MICROSOFT IS TARGETING Windows 8.x refuseniks with desktop friendly changes in Project Threshold, the operating system that is expected to become Windows 9, unless of course, the marketing team decides to give it a new name to distance it from its latest offering.
According to Mary-Jo Foley at Zdnet, whose Microsoft related predictions are usually reliable, the next version of the flagging Windows OS will owe more to its heritage and less to the recent past.
With the present market share of Windows 7 at over 50 percent, the company is now desperate to shake the shonky reputation that Windows 8.x has acquired.
Primarily, the change will see a "feast or famine" approach to the controversial Modern user interface (UI), also known as Metro. Desktop users will find that Modern is disabled by default, with access to Modern apps from the reinstated Start Menu, which will incorporate live tiles as part of its design.
Meanwhile, phone and tablet users will find that instead, they have no desktop mode at all and will therefore be restricted to just the Modern UI. However, unlike previous editions, apps will be launchable side-by-side, improving multi-tasking.
For the best of both worlds, hybrid machines will auto-detect and launch in either Desktop or Modern, depending on whether or not a keyboard is attached.
Ms Foley also speculated that an Update 2 for Windows 8.1 will be released, probably with very little fanfare as part of Patch Tuesday in August. After that, Windows 8.x will be done, as the company is keen to migrate users to its successor as quickly as possible. To do that, of course, it will most likely have to give it away for free.
Microsoft has made no formal announcements regarding updates to Windows 8.1, or Windows 9, with the later slated for release next spring. µ