Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Microsoft Windows 9 by April 2015?

We know by now that Microsoft is terrible at meeting deadlines, however a tentative release date of April 2015 is now out on the internet for the release of the next version of Windows. The codename for the new version is Threshold.

If Microsoft holds to its operating system pattern, Windows 9 will likely be an improvement and repair of all that went wrong with Windows 8, which to date, remains a shunned and disliked product. Microsoft hit it big in 1995 with Windows 95 and Windows NT. Three years later came Windows 98, which saw enhancements and improvements to '95. By 2000, Microsoft had released Windows ME, which was largely a marketing ploy of Windows 98 in a new skin. On the corporate side, Windows 2000 was a huge success. 2000 was the last release of Windows with a corporate and home use version that were on separate platforms.

Around 2002, Microsoft released Windows XP, which to date remains on some 30% of corporate workstations, despite Microsoft's insistence that all support for the product will end this April. XP was succeeded by Windows Vista, which was a very temperamental product that was shunned by end users. Most IT professionals, including us here at Richmond Computer, instinctively cringe when presented with a Vista based machine to work on.

Windows 7 succeeded Vista, and remains a popular and stable product, which is largely viewed as the matured version of Windows XP, with many added features, refinements and enhancements that never worked well in Vista.

Then came along Windows 8 and Microsoft's world stopped spinning. The geniuses in Redmond, Washington felt it urgent to consolidate user interfaces to present users with a single user experience. In short, the interface on your desktop would become the same as on your tablet, as the same on your Windows phone (which nobody buys).

The result with Windows 8 is that those who had to buy new machines bought them from sources that still sold Windows 7, or bought their own licenses and performed a self-install of Windows 7 over 8. Two important points here: While the interface in Windows 8 leaves much to be desired, and the "start button" enhancement that Microsoft added did nothing to fix what users said they didn't like, it is a stable platform, and the interface is similar to that of Server 2012.

While not much has been made public on how Windows 9 will address the failures of 8, we in the IT community trust that Microsoft has learned yet another lesson and will deploy a better product that is easier to use.

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