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Microsoft to 'distance itself' from Windows 8

Microsoft is expected to drop the Windows 8 brand following user criticism since its high profile launch in 2012.

Windows 8 launched in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The operating system was tipped to secure the technology giant's place on the tablet market, but sales have been poor and customers have not responded well to its colourful tile interface and lack of many Windows staples, such as the 'Start' button.

An update, Windows 8.1, was released last year but the company is ultimately expected to scrap the brand for a new operating system, codenamed Threshold. It is expected that the replacement will simply be called Windows 9 when it is rolled out in 2015.

Respected Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrock wrote on his website: "To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking."

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Twitter reaction to the launch of Windows 8

Windows 8 is 'computing for the next billion people'

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's head of Windows has announced that Windows 7 has been installed 670 million times.

He says that Windows 8 is "computing for the next billion people", and sees it as a shift from the old age of desktops to the age of touchscreens, smartphones, and social networking.

"Windows 8 is simply the best release of Windows ever," he said.

Windows 8: 'Incredibly important, not quite incredible'

People arrive at the launch event for Microsoft Windows 8 operating system in New York Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Technology website Gizmodo has summed up Windows 8 as "incredibly innovative, incredibly important, not quite incredible."

In a review of the new operating system, Kyle Wagner said: "If you want, you'll be able to operate more or less as you have in Windows 7, with some minor changes, mostly for the better.

"That's what desktop mode is for. But the writing is on the wall. Nearly all of the features in need of upgrades that have been left largely untouched are associated with the non-Metro desktop and its structure."

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