Windows 8.2, codenamed Threshold, is on it's way, and with it, some unification of experience between Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. But of even more important news to consumers, Microsoft will be introducing a new SKU that is Desktop optimized for mouse-and-keyboard use instead of touch, and brings back THE START MENU. Thank you Microsoft. (about freaking time.) Other key features include:
- Start menu - as mentioned above, the Start button will be linked to the Start menu, the same way as it was since Windows 95
- Internet Explorer - while version 11 of the browser did not bring any noticeable changes, the next version should feature obvious visual and functional changes
- App store unification - one app store for Windows-powered tablets, phones and computers would be a logical move and it is possible to see it happening soon
- File Explorer Libraries - this feature was introduced in Windows 7, still present in Windows 8, but vanished in Windows 8.1 and it will make its comeback in Windows 8.2
The next Windows update will be free and should arrive in January 2014 or at least in "early 2014" as most rumors claim. On the other hand it has also been rumored that Microsoft could simply drop the ill-fated Windows 8 label and go straight to Windows 9, but this is one rumor to be taken with a large grain of salt.