Updated 08:56 PM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

Windows 9 Release Date, Preview & Download: Start Menu Leaked by Microsoft China?

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The Chinese division of Microsoft "accidentally" spilled the company's probable sequel to its current OS - the Windows 9. In the social microblogging site Weibo, Microsoft China had followers buzzing over a question.

As translated by The Verge, the question reads, "Microsoft's latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a comeback?" The post has since been removed but the image was spotted by Cnbeta.

Later on, it was revealed that the said image was a mock-up logo of Windows 9, designed by Shy Designs.

PCWorld related the incident to another Microsoft occurrence earlier this year. In June, the Surface Pro 3 manual cited references to a Surface Mini. But the fact remains - a small-screen Surface Mini was not released at all.

Paul Thurrott of Windows Supersite spotted the error firsthand, said PCWorld. Although the idea of a Surface Mini existed, it was ditched in the last minute for reasons private to Microsoft.

According to Bloomberg, citing an unidentified source, the Mini did not come to actualize because "the product in development wasn't different enough from rivals and probably wouldn't be a hit." If this is the case, the company indeed takes serious caution about new products.

If Windows 9 is indeed in the making, it has to arrive in the near future. CNET shared the same sentiment, saying, "Microsoft is likely striving to ramp up Windows 9 as quickly as possible".

What can possibly be expected from the upcoming Windows OS (aka Threshold) is the return of the Start menu. CNET added other possible changes, saying that the Charms bar will be gone, modern apps will run on resizable desktop windows, support for visual desktops will be added, and Cortana will finally be incorporated in the system.

Is the short-lived era of Windows 8.1 coming to an end, then? An earlier report by ZDNet shared a speculated Threshold "technology preview" date of late September or early October. The Verge, in another report, is placing its bet on the late September event (specifically on the 30th), when developers could be given a bird's eye view of the highly-anticipated Windows 9.

With regards to the actual release, sources say that it might date around April 2015. This speculation comes from the Supersite for Windows by Paul Thurrott.

While we are all waiting for Microsoft's updates, its latest products are available for purchase and download here.

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