year, but freshly leaked screenshots are offering an even closer look at the company’s progress towards its major desktop revamp. Two screenshots have emerged on myce that show the new Start Menu in a recent build of codename "Threshold." Microsoft is currently working on a number of products as part of its Threshold efforts, including a version of Windows that will likely be named Windows 9 when it ships next year. Microsoft is currently labelling this development version of Windows as "Windows 8.1 Pro," but this is placeholder branding until the latter stages of testing and the final name is ready and confirmed.
The new Start Menu hasn’t changed much since Microsoft demonstrated it at Build in April, but the screenshots show a variety of "Metro-style" apps that are pinned to the menu, alongside traditional applications. The Verge understands the screenshots are genuine, and that in some current development versions of "Windows 9" the Start Menu expands to maximize the screen and act like the Start Screen found in Windows 8. The second screenshot also shows how Microsoft is planning to make "Metro-style" apps run in the desktop as windowed or fullscreen. This is an essential part of Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows, to make it a lot more mouse and keyboard friendly with a significant focus on the desktop.
Microsoft is expected to ship Windows "Threshold" in early 2015, alongside improvements to the Xbox One operating system and a combined version of Windows Phone and Windows RT. The combination of Windows RT and Windows Phone will finally drop the desktop mode, and focus on "Metro-style" apps over traditional x86 desktop applications.
This article was culled from The Verge