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Microsoft expected to unveil new Windows name next week

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Microsoft is preparing its first official look at the future of Windows next week, during an invite-only event in San Francisco. While a number of leaks have unearthed features and changes in an upcoming release of Windows, currently codenamed Threshold, the naming of the release is still largely a mystery. Referred to by many as Windows 9, the next major release of Microsoft's operating system could simply be called "Windows." There's plenty of evidence to suggest that, and a new report from Reuters claims Microsoft will unveil a new name for its Windows product on Tuesday, which could be Windows 9, Windows, or an entirely different brand.

Microsoft currently refers to what we'll call Windows 9 as Windows Threshold or Windows X internally. The Windows X moniker is likely a placeholder and not final naming, but a tweet in jest yesterday from myself and fellow Microsoft watcher and ZDNet reporter Mary Jo Foley generated a surprise response from Windows chief Terry Myerson. "We're still deciding, but thanks for your vote" joked Myerson, alongside an image of him covering his lips to mimic our original "ssh" Tweet. There's even a PixelSense Microsoft display in the background, and Myerson is gingerly obscuring the end of a Windows logo, just to keep everyone guessing.

Windows, Windows X, Windows One, or simply Windows 9 are among many guesses for the next name for Windows, but it's possible, and highly unlikely, that the company could scrap the Windows name altogether. Many, including myself, have called for Microsoft to stop using the Windows brand for its mobile and consumer efforts, and an upcoming combination of Windows RT and Windows Phone would be the perfect time to do so. But Windows is Windows, and if Microsoft can appeal to its loyal desktop PC users then it won't matter what the full version of Windows is called, as long as the company listens carefully to feedback and rights all of its Windows 8 wrongs. Next week will give us an early look at exactly what Microsoft is planning.