Windows 8 just came out and that means Windows 9 is still a few years away, unless you believe that Windows Blue is actually Windows 9 and not just Windows 8.X.
Even though we have a long ways before truly major features arrive with Windows 9 (or so I would like to imagine), I thought we’d take a look back at a few rumored features that didn’t make the cut in Windows 8 to see what we might have to look forward to in Windows 9.
Facial Recognition with Kinect
As far back as 2010, rumors claimed that facial recognition would play a role in Windows 8. The idea was that you would use a webcam or Kinect device to log in. This would be sort of like a very real Xbox login feature, and seemed probable enough.
That said, it didn’t make the cut. This is a feature that could certainly make its way into Windows 8.x (Blue)– but I would certainly not be surprised to see it arrive by Windows 9.
New Desktop UI
There was an early rumor about Windows 8 that suggested Microsoft was radically re-designing the desktop with a new UI codenamed Wind.
The idea was that it would create a more powerful interface for use on high-end machines that would have at least a 64-bit processor and high amounts of graphics memory. For those with lower end machines, they’d get the normal desktop.
They weren’t totally wrong here, we did get a new UI– but it wasn’t quite the way that folks imagined early on.
So how probable is it that we will see this in Windows 9? Not very. While I expect evolutions to the desktop with Windows 9, the new Start UI will be the key focus going forward.
Advanced Calling, Texting and Messaging Services
Windows 8 was once rumored to have major texting, messaging and voice services as an integral part of the new Windows experience. The idea was that you could call, text or even use a FaceTime like video service all without needing any additional apps or services.
All of this is possible in Windows, but with the use of a downloaded program like Microsoft’s own Skype.
Considering that Skype was bought during the design of Windows 8, they might have decided to scrap these features and hold them off to the future until they secured Skype to properly add such integration. With that in mind, I think it is VERY possible we will see such built-in integration with Windows 9.
In fact, I’d be more surprised if we didn’t. Some of these features could also come in Windows 8.X (Blue and other rumored yearly updates) as well.
Dropping 32-bit, adding 128-bit Support
Really early into development, rumors claimed that Windows 8 would remove support for the 32-bit architecture but would add support for high-end 128-bit devices.
Looking forward, is it possible that Windows 9 would drop 32-bit processors? I doubt it. It’s somewhat possible, but I don’t see it coming just yet. As for 128-bit, it depends on how future-proof they want Windows 9 to be.
If Windows 9 is only sticking around for 1-3 years, having 128-bit support might not make sense. If they want a longer 3-4 year cycle, maybe.
I probably wouldn’t hold my breath though.
Since Vista we’ve had rumors of a new file system coming to replace NTFS, these rumors continued with the idea that Windows 8 would get a new file system.
With Windows Server 2012 we finally received a new format called ReFS, which is essentially just an improved variant of NTFS.
While most of the benefits found in ReFS affect servers and the business world more than consumer-level PCs, I wouldn’t be shocked to see ReFS come to Windows 9.
Xbox Gaming Save/Game Compatibility and Integration
Some claimed Windows 8 would allow you to instantly pick up your Xbox game on your Windows 8 PC, due to a cross-platform save file. You would also be able to buy one copy of the Xbox game and download it to your PC, according to some rumors.
This meant you could play your Xbox games wherever you went. The idea might have kinda come to Windows 8 in the form of improved Xbox Live integration, but it never reached the point that some thought it would.
Could Windows 9 see tighter Xbox game integration? It is certainly possible, especially with the next Xbox said to arrive sometime this year.
Summing it up….
I’m sure there are more but you get the idea. There are many things that were supposed to come to Windows 8.
In six months to a year, the rumors will pour in about features coming to Windows 9. Some of these will be carry-overs from Windows 8 and some will be brand new.
Are there any other rumored Windows 8 features that I missed? Do you think any of these features will come to Windows 9, if so which ones?