Many reports have claimed to show off the next version of Windows in recent months, but a new leak might be the biggest one yet.
Two German websites, called Computer Base and WinFuture, have published about 20 screenshots that reportedly show off a leaked build of Windows 9. It's the next version of Microsoft's Windows OS, currently going by the codename Threshold. The screenshots allegedly belong to Threshold Build 9834.
A tonne of changes and new features are revealed in the screenshot dump, some of which include a notification centre in the lower-right corner, as well as a Start Menu, tweaked Taskbar, and a new search icon near the Start button. There's even another icon next to the Start button that might lead to a rumoured virtual-desktop feature. It would allow users to create different active desktops that they could switch between via the taskbar button.
That said, not everything was revealed in the screenshots. The Charms bar, for instance, isn't visible. It is a navigation-type feature that debuted with Windows 8. Many reports have claimed the Charms bar might not make it to the final version of Windows 9 due in spring 2015. Although the Charms bar is considered useful for touch-enabled devices, its effect is largely lost when a mouse and keyboard are thrown into the mix.
CNET recently claimed that the Charms bar is included in the Threshold Enterprise Tech Preview expected to release late this month or in early October, but that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't planning to kill the feature before next year.
One thing is for sure: Although Windows 9 isn't done yet, Microsoft seems to want to please this time around. Windows 8 wasn't well-received by critics, after all.