Microsoft is expected to release a major overhaul to its desktop operating system in 2015 with Windows 9, but it looks like we could get an early look at the “Threshold” update later this year. The news comes from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who has an excellent track record when it comes to leaking Microsoft’s plans.
According to Foley’s sources, Microsoft is also working on a smaller upgrade for Windows 8.1 later this year, likely called Update 2. The update should arrive around August, but apparently won’t include a ton of improvements. The redesigned Start menu reportedly won’t arrive until the full version of Windows 9 is released to the public.
With Windows 9, Microsoft will apparently try to distance itself from the failures of Windows 8 while appealing to customers still holding onto Windows 7. Threshold is expected to focus on the desktop experience for people who don’t want to use a touchscreen computer. According to ZDNet the upcoming OS will work differently depending on what type of computer you use, so desktop users will boot straight to Microsoft’s classic desktop view.
Threshold is also expected to help unify the Windows experience for computers, tablets and phones. However, it’s unclear if the upcoming Windows 9 preview will extend to mobile devices.