Windows 9 - Will It Be Everything You Want It To Be?

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

Microsoft stumbled badly with the release of Windows 8. What happened and why, became bottomless subjects for the blogging technorati. A consensus formed that they rushed a touch UI out the door because Apple once again one upped them in the tablet market with the iPad. 

The criticism of Windows 8 has mostly been about "Metro," touch, and lack of a desktop UI. I have gone as far as to call it Vista 2.0, but only because it flopped like Vista. Truth be told, unlike Vista, Windows 8 is a fast OS that requires fewer resources than even Windows 7 (if you don't count touch). If it were not for its requirement for PAE, NX, and SSE2, technology older processors don't have, it could extend the life of a lot of older PCs.

When will Windows 9 be released?

Microsoft can't afford to leave Windows 8 users with the short end of a stick...
According to The Verge, Microsoft will unveil Windows 9, or 'Threshold,' their new version of Windows, on September 30th. If they release it soon after, they will need to make a big splash with significant new features before Windows 7 users will want to upgrade. Microsoft can't afford to leave Windows 8 users with the short end of a stick either, especially those that recently purchased new computers with Windows 8. They will need to offer them a free or significantly discounted upgrade, if they want to keep them as loyal customers.

Is subscription based licensing for Windows inevitable?

Many are expecting Microsoft to move to subscription based licensing for Windows. At first look this seems like just a way to charge more for their OS. But it will allow them to provide more frequent releases, instead of a big release every three to five years. We may be surprised at how cost effective Microsoft's subscription licensing can be for Windows. After all, the more apps move to the cloud, the less important the OS becomes, as long as it provides a web browser.

A real start menu

I think it is safe to say that Microsoft will finally show that they are listening to customers, and bring the start menu back with the new Windows. We may as well get used to Metro apps, but they should give us a way to run them in desktop windows and minimize them to a task bar, like other desktop applications.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways Microsoft can improve the next Windows. With Windows 8, they have shown that a Windows OS can be fast and light on resource requirements. It is unfortunate this was so overshadowed by a poorly executed user interface.

I'm betting the next version of Windows will be such a success, Microsoft's customers will soon forget Windows 8, and it will take its place alongside Windows ME and Vista as ordeals we will brag about surviving.

Besides the obvious start menu, what would you like to see in the new Windows? What will it take to get you to upgrade?