Currently, there's a rumor started by well-known Russian Windows leaker WZor that Microsoft may actually start talking about Windows 9 "Threshold" during the Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 next week. WZor also believes that Microsoft will use this window to introduce Windows 8.1 Update 2, which will supposedly be released by mid-August.
As previously reported, Microsoft is expected to offer a preview of Windows 9 later this fall, followed by the full retail release in Q2 or Q3 of 2015. Rumor has it that Microsoft wants to get Windows 8 off the radar, and have customers focused on the newer platform. Update 2 will be the last major update to the Windows 8 family; the platform will be patched, but not enhanced in any way.
WZor reveals that Microsoft will dump loads of money into advertising Windows 9, with a huge focus on the return of the Start Button and Menu. The site also stresses that Microsoft is changing the activation method, thanks to problems related to Microsoft in China. This bit of extra work is slowing down the overall development, which probably led to last week's rumor that Windows 9 might not arrive until Q3 2015.
According to WZor, the new method has users logging into Microsoft Store to activate the platform rather than handing over a key that could be re-sold. "Installing ESD-RETAIL systems on new hardware or restoring system on the old one, will require to "detach" old installation from Microsoft Store, and only after that, it'll be possible to activate new system," the site reports.
WZor reports that if customers try to activate the same distribution on three PCs, and there's only one license, Windows Store will cancel activation after three days until the user "detaches" the extra two systems. Only one license will be granted to each machine.
What's interesting about the WZor post is the use of the term "rent." Does Microsoft plan to offer a monthly subscription? Microsoft has already crossed that bridge with Office 2013, allowing customers to pay $9.99 per month and receive updates immediately rather than three years down the road. We've heard in the past that Microsoft was toying with the idea. Honestly, a five-seat subscription bundle would be an interesting product.
"Right now developers of the new activation system and experts of new products promotion are discussing on these topics. To be more specific, they are discussing how to make possible to rent a product or working time on it," WZor writes.