MICROSOFT'S WINDOWS 9 logo appears to have been leaked by Microsoft itself.
The Chinese office of Microsoft, which is already not having the best year, posted a note on the Chinese Twitter clone Weibo today reading, "Microsoft's latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?"
Also included was the logo shown above. The post was removed, but not before Chinese website Cnbeta managed to get a screengrab. The LCD-matrix style numeral "9" is the first indication of how Microsoft will brand its next PC operating system (OS).
Windows 9 could become a tipping point for Microsoft. The return of the Start Menu and retirement of the Charms Bar are crucial for the continuing success of Windows' credibility following the lukewarm reception for Windows 8, which still commands less than 15 percent of the market, despite a slight rise last month.
Plans are afoot for a launch expected on 30 September, but it seems that Microsoft's China office was just too eager. The company has been told by the Chinese government that it has just 20 days to respond to antitrust allegations over bundling ancillary applications like Windows Media Player with its operating systems.
The Windows 9 event, which Microsoft has yet to formally announce, is expected to be a guided tour and introduction to its next OS interation with a developer preview edition expected shortly afterward ahead of a consumer launch in spring 2015.
Teams at Microsoft recently incorporated virtual assistant Cortana into builds of Windows Threshold, the codename for Windows 9, but it is unknown whether this function will be available at launch.
Whatever else we can glean from this leak, it does appear that the name definitely will be "Windows 9", and it definitely is coming soon. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ