Microsoft is reportedly aiming to win back its core desktop audience with the release of Windows Threshold next year. These are the same users clinging to Windows XP and Windows 7, or perhaps even made the jump to Linux in order to avoid Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft has a chance to atone for the usability mistakes it made in Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 9, and you can expect a whole bunch of new features aimed at desktop users.
So says Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet. Based on the sources Foley has been speaking with, Windows 9 will look and work different based on the hardware it's installed on. If you install the OS on a desktop or laptop machine, it will focus on the Windows Desktop experience. And if you run a two-in-one hybrid device, Windows 9 will support switching between the Start screen and Windows mode.
The desktop SKU of Windows 9 will reportedly include a customizable mini Start menu. You'll also have the ability to run Windows Store apps in windows on the desktop, and you may even be able to turn off the Metro-esque Start screen completely.
Windows 9 is still months down the road -- think spring of 2015. In the meantime, Microsoft will reportedly deliver a second and final update for Windows 8.1.