Windows 9, Windows 8.1 Update 2 Release Date: New Features and Security Update

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | June 24, 2014 2:47 PM EST

The slated Windows 9 release date is April 2015 and it is considered as the crucial product that could outline the growth trajectory of Microsoft in the future. In addition to Windows 9, the tech giant Microsoft has scheduled the release of its second major Windows 8.1 update, dubbed Windows 8.1 Update 2, between August and September 2014. This update will be available for free to Windows 8.1 Update 1 users, according to BGR via hacker group WZOR.

Reuters
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he speaks at the company's "build" conference in San Francisco in this file photo taken April 2, 2014. Microsoft Corp's new Chief Executive Satya Nadella likes to boast that Bing is growing and powers 30 percent of the Internet search market, making it a worthy competitor to Google Inc. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS)

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Nevertheless, Microsoft is planning to sell Windows 8.1 Update 2 at a relatively low-price to Windows users with earlier/older versions of Windows on their systems but would like to get the latest OS update. Interestingly, an earlier report from the same source pointed out that Microsoft's forthcoming major Windows release i.e. Windows 9 will also come free of charge to users.

New Features

According to the hacker group WZOR, Windows 9 Enterprise edition might come with the much-awaited ability to disable Metro 2.0. Microsoft has scheduled a special event between June 23 - 27, 2014, where Windows 8.1 Update 2 could get an 'RTM Escrow' status.

For those unfamiliar with the term 'RTM Escrow,' it is a status where the development of the product has stopped and finalizing has begun. Thus, there will not be any new features added further on the product.

Also according to Mary Jo Foley via Winbeta, Microsoft will release Windows 9 in three different versions, a traditional SKU, a touch-based SKU and an Enterprise Edition SKU. In addition, Windows 9 Enterprise Edition might get rid of the cloud-based integration. If rumors were true, the long-awaited Windows classic 'Start Menu' will not be part of the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 but it is slated for Windows 9 release.

Security Update

In the run up to the release, the Redmond based tech giant has constricted the security in order to keep a tab on the leaks. As BGR puts it, Microsoft employees are provided with personal Windows OS copies that would make the tracking down of the potential informant easier for the company.

This new security policy targeting the unannounced Windows versions is aimed at curtailing leaks from Microsoft's China offices. Notably, China is the major source of Windows OS related leaks. Also it is worth mentioning that, the Chinese Government announced recently that they have shunned the usage of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 on Government systems. The quoted reason was the cloud/Modern UI integration in the new Windows OS. In addition to China, Russia is another country with some of the security restrictions from Microsoft on the unreleased products.

Do you think the classic 'Start Menu' will make it to Windows 8.1 Update 2? Feel free to leave a comment.

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(Photo: Reuters / ROBERT GALBRAITH)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he speaks at the company's "build" conference in San Francisco in this file photo taken April 2, 2014. Microsoft Corp's new Chief Executive Satya Nadella likes to boast that Bing is growing and powers 30 percent of the Internet search market, making it a worthy competitor to Google Inc. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS)
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