Microsoft send invites for Windows 9 press event on September 30th

The web is dripping from buckets of Windows 9 leaks these days…

The other day, I showed you a first look video of the new Windows 9 Start Menu and mentioned that Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows 9 at a conference on September 30th.

Well today, it’s been confirmed that Microsoft is indeed holding a press event in San Francisco on September 30th.  Several attendees received email invitations about the event and are expecting to hear Terry Myerson , EVP of Operating Systems and Joe Belfiore talk about the next big step in the Windows lineup.

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News media outlets are expecting Microsoft to release a Technical Preview of the operating system so that customers and developers can influence the final product which is slated for an early Spring 2015 release.

Hopefully we’ll see an official demonstration of all the rumored Windows 9 features such as:

  • Cortana Integration
  • Wi-fi Sense
  • Storage Sense
  • Notification Center
  • Virtual Desktops
  • The return of the Start Menu
  • Floating Modern Apps

Here’s a ultrabrief summary of each:

Cortana Integration

Simply put: Cortana is Microsoft’s Siri.

The digital assistant that Windows 8.1 Phone users have been enjoying for a while is slated to arrive in Windows 9.

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Wi-fi Sense

Wi-fi Sense can allegedly scan for nearby WiFi hotspots and automatically accept the terms and conditions without your input.  The goal is to get you online as fast as possible without having to click the I accept button that most free hotspots make you click for usage.

Currently we have a registry screenshot in Windows Technical Preview build 9834 that suggests Wi-Fi Sense is coming but we don’t have any other substantive evidence yet.

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Storage Sense

In PC Settings, in the left pane under Update and Recovery, there is a new setting called Storage Sense.

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This is probably a storage management tool that will let you manage which external drives contain your media.

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Notification Center

The new Notification Center appears as an icon in the Taskbar.  It groups alerts and makes it easy to assess changes on your system.

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Virtual Desktops

Windows 9 ostensibly allows users to create up to 7 virtual desktops by simply clicking an Add desktop “plus” button.

So instead of just using Alt + Tab to sift between apps you can click the Virtual Desktops button, located between the magnifying glass and Internet Explorer icons, to switch between complete desktops – each having its own set of running apps and preferences.

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Start Menu

The long awaited Start Menu is supposed to return in Windows 9.  It’s designed to give you the convenience of the Live Tiles on the Windows 8 and 8.1 Start Screen but with the familiarity of the Windows 7 Start Menu we all grew to love.

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Floating Modern App Windows

Modern Apps now float on the desktop like normal windows.  This could make things interesting because instead of flipping to a full screen to view the Windows Store or PC settings page you can now dock the window off to the side just like every other normal window.

This will hopefully engender a unity in the operating system that was woefully missing from Windows 8 and 8.1.

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Charms Bar

The charms bar is rumored to be gone.  Microsoft realized it was more of a bane than a boon to user productivity and is believed to have killed the idea in Windows 9.

The Bottom Line

Despite the screenshots and videos we have of Windows 9, there are still a maelstrom of rumors floating around the internet and so it’s difficult to predict exactly what we’ll see in Windows 9.

We’ll have to watch the official Microsoft press release on September 30th before we know for sure what we’ll see in Windows 9.

What do you think of Windows 9 so far?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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