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Microsoft may have just put the finishing touches off of their last significant upgrade to the desktop Windows platform, Windows 8.1, but they’re not stopping there – according to long time Microsoft enthusiast and blogger Paul Thurrott, who has broke major stories about the company in the past, Microsoft is eying an April 2015 release for Windows 9.

According to Thurrott, the Windows version we’ve all been referring to as “Threshold” will indeed be the basis for Windows 9. Windows 9 should make an appearance at Microsoft’s upcoming developers conference, BUILD 2014, which will also serve as home to official announcements regarding a significant upgrade to Microsoft’s Xbox One platform as well as the oft rumored Windows Phone 8.1.

If earlier reports are to believed, Windows 9 will see the return of Microsoft’s single most requested feature – the Start Menu. Microsoft is also considering software that will allow “modern” Windows 8 applications available on the Windows Store to be run in the classic Desktop environment alongside desktop applications. Microsoft is making these changes as the company works to repair the Windows image, which has been substantially hurt by Windows 8 – highly regarded as a flop in the marketplace, a title that Windows 8.1 has done very little to repair.

If all of this sounds exciting, you may want to temper your expectations a bit – according to Thurrott, Microsoft has yet to even begin development of Windows 9, instead focusing all of their focus in the desktop on updating the Windows 8.1 platform. As such, don’t expect to see any alpha release of the software leaked onto the web or even distributed at BUILD for quite some time – leaks typically stem from pre-release builds given to Microsoft Partners, and those won’t be receiving an early build of Windows 9 until Microsoft reaches the “Milestone 1” build at a later stage of development.


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