Microsoft could present an early prototype of "Threshold" -- the codename for the next version of its Windows operating system -- at the forthcoming BUILD developers conference (April 2-4, 2014 in San Francisco), according to a number of blogs specializing in news from the Redmond-based brand. Windows 9 could be launched commercially one year later, in April 2015, according to the same sources.
Unsurprisingly, details on the features of the forthcoming operating system are being kept under wraps. Plans likely exist, however, to converge all of Microsoft's current operating systems -- for PC, smartphone, tablets and gaming consoles -- into a single platform.
Windows 8, characterized by its entirely overhauled, customizable interface and touchscreen compatibility, was released on Oct. 26, 2012. A few days later, Bill Gates himself (Microsoft's founder and chairman) mentioned in a statement that Windows and Windows Phone would someday be merged into a single operating system.