Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin, known for some of his accurate tips on the mobile industry in the past, said on Twitter that Windows Phone 9 will launch at some point in the second half of 2014 (third or fourth quarter) without the iconic Metro user interface that’s currently present on all Windows Phone handsets and Windows tablets. In several tweets that followed, he suggested that the tiled Metro UI will still remain as an option to users. More importantly, he said that Windows RT will cease to exist as a standalone OS fork, as it will be incorporated in WP9, which will become the “same system” for phones and tablets. A previous report said that Microsoft sees Windows RT merging with Windows Phone by 2015.
It’s unclear though whether Metro UI will also be removed from Windows 9, as Murtazin says there are a lot of internal debates on the matter within Microsoft. The blogger also seems to suggest that Microsoft may be inspired henceforward in Android rather than in iOS, and that the WP9 experience may be developed on a “clean slate.” Murtazin, who was also wrong with some of his predictions in the past, did not reveal where he got his information.
Finally, Murtazin said that Microsoft will not charge its partners licenses for phone and tablet OS, except for Pro versions with “regular Windows.” A recent report said that Microsoft is indeed considering the option of releasing free versions of its Windows Phone and Windows RT software.