Rumours are beginning to circulate that Microsoft is preparing to drop the Charms bar for the next version of Windows. Widely assumed to be called Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold), the next iteration of the world’s most widespread operating system appears to be removing even more of the features that ended up underutilised in Windows 8. It is also believed that Virtual Desktops will be added as features; despite the option already having existed in Mac OS X and Linux for several years.
The Charms bar was originally intended to be the main hub for most actions in Windows 8 as it housed – what Microsoft assumed to be – the most accessed features of the OS. While it did contain a shortcut to the settings, the Charms were mostly forgotten as there was no indication to alert users that the bar exists. The lack of accessibility when using a mouse helped reduce the usefulness of the Charms bar.
It was originally thought that this feature would only be eliminated for the desktop version of Threshold, and it would remain on tablets. However, ZDnet is citing sources that claim it will be gone for all versions of the next generation of Windows. This sounds likely as Microsoft has announced that it will be uniting all versions of the operating system into a single streamlined entity; which ideally would entail identical interfaces for each of them.
Virtual desktops have long been the staple of computer users who want to run a single application in its own space. It is not a new feature by any stretch of the imagination, and Microsoft already provides software for running virtual desktops in Windows. The idea is that this option will now be built into future versions of Windows, which will allow it to offer the same service as other operating systems. Whether it will be a prominent feature is still unknown.