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Windows 9 and 8.1 Update 2 Teased in Leaked Image

Website Myce has acquired a screenshot from well-known Microsoft leaker Faikee that confirms recent rumors of a second update that will take place later this year, and Windows 9 sometime around April 2015. There's also mention of Office 2015 and another platform called Windows 365. Could this latter option be the cloud-based platform we've heard so much about?

According to the Windows 365 status, the platform is in alpha and based on the Windows core. Unfortunately, that's it for details, but speculation points to a monthly subscription like Microsoft's current Office 2013 suite, with an option to pay every three months, six months or annually. This scenario would mean customers have a limited number of seats (like three per license), and will receive constant updates and new releases automatically.

The screenshot, which looks to be a scan of an internal schedule sheet, reveals that Microsoft is currently building Windows 9, Windows Server 2015 and Windows Phone 9, and presumably trying to keep the experience across all three unified. There's also mention of the "Gemini" Office 2013 Modern UI-based apps, which may be in RTM mode as of this article, as well as Windows Phone 8.1.

There's talk that Windows 9 would be free to customers, but that's unlikely given that Microsoft has bills to pay and needs that income. If anything, the Redmond company may follow its Windows 8.1 plans and offer customers with Windows 8.1 Update 2 a huge discount, while Windows 7 and Windows 8 customers will have to pay for the full upgrade.

Windows 8.1 Update 2 will likely pounce on customers this fall, bearing many requested gifts like the Start Menu for easy navigation for desktop customers. This addition won't be an exact replica we've grown fond of on Windows of old, but a mixture of live tiles and classic elements to make the menu come alive. The Start Menu will also have a search box and power options.

"I previewed some work we are doing for the next iteration of Windows, which builds on the journey we began with Windows 8 just over a year ago as well as the releases we've done since then," said OS department head Terry Myerson during BUILD in April. "In particular, I showed some early thinking on how the user experience in Windows will evolve in a way that will help developers' apps make their way to users across devices and form factors."

Cortana, the virtual assistant residing on Windows Phone 8.1, will likely make an appearance on Windows 9 next Spring. But don't worry; she won't converse with your kids aged 12 and under thanks to the U.S. government's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

As always, take all of this as a mere rumor and speculation -- except for the existence of Update 2, which was confirmed during the BUILD conference.

  • bluestar2k11
    "but a mixture of live tiles and classic elements to make the menu come alive."

    I think microsoft needs to outsource it's "making things come alive" endeavours, they aren't particularly good at it, 3rd party consumer creators would be most ideal. Windows 8's metro display looks about as alive as a brick wall. Just with bigger more coloured blocks, and a few stamps.
    Reply
  • Zepid
    "Thanks to leaked image"

    And where might that image be Tom's? You certainly didn't embed it in the article.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    Windows 365. Pay us annually or we will disable your OS. Ya. I can see it already.
    Reply
  • Mv24
    Any Windows 7 SP1 users who skipped Windows 8 around October 2012 can now post comments about Windows 9 (Not Windows 8.1 update 2). The reason why you are saying bad things and trashing Microsoft down was because Microsoft was fixing Windows 8 which is a wrong decision. Are you still on Windows 7? Are you excited about Windows 9 upgrade? I know you are going to love this new Cortina technology and you will love the new idea of live tiles. Saying bad things about live tiles only happened because it was on Windows 8? If you are one of the few people who want Microsoft to bring back legacy Windows O.S's like Windows 7 or XP, do not post anything there.

    How do you like faster start up on Windows 9?

    Are you waiting for Windows 9 if you are on Windows 7?

    You called Windows 8 bunch of squares and you said you don't need weather information to pop up on your computer in the start screen because you want to keep your brain away from Windows 8, I know you will get excited about not having to turn on the TV to check weather forecast with Windows 9 Live tiles for weather just like you hated Vista design and you loved vista design on Windows 7. Will you like to see weather on your computer without having to turn on your TV on Windows 9

    Windows 7 SP1 users, are you just too excited to move to Windows 9 as quickly as possible by the time it comes out around summer 2015? Did you travel to soo many places in 2013 and even 2014-2015 when you were keeping your mind away from Windows 8?

    How did keeping yourself away from Windows 8 improved your overall health?
    Reply
  • ultameca
    Haters ruined it for all of us who actually like windows 8 the way it was, I don't wan't the start menu back, it's old, clunky and you can't fit near as much stuff on it the same way you can with the start screen. With the start screen you can have icons for everything, I don't need to scroll through a list of text and pick from that like it's 1995. The start screen never bogs down like the old start menu either, always fast and snappy.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    A subscription-based OS is just the worst, worst idea. Subscription-based programs work fine, like Photoshop. The people who need Photoshop use it to generate income. So that's fine. Because people who don't need Photoshop don't need to buy it, and it isn't necessary to keep the computer you already paid money for up and running. Even the Office Suite, fine. A reasonable subscription fee for Office is acceptable because there are free alternatives. But why should any consumer have to spend money on a computer, and then spend additional money to an OS regularly just to keep the perfectly operational machine working? It's enough just paying for an ISP. It's a tragic idea and I think borderline abusive and immoral to consumers who paid money for a computer.
    Reply
  • Osmin
    Microsoft is finally listening to their customers but merging the Windows 8 start menu with the Windows 7 start menu. Can't we have a choice and just separate the two? You could even use two start buttons or split a single start button to activate both. After using windows 8 for years, I now would like to keep both versions of the start menu to separate the Windows 8 apps from normal apps or customize all apps the way I want. I also would like to see multiple desktops and the scrolling of non active windows without making them active first. I really want my widgets back to see the Windows 7 calendar and Weather widgets that I found useful on the desktop. A customer has spoken.
    Reply
  • soccerplayer88
    13293462 said:
    *rabble rabble rabble*

    Well this feels appropriate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Prp615mmDk
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    A subscription-based OS is just the worst, worst idea. Subscription-based programs work fine, like Photoshop. The people who need Photoshop use it to generate income. So that's fine. Because people who don't need Photoshop don't need to buy it, and it isn't necessary to keep the computer you already paid money for up and running. Even the Office Suite, fine. A reasonable subscription fee for Office is acceptable because there are free alternatives. But why should any consumer have to spend money on a computer, and then spend additional money to an OS regularly just to keep the perfectly operational machine working? It's enough just paying for an ISP. It's a tragic idea and I think borderline abusive and immoral to consumers who paid money for a computer.
    I could not agree more! Things like Office 365 is great if you are getting a 4 year $80 student copy, or if you are running a home based business and are not quite ready to jump on the big Office 365 for Business packages yet... but for home users it is a raw deal, and I wish we could get our $120 3 license Home and Student version back.

    Windows 9 and beyond should simply be free of charge. Windows is transitioning to an app ecosystem now, and that is where the real money is. Anything that gets in the way of Store app adoption needs to be killed off as quickly as possible. Make Windows itself free. Fix the store so it is usable. Make windows flexible enough to run at least at a basic level on 15+ year old XP machines. Give options for the Start Screen OR a Start Menu (I love the screen is great for home use, and the menu is great for business/productivity use, there is a need for both). Allow for floating Metro apps on desktop for true multi-tasking. Continue unifying the stores across all flavors of Windows (Phone/RT, Home/Pro, Server, Embedded, etc). Obviously easier said than done, but if MS can succeed at this then they will win the market share back from Android/iOS/Chrome/OSX which have taken a chunk of the share away.
    The big exception to all of this: Disassociate professional features from the core OS. If you want to charge a yearly subscription for businesses to run domain services, or other business/corporate features, then make an added expansion package for the base OS to get your money that way. MS still needs to make money, but the idea that they can continue to charge more than $40 for a copy of windows this day an age is kind of ridiculous.
    Reply
  • bryonhowley
    As long as Windows 9 does NOT have a Start Menu or at the very least allow it to be removed it will be good. On the other hand if Microsoft puts a full Start Menu back it will suck really bad.
    Reply