Windows 9
Screenshot of Windows 9 with build number 9788.

The highly anticipated release of Microsoft's Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) in 2015 could see the software become much more flexible with the addition of a virtual desktop feature which will let power users organise their work much more efficiently.

With Windows 9, Microsoft seems to be focusing more on desktop PC users rather than laptop or tablet users which Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 focused on.

According to a report in Neowin, Microsoft is likely to incorporate a virtual desktop feature that is currently found on rival operating platforms such as Mac OS X and Ubuntu.

The Neowin report states the feature is currently being tested on Windows 9, and the functionality is expected to work similar to that in Ubuntu.

Virtual desktop functionality (on both Ubuntu and Mac) lets users multitask effectively, by creating a multiple desktops which users can easily switch between.

Business focus

With the virtual desktop feature, users can create multiple windows in one desktop, and multiple windows in another desktop, allowing them to organise work better.

A virtual desktop feature would be particularly suitable for business users who deal with greater amount of digital content at the same time compared to home users.

In Windows 9, the feature will reportedly be activated via a standalone button that would be placed on the taskbar, and according to Neowin, users can expect various keyboard shortcuts, to switch between active (multiple) desktops at any time.

The virtual desktop feature (yet to be officially confirmed by Microsoft) would be a good addition to Windows 9 considering Windows powers over 90% of the world's computers, with a significant chunk of the company's user base comprising business users.

However, one aspect to note is that the virtual desktop functionality is still undergoing testing, and may not feature in the final version of Windows 9 which is expected in 2015. The Redmond-based company could also seed the feature in the form of updates.

Start menu and Cortana

One of the most significant updates set to come to Windows 9 is the return of the iconic Windows Start Button that was eliminated in Windows 8. The Start button is set to make a full-fledged comeback in the form of a mini Start menu that Microsoft showcased at its Build 2014 conference earlier in the year.

Windows 9 Threshold is also set to feature Microsoft's personal digital assistant Cortana, along with an improved taskbar.

The company, early last month, announced the end of mainstream support for Windows 7 that drives more than half of the world's computers even today. The OS is set to enter 'extended support' stage starting January 2015.