Microsoft is expected to focus most of its attention during its BUILD conference this week on Windows Phone 8.1, the long overdue update to its mobile OS, but a new report claims the company will also spend some time discussing Windows 9. According to ZDNet, Microsoft will use the annual conference to talk about the upcoming “Threshhold” update, which isn’t expected to launch until spring 2015.
The purpose of Windows 9, according to the report’s unnamed sources, is to launch a single operating system that can run on smartphones, tablets and PCs to create a true “One Windows” experience. Microsoft is unlikely to run through a full list of features or confirm the Windows 9 release date. Instead, any announcements will focus on the broader concept of creating a single platform across all Windows devices.
ZDNet also notes that Windows 9 may finally ditch Microsoft’s traditional desktop mode, which would be a back step considering the company’s recent decision to backtrack and make it easier to boot straight to desktop instead of starting with the new Metro UI. The report also claims the next version of Windows could receive frequent updates through Microsoft’s app store, which would be a welcome change from the current glacial pace of software updates.
Of course, the focus of BUILD will almost certainly be Windows Phone 8.1 and the first batch of smartphones from Nokia and other companies that run the new software. We’ll be covering all of the breaking news at the conference, including Windows Phone 8.1 and, if it happens, any mention of Windows 9.