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Another Windows out the window

by Jocelyn Beaudet September 9, 2014
Another Windows out the window

Out with the old, in with the new: Windows 9 is already on the way

It’s only been two years since the last major version of Windows was released to the shelves. Only one year since its major update with version 8.1. But the rumor mill’s been churning, and a handful of tech sites have already reported Windows 9 as being in the works, with a hopeful release date in 2015. But is it too early for another major change in the way we run our PCs?

Let’s be honest, Windows 8 had a very rocky launch. Users complained about the touch-friendly interface being poorly implemented into traditional laptop and desktop users. To add to it, Microsoft’s decision to remove the beloved start menu had very few supporters. In truth, the decision to merge its touch-friendly interface with the “metro” styled start screen (which is already well implemented into the Xbox360 and Xbox One platform) emphasized on users switching over to Microsoft’s “Surface” PCs. Unfortunately the sales on Surface hardware didn’t go so hot, leaving Windows 8 in an odd limbo state between what tablet users want, and what traditional PC users have been asking for. The Windows’ 8.1 update provided some welcome changes in stability and strength, as well as compliance with a lot of older software.

The announcement of Windows 9 – rumored to be released in mid-2015 – comes as a bit of a shock to a handful of people. Given Microsoft’s presence on campus and the strong push to advertise the strengths behind Windows 8, it almost feels like the release date is premature. There isn’t much we know about Windows 9, but a bigger focus on the start menu has been leaked to several online tech sites.

The move to release this early after Windows 8 suggests one of two things; Either Microsoft’s bad press on Windows 8 is forcing them to push out a large content upgrade under a new name in hopes of refreshing its brand, or the company is planning on a tighter release schedule for its future operating systems. The latter option is, quite honestly, a little disturbing to say the least. Given the heavy price of buying a new operating system, students may be left behind on support for popular applications they use for courses.

Regardless of their reasoning, users who are planning on buying an upgrade kit can still expect a much smaller deal — comparable prices can be expected. With the student edition of Windows 8.1 currently going for about $70, the only question to answer is whether or not users using Windows 7 will have the opportunity to upgrade directly to 9, or if they’ll need to purchase a brand new licence.

Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 will continue on until January 2018, so if you aren’t in a hurry to upgrade, you don’t have to worry about being left too far behind in the long run.

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