While very many people haven’t yet upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, and very many people have stuck with Windows XP, it seems that Microsoft will show off Windows 9 soon.
Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows has delivered some Windows 9 screenshots from sources he is not ready to name in advance of Windows Technical Preview – due out in October.
And guess what, Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu. There was much gnashing of teeth when it decided not to build it into Windows 8.x Start menu, particularly among corporate users of the operating system.
The preview uses the same Store as Windows 8.1, while mobile apps will run in floating windows on the desktop, according to Paul Thurrott.
Microsoft has a long running record of producing versions of Windows that are dogs followed by versions that are functional and popular.
Windows Vista was a dog, and Windows 8.x is a pooch too. Perhaps Windows 9 will be better.
Data from StatCounter Global Stats showed that Windows XP s still the world’s second most popular operating system.
That’s despite the fact that earlier this year Microsoft pulled the plug on XP, apart from on embedded devices.
StatCounter said that Windows 8.1 now has more volume than Windows 8.0 – representing 7.5 percent of OS share.
Windows 7.0 refuses to go away – it has a market share of 50.3 percent in the USA, with XP on 12.9 percent. Windows 7 is expected to be EOLed next year, forcing the world+dog over to 8.1 in preparation for the introduction of Windows 9.
The figures are based on 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites – it’s possible to distinguish between 8 and 8.1 because the latter has a distinct user agent.
StatCounter data is here.
Windows 8.1 goes on general release today as a free upgrade for people with Windows 8, and it will also be on new Wintel machines worldwide too.
As we reported from Computex earlier this year, Microsoft was essentially forced to re-institute the start button and to make other improvements following a more than lukewarm welcome from the channel and from end users at launch.
Microsoft has a partner blog, here, and according to The Final Step, to CCS Media and to Centrix software. James Hardy, at CCS Media says: “I genuinely believe that Windows 8 offers more in a touch device that can be found anywhere else on the market. Windows 8.1…. provides IT departments with the ability to customise devices to suit the needs of their business.”
We’d be interested to hear from other partners what they believe to be true about Windows 8.1 – we suspect that not all of them are going to be quite so gung ho about the upgrade as the three companies listed above.