It looks like a “technology preview” of Microsoft’s Windows 9 is coming this September, and it might be freely available to the public.
That’s according to ZDNet, which marks spring 2015 as the release window for the final OS.
The Verge has information from sources that Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 at a preview event on September 30, and instead of only making it available to developers, the public will also be able to see how things have changed after the poorly received Windows 8.
Here’s what we already know. The Start menu is set to return, and prototypes show a combination of tiles and the traditional program list. Apparently this will also be coming to Windows 8.1 at some point soon.
Windows 9 will also be able to run modern apps on the standard desktop in a windowed mode, which could remove the need to switch frequently between the Start screen and the desktop.
PC Gamer thinks it likely we’ll see a desktop version of Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri or Google Now. But it’ll probably be tied into the Bing search engine, which is hardly well-loved by net users (i.e. everyone).
Let’s hope Microsoft can learn from the mistakes of Windows 8 and deliver something to please PC users the world over.