MICROSOFT WILL REPORTEDLY REVEAL the successor to its Windows 8 operating system on 30 September.
Windows 9, as it might or might not be called, won't be presented in its finished form, but the event will set out Microsoft's stall for the edition that could make or break the future of Windows as the most common PC operating system. That's according to The Verge, which cites sources familiar with the company's plans.
The event is likely to be similiar in feel to the event which Google used to preview Android "L", and is therefore unlikely that we'll get confirmation of the Windows 9 name. It's unlikely also that we'll get to see Cortana baked in to any demonstrations as it is yet to be decided if she will indeed form part of Windows 9, despite successful integration announced last week.
What we will most likely see however is the long-awaited return of the Start Menu, this time replete with Metro-style live tiles alongside the traditional program list. When a preview of this feature was shown at the Microsoft BUILD conference in San Francisco earlier this year, it got a more rapturous welcome than the Windows 8.1 update that was being formally announced.
In with the Start Menu will mean out with the much disliked Charms bar as Microsoft continues to try and undo the damage caused by the extensive redesign in Windows 8, that alienated users at a time of fracturation in the market.
With over a month to go, an awful lot can change and as we get closer to the time, with rumours likely to come thicker, faster and more spurious. At this stage, we don't even have confirmation from Microsoft that the date is correct and carved in stone, nor the location of the big reveal. In that sense it's quite like a Julian Assange news conference.
Microsoft had been expected to make a second major update to Windows 8.1 this month, but instead appears to have adopted a path of incremental updates via Patch Tuesday, which itself this month suffered some serious borkage requiring the patches to be withdrawn after it produced the dreaded Blue Screen of Death for some users. µ