We're about to find out what's next for Windows. Microsoft is preparing to take the stage in San Francisco to unveil the latest improvements to its desktop operating system. We can't say for sure whether it'll be called Windows 9, but it sounds like a significant upgrade all the same. The Start Menu is making its grand return, which in and of itself will be enough to thrill many users hanging onto a mouse and keyboard.
But the next version of Windows is expected to offer much more than that. Recent leaks hint Microsoft is planning some fairly drastic user interface changes for traditional desktop users. The Start Screen as we know it in Windows 8 may be going away completely on devices that don't use touch as a primary input method.
Other features rumored to be part of Windows 9 include virtual desktops and a new notification center. Microsoft is expected to release an Windows Technical Preview sometime in October, giving enterprise customers and the company's most eager fans a chance to try out the software before the general public. Most consumers won't be getting their hands on the new Windows for months.
After Windows 8's lukewarm reception, Microsoft has plenty to prove as it attempts to right the course and balance the modernization of Windows with keeping its existing, loyal users happy. As we've seen over the last couple years, that's a delicate line to walk — and the company has occasionally stumbled in trying to navigate it.
There's plenty riding on today's event, so you probably don't want to miss a single moment. To keep up with the latest news and announcements as they happen,
How to watch
Starting time: San Francisco: 10AM / New York: 1PM / London: 6PM / Berlin 7PM / Moscow: 9PM / Beijing: 1AM (Oct. 1) / Tokyo: 2AM (Oct 1) / Sydney 3AM (Oct. 1).
Live blog: Tune in to The Verge live blog for up-to-the-second updates, commentary, and pictures directly from the venue.
Live tweeting: Follow @Verge on Twitter for the latest Windows news as it breaks.