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Is this the new Windows 9 logo?

This Windows 9 logo was published on a Chinese site then quickly deleted

This Windows 9 logo was published on a Chinese site then quickly deleted

It's not all that long since Microsoft released Windows 8, a radical rethink of its operating system that aims to bring the mobile, tablet and desktop experience together and had consumers all round the world screaming: "Where's the start button?"

Windows 8 is currently on version 8.1, and there's certainly been no official word about a Windows 9 successor yet. So the company's Chinese branch may have put its foot in it with a post on popular social site Sina Weibo – which has since been removed.

The post, which was spotted by Chinese site Cnbeta, contained the revealing question: "Microsoft's latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?" and contained the logo shown above.

It's a clear evolution of the current Windows 8 logo (see below), using a lighter font, retaining the same colour scheme and losing the Windows icon, instead extending the pattern to form part of the '9'.

The current logo for Windows 8

The current logo for Windows 8

Rumours are swirling round the internet that Microsoft will officially announce Windows 9 on 30 September – you can find a round-up of what's likely to be in it here. So we'll no doubt find out then whether this logo is the official one or just a random mockup.

Do you think this is the logo Microsoft should use? Let us know your views in the comments.

[via The Verge]