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."