The Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington kicked off yesterday with lots of announcements for cloud customers, but everyone expected Microsoft to at least discuss more about what's to come for Windows users, not to mention a possible demo of Windows 9.
That didn't happen, however, but Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner has talked about Windows a little bit, confirming publicly for the first time that the company is indeed working on the next Windows version.
He hasn't said anything specific regarding features to be part of Windows 9, but Turner says that the ability to run Metro apps on the desktop is very likely to be there. However, he made a very interesting statement that seems to confirm that all eyes are on Windows 9 and not on Windows 8.1 Update 2 which is expected to debut next month.
“[This features will come] in the next release of Windows [and not] in some coming update to Windows 8.1,” he pointed out. “We talked about it some at Build. And we're really listening to customers. It will be great, world-class enterprise OS when it comes out. There will be game changing functionality in there for enterprises.”
That doesn't say much, but it appears that Microsoft is indeed trying to get over the Windows 8 nightmare and bring Windows 9 to the market as fast as possible.
Windows 8.1 Update 2, on the other hand, was initially expected to be a really major milestone for Windows 8, bringing quite a lot of improvements, including a Start menu and options to run Metro apps on the desktop. That has changed in the meantime and all these features have been pushed back to Windows 9, which means that next month's Windows 8.1 Update 2 is very likely to bring only minor improvements and patches.
Microsoft hasn't talked too often about the second Windows 8.1 update and it probably has no reason to do it, but people close to the matter said that it could be launched via Windows Update on August 12. That's the day when Microsoft is rolling out Patch Tuesday fixes, so Windows 8.1 Update 2 is most likely to be more or less a service pack that includes all previously-launched updates.
Nothing is confirmed so far, but as things seem to develop right now, Microsoft is working in full speed to bring Windows 9 here as soon as possible.