A preview of Windows 9 will be made available in either September or October,according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. That timeline keeps ‘Threshold’ — Windows 9’s codename — out into the public market as a finished product likely in early 2015.
The Windows 8 era isn’t merely closing, it’s racing to an end.
Last weekend I posited that as Windows 9 appears to be galloping to market, it’s a decent time to start saying goodbye to Windows 8. Now that Foley has revealed that Windows 9’s preview should be open to the public, for a good-sized chunk of the computing world Windows 8 is all but over — they will be able to quickly scoot over to the new code, provided that the preview isn’t too buggy.
It’s both correct and unfair to say that Windows 8’s period is ending. Windows 8 itself will soon be replaced, yes, but at the same time, much of what it brought to the market will persist. As TechCrunch wrote when it became generally known that Microsoft intended to push the desktop in Windows 9:
We’re in a potentially Office 2007 situation, when Microsoft shook up the paradigm, took a number of potshots, managed to keep the bulk of the work intact and push out Office 2010 to massive success. Provided that Microsoft can keep that which is good in Windows 8, and blend in a host of strong desktop-focused updates, prioritizing each in different weight based on device form factor, the company could have a pretty solid operating system on its hands.
There is a lot of ‘maybe’ in that, of course.
What we should keep in mind is that, according to Foley’s information, getting our hands on to Windows 9 is not something to think about as some sort of far away, future eventuality. Instead, given her stated calendar, the preview is likely no more than eight to ten weeks from the market.
How well did Windows 8 perform in its life? Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have more than 12% market share, combined. Put another way, about one in every eight PCs in use today runs Windows 8 or a variant of the operating system. Windows 8.1 is more popular than Windows 8, but the latter still controls just under six percent of PCs in the world.
It will be incredibly interesting to see how much of Windows 8’s market share its successor can nab, and how quickly. Windows 8, by way of comparison, hasn’t been known for its ability to get people off of its predecessor, Windows 7.