Microsoft is to unveil Windows 9 in April in an effort to step up its game in the increasingly competitive market for tablet and laptop computers, according to a report on Monday by prominent Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott.
The report said that the software giant was pushing through the upgrade to mitigate the poor reception of Windows 8. That operating system, first release in 2012, attempts to bridge the gap between traditional Windows laptops and tablets powered by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. But it has been largely shunned by consumers unsure of how to use the hybrid software.
According to Thurrott the new OS would address the biggest criticism of Windows 8, the absence of the traditional start menu. It would also reintroduce the old-style desktop which was ditched in favour of Microsoft’s confusing Metro design, the report said.
The new design, codenamed “Threshold”, will be unveiled at Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference in April, with plans to release the software to market a year later, the report said.
The company is searching for a replacement for outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. He announced his departure last year following widespread criticism for failing to prepare the PC-reliant company for the switch to smartphones and tablet computers.