Alright let’s face it, Windows 9 is still at least a little ways away (depending on if you believe Windows 9 is really Blue or not). At this point, little solid information is heading our way. That said, there is certainly plenty to speculate on.

What’s the point? Not everyone likes thinking about the future, but some of us truly like engaging in conversations about what the future of computing might look like. With Windows 9, the fun is trying to put the puzzle pieces together so early into the game.

I’ve already mentioned Windows 9 will likely retain the desktop, but will try and make the new Start UI more capable of doing big things like full control panel access and more. I’ve also touched on the need for continued speed improvements.

Now I’m adding three more things to the list– though the last item is pretty much related to my earlier points about the Start UI.

Tighter Cloud Integration

With Windows 8, the cloud is becoming ever more important. Sure, Windows 7 has cloud storage if you want it– but out of the box, it isn’t really a cloud computing OS.

With Windows 8, you get the ability to log in and carry certain settings with you. Expect that to become even more important in Windows 9. I expect Windows 9 to default to the cloud on most things, but will allow users to “opt out” of these features if they so choose.

Imagine all your game saves, photos, word documents and more automatically going to the cloud instead of your PC. I also imagine the possibility of full and automatic cloud syncing of your entire drive’s contents to the point that you can log in from your friends house and have access to everything.

Some of this is possible now, some of it won’t even be possible by Windows 9. The bottom-line is that the physical side of Windows will continue to disappear with each and every version of the OS that arrives.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Windows 10 or maybe 11 brings us to the point that only a small portion of the OS is actually installed on your drive, with the rest of the files being streamed from your cloud storage space.

The Addition of ReFS

This is probably a no-brainer here. ReFS is currently found in the latest Server versions of Windows but isn’t present in Windows 8. Think of this as an improved version of NTFS, in a similar way to FAT-16 and FAT-32 improvements.

Most of the features for ReFS are NOT needed by average consumers, but it is supposedly near-impossible to corrupt and is a much more secure format that might eventually make its way over even into more consumer-oriented versions of Windows.

A Bigger Push to Start UI Apps

With my last article about Windows 9’s possible features, I mostly talked about how the Start UI might be tweaked to make transitions with the desktop less jarring and to help move people away from using the desktop most of the time.

I expect this to continue full-force with Windows 9. I have a feeling Microsoft will offer incentives to get developers to release their apps only for the new UI and will likely convert all of its software to Metro/Start UI, including Office and other special Microsoft programs.

The future is unwritten and it is hard to confidently say what to expect, but these are just a few ideas. What other possible features and ideas do you think Microsoft will bring to the table with Windows 9?

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  • Simon Barrett

    Cloud 9 perhaps!