Talking tech since 2003

Just a couple weeks ago, we heard that Microsoft’s next change to Windows 8.1 – known as Update 2 – was scheduled for August 12. That’s in just over a week, and a new report says that Update 2 will offer up a teeny tiny user interface tweak.

According to a post on ZDNet today, the new update will “include some relatively minor design changes.” However, those enhancements will be “nothing big, feature-wise.” The exact nature of those enhancements is something of a mystery, though. What kinds of tweaks might we see if they’re not the mini Start Menu we’ve been hoping for?

On that note, the post also reports that the mini Start Menu – the one that hearkens back to Windows 7 while retaining some of the Modern UI elements from Windows 8 – was removed from Update 2 a few months ago. The reason, it seems, was to make Windows 9, aka “Threshold,” that much more appealing to users who opted out of Windows 8 and 8.1.

In fact if the post’s author, regular Windows and Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley, is right, this may be the last year we hear much at all about Windows 8 or 8.1:

“From what my sources are saying, Microsoft is unlikely to deliver a third update to Windows 8.1 later this fall. There are some who believe the company could opt to deliver one more update to Windows 8.1 that would include some new features, possibly this fall. […] But others said the operating systems team is leaning toward putting all the wood behind the Windows 9 arrow, while continuing to deliver small monthly updates and fixes to Windows 8.1 until Windows 9/Threshold arrives.”

That makes a lot of sense – more, in fact, than continuing to modify Windows 8 so that users feel good about it again. Microsoft seems to have a habit of hitting and missing with every other OS release. Windows XP, of course, was one of the biggest OS successes for Microsoft in a long time, while Windows Vista managed to make everyone on earth miserable. From there, Windows 7 seemed to correct Vista’s problems while delivering a better experience. Then Windows 8 rolled around and made everyone mad again, emphasizing a touch-based UI when most people were still using keyboards and mouse. Windows 9, it seems, will bring the OS back to a place that users are hoping for.

What’s all this mean? Beware of Windows 10.

[Source: ZDNet]

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