Don’t hold your breath while waiting for Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9. A newly leaked Microsoft roadmap obtained by Myce suggest the company won’t launch a preview release for its new set of operating systems until the second or third quarter of 2015, about a year from now. The document in question suggests Office 2015 software is also in development, and even points to Office 2013 “Gemini” — though oddly refers to it as “Gamini” which is the touch-focused version of Office we’re expecting this summer.
A preview release isn’t the same thing as an official launch. Instead, it means Microsoft will offer up a nearly finished version of Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 and give the public an opportunity to offer their input. The company did the same thing with Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this year, releasing a developer version of the new mobile OS ahead of its official launch. For most, using a developer account is still the only way to check out Windows Phone 8.1.
We’re expecting some major changes from Windows 9 as Microsoft continues to push its Modern UI while moving towards a singular experience across all platforms codenamed “Threshold.” That could mean a single app store for mobile and desktop. We’ve also heard conflicting rumors that Microsoft could either ditch its traditional desktop mode entirely or update it to run Windows 8 apps within smaller windows. Another report revealed the company’s interest in eventually introducing interactive widget tiles to its Metro UI start screen.
Based on today’s leak it could be a full year before Microsoft announces its next-generation OS. In the meantime the company could offer up smaller updates to its current mobile and desktop operating systems, though we’re eager to see how Windows 9 will help reshape the platform.