Windows 9 Leaked Screens Revealing Known Unknowns

Gavin Phillips 21-09-2014

Windows 9 What Can You Expect From Windows 9? Threshold Rumors Summarized In a few weeks, Microsoft will release its first official preview of Windows 9, code-named Threshold. Let's see whether this new Windows incarnation could meet your needs. Read More is dropping its veil. Most recently, two German computing sites, ComputerBase and WinFuture, released what looked like a leaked build of a Windows Threshold Enterprise Tech Preview – or Windows 9 to you and I. If confirmed, the screenshots give an unprecedented insight into what we might expect from the latest iteration of Windows before its official 30th September preview date. Here’s the long awaited new operating system smell we are all so fond of.


The New Start Menu Looks Great

We heard way back in April that the much beloved Start menu 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More would be returning, now updated as fully Windows ecosystem integrated search feature, serving results from your personal indexed locations and the Windows App store, offering comprehensive search functionality in a familiar location – more on this later.

The new look Start menu appears to be fully interactive, allowing for resizing, relocation and reconfiguration of each tile as part of a fully customisable experience, porting the sometimes frustrating and seemingly endlessly scrolling Windows 8 Start menu interface into a bite size, functional work tool.

New Icons Are Nice, Too.

The leaked screens indicate a smattering of new icons across both the traditional desktop and the modern interface experience formerly known as ‘Metro,’ providing updates on the UI style established with the release of Windows 8 The Windows 8 Guide This Windows 8 guide outlines everything new about Windows 8, from the tablet-like start screen to the new "app" concept to the familiar desktop mode. Read More and now found across the Windows digital and mobile spectrum. This is part of a wider shift in the focus of Windows toward expansion of their mobile and tablet sales through desktop and mobile integration, similar to the continued merging of all Apple products: one UI, one cloud, a united vision for integration.

Windows 9 Desktop/Start menu leak 2014

Cortana Meets Your Desktop

Two of the most exciting aspects of Windows 9 will be virtual desktop support and the introduction of the brilliant Cortana Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Bored with no one to talk to? Why not strike up a conversation with your Windows Phone? These cues will make Cortana talk. Read More to our home screens. Given Windows previous commitments to its virtual assistant How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More Cortana, it seems likely she will appear in some format (Paperclip, anyone?!), most likely as a wholly unified aspect of the search function whose icon you will note nestled next to the Start menu, essentially making the taskbar her domicile.


Virtual Desktops Look Promising

The second interesting leak development has been virtual desktops Bring Mac's Best Window Management Features To Windows Bring Mac-style window management to Windows. If you've ever been jealous of features like Expose and Spaces, BetterDesktopTool is here to bring them to your PC. Read More . Windows 9 offers the chance to create distinct workspaces on the fly that will presumably – as part of the wider networking and integration efforts being undertaken throughout the company – come with or work well with a wider network sharing tool for community/office/social online workspaces. On a more basic level, simply having a desktop configuration for home, work and play could prove handy for those looking for more.

Particularly interesting and of massive productivity potential is the popup overlays for each desktop, allowing an interactive insight into each virtual workspace. No more endless scrolling through open windows via ALT+TAB, only to miss your scheduled stop. A potential nightmare for employers, however, with employees cycling through from Excel to their office game of OpenTTD and back again.

How, What and Why: Microsoft Are Evolving

Productivity and integration seem to be central to the ‘new’ Windows ethos. The introduction of Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s CEO has promoted a company-wide unification message, clearly enacting a vision of a merged, integrated future for all Windows desktop, mobile and Xbox devices. Productivity is key to the success How To Maximize Your Productivity Anywhere With telecommuting lifestyles taking off, work is not limited by hours or locations. Here are a few pointers to help you make the best of working on a notebook while on the move. Read More of Nadella’s future and indeed, the continued future of Windows 9. Shifting quickly between screens, integrated desk applications and wider Windows device support all point to a serious Microsoft, pushing to and beginning to truly understand their role in the contemporary digital market.

Satya Nadella


It seems that Windows 9 will be provided to officially licensed users as a free upgrade (or for $20, where applicable) and potentially to new users also. In recognition of our social mobile concentrated society and the shifting demographics of desktop users, updates are likely to come in smaller, more frequent packages to enable continued development – though according to Microsoft coverage savant, Mary Jo Foley, there is another, more consumer focused preview (see Windows 9 running on ARM processors) on its way to establish what has been built with tablet and mobile users in mind.

So, was Windows 8 the new Vista 7 More Issues With Windows 8.1 That Can Be Fixed Want to get rid of the Charms bar, restore libraries or lost your Administrator account? Lots of things can go wrong in Windows 8.1! Here's how to fix the most annoying issues. Read More ? Probably. Will Windows 9 be the new 7? Hopefully!

Oh, and did we mention the charms bar might be gone? Let us know what you think!

Image Credits: ComputerBase, WinFuture, WinFuture, WindowsITPro and ExtremeTech


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  1. Mohammad Malik
    October 19, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Your Attention PLEASE! There has been a mistake, Windows 9 was under development but they skipped it and now, Windows 10 is in development!
    I f you do not believe me:
    Visit This Link

  2. J V
    September 23, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Free upgrade with virtual desktops? Linux 5 years ago.

    • sgb
      September 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      More like 20 years ago, on GNU/Linux, and virtual desktops predate that OS by another decade.

  3. Kevin M
    September 23, 2014 at 12:40 am

    How do you get away titling an article as fact when in your first statement you clearly say "released what looked like a leaked build of a Windows Threshold Enterprise Tech Preview"? So is it known or is it unknown? You cannot have it both ways!

    • Gavin
      October 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      The title was a play on the iconic Donald Rumsfeld speech where he declared:

      'There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.'

      At the time, W10 was a known unknown. We knew it existed and that shots had been leaked, but we knew we didn't really know much about it. Sorry for the confusion.

      Now we know lots more:


    • Kevin M.
      October 20, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Yea and that is why nobody believes reporters! They used to report facts and now they think because some dimwitted moron politician makes it sound OK that makes it OK? Yea whatever!

  4. Jed
    September 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    With the possible exception of Cortana, this is nothing you can't get on Linux for free - and with WPS Office (which is EXCELLENT at reading and writeing the docx/xlsx/pptx formats) available for Linux, now is a great time for anyone to jump on board! Personally, I recommend Linux Mint, with Cinnamon desktop, and then install WPS Office (as mentioned) first chance you get, and you're all set!

  5. Joel L
    September 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    This looks like an interesting compromise. If the offer for a free upgrade stands, I'll probably take it.

  6. Luis A Ramos Jr
    September 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    This is looks to be something good from Microsoft. I have not used Windows 8 because of all the stuff with Metro interface and start menu issue. I used Win 7 on my laptop and if the free upgrade can be put on laptop then i will a least play with the new OS from Microsoft.

    • Kevin M
      September 23, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Just use Stardocks Windows 8 Start Menu (like $5) and you never ever have to see the crap they forced on us. I have to say I was a late adopter of 8 but it truly is fast as hell and I have yet to miss anything from 7 and everything I have runs on it perfectly.

  7. George M
    September 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm


  8. Fritz G
    September 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    If it's a free upgrade, I'll look at it for my XP computers, although I doubt there is enough hard drive capacity on my old laptop to use it. Free or not, I won't do anything to my desktop running 7 until support for it is dropped. Eventually, I expect to be using the Chrome OS when they become more suitable for a desktop instead of mainly a laptop OS like they are now.

    • Karl
      September 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      There's always Linux. That's all ChromeOS really is anyway - a closed Linux distro. Ubuntu-based distros like Mint are so pre-packaged anymore - not to mention, customizable with any desktop and file manager you choose. Chances are, I'll be running 9 on one laptop and Mint on another.

    • John Deaux
      September 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      ChromeOS works fine as a desktop. I'm typing this on my desktop, an Asus Chromebox. I don't expect to ever buy a conventional desktop computer again. It's a dead paradigm.

    • Rusty H
      September 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

      I've read that it is a free update for people Windows 8. As tight is Microsoft is, I was surprised at that. A free update for XP users? I can't see how.

  9. Etherimos
    September 22, 2014 at 1:57 am

    It looks like the bastard offspring of 7&8... Microsoft should have drowned it at it's conception.

  10. Enes I
    September 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Nothing special as always .

    • Karl
      October 6, 2014 at 1:42 am

      Thanks, I've been using QTTabbar - I just wonder when MS will ever incorporate this concept.

  11. Karl
    September 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Now, let's get a tabbed Win Explorer!

    • Chris
      September 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Actually...that is a terrific idea. As long as they make the hotkeys similar to Firefox (Ctrl+T for new tab, Ctrl+W to close tab, and Ctrl+Tab to cycle tabs) that would be terrific.

      Beyond that, there was actually a really nice feature of the gedit text editor that I stumbled upon when I was trapped using it: you could switch between tabs using Alt+1 to jump to the first tab, Alt+2 to jump to the second, etc. It lacked the ability to use Ctrl+tab, which was frustrating, but if Windows explorer implemented both it would be very useful if you had several tabs open.

    • Tina
      October 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      If you want a tabbed Windows Explorer, you can get it using third party tools: //

  12. ed
    September 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Instead of a mashup of modern/metro and desktop icons, it would be nice to see a little less laziness out of MS and just convert all icons to modern/metro icons.

    Also, convert the included desktop utilities such as notepad, wordpad, file explorer, control panel, etc... to look more like metro apps (at the very least change the ribbon menu to be more metro-ish).

    Consistency please :)

    • bnjohanson
      September 22, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      ...all of that can be customized to one or another...and even delete, i.e. the metro-style to the right in the Start Menu can be removed completely.

      If many of you were judges in a beauty contest, half of the contestants would slit their wrists...

  13. likefunbutnot
    September 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I actually like to use a combination of a Start Menu replacement and the new Start Screen. I move around between a number of different Win8-derived systems, everything from Surface Tablets to Server 2012r2 machines to HTPCs on big screens. Both the classic start menu and the new start screen definitely have a place.

    I wish that Microsoft gave users the ability to flag certain content as inappropriate for Live Tile usage. It kind of annoys me that an occasional professional contact shows up on my "People" list and I hate that fact that I had to reorganize all my photo and videos to ensure that nothing private makes its way to relevant Live Tiles. That's the customization I'm waiting for.

    Also, multi-screen desktops are one of those things that have been around forever. I've used various third party applications to enable that on Windows over the last 15 years or so, after becoming used to it on UNIX systems. I always figured it was something Microsoft was philosophically opposed to for some reason or other. It's great that it will finally be an official part of the OS, but it's very strange that Microsoft is so late to implement it.