We already know that Microsoft is planning to release a second Windows 8.1 update sometime this year, so it's no surprise that the first signs of a new Windows are now starting to show up online. A new report coming from Twitter user AngelWZR via Neowin reveals that Windows build number 6.3.9740.0 has recently been compiled and Microsoft decided to take it for a spin online, thus trying to see if everything works as it should.
Of course, there are absolutely no details available right now, but according to some previous rumors, the future Windows update could bring some pretty major changes to the modern platform.
At this point, it's not yet clear whether Microsoft is planning to call the upcoming update Windows 8.2 or use a different designation, but the company has already confirmed at the BUILD 2014 developer conference in San Francisco this April that a Start menu and options to run Metro apps in dedicated windows are very likely to be part of the feature lineup.
The Start menu comeback is not seen as a way to fix Windows 8, but rather as a method to improve its usability on the desktop computer, Microsoft said, as it wants all users out there to make the most of the modern operating system no matter what device they currently own.
The Start menu will only be available on PCs where such a feature would actually make sense, while tablets, such as its own Surface RT and Surface 2, which mostly use the Modern UI, will stick to the existing configuration without a menu.
Options to run Metro apps in separate windows would basically mix the Modern UI and the desktop and thus make Windows Store apps a bit more useful even if you're not going to the Start screen too often. The first step has already been made in Windows 8.1 Update when the company introduced dedicated tools to pin Metro apps to the taskbar and thus allow users to launch them without accessing the Start screen.
The same OS update also brought a title bar and close and minimize buttons for Metro apps, giving users more control over the programs they launch without the need for a touch capable device.
Windows build number 6.3.9740.0 is very likely to be spotted online in the coming weeks as well and given the fact that it's way too early to discuss a preview build of Windows 9, it's safe to assume that this is indeed the OS update coming in mid-2014.