Windows 9 will kill Charms, be an operating system you can love

Windows 9 is going to strip out even more of Windows 8 than we thought: It will kill the Charms Bar. Considering that it will also add back the Start menu, and allow Metro apps to run as windows apps on the desktop, when it's done it may be an operating system you can love.

WinBeta reports that in Windows 9, currently code-named Threshold, the Charms Bar is going to be killed, as least on traditional PCs. That's good news. Although Charms works fine on tablets, on traditional PCs it's always been confusing and awkward to use. It's one more sign that Microsoft will be aiming Windows 9 more at desktops and laptops rather than at tablets.

Combine this with the ability to run Metro apps in their own windows on the desktop, have Metro apps include title bars and controls like traditional desktop apps, and boot directly into the desktop, and you have a version of Windows that looks and works more like Windows 7 than Windows 8.

The other news about Windows 9, according to Neowin, is that Windows 9 will have virtual desktops, which are available on Mac OS X and Ubuntu, as well as via some Windows third-party software. With virtual desktops, you create desktop different environments and can switch among them. So, for example, you might create one desktop for when you're working remotely with a work VPN, your company's enterprise apps, and so on; another for gaming; and others as well, and then switch instantly among them.

Virtual desktops aren't nearly as important as the other changes, which are all pointed at making Windows 9 an operating system designed for traditional PCs rather than tablets. Backtracking this way shows that Microsoft recognizes what a disastrous idea it was to make Windows 8 an operating system mainly for tablets, even though the vast majority of its users would be using it on traditional computers.

Various reports say that a preview version of Threshold may be available as early as this fall. If all that's been reported about it is true, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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