Windows 9 To Be A Free Upgrade?
Hot on the heels of reports that the next update to Windows 8.1 is due to arrive on the next Patch Tuesday, August 12, is a report suggesting Windows 9 will be a free upgrade.
The free upgrade, which could end up as a “special deal”, only appears to be for users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, with no mention of Windows 8 and 8.1 users getting the same deal.
The free upgrade and/or special deal would clearly be a big push from Microsoft to erase the continuing Windows 8/8.1 nightmares, to help encourage XP holdouts and to get propel Windows 9 even further than the popularity Windows 7 still enjoys.
Veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley helped spread these rumours in her latest report on the coming non-mandatory Windows 8.1 “Update 2”, although Microsoft won’t be using that title for the update.
The update was once planned to be major, and set to re-introduce the much-missed traditional Windows Start Menu, but sadly, this has been pushed back for the impending April 2015 Windows 9 release, codenamed Threshold.
Interestingly, despite my complaints that Microsoft had done extremely little for users of touch pads on notebooks and ultrabooks over the years, which fly in the face of Apple’s absolute “trackpad” precision and perfection for its MacBooks, it turns out that the next Windows 8.1 update will finally offer some touchpad improvements.
Ms Foley states that the first big enhancement for the coming update allows “precision touchpad improvements”, with three new settings, allowing users to leave the touchpad on when a mouse is connected, allowing “right clicks” on the touchpad and the ability to double-tap and drag.
These features have already been part of touchpad drivers from Synaptics, Elan and others, with these features presumably due to arrive as part of the standard Windows 9 touchpad driver feature set for the first time – something that seems absolutely ridiculous given the number of years touchpads have been around.
The second big update is for Miracast, letting developers to set the computer up as a Miracast receiver. This will let end-users mirror the screens of various devices to the desktop.
The third big update fine tunes SharePoint Online logins, ensuring users who select “keep me signed in” won’t keep getting requests to sign in again on future login attempts.
However, as far as big updates go, that’s it until Windows 9, with no further major Windows 8.1 updates currently planned for the rest of this year.