Here we are with another good Windows bad Windows situation. And this time, folks, the gossip on the new operating system is coming from all directions, screenshots, views, opinions and all.

The long and short of it all is that Windows 9 is becoming a much anticipated product — not just for users, but companies and the IT industry overall. In fact, Dell’s end user computing marketing chief for Europe, Margaret Franco thinks that Windows 9 is very likely to drive the migration forward.

Maybe these close partner companies know some inside information that is not yet out in the open, or maybe it is just plain optimism, but the general feeling in the air is that a notable amount of Windows XP users will move to Windows 9.

That probably is the reason why Redmond is keen to launch this new OS as soon as possible.

What We Know

Then again, the reports that Windows 9 might launch this year, and Microsoft would want to stick to its yearly update cycle could be grandly exaggerated. Contrary to some rumors that Windows 9 is scheduled to hit RTM status this year, there is now another point of view that suggests otherwise.

This one comes from Mary Jo Foley, the always reliable, and she claims citing her unofficial sources that Windows 9 will not be released to manufacturing this year.

Microsoft, she says, is still planning to release this new operating system in April 2015.

Windows 9, the next major upgrade to the platform, is expected to bring the Start Menu back in Windows, and the software titan is expected to share more news on this at the BUILD 2014 conference set to take place this April.

Then again, the company may not have all that much to say, if we believe this new report below.

Small Steps

Paul Thurrott has a bit of a hit or miss record for these type of things, and he says that the major reason Microsoft is keen to bring Windows 9 to market so soon is because the company does not plan on adding in any big new features into this version.

A returning Start Menu, perhaps, to go with a merged tablet and phone operating system?

That’s the call, according to the story above. Sure there will be refinements aplenty in Windows 9, particularly pertaining to the Modern UI environment, Metro apps and all. But then again, the same can be said of the Windows 8.1 Update 1 that is on track for release in just a couple of months.

If this is the case we just may have some hints on whether Windows 9 is to be an evolutionary or revolutionary operating system.

Familiar Territory

Nevertheless, Dell’s senior executive told V3 in a recent interview that while Windows 8.1 increases consumer appeal for Microsoft’s modern platform, it is Windows 9 that is expected to drive the migration forward. The Windows XP migration, that is.

In the words of Margaret Franco:

“When Windows 9 comes out, we’re also seeing a lot more interest around developing the transition strategy for their OS. There is a pressure point in order to start accelerating OS migration because in April, that’s when the support for XP ends. We’re seeing much more interest around OS planning and strategy planning, such as finding out what the benefits of touch are.”

Given the fact that such transitions usually involve purchase of new hardware, maybe the core Windows XP user base, the one that is jet set on staying with the old platform for the near future, is waiting to gauge the direction things settle before finalizing their choices.

Or it could just be a case of enhanced focus on desktop — as some have pegged Microsoft to be doing, going forward. Metro is here to stay, but the desktop environment has been a bit stagnant when it comes to new bells and whistles.

In any case, all involved parties would be hoping that Windows 9 goes the Windows 7 route when it comes to adoption rate, sales and response.

Windows 8 may (or may not) be the new Vista, but Windows 9 cannot afford to be.

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  • WillyThePooh

    Just adding back start menu will not satisfy those people. They want win9 to go back to win7 format. But doing so will mean total retreat from app store concept. I doubt MS will do that.

    • Ryan

      You already don’t have to use the Store app in Windows 8 and 8.1. Heck, if it bothers you to see that tile, just right click (if mouse) or hold the tile (if touch), and select “Unpin from Start”.
      Was it that hard?
      Legacy start menu can be solved by getting Classic Shell but in my opinion, mouse or touch, the Start Screen is a step forward and more advanced.

  • Alphere

    I would be totally happy if they will make two versions of windows 9, one with metro apps, and one without. Metro apps will not go to waste if they can still be supported by future windows phones and tablets.

  • carstorm

    I love the new direction MS is headed but want them to remember their roots and not forget that many avid gamers still use their OS and need the desktop to do so.