Windows 9 vs Windows 8.1 – Expected Features, Release Date and Price


Threshold. Windows 8.2. Windows 9. Windows 10.  These are some of the names given to the latest Microsoft OS for both desktops and tablets. Some features of the Windows 8.1 will fade out with the release of “Windows One”. The latest build of 9 according to “Winsupersite” is 9841.

When is the Release ?

Though the final release (RTM) is expected to be in 2015, Microsoft has plans to
conduct a press event on the latest technnical preview on Sept 30th, 2014. It
has announced major plans to discuss “the future of Windows and enterprise
computing”.

Read About – Windows 8.1 Update 1 Release and What has Changed ?

“Technobuffalo” reports that, Alain Crozier, the head of Microsoft France during
live streaming of their website, confirmed this ecstatic news un-intentionally.
He also made the name rumor of “Windows 9” a reality. But Microsoft France’s director of marketing and operations, Nicolas Petit, downplayed the incident, saying that, “much more new is expected at San Francisco and name is yet to be finalized”.

Update (Oct 2nd, 2014) : Microsoft finally made it clear the name of the next Windows OS version. It’ll be Windows 10. Many predicted that it would fall in line with the current series of 8.x. But that’s not to be! Terry Myerson – executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group – surprised the world on Tuesday by saying that Windows 9 name “wouldn’t be the right choice”.

What is the Price?

The price for upgrade from Windows 8.1 or 8 will be very less. But if you are
planning to buy a new “Windows 9” computer, you need to wait a few months. Also,
the price may be little more than the upgrade. According to “BGR”, Redmond is
toying with the idea of selling the upgrade for a meagre price of $20. But for
Windows 8 users who purchased a retail or OEM version may have a free upgrade.

The other financial details may be revealed at the Sept 30th event.

But in this article we are going to see the exuberant features for which
“Windows 9” is making news all around the world and the things missing in Windows 8 or 8.1.

More Touch and Tablet Friendly

In Windows 8, Microsoft probed the idea of a tablet OS and make it the de-facto
standard, just like the desktops. But the blitzkriek didn’t furnish and was only
a half-fulfilled dream. But if “TechRadar” rumors are to be confirmed, Windows 9 developers are striving to make the “Threshold” a unified OS, and a better tablet-oriented one.

Start Menu is back in Windows 9

Initially with the “Blue” version there was no Start button. But with the
upgraded 8.1 version, we got a Start button look-a-like. But it didn’t serve the
purpose. Actually when you clicked it you were takedn to the Start Screen or
Apps Screen.

But desktop users wanted the good-old version of Start-Menu back, where we can
have different programs and application shortcuts.

Read About – Manage User Passwords in Windows 8.1 which applies to 7 and 8 also.

Microsoft is customer-friendly and made the change in Windows 9. We will see a
new Start Menu with different features from Windows 7. We will see the old Start
Menu combined with the Windows 8.1 Start Screen features.

Modified Start Menu - Back in Threshold

[Image Source: Winsupersite.com]

The usage is nothing different from the earlier versions. Just press the “Start”
key on your keyboard or the “Start” button on the Windows taskbar. One can pin
items like Modern Apps, applications, folders and contacts to the Start Menu.

One can make the Start Menu big or small. On the left side of the Start Menu you
have the recently used (MRU) list, All Apps link and a Search box.

The Windows 9 Start Menu also has an user account name and a power button at the top. The power button actuates a power management menu – which work in the same fashion of today’s Windows 8.1 Start Screen.

Note: There is also an extra option to choose between the Start Screen of
Windows 8.x and the current Start Menu.

Charms disappears on Desktops

A more desktop-prone change in Windows 9 is that apps run in floating windows on
the desktop. These app windows include a new Options button (“…”) to the right
of the control buttons that provide app commands (different for each app),
system commands that were part of Charms.

These are not limited to Project, Print, Play, Settings, Share and Full Screen.
So frankly speaking Charms remains as it is on touch-based systems, as like
Windows 8 RT, but only for touch. The old-mouse based shortcuts and clicks for
Charms do not work on desktops.

Cortona makes a Difference

Windows leaks have proved that Cortana will almost certainly debut on the
desktop with the help of 9. This personal assistant was missing in Windows 8.1
desktop. Information available on the web points out that, Cortana will play
multiple roles. It will make the shift in Microsoft’s modern platforms lot
easier, if in the case users switch from a PC to a tablet or a smartphone.

Virtual Personal Assistant in Threshold

[Image : in.techradar.com]

Cortona will allow you to perform tasks with the help of voice commands, just
the Windows Phone 8.1 was doing. Microsoft is looking to make Cortona more
personal in 9. This would help increase Bing share of search engine market.

The PC version of Cortona will come with lot of configuration settings so as to
make user’s privacy a high point. Cortona can do several things if user agrees.
For example, Cortona will allow users to search for Word documents that were
recently opened. At the same time it keeps watch on Skype conversations, text
messages and everything related to communications.

Cortona in Action on a Windows 9 Desktop – The presenter types some text into the search box and gets some results. You can also see a typical technical preview screen.

Not much difference in Metro Apps

“Ibtimes” of Australia reports that the tech preview of Windows 9 could include
modern apps like for music, movies, photos and emails. But the lacklustre thing
is that, Windows 9 and 8.1 will not have much difference in the modern apps
section.

This is useful – Tutorial on Managing Wireless Network Profiles in Windows

The Windows Technical Preview is likely to have the same apps that work with 8.1. Any app that works in 8.1 version, can run in 9 and vice-versa.

Improved Version of File Explorer

DevianArt user MarioB creates a brand new concept and imagines the built-in
Windows 9 file manager. The File Explorer in 9 may be a redesinged version of
8.1 with slight visual enhancements. This new version comes with a UI redesing,
new ribbon icon, improved back and forward buttons and several rearranged
elements.

Customers can easily share data on the File Explorer with the share button in
the Share tab.

Better Resolution Support upto 8k, better DPI scaling

With Windows 8.1 we have seen that it struggled with the usage of high DPI
devices. Though it improved from 8, but support for high resolution display is
still not that great from develoepers and even in Microsoft branded products.

According to a post Neowin, it finds out that the next installment of Windows is
likely to support high resolution displays up to 8K.

This can also be read – Excel 2013 features – A Review to Decide better

Giving Impetus to Upgrade from Windows 7 Enterprise

There are four reasons why Microsoft advocates Enterprise users to upgrade to
Windows 9.

  • Defend against modern security threats
  • Elevate employee productivity
  • Embrace the mobile and cloud era
  • Enable upgrade without upheaval

Shunning Away from a Single Desktop Interface

OS X and Linus operating systems have long supported the usage of virutal desktops – crucially multiple, configurable, multiple desktops you’re able to switch between. This facilitates separate desktop interfaces for work, play, gaming and designing.

Multiple Desktop Interface in Threshold

[Image : PCWorld.com]

Till Windows 8.1, Microsoft only supported a single desktop interface. With 9, this is going to change. If the rumors are to be believed, it is very much likely that the official release version of “Threshold” may include virtual desktop support.

Different feature-set of Windows 9 technical preview can be seen here. More on the multiple-desktop features. You can play with some applications on one desktop and keep the office apps in another.

[Source : WinFuture.de ]

Conclusion

In addition to the above rumored features, there are some more like – the changes in the Control Panel and the Notification center, Internet Explorer 12. But recent reports also say that Microsoft is toying with the idea of a different name for Windows 9 other than ‘Threshold’.

There are also posts giving direction to links of Technical Preview on the Microsoft Evaluation Center page. In Windows 8.1, we saw a boost in hibernate times and boot-up times and a new tiled interface. But many users were aghast that the Start-Menu was missing.

Let’s hope that the problems are rectified in Windows 9 and more rich-features which will make the PC experience more closer to the tablet and smart-phone are presented on the Sept 30th or October event.

Windows 9 vs Windows 8.1 – Expected Features, Release Date and Price
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Meet the Author

Palla Sridhar

I love being a Microsoft enthusiast and Tech lover. I Completed my M.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur, INDIA. My interests include Blogging, Surfing, Cricket, Books and Social Networking. I find solutions to problems on Windows, Outlook and Office.

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