So as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) investors should have heard, the company will be releasing a technical preview of its next generation of Windows (Windows 9, or codename "Threshold").
Some have speculated that this version of Windows will restore confidence in Windows and stop the bleeding from the debacle with the previous-generation Operating System - Windows 8.
I think investors should look a little more closely at what benefits Windows 9 is said to be offering, and there are two things that stand out to me.
Everyone who watches this space knows that this seems to be a rushed update to get Windows 8 off the books.
The timing indicates that Microsoft is primarily going to be putting something together to appease consumers and businesses.
Windows 8 was poorly received, and it's clear that this Operating System will primarily be a cleanup job.
The (alleged) features
The changes that have been described so far seem to be cosmetic and non-innovative.
Apart from the possible addition of its virtual assistant Cortana, and maybe the introduction of virtual desktops, the changes that have been rumored seem primarily about restoring Windows 7-type features.
- Removal of the Charms bar
- Restoration of the Start button
- Similar UI to Windows 7/8 desktop
- Removal of the clock from the taskbar
Basically, the timeline combined with the leaked features indicates to me that investors should not expect any miracles from Windows 9.
The upside will be status quo. People are happy with Windows and an upgrade (which they may get probably for free).
The downside would be that this update is still not enough and Microsoft shares tumble.
Cause for concern
Here is the real cause for concern.
Anyone who has watched the competition (Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)) can see that there is infinitely more innovation happening in its Operating System.
Here's a simple example.
Apple is planning to have the next OS X update (coming this fall) allow you to transfer/answer iPhone phone calls to and from your laptop.
That is just one of many truly innovative things that Apple is planning with its free Operating System updates.
You can see the full list of OS X Yosemite updates coming this fall, and the positive reviews they are getting from technology blogs.
Keep in mind that Apple is releasing the OS update this fall, and Microsoft is only introducing a technical preview.
Windows 9 will probably be available in the spring/summer of 2015.
Investors take note.
The concern I have is that Microsoft is once again several steps behind the competition, innovation-wise.
Based on what I see at this early stage, any revolutionary innovation will probably have to wait until Windows 10.
Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: I am the CEO of Learn About The Web Inc. (learnabouttheweb.com). Learn About The Web™ is an online business education platform dedicated to providing universities and businesses with the tools required to credibly teach online business. I teach and discuss online business companies (including Microsoft) frequently. I also own and monetize several Microsoft-related online properties like Eye On Windows (eyeonwindows.com ) and Windows 9 Update (windows9update.com ). I also own a PeopleSoft-related web property (peoplesoft-planet.com ).