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Expect some major changes in Windows 9, and not just the new Start menu

Published Aug 7th, 2014 12:00PM EDT
Windows 9 Features and Release Date

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Microsoft already confirmed that the Start menu will not be returning to Windows 8.1 via a special “Update 2,” thus suggesting that Windows 9 will actually bring back the Start menu – after all, Microsoft did confirm at Build that it listened to Windows users and committed to resurrecting the Start menu. However, Windows 9 will have several other major features and new user interface elements compared to Windows 8.1, various publications have learned.

FROM EARLIER: Microsoft may do the unthinkable to make you dump XP, Vista and Windows 7

The awkward Charms bar – at least for desktop users – is going away, Winbeta has learned, as Microsoft plans to enable the features offered by the Charms bar in a different way, possibly by including a new menu near the window controls that will give access to actions from the Charms bar.

While this particular user interface change may only affect Windows 9 desktop users, ZDNet says that tablet users will also lose the Charms bar in the next iteration of Windows.

One other important new Windows 9 feature has been reported by Neowin, which learned that virtual desktop support – a feature that’s already available on OS X and Ubuntu – is finally coming to Windows users.

Finally, just as rumors suggested, a public preview version of Windows 9 may arrive later this year.

“I’ve heard from my sources that Microsoft is hoping to deliver a public preview of Threshold some time in the fall of 2014,” ZDNet wrote. “The goal with Threshold is to make Windows 9 more palatable for those still using Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, especially business users and those who aren’t relying solely on touch for input.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.