A preview of Microsoft's next major operating system update, Windows 9, may come as early as next month, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

Citing several sources, Foley says a "technology preview" will be available at the end of September or early October. 

Previous rumors have suggested a release preview of Windows 9 will come in mid-2015. A release preview is exactly what it sounds like a near-final version of the software that's released for the public to play with before the final product officially launches to the public.

Foley is highly reliable when it comes to reporting on Microsoft news. She's been covering technology for 30 years and routinely makes correct predictions about its product cycle.

Windows 9 is expected to introduce some radical changes to the Windows ecosystem. Microsoft is aiming to fix some of the usability issues in Windows 8 by introducing a mini-Start menu, eliminating the Charms bar, and enabling "Metro"-style apps to run in windows on the desktop.

In short, whereas Windows 8 was primarily designed for touchscreen tablets and laptops, Windows 9 will take a step back and have a more traditional desktop OS look and feel.

Microsoft's new virtual assistant Cortana is also rumored to be available for the desktop version of Windows with the software's release. 

We can expect to learn more about Windows 9 next month. 

See Also:

Meet Steve Ballmer, The Former Microsoft CEO Who Paid $2 Billion For The ClippersIt Looks Like Microsoft's Virtual Assistant Cortana Is Coming To Laptops And Tablets Too'Naked PCs' Lay Bare Microsoft's Emerging Markets Problem

SEE ALSO: Everything You Need To Know About Windows 9, Microsoft's Next Big Software Update