it every right to be considered better than Vista. The only Windows that came close was Windows XP (and maybe 95 before that).

startman_1999
startman_1999

@deathstream You're obviously talking out of your ass. Windows 7 was a huge improvement in terms of performance, memory management and compatibility. Windows 8 is designed for tablets and mobiles, but was forced onto new PCs as the new All-In-One best thing. Interface is shit for mouse and keyboard. Microsoft are known for shit even number releases (95, ME, Vista) and relatively stable odd releases (98, XP, 7). Know your shit before you care to share your opinion.

junglist101
junglist101

@deathstream @XBones You know nothing about Windows if you think 7 wasn't a huge improvement over vista or every other version including 8.  Windows 7 takes a fat dump on all the windows before it and I'm guessing for at least the next 2 or 3 versions until those morons over at ms stop trying to shove this stupid app crap down everyone's throat.

thebigo3d
thebigo3d

I have to disagree. Windows 7 was a vast improvement over vista. I manage 170 users in my organization and windows 7 was a blessing to IT managers. I installed windows 8 on my computer before deploying it and decided right away that we would skip this generation because of the drastic changes it brought to the user experience. There would have been kaos in our organization if we made the switch.

rarson
rarson

@Vivons

Networking is almost exactly the same in Vista as it is in 7. I work on computers every day, for a living. Chances are the Vista computers you've used were buggy because the people who owned them loaded them up with malware and viruses.

rarson
rarson

@Vivons 

Everything you could do with the old OS, you can do with the new. You just haven't figured it out yet.

rarson
rarson

@jmc88888 

"Mouse multitasking?" What does that even mean?

I have 36 Firefox tabs open right now. I've got 6 windows open and one app. I don't normally use apps, but since the OS is attached to my Microsoft account, it's much easier for me to use the Mail app than to sign in using the hotmail web page. I can easily switch between everything. Have you ever heard of Alt-Tab? Your failure to use keyboard shortcuts is your own problem. I use the same shortcuts on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. For non-morons, Windows 8 multitasking is easy.

The fact of the matter is, you're complaining because you're a Windows noob who can't be bothered to figure out how to use the OS properly.

arcy070
arcy070

@jmc88888Actually if you're referring to the fact that Windows 8 automatically combines windows of the same program and stops you from quickly switching, you can disable that in about 2 seconds and 5 clicks. I agree Windows 8 isn't great and some operations seem to just take longer, but your example is bad.

Vivons
Vivons

@jmc88888I agree, and also, the level of personalization isn't there. I cannot change fonts and border sizes and colours and etc like I would be able to do on most previous Windows OSs. Mouse and keyboard multitasking and personalization is one of the major downgrades I would say, and I have Windows 8.1 (which is a big better-ment of 8 but those problems still linger. It isn't perfect)

rarson
rarson

@ExtremePhobia

"the sheer number of improvements under the hood"

Such as?

 
"The only Windows that came close was Windows XP"

Have you used XP lately? It's a pile of shit. Yeah, it was a great OS 7 years ago, but now it sucks. Your comment above, however, does apply to 8.

rarson
rarson

@startman_1999

Huge improvement? Over Vista SP1? Really? If you tweak Vista for performance, and do the same for 7, would you be able to tell the difference? I'm betting you wouldn't.

Windows 8 works great with a mouse and keyboard. My guess is that you don't actually use your keyboard other than pounding out furious comment rants. If you use keyboard shortcuts, then Windows 8 is as easy to use as any other version of Windows (actually, that's a lie, because it's easier than 98 and XP thanks to the added features).

95 wasn't shit. You're talking out your ass.

rarson
rarson

@junglist101

7 was a huge improvement over Vista when Vista was initially released. By the time 7 was released, Vista was already mostly fixed. There are only a few slight changes that 7 brought over Vista, and a slight performance increase. Vista seems worse with RAM than 7, but not so much that it impacts the overall experience for the average user.

Windows 7 is a great OS, but simply isn't that good anymore. 8 is a better OS at this point in time. 7 suffers from the same bloat as any half-decade-old MS OS.

rarson
rarson

@thebigo3d 

Windows 7 was much better than 8 because the driver framework and OS core were much more mature by the time it came out. 7 is based heavily on Vista.

The changes aren't so drastic if you know how to use a keyboard. The problem with deploying computers in any large organization is that the users tend not to understand how to properly use them. The solution is to actually train the employees on how to use their computers.