Following the release of Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold, expected in spring 2015), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to do away with its traditional approach of launching major Windows releases every few years in favor of "regular, incremental updates," ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley reports.
A similar update schedule will exist for Windows Phone, set to merge with the flatlining Windows RT and act as a joint phone/tablet platform. Among other things, Satya Nadella's July memo promised Microsoft plans to "streamline [its] engineering process and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to get things done."
Foley doesn't know if Microsoft will keep charging upgrade fees (perhaps through a subscription), or follow Apple's lead in making its PC OS updates free. Microsoft recently removed license fees for sub-9" Windows hardware.
The technical preview for Windows 9/Threshold is expected in late September or early October. All signs suggest the OS will feature the return of the Start menu, along with the ability to show Metro-style live tiles in desktop mode.
Foley's latest scoop comes as Bloomberg reports Apple is working on a 12.9" iPad, a device that could be positioned as more of a laptop replacement than the 9.7" and 7.9" models.