Microsoft is reportedly on course to ditch its troubled Windows 8 operating system in 2015.According to tech blogger Paul Thurrott, the world’s biggest software maker will confirm at its Build conference in April that a project titled “Threshold” will deliver a new operating system, Windows 9.
It was scheduled, he said, to launch in April 2015 following an update to Windows 8.1 this year which would also include phone software improvements.
Microsoft released Windows 8.1 in October 2013 after being met by a flurry of complaints about the original Windows 8.
The software ditched the familiar look of previous desktop versions of Windows in favour of a new tiled layout optimised to work with touchscreen devices, such as its Surface tablet.
However, many of those who chose to use the software with a traditional mouse and keyboard found it confusing and difficult to navigate.
Microsoft said it had sold more than 100 million licences for Windows 8, but the update was planned after listening to customers.
The newer version aimed to make things easier for the millions of people still spending significant time on a PC or laptop, as well as tweaking performance and visual elements.
Changes included the return of the Start button and new gesture controls for those using touch screens.
But the modifications were seen as largely failing to address many core gripes of users, who significantly lag behind the numbers using older Microsoft OS versions.
The firm – which is attempting to refocus efforts on the tablet and mobile world – is still searching for a new boss after Steve Ballmer announced his retirement.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally ruled himself out of the running last week.
Speculation surrounding possible candidates includes Microsoft’s head of cloud computing Satya Nadella and former Nokia boss Stephen Elop.