After months of conjecture, leaks and rumours, it is official; Microsoft will host a preview for Windows 9 at an event in San Francisco on September 30. On Monday evening, the technology giant sent out invites to the media for the event.
In its invite, the company says, "Join us for what's next for Windows and the Enterprise." The company is expected to host a technical preview, which perhaps could be much like the developer preview the company had held for Windows 8, back in September 2011.
Senior executives from Microsoft's operating systems group are likely to take charge of the event, which means it will be likely that Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore will showcase the next generation of Windows.
Codenamed Threshold, Windows 9 is Microsoft's first major release for its flagship product in 3 years. It is expected to unify the app development platform for Windows for the PC and Windows Phone. In the US, Microsoft is already moving away from the Windows Phone branding and Windows 9 could play a big role in that.
Windows 9 is also expected to bring major changes to the desktop, with it having a new 'start' menu and tiles that show more glanceable information. It is also expected to flatten the icons in the desktop, show some future 'Cortana' integration and have provisions for virtual desktops, like the 'spaces' concept found on OS X, which has been there for years. There could also be tweaks to the taskbar.
Probably, Microsoft will not show a feature complete version of Windows 9. US based technology website, The Verge, appears to know a bit more and claims that with the technical preview, Microsoft will keep pushing updates till it releases the final version of the operating system.
The mass consumer release of the Windows 9 is expected in 2015.
Apart from Windows 9, Microsoft will have some enterprise related announcements, which could mean that we finally may see a tablet optimised version of Office for Windows. Earlier in the year, the company released a touch optimised version of Office for the iPad.