The latest tidbit of news coming from the Windows rumor mill is that Microsoft plans to release a preview version of Windows 9 "Threshold" on February 3, 2015. There's no indication that this will be a developer preview or a public one, but given that Windows 9 is expected to ship in April 2015, the latter option seems more likely.
For Windows 8, Microsoft launched the Developer Preview in September 2011 during the BUILD 2011 event. The company then released Windows 8 Consumer Preview at the end of February 2012. Windows 8 went RTM in August 2012 and hit consumer PCs in October 2012. The public beta of Windows 8.1 wasn't released until June 23, 2013, followed by the full release in October. Windows 8.1 Update (8.1.1) arrived in April 2014.
Using this release schedule as a reference, Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8.1 Update 2 (Windows 8.1.2) sometime this fall, bringing a host of new features like the revised (and beloved) Start Menu, and the ability to run windowed apps on the desktop. This may also be the time period when Microsoft releases the Developer Preview of Windows 9 "Threshold."
The news arrives by way of FaiKee who claims to have obtained a screenshot of Microsoft's plans and posted it on My Digital Life. The tiny smidgen of a schedule reads "Preview Release @ 2015-02-03." That could either mean February 3 or March 2…. you decide.
"OK, seems WZor's "5/15 win9 trial version" is not going to happen..... so here's the part below my last screen-shot," FaiKee writes. "If it's real (couldn't see why it isn't), then you could scrap all previous win9 release speculations."
We know very little about Windows 9; all eyes are glued to Windows 8.1.2 arriving this fall. However, there's speculation that Microsoft will make the platform more desktop friendly. By this October, we should know more about Threshold, especially if the Developer Preview begins to leak onto the Internet.
For now, consider everything about Windows 9 and Windows 8.1.2 to be mere rumor and speculation. Of course, we know they'll eventually make an appearance, but until then, everything is just dips into the rumor pool.