Consumers are expected to be allowed to test-drive the new Windows 9 Preview later this month, but according to a new report, Microsoft’s partners have already received an early build of the operating system and are running it as we speak.
The information comes via Neowin, who also writes that some OEMs actually got the preview version of Windows 9 a few weeks ago, but the majority are only now getting their hands on what’s said to be the very first glimpse of Microsoft’s new operating system.
Unfortunately for people who expected to see a leak happening when partners received the testing build, this is very unlikely due to the new security measures implemented in these new ISOs, as Microsoft wants to make sure that nobody publishes early versions of the software to the web before the public launch later this month.
Windows 9 Preview should see daylight for consumers on September 30 or soon after that, with Microsoft expected to hold a press conference to discuss plans for the upcoming OS version.
The build, however, might be more aimed at enterprises, so consumers could only get a limited number of features.
Word is that some of the new options that could be part of the final Windows 9 build might not actually be available in the preview flavor. Microsoft has implemented a new update system, independent from the standard Windows Update, which would allow the company to introduce new features and add new options without the need for a clean reinstall of the operating system.
Windows 9 is very likely to bring a lot of new options to users, including a Start menu, options to run Metro apps on the desktop, and a desktop version of Cortana.
At the same time, people familiar with the matter have said that Microsoft is very likely to make the upcoming Windows 9 a lot more affordable in order to boost early adoption and to convince more users to upgrade, but it’s not yet clear whether these plans include a freeware license or special upgrade offers.
Some people have suggested that a freeware Windows 9 license for Windows 8.1 adopters is also very likely, while others have indicated that Microsoft could go as far as offering Windows 9 free of charge to all those running a previous version of Windows, such as XP and 7.
Of course, nothing is confirmed so far, but more details should be provided soon when the preview build comes out.