According to new information from Russian leaker, WZOR, Microsoft is readying the return of the Start menu for Windows 8.x by September time frame. The new Start menu will roll out as part a special update, presumably called Windows 8.1 Update 2 or Windows 8.2.
The Start menu Microsoft plans to release is the one demoed during the BUILD developer conference. The menu is a mix of the old Windows 7 Start menu with a touch of the new Start screen, where users will be able to add rows of Live Tiles and easily access to new modern options.
Microsoft is also rumored to introduce an updated version of the Metro user-interface for the next version of its operating system, Windows 9. Recently the Microsoft Research team showed off new Live Tiles concept called “Interactive Tile”, which basically allows users to interact with apps from Live Tiles rather than just providing notifications, however there isn’t much details at this time.
WZOR also states that Windows 9 will preserve the start button on desktop computers and on servers. But the Start button for Windows 9 on touch devices will be different.
The “shocking” detail in today’s rumor is that Microsoft might also be considering to offer Windows 9 for free. The company recently introduced Windows 8.1 for free to PC makers to install the OS on low-cost devices under $250 and Windows Phone 8.1 for free to compete with Google. So it won’t be crazy if the company allows customers to get operating system for free while focusing revenue on services and devices.
Finally, the software giant is also rumored to be working on a new operating system called “Windows Cloud”, a software that will pretty much depend one-hundred percent on internet connectivity to work. But apparently while offline, Windows Cloud will be able to run with limited functionality. Does this sound familiar? It should, because this is very Chrome OS like. It will be interesting if the company also tries to go after Chromebook users with this new OS, as the company previously released a marketing campaign focusing on how unproductive a Chrome OS device is without an internet connection.
As with any rumor, these are just rumors, so take them with a grain of salt as the company has yet to comment on Windows 8.1 Update 2 or Windows 8.2, even Windows 9 or future release of Windows 10.
Update: New report suggests second update for Windows 8.1 may arrive in August and not in September as mentioned above.