Microsoft is expected to discuss Windows 9 “Threshold” sometime at the end of this month before releasing an early version of its next operating system, possibly just a Windows Technical Preview, as early as October. Microsoft already showed us what the new Start menu might look like, but thanks to a crop of screenshots leaked by WinFuture and ComputerBase recently, we’re getting a closer look than ever before.
In one picture, you’ll note the return of the Start Menu with quick access to file explorer, documents, pictures and recently used tools like notes, the calculator and more. Additionally, there’s an entire section of the Start Menu that shows off Microsoft’s Modern UI complete with tiles for Skype, Music, One Drive, People, Calendar, News, the Microsoft Store, Mail and more.
The focus, at least on the desktop view, appears to be on actual “Windows” that we all love, instead of full-screen apps that take over the entire display; you’ll note in a picture of one window that there’s an option to switch between full-screen windowed modes. One screenshot also shows a notification pop-up, though it’s blank so we’re not sure what will populate it later. Sadly, we don’t get a look at Cortana or the rumored virtual desktop option.
The screenshots identify this as Windows Technical Preview Version 6.4, and The Verge warns that this is likely a much earlier build than we’ll see when Microsoft releases Windows Technical Preview to anyone interested in trying it out.