Microsoft is gearing up to reveal its latest major update to Windows, codenamed “Threshold” at a press event tentatively set for late September, according to a report by the Verge.
The update is slated to contain a return to a desktop Start menu that will look and feel more familiar to people who are used to Microsoft’s older operating systems like Windows 7. The new update is also slated to allow people to use apps that take advantage of Windows’s new “modern” user interface on the desktop rather than requiring them to run in full-screen mode.
In addition, Microsoft is reportedly planning to add a stand-alone app version of its Cortana virtual assistant in the new release, which will allow users to talk to their computer in order to perform certain tasks. Cortana was first announced at the company’s Build developer conference earlier this year, and is available for Windows Phone users through the Windows Phone 8.1 update.
The announcement will come alongside a technical preview of the new OS, according to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet. The preview, which Foley says will be free and open to the public, will allow interested people to get their hands on a first look of who the OS will behave. Developers will also have a chance to start testing how their apps will behave in the new release environment.
It’s unclear what the timeline is for Microsoft’s final release of Windows 9, but the company released its first preview build of Windows 8 to the public about a year before the final operating system shipped.
A spokesperson for Microsoft declined to comment on the reports.