updated 05:55 pm EST, Sun January 12, 2014
Windows Threshold could drop in just over a year
Microsoft will reportedly look to release Windows 9 in April of next year, according to a new report. The Windows SuperSite pointed out on Saturday that the project currently known as Windows "Threshold" will ship in April of 2015 under the name Windows 9. Microsoft is reportedly hoping that the update will reverse the fortunes of its most recent version, Windows 8, which has struggled due to consumer confusion and the overall slumping PC market.
The latest reports have Windows 9 sporting a "matured" and "fixed" version of the tiled, touch-centric "Modern" interface that distinguishes Windows 8. That interface has been the subject of much controversy, as many consumers have been unhappy with Microsoft's attempt to bridge the PC-tablet divide with the Modern look. How Microsoft will look to improve on the interface, though, is as yet unknown.
Development on the project is said to have not yet started, as the software giant is still working on the latest big updates to Windows 8.1. The firm, may take the next release to tie together its assorted platforms even more tightly. With Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, and the Windows underpinnings for its XBox One console, Microsoft has an array of offerings, but the company hopes to pull them all together under one Windows in the future.
The newest report also casts a pall over the fortunes of Windows 8. Microsoft's latest operating system, it says, is in use on fewer than 25 million PCs worldwide, a "disaster" by Microsoft's standards. This is due in part to a plateauing traditional PC design, which has seen consumers unwilling to update to devices that sport few differences from their current PCs, save touchscreens and faster processors.