When Microsoft first released Windows 8 back in October 2012, one of the main pushes and focuses of the operating system was its Metro UI. Microsoft envisioned the Metro UI to be the next big thing for their Windows platform, but after much backlash and anger from customers and fans, the company decided it might be best for them to reduce the elements of this design language. In the Windows 8.1 update, we saw more attention and love with the desktop that felt like it was thrown aside in the original version of Windows 8. In Windows 8.1, you had the ability to boot directly to the desktop, run Metro apps in the desktop mode, the Start button was reintroduced with more functionality and a ton more. However, the Metro UI is still very prevalent throughout the user-interface. The Charms Bar is still located on the right and the Metro UI design can still be found through numerous elements of the operating system. Windows 9 is expected to launch sometime next year, and according to new reports, it appears that Microsoft is looking to reduced the presence of the Metro UI even more so than they already have.
One of the biggest changes with this, is the fact that these new reports suggest that Microsoft will be getting rid of the Charms Bar in Windows 9. The Charms Bar in Windows right now allows users to swipe over from the right and have access to search, share, got to the Start screen, view connected devices and have quick access to settings. With touchscreens, the Charms Bar can work really nicely. However, trying to access it with a standard mouse proves to be more difficult than practical. Elements of the Charms Bar are expected to still be present throughout Windows 8 applications, but the actual Charms Bar itself won’t be making a reappearance in the newest version of the Windows OS.
Another big improvement that is supposedly finding its way to Windows 9 are virtual desktops. The site Neowin recently reported that this feature would be making its way over to the next iteration of Windows, allowing users to set up and create completely separate desktops for truly powerful multitasking. Apple’s own OS X has been utilizing virtual desktops for quite some time, so heavy users and business people should be pretty excited about this addition to the platform.
As far as the release of Windows 9 goes, things are still a bit murky. We are expecting Microsoft to release some sort of preview to developers sometime before 2014 is over, with an official release sometime in 2015. Windows 8 wasn’t quite the success that Microsoft was hoping to see, but if these current reports on Windows 9 to turn out to be true, we could be looking at one incredible version of the desktop operating system. Microsoft has had almost two years to see where they went wrong with Windows 8, and is now ready to show the world that they were able to learn from those mistakes.