Microsoft might be preparing to give the public its first taste of Windows 9 between the second and third quarters of 2015, according to a newly leaked document.
Tech blog Myce has obtained a leaked internal Microsoft document from a source in China known as FaiKee.
The document, first spotted on Myce’s website by Windows blog WinBeta, lists both Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 as scheduled for a release preview between Q2 and Q3 2015.
Here’s a screenshot of the document:
A release preview is exactly what it’s name suggests. It’s a nearly finished version of the software that the public gets to mess around with before the official launch.
This aligns with previous rumours that appeared in January, when Windows blogger Paul Thurrott reported that the next major Windows release would launch in 2015.
The document also mentions another unreleased Windows product in its alpha stage known as Windows 365, which could be a reference to Microsoft’s rumoured subscription version of its operating system.
At the end of April, Ars Technica heard from a tipster that Windows 9 would include some sort of subscription-based system, although it’s unclear exactly how that would play out.
One potential scenario is that the core operating system would be free, while users would have to pay for additional features.
Windows 9 is believed to address many of the complaints that resulted from Windows 8. Among other features, the new software may allow users to run “modern UI” apps on the desktop. This means you’ll be able to use apps from the Windows Store in desktop mode as well.
The next version of Windows, which is rumoured to be codenamed “Threshold” internally, may also re-introduce the classic Start menu.
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