Windows 9 is looming ever closer on the horizon, and leaked screenshots of a developer build hints that the new operating system (OS) will include a new Start Menu alongside windowed Metro / Modern-style apps.
The screenshots were obtained by Myce, and were pinched from a Windows build codenamed "Threshold." This moniker is widely believed to reference Windows 9, which will ship next year.
Read more: Windows 9 will shine because of Windows 8's failings (opens in new tab)
The screenshots prove that Windows 9 will mark a major desktop revamp for Microsoft's OS. We caught a glimpse of a new start menu earlier this year at Microsoft's Build conference in April, but these leaks are the first time fully windowed apps have been mentioned.(opens in new tab)
If the redesign ultimately allows resizable apps that can run on the desktop and a start menu, Windows 9 would be a pretty sharp turn away from the future that Windows 8 promised; more like Windows 7 with an app store and a touch-friendly UI option.
Read more: More images leaked of Windows 9 Start menu (opens in new tab)
Some may see that as a step backwards, but Windows 8 was widely criticised when it first launched for departing too dramatically from what loyal Windows customers were used to. One of the key problems with Windows 8 is that it can be difficult to navigate from a desktop PC – it focussed too strongly on the still relatively nascent tablet market.
A hybrid of the best features of Windows 7 and Windows 8 could make for the perfect cocktail of success in Windows 9, pleasing both PC and touchscreen users by making it more mouse and keyboard friendly.
What are you expecting from Windows 9? Let us know in the comments below, or on our new live chat feature "ITProPortal Spot" in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.(opens in new tab)