It’s not very often that a company will actually out itself when it comes to products or services it has been trying to keep under wraps.
Nevertheless, one branch of Microsoft managed to possibly damage the rest of the company, thanks to an accidental web posting. Microsoft China posted the question, “Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a comeback?” on the Chinese website Weibo.
It didn’t take much time before the posting was deleted but not before screenshots could be taken and circulated around the web. In addition to the question, a mockup of a Windows 9 logo was unveiled. This too was pulled quickly but not quite quickly enough to keep the apparent arrival of Windows 9 secret any longer.
While Microsoft could do itself a favor by moving on from the Start Menu fiasco that has plagued it since the release of Windows 8, the company clearly needs to make some tweaks to its operating system. Though not nearly as hated as Windows Vista, Windows 8 hasn’t gained popularity as fast as the company would like.
The lack of popularity is likely driving Microsoft to offer up its next operating system as soon as possible, but it doesn’t appear the company was ready to announce that information just yet. The operating system is carrying the code name “Threshold” and is said to indeed be bringing back the Start Menu. The operating system is said to contain a number of other new features, all looking to bring back traditional PC users to the fold.
Some reports have said Microsoft could officially unveil Windows 9 on September 30. The company is also said to be getting ready to make a preview version of the OS available shortly after the operating system is shown to the world. Those same rumors claim the final, finished version will hit in April of next year. The preview version is something Microsoft has been doing with updated versions of Windows 8 to varied degrees of success. Fans of the company have lauded its willingness to show the changes it’s making before they are official. Others have said the company is only hurting itself by showing off a subpar product before it is finished. With all preview releases, the company has made sure to make it clear there could be changes from the preview and the final release version.
Among the revamps being made in Windows 9 is the apparent removal of the “Charms bar.” The company is also apparently going to make it possible to run Modern apps in a resizable desktop window. Perhaps the biggest change and the one that could be a game changer will be the rumored addition of the virtual assistant, Cortana. Microsoft has been setting Cortana up as a direct competitor and better version of Apple’s Siri. Should Microsoft actually bring Cortana integration to Windows 9, it could drive higher adoption rates?