Good morning. It's Tuesday, September 30th.
Here's what you should know today:
Microsoft will show off "what's next for Windows" today. The next version of the OS could bring back the Start menu and undo some of the major changes introduced in Windows 8.
Good morning to you on this last day of September. Microsoft is expected to announce the next major version of Windows today. Here’s what to expect.
First off, the name. After Windows 7 and Windows 8, “Windows 9” would make a lot of sense. Microsoft is reportedly referring to the new OS as “Threshold” internally, however. My bet is still on “Windows 9” — but Microsoft has been known to switch up their naming system from time to time.
There is one reason Microsoft may choose not to call the new OS Windows 9. Rumor has it “Windows 9” won’t just be the ninth version of Windows, it could also be the last. Microsoft has suggested it will change its release cycle, pushing out smaller updates regularly instead of major software releases periodically.
Whatever it’s called, the next version of Windows is expected to take two steps forward, one step back: improving on Windows 8 while undoing some of the current OS’s less popular features.
With Windows 8, Microsoft went “all-in” on touch, designing the OS to work seamlessly across tablets, hybrid and laptops — even going as far as to require all new Windows laptops to come with touch screens. The result was a confusing, hard-to-use experience for everyone still using a keyboard and mouse.
Windows 9 is expected to be the happy medium between the desktop-first Windows 7 and touch-first Windows 8, with the ability to “look and feel different” depending on the type of device it’s running on.
The popular Start menu, which Windows 8 axed in favor of their new tile layout “Start screen,” is set to make a comeback. The Charms bar (that menu that comes in when you swipe over from the right) will likely go away.
To its credit, one thing Windows 8 has done exceptionally well is streamlining the user experience across Windows computers, tablets, smartphones and even Xbox. We’ll have to wait and see what Windows 9 means for non-PC devices.
But we don’t have to wait long. Microsoft will hold a press event to make the announcement early this afternoon. Here’s what else is happening in tech today.
The Apple Watch Makes Its First Public Appearance
Other Tuesday Tech Headlines
- bay this morning announced plans to spin off PayPal, the Internet payment service it acquired in 2002. Both will become independent publicly traded companies in 2015. Read more on Re/code.
- Intel's wearable company, Basis, just introduced a new $200 sleep-tracking, heart rate-monitoring watch that keeps tab on your activity 24/7. TNW has more details.