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Windows 9 will *not* do away with the Metro design language or the tiled Metro interface/start screen.
Metro haters: Windows 9 is not your savior. Windows 9 is still expected to feature the Metro-Style/tiled Start Screen that Microsoft first introduced with Windows 8.
According to Windows SuperSite Editor Paul Thurrott's sources, Windows 9 will feature an updated 2.0 version of the Metro design language.
Image: Ed Bott ZDNet
Sources are claiming that Microsoft will deliver three "milestones" along the Windows 9 road.
We don't yet know which, if any, of these will be test builds open to the public. There's speculation that the three will be something along the lines of a beta/preview, a near-final release candidate (RC) and then the RTM (release to manufacturing) bits.
If the new unified operating system organization continues to distance itself from the previous Windows management, there's a chance that Microsoft might try to bring more external testers back into the Windows fold. With Windows 7 and Windows 8, Microsoft largely cut tester feedback out of its development equation, and instead relied on selected "telemetry" data to make decisions about product features and functionality.
Image: Microsoft panel from Windows 8 CNET