What we know about Windows 9 so far? Start Menu, notification center, Charms Bar and more


Microsoft is ready to unveil the next version of Windows and the success or Windows 8 on September 30, 2014 during an event. Windows 9 would be the twelveth installment of the graphical user interface (GUI) based operating system for PC’s.

Microsoft released the first ever version of Windows back in 1985 but, it was not a GUI based OS instead, it used command lines to work. With Windows 3.x release in 1990, Microsoft changed the functionality of the PC with a GUI based OS named Windows. Now, after about fourteen years, Windows is running on billions of PC’s laptops, ultrabooks and tablets around the world.

Windows 9 mockup wallpapre

Microsoft has announced that it will unveil the next generation Windows on September 30, 2014 where it will also be launched in preview for developers. The successor of the Windows 8.x and probably the most anticipated version of Windows, Windows 9 will bring many new features – some of them are also back track by Microsoft towards Windows 7 which is the most popular version of Windows till date.

Microsoft will add many new awesome features in Windows 9 codenamed Threshold where some of them are also the result of user feedback like the Start Menu.

Let’s talk about the known features of the Windows 9 which can be expected in the preview or final version of Windows 9.

Start Menu with live tiles

Microsoft has decided to add the Start Menu from Windows 7 back in Windows 9 where the Modern tiles will also be part of it. You will get Windows 7-styled Start Menu along with some mix of tiles from Start Screen of Windows 8.x – Ofcourse, you would be able to unpin the tiles from Start Screen if you don’t like the tiles.

Modern apps on desktop:

Microsoft is finally adding the native support to launch and run Modern apps from Windows Store in the desktop environment in windowed mode. You would be able to run as much apps as you like in windowed or full screen mode on desktop. The apps will also be resizable according to your desires similar to what can be done with x86 apps on desktop.

New location for Charms Bar

Microsoft has decided to remove the well-known Charms Bar from Windows 8. Windows 9 won’t include the Charms Bar accessible from right side of screen instead their options will be moved to app title bars on desktop whereas, its implementation on touch screen devices is still unknown. Windows 8 users like me will surely miss the old position of the Charms Bar due to being able to access them quickly from right side of screen.

No Modern interface for desktops

Microsoft has finally decided that it won’t give the desktop users with mouse and keyboard the option to use Modern interface instead, everything can be used on the desktop by them. On the other hand, you will be able to enable Modern interface including Start Screen from registry tweaks and/or provided option in Start Menu properties but, by default, it is disabled – it doesn’t matter much since, Windows 8.x already boots to the desktop by default on non-touch screen devices.

Coming to the touch screen devices like the Surface tablets, Microsoft will let them boot and use the Modern interface easily and desktop won’t be accessible by them, by default.

Notifications Center

Microsoft is finally adding the most-wanted Notifications Center from Windows Phone 8.1 in Windows 9 where all your notifications from Windows and its apps would be showed. The Notifications center would be accessible from desktop through a quick-launch icon pinned to taskbar.

Virtual Desktops

Microsoft is finally adding true multitasking capabilities in Windows 9 where users will be able to use multiple instances of the desktop with different apps on each. This virtual desktop feature will let you get the most out of desktop while multitasking and using a lot of apps at the same time. You would be able to manage and create new virtual desktops from bar just above the taskbar.

Cortana integration

Microsoft is also adding the Cortana, the personal voice-based digital assistant from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 9 where it will perform similar tasks including event reminders, setting alarms, making calls for you, taking notes, getting you latest news and weather updates and some funny thing like telling jokes and identifying songs etc. Cortana can also suggest you nearby places which you can visit like restaurants, shopping centers and more.

Regular updates for new features

Windows 9 would be the first ever version of Windows by Microsoft which will get regular feature updates without the need to actually reinstall the whole OS. Instead, Microsoft has added the update button in Windows Update which will install just the new features. Windows 9, once launched as Preview might not get all features but, more would be added in the updates during coming months.

Kernel version

Microsoft will bump the Windows NT kernel version of Windows 9 to 6.4 whereas, Windows 8.x has the 6.3 version.

New icons on desktop

Microsoft is finally adding new icons for desktop items including File Explorer, Desktop, hard drive icons in This PC and more.

Well, the above features are probably a fraction of the actual ones found in Windows 9 but, we will have to see what other features are part of Windows 9 once it is released as preview on September 30, 2014.

Stay tuned on our sister blog, www.windowsalle.com for complete coverage of Windows 9 and its news.


Ahmad Wahid

Being a University student of computer, has developed keen interest in technology and like to test out the new gadgets. His interests include Social Networking as well.