Windows is one of Microsoft’s main money makers, and the company is interested in seeing as many current Windows users move to its latest operating system as possible. However, no matter what the company does, there still are plenty of users who are on older Windows versions, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. ZDNet has learned that Microsoft may be working on a huge Windows 9 surprise to convince reluctant users to finally move to the latest Windows operating system available.
The company is reportedly considering offering some sort of Windows 9 upgrade deal to XP, Vista and Windows 7 users, with a completely free upgrade option also on the table. This isn’t the first time free Windows 9 upgrade rumors have hit the web, but previous reports suggested that Windows Threshold (Windows 9’s internal codename) might launch as a free download to Windows 8.1 Update, and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 owners.
Nothing has been confirmed about Windows 9 yet, but ZDNet says that all the major features Microsoft is working on will be packed in Threshold rather than a following Windows 8.1 Update.
Windows 8.1 Update 2 is still due on August 12th, this month’s Patch Tuesday, although the update is not mandatory, and it’s not expected to bring any major changes. The Start menu button, which was supposed to arrive with Update 2, will be included in Windows 9 alongside any other major features Microsoft may have readied for a Windows 8.1 update.
Other Windows 8.1 updates might be released later this year as well, although they’re also going to be minor compared with the massive changes coming with Windows 9.