The latest Windows Phone rumor claims that Windows Phone 9 will launch sometime during the second half of 2014. The news arrives by way of Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin who previously made several accurate predictions on the mobile industry. He now claims that the Modern UI seen on current phones and tablets will be optional starting with Windows Phone 9.
"Windows phone 9 (2014 3-4q) have another UI. That's not tales. I repeat - Microsoft change UI from Metro style," he tweets. When asked if the same applies to Windows 8.x, he says that "they aren't decided yet as far as I know. A lot of internal debates."
Other noted tweets rehash what we already know from prior reports: Windows RT and Windows Phone will become one operating system by Spring 2015, and that Microsoft plans to lift the licensing fees for Windows on tablets and smartphones to combat Android. Eventually, Microsoft will have one platform for x86, one for ARM-based chips, and the OS installed on the Xbox One.
After all the fuss about the new Modern UI interface on PC, tablets and smartphones, it seems unlikely that Microsoft will completely ditch the interface with Windows 9. The idea of making the interface optional sounds like a good way to gain new customers who would have otherwise shunned the tile-based interface. But what would the "desktop" interface look like? Something like Android or iPhone?
The time frame provided by Murtazin doesn't click with other reports about Microsoft's road map. Windows Phone 8.1 isn't set to go live until Spring 2014, followed by Windows Phone 8.2 "Threshold" in Spring 2015. Small updates for all form factors will supposedly take place in Fall 2014.
Of course, everything seen here is mere rumor and speculation... for now.