Windows 9 is the next big OS project prepared by Microsoft and although it’s expected to be launched in April 2015, it appears that a preview version could surface a lot sooner.
Citing people close to the matter, ZDNet is reporting that a preview version of Windows 9 could arrive as soon as late September or early October. A second preview build could also be introduced in early 2015.
It turns out however that Microsoft has prepared a completely new strategy for Windows 9 as compared to what happened with testing builds of Windows 8.
Those who deploy the first Windows 9 preview version will receive updates on a regular basis, as Microsoft advances with development work. This way, the company won’t have to release new builds every few months, but instead update the original version delivered to users in the fall of 2014.
Not much is known so far, but it appears that the existing builds of Windows 9 that are being tested by OEMs and partners come with a Start menu, options to run Metro apps in dedicated windows on the desktop, and some changes to the booting process, which no longer loads the Start screen on PCs.
The testing build that could see daylight next month is expected to lack a number of features, while others could be incomplete or come with a number of bugs, so the operating system would only be recommended for installation on testing machines.
Microsoft hasn’t said anything until now about Windows 9, but the company confirmed earlier this year at the Worldwide Partner Conference that it was already working on the next version of Windows.
Other features that could be part of Windows 9, but missing in the testing build, include a desktop version of Cortana, multiple desktops, a redesigned desktop UI, and Internet Explorer 12.
As far as Cortana is concerned, the personal assistant could get a desktop version when Windows 9 gets to see daylight, but it’s not yet clear whether the company would complete development of this new build by April 2015. As a result, Windows 9 could initially ship without Cortana, but get it at a later time through Windows Update.
Keep in mind that everything here is still in the rumor stage, so don’t take this information for granted. If the report is indeed true and Windows 9 Preview launches next month, expect Microsoft to provide more information in the coming weeks.