Windows 9 'Threshold' reportedly coming in April 2015

Microsoft is believed to be on track to release Windows 9, the next major version of the desktop operating system, in April 2015 and is expected to make an announcement at BUILD 2014.

Paul Thurrott, known for revealing information about Microsoft products, has published on his website, SuperSite for Windows, a detailed roadmap leading to the Windows 9 release in April 2015. In order to distance itself from the bad reputation of Windows 8 with the masses, Microsoft is reportedly planning to move on to the Windows 9 moniker with the next major release.

According to earlier reports, "Threshold" was believed to be an update to Windows 8 following "Blue", however, the new report suggests that it will be a different release altogether. According to Thurrott's report, Microsoft is readying "Metro 2.0," to advance the Modern UI further to be more mature and usable with the next release. 

Paul expects Microsoft to make an announcement regarding the development of Windows 9 at BUILD 2014 in April of this year, but won't make the pre-alpha versions available to developers at that time. Windows 9 is expected to have 3 milestone releases before being released to manufacturing. 

Source: SuperSite for Windows

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DaveBG said,
Well after windows 8 failed that bad it is not unlikely they need to push for new version faster.

The thing is it appears they aren't learning. People hate Win8.x because of Metro. They don't want that crap. Yes their are a few people on this site that do -- but they are in the minority. Microsoft needs to lick their wounds like Intel did after the total failure that was the P4, and come back with a Core2Duo and follow that up with an i7. In other words, they need to go back to their Win32 roots only better. The P4 was an all new core (netburst). The team that developed the Core2 went back to the original Pentium core and enhanced it... Hopefully when MS gets a new CEO, he will have at least half a brain.

All I can say is Jesus Pete's!!

Not this already!! Now a whole freaking year plus to hear about nothing but this! And MS and other people wonder why XP is still around. Having new releases faster than a LTS version of Ubuntu, is ridiculous! At least Ubuntu is free!

I have absolutely no plans on upgrading past Windows 7 for years to come yet!

It'll be backwards now folks. Metro WILL be the desktop, and old desktop will be a launchable app that can close. It's just how I dreamed it would be All legacy programs running in their own environments, apart from each other...... wait... dats not good, I use flash's dropper tool to get colors from certain websites... (images) what'll I do???

I remember the ****ing persons here on Neowin dissing my bad idea about melding the desktop with the Modern UI, now my wish has come to past.

Lesson learned: Don't ever do it do the kids.

Will the Windows-8.c UI debacle be fixed? While the tablet and touch-centric users may be singing praises for Windows-8, the millions of laptop and desktop user are not impressed and are sticking with Windows-7 (and in many cases with XP).
If the screen shot at the beginning of this article is any indication, clearly Microsoft has decided to ignore the huge mouse/keyboard segment of their customer base and pander to their touch-centric users.

If I was a New Microsoft CEO, I will make sure that Windows 8.x debacle will end in many ways. Windows 8.x debacle will be fixed once Microsoft new CEO follows my suggestions.

1. The successor of Windows 8.1 Update x will be Windows 9, Not Windows 8.2 because reputation with Windows 8.x was completely trashed. Naming Windows 9 as a successor to Windows 8.1 will help us distance from Windows 8 so people can give modern windows another go if Microsoft listens to customer feedback.
2. We will base Windows 9 on Metro 2.0 design language which incorporates following 3 components needed to make modern platform successful
a. We will create a true balance between meeting the needs of 1.5 billion Windows customers while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on this new personal computing devices.
b. We will mature Metro design language while fixing all of the problems and glitches found with Metro design language used on Windows 8.x
c. We will make sure that we will make sure that there is something new on the desktop and it is extremely exciting than one found on Windows 7 and Windows 8.x.
3. I will focus on taking time to make Windows 9 much better and stable than Windows 7 and Windows 8.x by delaying the launch of Windows 9 from spring 2015 to either summer or fall 2015. This will allow us to pay complete attention to getting all the bugs and problems found on Windows 8.x out on Windows 9.
4. We will make desktop on windows 9 more innovative while meeting the needs of large mouse/keyboard segment of our customer base
5. We will continue rapid release on releasing Quarterly Windows 8.1 updates. Windows 8.1 update 1 is coming in April 2014 while Update 2 comes in July 2014, Update 3 comes in October 2014 and Update 4 comes in January 2014. Quarterly Windows 8.1 updates will continue until GA of Windows 9 arrives in October 2015. Fixing mistakes on Windows 8.x can't be done in one year or less which is why release of Windows 9 needs to be delayed from Spring 2015 to fall 2015.

I hope my 5 suggestions will fix Windows 8.x debacle and make Windows 9 more successful?

TsarNikky - are you referring to keyboard/mouse-centric, or do you REALLY mean mouse/keyboard-centric? Starting with the Start menu, Windows became far more mouse-centric than keyboard-centric (sensible, as mice started coming into their own after the launch of Windows NT 3.5, of all OSes); however, the mouse-centeredness of Windows started getting more obvious in (of all OSes) Windows Vista (which was rejected in droves). Oddly enough, Windows 7 pandered even MORE toward pointing devices than Vista (loud cheers for Windows 7 - which some of the Windows 8/ModernUI critics want back). Let me remind you folks of a few things - I run Windows 8.1 every day on a quiet ordinary desktop with absolutely NO touch support, and I miss the Start menu not at all. I run desktop applications and desktop games (in fact, some of which I could not run on Windows 7 at all). If Windows 8/8.1 were so "touch-centered" I couldn't do it. While touch support is better (because it's included), that does not mean, or even imply, that pointing devices aren't usable - my Logitech V220, a USB wireless mouse, works just fine - it simply means that, due to there not being a Start menu, that Windows itself is not biased toward pointing devices anywhere near as heavily as Windows between 9x and 7. Nothing less OR more. Are you THAT reliant on your pointing device that a bias toward it is all you are willing to accept - even though, by and large, your applications could care less? (Question for the critics - name a desktop application NOT included with Windows 7 that does NOT work in Windows 8 OR 8.1 because the Start menu is missing.)

PGHammer said,
(Question for the critics - name a desktop application NOT included with Windows 7 that does NOT work in Windows 8 OR 8.1 because the Start menu is missing.)

Office 2010. :-P

Ok it works but the option to open then last document is missing in the bloat-and-ugly-as-hell Start menu.

The truly fact is Modern UI already took the backseat in the desktop/notebook world. MS tried to force it and it backfires. Modern UI could has been THE interface of the future but it happened the same than Internet Explorer, people loved to hate it.

So, for good or bad, Modern UI is enjoying a life as a front end and nothing more.

And you forgot where you placed that last document that easily that you need a frigging reminder? Further, never mind that Office 2013 doesn't have such a feature at all - which means that said feature was dropped (Office feature - NOT Windows 7 feature; I've upgraded enough folks to Office 2013 on Windows 7). Or are you referring to the feature on the Start menu where it tracked the last ten data files you opened (of any sort)? (That feature IS a Windows 7-specific/Start menu-specific feature.) And such outright pandering to the pointing device is why I am ecstatic that the Start menu has been kiboshed. The old Libraries feature (started with Vista, and continued with 7) was very much a prompter to organize your data files into categories for easier searching and retrieval - apparently some of you either never got the memo or deliberately ignored it. Now (starting with Windows 8), it's gone, and you're lost without it. (Heck, I took the hint starting with XP, and have expanded on it since (with Vista, 7, and now 8/8.1) to organize my data files (of every sort) into easily-remembered categories for search, retrieval, and whatever else - including cloud-based backup (which is what I use my SkyDrive folder - organized into those same categories - for). In most cases, it's leveragable by desktop applications (from Microsoft, or anybody else), or ModernUI apps that can access those locations (which are, in fact, the defaults). You counted on things staying the same forever - and that didn't happen, so now you are ticked. Murphy is like that - he shows up when you are least ready.

Microsoft is battling on ALL fronts now. They dont have a sector that's not contested. Will the beast hunker down and outlast its competitors or will they explode out of the gate somewhere and help to transform the industry again? Or will their slow evolution in key areas create a slow leak of talent, money and users?

I agree with many people that say the desktop needs a lot of visual improvements.

Yes, the icons are definitely something that needs to be overhauled completely - I still find old XP icons here and there and it just baffles me. A lot of details in the desktop UI clearly speak of the lack of work on Microsoft's part in bringing the UI closer to that of Metro; it's as if it was a complete afterthought.

The Task Manager is also a complete mess - I like the new Performance visuals, but everything else is a headache to manage, which beats the purpose of a task MANAGER in the first place.

The first thing I did when I upgraded from 7 to 8.1 was to get rid of the Ribbon from Explorer and put back the Details pane to the bottom of the window. Now the Explorer looks exactly like the one from 7 and I enjoy using it just as much as I did before.

At this point it's too early to tell what Microsoft will actually do to improve Metro 2.0, as well as the desktop UI, but whatever comes out of it, I just hope they can tie it all together more neatly than in 8.x

If look better, you will find Windows 95 icons, since Windows 95, the icon sets are never replaced completely. I realy hope that one day, they will fix ALL of them.

True, and that just blows my mind out of this world!

And now that I think about it, seeing a few comments mentioning the merge of Desktop UI and Metro 2.0...

Would it be crazy for Microsoft to implement something similar to BlueStacks - or better yet, Pokki - from Metro to Desktop? An overhauled desktop UI with Metro apps that run in windowed mode on the desktop; yes, I realize it has been mentioned a lot, but what Pokki does looks like an amazing solution! At least to me...

What I want to see that I absolutely love in Windows 7 is the aero taskbar, aero snap, and aero preview mixed with the Windows key + tab. If I can cycle open apps or tiles similarly and snap them easily rather than click like a retard on the upper left hand corner it would make it tolerable from the perspective of a Windows 7 die hard.

Of course like my above post mentioned I probably wont upgrade anyway as I see no need too until I get a new computer like 90% of the rest of the dwindling pc population. But it would make me consider Windows 9 instead of just re-installing Windows 7 again between 2015 and 2019.

Completely get rid of Metro and the app store (or make it an optional installable component), bring back a normal desktop, start menu and a theme that isn't flat, bland and ugly. Instant win.

Bumblefly said,
Completely get rid of Metro and the app store (or make it an optional installable component), bring back a normal desktop, start menu and a theme that isn't flat, bland and ugly. Instant win.

And then watch as that OS sinks faster than the Titanic.

Dot Matrix said,

And then watch as that OS sinks faster than the Titanic.

Oh yes, it would be a complete disaster. Windows 7 is doing so horribly in market share compared to 8. Metro has been such a huge success, everyone loves it so much. *rolleyes*

Bumblefly said,
Completely get rid of Metro and the app store (or make it an optional installable component), bring back a normal desktop, start menu and a theme that isn't flat, bland and ugly. Instant win.

That is not going to happen. MS makes 1/3 the cut off anything sold in MS Store! Imagine a world where the only way you could install software is through there in a future version of Windows. MS would get 30% off of any software sold!! $$$$

Last, MS doesn't want to lose the phone race to Android and iOS so fat chance on that going away as MS is banking on the fact that people will see it everyday and get used to it and demand on the phone as a result. Just look at those who only use ancient IE? They use IE because that is what they have used for 12 years at work and is familiar etc.

Everyone is going minimalist now and there are folks who actually think they save battery live having their GPU emulate 25 year old EGA graphics sadly.

As a New Microsoft CEO, I will try to make sure that desktop side of Windows 9 has major improvements and seems to be over 200-300% better than Windows 8.x and Windows 7 desktop

Bumblefly said,

Oh yes, it would be a complete disaster. Windows 7 is doing so horribly in market share compared to 8. Metro has been such a huge success, everyone loves it so much. *rolleyes*

The issue is different: the Store is a, potentially huge , source of revenues for MS that they did not have with previous OSes. Apple docet...

Bumblefly said,

Oh yes, it would be a complete disaster. Windows 7 is doing so horribly in market share compared to 8. Metro has been such a huge success, everyone loves it so much. *rolleyes*

And do you think 5 years from now, that Windows 7 will be holding its weight? How about 10 years? While Apple and Google continue to push their stores, why do you think MSFT would survive without one of their own? Why does MSFT need to revert to 90s era GUI structures?

Bumblefly said,
Completely get rid of Metro and the app store (or make it an optional installable component), bring back a normal desktop, start menu and a theme that isn't flat, bland and ugly. Instant win.

And you are serious...

How do you expect the current WinRT Apps and enterprise development around WinRT solutions be handled if you allow it to be removed?

Even if you haven't given Modern UI Apps a chance, most users have. They are also KEY to cross platform Apps, which would destroy current development projects for the Xbox One and Apps moving between Win/XB1/WP8.

As I have mentioned before, even if people aren't actively using the Modern UI versions of Apps, they are cheating themselves by not using them to create an Information screen with stocks, weather, news, email, messages, and various Websites like Neowin displaying updates on a Live tile.

I can glance or walk by my Start Screen, and see the outside weather, what the latest news, the latest updates to 10-20 websites, any new email, and do this in 10 seconds without having to open or touch anything.

This type of experience and fast access to current information you cannot recreate on any other OS.

Anarkii said,
Actually removing the store IS an option.
Right click it, remove. Done.

True. However, removing it as part of Windows would hurt and alienate users.

Microsoft doesn't usually do this with regard to established and used API sets. That is why DOS and Win16 still runs on x86 and in a x64 HyperV to this day.

(As you note, people can configure Windows to work pretty much any way they want out of the box - 3rd party Start stuff isn't even needed. However, 3rd party can add in even more customization, and users can replace the shell and make the desktop look and work exactly like Windows 3.1 if they want. So when people complain about XYZ of Windows 8 they are showing ignorance in how they customize it.)

Trust me, no one will come to an agreement with window 9. It will be another win 8 debacle all over again. As for me, I like window 8 and liken more with win 8.1

minster11 said,
Trust me, no one will come to an agreement with window 9. It will be another win 8 debacle all over again. As for me, I like window 8 and liken more with win 8.1

Unless Microsoft do not fix all of the bugs found on Windows 8.x on Windows 9.......

They can call it Windows 9 and Metro 2.0 or whatever but I don't think it's going to make the rabid Metro haters magically start loving it, no matter what they do.

People who hated Vista love Windows 7. Vista put the foundation out there, 7 refined it. , A version that changes some things radically, people are shocked/hate it, the next version refines those changes and people see that the shock version was worth it. The same thing will happen with Windows 10 and by Windows 11 people will calm down again. Windows goes in cycles.

The more I hear about it the more it sounds like they're going to split the different OS UIs with Windows 9 going forward without losing the ability to let developers code with winrt and still target both the mobile side with metro 2.0 and the desktop with having them windowed next to old win32 apps.

George P said,
The more I hear about it the more it sounds like they're going to split the different OS UIs with Windows 9 going forward without losing the ability to let developers code with winrt and still target both the mobile side with metro 2.0 and the desktop with having them windowed next to old win32 apps.

I guess we will be back to pre-XP days of consumer (9x line) and Pro/enterprise OS (NT line) just both will be based on the same codebase.

BajiRav said,

I guess we will be back to pre-XP days of consumer (9x line) and Pro/enterprise OS (NT line) just both will be based on the same codebase.

That was different, 9x and NT were both designed for desktop PCs. Touch based devices like tablets and smart phones on the other hand are not desktops, they are completely different devices. Trying to make a Frankenstein OS with two UIs that runs on both of them was a mistake. There should be a Windows version designed for desktop computers and another version for touch tablets.

BajiRav said,

I guess we will be back to pre-XP days of consumer (9x line) and Pro/enterprise OS (NT line) just both will be based on the same codebase.

Well I think that it won't be exactly that and more of a case of different SKUs having a different default UI set but with options so that you can change it if you want. I expect here will be a base version that will default to the updated metro 2.0 UI while the Pro version will default to the new menu and the desktop. Both will still have access and options to change the UI if you want later though.

The only exception to this will be the ARM version that I expect will finally drop the desktop fully and also allow for apps to run on the tablet and phone from a unified store.

Thrackerzod said,

That was different, 9x and NT were both designed for desktop PCs. Touch based devices like tablets and smart phones on the other hand are not desktops, they are completely different devices. Trying to make a Frankenstein OS with two UIs that runs on both of them was a mistake. There should be a Windows version designed for desktop computers and another version for touch tablets.

I don't know which universe you're living in, but differentiating what is, and what isn't between devices isn't as black and white as you make it out to be. Just because a device has touch, doesn't mean it cannot accept mouse input. For example, touch laptops and Surface tablets. Why alienate users based on this?

It's easier just to create one unified experience.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jan 12 2014, 6:06pm :

Maybe MS should better wait with official statements about Windows 9, until they have a new CEO. Maybe he/she have other ideas or opinions.

Lastwebpage said,
Maybe MS should better wait with official statements about Windows 9, until they have a new CEO. Maybe he/she have other ideas or opinions.

Care to provide a link to this "official statement" you're talking about?

If I was a New Microsoft CEO, I will work very hard to make sure Windows 9 succeeds. First, I will work ensure that Microsoft introduces a new fixed metro design Language called Metro 2.0. We will do 3 things to make sure Metro 2.0 works. First, I will fix all glitches, bugs, problems and issues with "Metro" design language as well as making sure Metro design language is more mature on Windows 9. I will also make sure that Metro 2.0 strike a true balance between meeting needs of over 1.5 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices. Third, I have to make sure that there has to be everything that Windows 8 is not.

I know that we have to delay Windows 9 GA from Spring 2015 to Summer or fall 2015 just to be on the safe side because you can not completely correct mistakes Microsoft made with Windows 8.x in one year or less, you need to bring in more time necessary to pay complete attention to fix, clean or remove all bugs, issues, problems and glitches found in Windows 8.x to make sure that Windows 9 gets ready for broader use. As a New Microsoft CEO, I do not think we should release Windows 9 in April 2015 because we can't completely fix all bugs found with Windows 8.x in about less than one year. Paying attention to fixing all bugs found with Windows 8.x, fixing all problems with Metro design language as well as making sure that "Metro" Design language get matured and remains as stable as well as striking a true balance between meeting the needs of over 1.5 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices and ensuring there has to be everything that Windows 8 is not will take more than about a year to complete the process.

I like windows 8 actually, well im on win 8.1 now and it is better things are cleaner, stuff is where you expect it to be, when you search for something it comes up properly for example not being hidden under files, system and something else. The tutorial learning people need a bit of work cus my friend who went from 7 to 8.1 didnt know about the charm bar on the right.

Its fast, stable, can format to GPT which is good can actually use my 3TB HD's on my non UEFI MB now and it is good. i like the metro apps, purchased game dev tycoon blown away like 15-20 hours on that bad boy It think it is better than win 7 so win 9 should be a better improvement. When they moved from 3.x to full graphical UI it would of felt alien to everyone, just give it time and its fine. The people who dont like it prolly dont get it or cant be bothered to use it or just hear that its bad and write it off so yah

I thought I was the only one who liked Windows 8. I don't have it as my main computer, I use it in VMWare. I'm so interested in it, I might switch back once my iMac dies.

Dinggus said,
I thought I was the only one who liked Windows 8. I don't have it as my main computer, I use it in VMWare. I'm so interested in it, I might switch back once my iMac dies.

I like it too, but I just think that microsoft made the change too drastic and too fast for the masses to like the change.

"can format to GPT " That's the first thing that should improve. The installation is nearly impossible, if you have no other PC to ask taunt Google. The partition manager within the installation progress, on an UEFI sytem with 3GB is not self-instructional too.

oh on a UEFI system well i cant imagine its hard tbh.... and the format to GPT is within windows itself i booted up new drive there created a partition i.e. made it useable selcted GPT from the menu and done. piece of the yellow stuff!

cant install windows on a GPT partition unless you have a UEFI bios so tis why i bought an SSD and converted the other drive to GPT and just used it as storage

aviator189 said,

I like it too, but I just think that microsoft made the change too drastic and too fast for the masses to like the change.

I don't know, I adapt to change pretty quickly. I assumed that in 2014, and how fast new technology is coming out, everyone should be use to it.

ms, please do not disappoint.
make windows 9 the new windows 7.
added desktop functionality, unified visual elements across all elements of the os, overhaul/upgrade of all icons, more functionality/customization of start screen, option of start menu, better integration of pc games/xbox, and just a more sleeker design/look and animations across the board.

Do all that and you'll score with the masses and have great sales.

Modern UI is here to stay for a long time it will change a little bit but it's going to be the companies image for years to come they've worked to hard on unifying the user interface on all their products to stray away

Just shut up Microsoft! Give us the beta and let us fool around in the new interface.

Anyway, I think that they will release a "Developer Preview" at Build. Windows 8 had 3 pre-releases too and the Windows Developer Preview was released 1 year and 1 month before GA. If they are not going to launch it at Build (if there are 3 pre-releases) and let us say that it will hit RTM somewhere in February 2015 (2,5 month before GA, like Windows 7/8/8.1/etc.).

The 3rd pre-release might hit us somewhere in November 2014. The 2nd pre-release would be here somewhere in end July/begin August 2014 and the 1st pre-release would be here begin April. That is following the Windows 8 roadmap. I do not believe his roadmap, in the article, he says development of Windows Threshold will start somewhere later in April 2014. Seriously? What the heck would Microsoft be doing right now then? If that is true, the 3 test releases will follow each other to fast and there won't be any time to test properly.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. Microsoft has already proven that releasing Windows with another name made people happy. Take Windows Vista. Microsoft created a Windows Vista with another name, just another name, and suddenly, people tought it was the best OS in the world. Windows Mojava? Anyone? I hope all the bs about Windows 8 will stop with Windows 9.

Edited by Studio384, Jan 11 2014, 7:17pm :

If they release a developer preview, it may sound strange, but I hope they don't make it publicly available. Having the public experiencing the poor, early builds of Metro did a lot to damage Windows 8's reputation early on. As it happens,, the RTM build was much improved, but the damage was difficult to recover from.

it might , after all Sp2 is supposed to bring the start menu back, windowed metro and a few things that were cut back in Win8, like Ad-Hoc support and other stuff.

and as far as i know WMP will be removed from SP2 as well, lots of new hardware support and hopefully a better HAL for WiFi and IDE Drives.

SaT.161 said,
it might , after all Sp2 is supposed to bring the start menu back, windowed metro and a few things that were cut back in Win8, like Ad-Hoc support and other stuff.

and as far as i know WMP will be removed from SP2 as well, lots of new hardware support and hopefully a better HAL for WiFi and IDE Drives.


Uh, what?

SaT.161 said,
it might , after all Sp2 is supposed to bring the start menu back, windowed metro and a few things that were cut back in Win8, like Ad-Hoc support and other stuff.

and as far as i know WMP will be removed from SP2 as well, lots of new hardware support and hopefully a better HAL for WiFi and IDE Drives.


Where did you read that WMP will be removed? If so I will have to keep my W8.1 copy forever.

techbeck said,
Bet it will be perceived a heck of a lot better than Win8

I agree, Win8.1 gets a lot of 'marks' for being better, with a few psychological adjustments like making the Start Button visible.

Lord Method Man said,
If they remove WMP then they remove me as a user. If they think that Xbox Video crap will replace it then seriously LMAO.

congrats for not finding out the dozens of better alternatives.
and you do realize that there are windows version out therw ithout the WMP by default?

some people.... ;-)

hagjohn said,
"Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good." ... What a drama queen.

Which is a load of bull. The fact the MSFT went ahead and moved on from the 9x line, moved Windows *ahead*. Staying the same isn't going to help Microsoft these days.

Yes but I think the argument ends up being that it needs to be changing faster. Really I don't need the start menu but the reality is that a large number of users aren't taking to the start screen the way that they needed to be. Largely enterprise needs to be accounted for and I completely can see the need to create something like the start menu for users that prefer the start menu. You can force change on your users for so long before you accommodate the perceived needs of a chunk that feels they aren't being served.

I know MS needed to do what they did with Win8 and I completely approve but they did **** off a bunch of people and metro apps need to end up with the highest usage possibly to make developers invest resources into making apps.

I am dying to see how they put together a desktop menu with dynamic tile elements and make metro apps run on the desktop. People have been asking for this and MS really just has to give it to them. They will make the old start menu look old. They won't be just throwing the old start menu back in and It will only make the product better for everyone.

hagjohn said,
"Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good." ... What a drama queen.

I agree that he is usually a bit overly dramatic, but I don't think he is too far off this time. I do think Microsoft caused themselves a lot of pain with Windows 8 and it isn't solely a "Metro" thing. At the core of the issue is I think Microsoft broke the confidence that ISVs and Enterprise had in them (at least for the workers using "classic" hardware in Office environments).

This seems to be the case with the lack of innovation coming out of CES using their stuff. Microsoft benefited immensely from the fact that Windows was the defacto standard for computing. In the Windows XP days, for instance, if you couldn't get your device supported properly on Windows it wasn't something that could have a realistic chance of selling in the market. Now it appears Windows is an after thought by device makers and developers.

In this vein I do think Windows 8 really hurt Microsoft in this front. They didn't get the people they need excited at all (developers, hardware makers, or enterprise).

Microsoft knows this. This is why they squeezed Ballmer out...

...Mr. Ballmer tried to spell out his plan to remake Microsoft, but a director cut him off, telling him he was moving too slowly.

"Hey, dude, let's get on with it," lead director John Thompson says he told him. "We're in suspended animation." Mr. Ballmer says he replied that he could move faster.


http://online.wsj.com/news/art...303460004579194150724298162

While everyone agrees that Microsoft needs to do something. Windows 8 didn't help them in any of the areas they actually needed help in and hurt them in their previously strong areas.

But I'll let everyone go back to the melodrama.

Dot Matrix said,

Which is a load of bull. The fact the MSFT went ahead and moved on from the 9x line, moved Windows *ahead*. Staying the same isn't going to help Microsoft these days.

Read my above comment....

hagjohn said,
"Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good." ... What a drama queen.

Ironically, the same crap was said about the Win95 TaskBar/StartMenu, and Vista was largely hated over the new Start Menu, which everyone now wants back.

Changing isn't easy and even if we 'personally' don't fully understand why, there is a point where some of the smartest designers and engineers in the world have a vision that needs to be given a chance.

By Windows 11, people will be installing a Win8 Start Screen recreation, just as we see people installing a Vista Start Menu recreation today, and just as Vista users were installing XP flip out Menu recreations, and just as Win95 users where install Program Manager recreations.

Apple has done good to keep things the same, but the 1984 Mac UI is not much different than the 2014 Mac UI - same Menu Bar, same Conventions. If people believe that the best ideas were already done with what was possible 30 years ago, then they need to rethink what is possible on modern computers. *

*This is an argument made years ago by Bill Buxton, that it was insane that computers were still using the essential same GUI conventions that were first 'tried' 30 years ago.

Even the Menu Bar in OS X is not even a GUI idea, it is a drop list of commands, words, text. It is not a Graphical Interface concept, but it was one way to shove a lot of commands into a list because there was no way to display them on Graphical screens in the 1980s, nor was the UI smart enough to adapt to only offer what was needed or expected by the user.

Microsoft is at least pushing the UI forward. They are also giving alternative and 'touch' devices a more powerful UI than the simple pinch-to-zoom gestures Apple copied from an MS/MIT project.

Mobius Enigma said,

Ironically, the same crap was said about the Win95 TaskBar/StartMenu, and Vista was largely hated over the new Start Menu, which everyone now wants back.

Really, i`d of thought better of you

Mobius Enigma said,
Ironically, the same crap was said about the Win95 TaskBar/StartMenu, and Vista was largely hated over the new Start Menu, which everyone now wants back.

I wouldn't say everyone. I've adjusted quite easily to not having one. But then I look to the future and I don't hang onto the past.

Riggers said,

Really, i`d of thought better of you

Ya, overstated that a bit...

How about:
A purposely ignorant and vocal group of users now want back.

hagjohn said,

I wouldn't say everyone. I've adjusted quite easily to not having one. But then I look to the future and I don't hang onto the past.

Ya, poor wording. A lot of vocal naysayers want it back. Which was true of Windows 95, XP, and Vista. Each generation 'changed too much' and users didn't want what they perceived as 'crap'.

I can remember finding a few OEMs in 1997 that were still installing Windows 3.1 on new systems because Windows 95 was the 'Vista' or the 'Windows 8' of the time.

I also find it amusing that one of things people hated about Vista was the new Start Menu, and now everyone is installing a variation of the Vista Start Menu because they hate Windows 8' Start Screen.

This is just something that happens with every generational change, some people still just want a full screen CLI and not that fancy PowerShell stuff either.

Mobius Enigma said,

some people still just want a full screen CLI and not that fancy PowerShell stuff either.

Like my old college professor. He always went on and on about how the GUI ruined computing. Holy crap, that used to drive me insane!

Mobius Enigma said,
*This is an argument made years ago by Bill Buxton, that it was insane that computers were still using the essential same GUI conventions that were first 'tried' 30 years ago.

I've always found Mr. Buxton to be very inspirational when trying to imagine new human computer interaction models.

I now call every load icon I see "The Spinning Toilet Bowl of Death" because of him.

The only operating system that has bad reputation is Windows 8.x. If Microsoft releases Windows 9.x with Metro 2.0 UI which strikes a balance between meeting needs of over 1 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt new windows on new personal computing devices. People will definitely choose Windows 9.x... Is it true that everybody will go with Windows 9 from Windows 7 if Microsoft uses Metro 2.0? yes or no?

justsilly said,
The only operating system that has bad reputation is Windows 8.x. If Microsoft releases Windows 9.x with Metro 2.0 UI which strikes a balance between meeting needs of over 1 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt new windows on new personal computing devices. People will definitely choose Windows 9.x... Is it true that everybody will go with Windows 9 from Windows 7 if Microsoft uses Metro 2.0? yes or no?

Yes indeed. I just got excited even reading "Metro 2.0".
I feel metro currently is too simplistic and cannot accommodate an overload of functions.
On the other hand, interfaces like ribbon in Windows Explorer along with the sidebars, on the whole (I feel) look too cluttered.
So if they can strike a perfect balance between the two, not leaving excessive blank 'gutters' on the side, it would be perfect.
There are currently a few apps that do take metro to that level, and feel great!

justsilly said,
The only operating system that has bad reputation is Windows 8.x. If Microsoft releases Windows 9.x with Metro 2.0 UI which strikes a balance between meeting needs of over 1 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt new windows on new personal computing devices. People will definitely choose Windows 9.x... Is it true that everybody will go with Windows 9 from Windows 7 if Microsoft uses Metro 2.0? yes or no?

But they also need a perfect timing for executing this plan, which is obviously once they've filled the app gap, or even majority of it. Then it leaves no reason for consumers to ignore Windows as a platform.

THEN Windows will be back!

I think that perfect timing I recommend is delaying Windows 9 release from Spring 2015 to Fall 2015 or Spring 2016. Is it correct?

justsilly said,
The only operating system that has bad reputation is Windows 8.x. If Microsoft releases Windows 9.x with Metro 2.0 UI which strikes a balance between meeting needs of over 1 billion Windows users while enticing users to adopt new windows on new personal computing devices. People will definitely choose Windows 9.x... Is it true that everybody will go with Windows 9 from Windows 7 if Microsoft uses Metro 2.0? yes or no?

To play devils advocate why would anyone want to upgrade? If their older Windows 7 and even XP systems work just fine and they already have their smart phones to do applets. What's the rush to upgrade?

I think MS is in trouble not because their products are bad. But because the market has changed and the pc era is done. I am in IT and already trying to change fields. In the old days businesses prided on being state of the art and outdoing comeptitors with updated infraustructure. That all changed with Windows XP. Now it is if it aint broke do not fix it! Computers add no value. Great what is MS going to break now! My XP system with IE 6 works just fine thank you very much!

The same thing happened with mainframes, then minicomputers/servers, and now PC's as people get excited over mobile instead.

Windows 9 I will fire up in a VM to play with it (I own a copy of VMWare workstation). If it is good I wont upgrade until I get a new computer. I do not see a need to do so and that is no matter how good it is sadly.

What is MS going to do in this new environment?

justsilly said,
I think that perfect timing I recommend is delaying Windows 9 release from Spring 2015 to Fall 2015 or Spring 2016. Is it correct?

Nope. Rapid release is the name of the game.

sinetheo said,

To play devils advocate why would anyone want to upgrade? If their older Windows 7 and even XP systems work just fine and they already have their smart phones to do applets. What's the rush to upgrade?

I think MS is in trouble not because their products are bad. But because the market has changed and the pc era is done. I am in IT and already trying to change fields. In the old days businesses prided on being state of the art and outdoing comeptitors with updated infraustructure. That all changed with Windows XP. Now it is if it aint broke do not fix it! Computers add no value. Great what is MS going to break now! My XP system with IE 6 works just fine thank you very much!

The same thing happened with mainframes, then minicomputers/servers, and now PC's as people get excited over mobile instead.

Windows 9 I will fire up in a VM to play with it (I own a copy of VMWare workstation). If it is good I wont upgrade until I get a new computer. I do not see a need to do so and that is no matter how good it is sadly.

What is MS going to do in this new environment?

WInRT is the replacement API for Win32. It isn't just about 'Apps', but a new model of application design and security.

If you are stuck on Windows 7/XP, you are already missing out on a lot of new features that will further put Windows 7 behind with the evolution of WinRT APIs.

The world yelled for an new API model to replace Win32, and they got one, that is secure, stable with new functionality. Yet people complain because things 'changed'.

Mobius Enigma said,

WInRT is the replacement API for Win32. It isn't just about 'Apps', but a new model of application design and security.

If you are stuck on Windows 7/XP, you are already missing out on a lot of new features that will further put Windows 7 behind with the evolution of WinRT APIs.

The world yelled for an new API model to replace Win32, and they got one, that is secure, stable with new functionality. Yet people complain because things 'changed'.

I am sure that one day Metro apps will have the same capabilities of Win32 ones have; right now, at least for my needs, they do not. It is understandably MS desire to push them, after all they make a profit of apps sold through the store but a lot of work is needed to bring them to the level of usefulness of "Desktop" ones.

If I was a new Microsoft CEO, I will implement WinRT API for all hardware and software and personal computing devices that is being used on Windows 10. Most desktop apps as well as computers have to be replaced with WinRT API. Windows 9 will only support x64 based desktop computers while Windows 10 will support 64 bit and 128 bit processors. We will implement a new WinRT app model which only works on 64 bit and 128 bit processors. Windows 9.x will be final Windows Operating System to use Win32 API for desktop software and hardware. We will work very hard to make sure that Secure 64 bit applications are built for reliability. This will not happen on Windows 9, it will happen on Windows 10 which is based on Windows NT 7.x architecture. Windows 10 will have a better reliable file system which is better than NTFS which has been around for years.

Fritzly said,

I am sure that one day Metro apps will have the same capabilities of Win32 ones have; right now, at least for my needs, they do not. It is understandably MS desire to push them, after all they make a profit of apps sold through the store but a lot of work is needed to bring them to the level of usefulness of "Desktop" ones.

I agree, it is a work in progress. There is a lot of stability and security issues with opening up things that are easy to touch with Win32.

One could argue Microsoft has already done a good job of overseeing Win32 processes to where they are relatively safe; however, the new model starts from a point of complete security and then opens up slowly deeper functionality.

If you look at WinRT from Dev Preview to RTM to 8.1, there is a lot of evolution in these areas. For example, instead of just opening up direct access, Microsoft introduced a new set of WinRT APIs for direct device access. (This is where we find a lot of POS and device centric WinRT Apps appearing now, that were simply not possible on the RTM of Windows 8.)

I personally would have been ok with just an enhanced set of APIs to Win32 instead of a new set, but I do understand why they felt a new set would kill off old less secure practices.

And as I mentioned, it is something people have been asking to have for a long time.

Breaking with the old ways is not easy to give up, and even in the securing of Win32, it was hard on developers, as processes could exist outside of their touch with TrustedInstaller, Administrator, User enforced. Back when security was less of a concern, it was easy to hook into other processes including the WinSxS OS itself.

If we didn't like how the taskbar worked, we would hook into it and make it work as we wanted and draw as we wanted. We could even touch other processes and change how other people's software worked.

This also gave developers complete UI control as well.

It is these things we had to start giving up with Vista/7 and with WinRT touching these areas of the OS are just not possible.

Mobius Enigma said,

WInRT is the replacement API for Win32. It isn't just about 'Apps', but a new model of application design and security.

If you are stuck on Windows 7/XP, you are already missing out on a lot of new features that will further put Windows 7 behind with the evolution of WinRT APIs.

The world yelled for an new API model to replace Win32, and they got one, that is secure, stable with new functionality. Yet people complain because things 'changed'.

One perspective is a programmer. Another a user. Users do not want to leave XP or Win 7 if they don't have too. A reverse of the 1990's. They need their horribly written apps and prefer phones to run applets.

Win32 is ugly but so much is there like the ribbon API. Developers can't leave because XP has the market share. Users feel comfortable in XP's abilities where a change is not needed. I prefer Win 7 for security and instant search and better driver models and gpu acceleration, but 95% of users don't see that. What they have still works so it's change for the sake of change.

Win 9 will be a very tough sell

Bad reputation? With who? Trolls? Thurrott himself sounds like he's unable to adapt to new things.

At least I'm happy to see that Modern is staying. It needs to stay. The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jan 11 2014, 6:16pm :

Dot Matrix said,
Bad reputation? With who? Trolls? Thurrott himself sounds like he's unable to adapt to new things.

At least I'm happy to see that Modern is staying. It needs to stay. The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.

While certain aspects of the Metro UI are better than what we had, I think that there could be a lot of improvements made to the overall experience.

Ian William said,

While certain aspects of the Metro UI are better than what we had, I think that there could be a lot of improvements made to the overall experience.

Well, that goes without saying, of course things will get better, but for a 1.x product, I've had no issues using it on desktops, laptops, or tablets.

But to say windows 8 has a "bad reputation", is far from the truth. In fact, Thurrott says "Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good," which is a load of bull. The fact the MSFT went ahead and moved on from the 9x line move Windows *ahead*. Staying the same isn't going to help Microsoft these days.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jan 11 2014, 6:07pm :

Dot Matrix said,
Bad reputation? With who? Trolls? Thurrott himself sounds like he's unable to adapt to new things.

At least I'm happy to see that Modern is staying. It needs to stay. The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.


you obviously don't follow Thurrott too closely.

MrHumpty said,

you obviously don't follow Thurrott too closely.

I gave up following him a long time ago. He's consistently too whiny when things change.

Dot Matrix said,
He's consistently too whiny when things change.

+eleventy
The guy expects to be given keys to the city from Microsoft all in the name of "helping their customers" but if it were MY company, I'd do what Sinofsky did and just blacklist him. Not saying he should be a cheer squad, but geez, the guy hasn't got a positive bone in his body

ZipZapRap said,

+eleventy
The guy expects to be given keys to the city from Microsoft all in the name of "helping their customers" but if it were MY company, I'd do what Sinofsky did and just blacklist him. Not saying he should be a cheer squad, but geez, the guy hasn't got a positive bone in his body

I'm fairly certain the last positive words I saw come from him, was when MSFT announced the XP Mode feature for Windows 7.

ZipZapRap said,

Not saying he should be a cheer squad, but geez, the guy hasn't got a positive bone in his body

I remember when he was rather positive - it was back in the Longhorn days, before they ditched the old code and started again on Windows Server. Sure, when you remember all the things that could have been, what actually happened was rather disappointing, but with Thurrott I think something kind of... broke for him in that period of time. For him, the magic was gone, and it was really a stage magician behind a curtain all along.

Edited by MarkKB, Jan 11 2014, 7:54pm :

MarkKB said,

I remember when he was rather positive - it was back in the Longhorn days, before they ditched the old code and started again on Windows Server. Sure, when you remember all the things that could have been, what actually happened was rather disappointing, but with Thurrott I think something kind of... broke for him in that period of time. For him, the magic was gone, and it was really a stage magician behind a curtain all along.

^ This.

Dot Matrix said
The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.
Come on Dot. Sometimes I think you like to say random Pro Windows comments just because. You can't be serious?

Dot Matrix said,
Bad reputation? With who? Trolls? Thurrott himself sounds like he's unable to adapt to new things.

At least I'm happy to see that Modern is staying. It needs to stay. The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.


Scenario 1: Monday you arrive at work and find out that you have been promoted.
Scenario 2: Monday you arrive at work and find out that you have been fired

Commonality between the two scenarios? A CHANGE in your status... The point is that "change" by itself is not a positive or a negative, what a change implies, how it affects the receiving subjects turn it into either a positive or a negative.
Bottom line: People do not hate changes if they register it as a positive one; they do if they register it as a negative.

Dot Matrix said,
Bad reputation? With who? Trolls? Thurrott himself sounds like he's unable to adapt to new things.

At least I'm happy to see that Modern is staying. It needs to stay. The mouse only UI is only going to become more archaic as time goes on.


Not everyone thinks it's bad obviously, but the first thing I usually hear out of someone's mouth is, "So I heard Windows 8 sucks, is that true?" My job is to change their mind, to introduce them and sell them on Windows 8, the app store, gestures, and so forth.

If you're ever down in Houston, hit me up via PM. You can come visit me and listen to the people I talk to on a daily basis. Swaying people over to Windows 8 isn't difficult, but it doesn't change the fact that they are under the misconception that the OS is bad.

He became a joke to me when he tried to boycott IE 7 all because he didn't have access to the beta build. He whined until the IE team bright him into a meeting where he suddenly fell in love with it and acted like he never tried to boycott it. Ever since then he whines and whines to get what he wants.

Around that same time he was reviewing something else and the review went from the product to a sudden rant on his wife for getting on his case for not picking up kids from school or something like that. Nothing at all that should be in a review unless you're seeking attention and sympathy. Feel sorry for his wife. Leave the personal crap at home.

Oh and I'll never get over his rating system once being little images of his face. He thinks way too highly of himself.

Not to mention 99% of his "exclusives" come from other sites and he just makes it his own and adds "my sources" to seem legit. One of his recent other "exclusives" I read about on my digital life forums 1-2 weeks before he ever mentioned it. I believe it was the first mention of the "threshold" name and it originally came from a Russian site. People on MDL were mixed on it being real or not. 1-2 weeks later I see the same news pop up here on Neowin and credit given to Thurrott. Not a single part of it came from him.

He contradicts himself all over. First he said Vista was all right (a sentiment I agree with), later he dismissed Vista. Case in point, he isn't consistent and seems to base his opinions on what is popular. In other words weak.

ZipZapRap said,

+eleventy
The guy expects to be given keys to the city from Microsoft all in the name of "helping their customers" but if it were MY company, I'd do what Sinofsky did and just blacklist him. Not saying he should be a cheer squad, but geez, the guy hasn't got a positive bone in his body

Part of me wonders if if Thurrott wants Microsoft to forget Windows 8 more then they themselves do.

ZipZapRap said,

+eleventy
The guy expects to be given keys to the city from Microsoft all in the name of "helping their customers" but if it were MY company, I'd do what Sinofsky did and just blacklist him. Not saying he should be a cheer squad, but geez, the guy hasn't got a positive bone in his body

When Windows 8 was announced and first demonstrated, Paul did a few podcast talking about how brilliant it was going to be and how he loved the merging of the old and new.

A few months later, he hated the idea of merging the old with the new. I'm not sure he really has a set of understand or principles to stand on, and if FriendA tells him XYZ is great, it is, until FriendB tells him XYZ sucks and then he agrees how much it always sucked.

He has a few friends at Microsoft that give him good information. What he 'makes' of the information or understand about it is worthless.

Dot Matrix said,

Ugh...

Jesus... sorry to say, but Paul's a tosser. I think opening his website up to comments was a bad idea, it just portrays him as a short tempered, sarcastic troll.

I criticized his coverage of the PS4 release (you can guess what it was like) and he banned my account! I've been reading his website since pre Windows XP. If you can't take a little criticism, don't post up stupid opinionated ****.

kayzee said,

Jesus... sorry to say, but Paul's a tosser. I think opening his website up to comments was a bad idea, it just portrays him as a short tempered, sarcastic troll.

I criticized his coverage of the PS4 release (you can guess what it was like) and he banned my account! I've been reading his website since pre Windows XP. If you can't take a little criticism, don't post up stupid opinionated ****.

Yeah people don't realize how big of a troll he really is. Seriously people. Follow him around the net and watch how much he trolls.

He was also (May still be not sure) a big user of pirated software. I called him out on that years ago and was immediately banned from his site. That lasted 2 minutes since he didn't know how to properly ban. Demonoid was his site for getting it all. Then making it look like he had super secret access to all these Windows builds.

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

It will. But it may just be a little too late.
At this point they need to take every single competition as risk and push Win 9 asap.
Heck, they can even do it now! At least design a new icon pack for the desktop!

-adrian- said,
will more people buy pcs again?

That's not important. People need to be adopting Windows on alternate form factors too.
The point here being, maintaining overall interest in the platform.

my guess is neither.
People who need PCs will continue to buy them and install whatever MS makes and find a way to make it usable and avoid Windows where possible as its already happening with Phones and Tablets.
Even if Threshold turns out to be out of this world awesome, by 2015 Anrdroid + iOS would have > 95% of marketshare and lot more features than they have now.
People will continue to ignore Windows in phones, tablets, tvs and these days wearables and cars.

Microsoft needs threshold this year not 2015. its just too late

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

IMHO Windows 8 was. And they missed it. Windows 9 will have to take on a different approach yet _again_, since Windows 8 is clearly not cutting it. Will the market be ready for all these twists and turns in their vision? No, I don't think so. I don't think there's time for that now. Google, Apple, Samsung, all battling at a ferocious pace for market dominance. Meanwhile, Microsoft is struggling with sales and people still having trouble getting around the Windows 8 concept... There's no time for that crap now! And that's why I think Threshold is too late, and why Windows 8 was the make-or-break release.

Yes; agreed with others thinking that Threshold needs to be out this year already. Even that is late. I think Microsoft has an urgent problem that has to be solved very soon. You know there's a real problem when people are even finding and getting accustomed to solutions around the Office suite. These are "killer apps" for the Windows platform at stake here.

Edited by Northgrove, Jan 11 2014, 8:35pm :

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

It doesn't matter what MS packages Windows 9 to be. People outside of neowin and a few gaming circles never upgrade their computers anymore. They keep what they have until the pc dies. Which is why XP is 1/3 of everyone on the internet as much as it makes some people angry here. It if aint broke do not fix it. The days of waiting at 12am at CompUSA for Windows 95 are over. The trend started during Windows 7 too I may add even if it did have a higher adoption rate the pie itself was starting to shrink.

Enron said,
They could just sell Windows 7 as Windows 9 and they'll do fine.

No they won't because most of the consumers who bought Windows 7 with netbooks and other cheap laptops have replaced their Windows box with a cheap tablet. The market for desktop OS users is shrinking and disappearing rapidly.

Microsoft needs to become a leader in tablets and smartphones or their OS software will slide into irrelevance. The traditional PC market will only decline further because most people who buy a tablet realize they don't need expensive PCs. You can't win back these customers with the old fashioned desktop which most developers have also abandoned.

kaizad1993 said,
At least design a new icon pack for the desktop!

That's all I need from W9.

guru said,
People will continue to ignore Windows in phones

That's not true anymore, especially outside the US WP8 is growing steadily. Also W9 wouldn't really help with phones.

korupt_one said,
why would it be too late, they are the first to start unifiying all the platforms together, apple and google will be years behind.

Nope, because Apple doesn't want to unifying the UI. The codebase is going to be unified, that's partly why they started this early with 64-bit ARM processor. Rebuild the iWork apps. They want to go 64-bit only and unify the frameworks.

And Thurrot is wrong, there is no make or break. He is contradicting himself right left and center, first he claimed repeatedly how Windows 8 grabs a lot of market share, and now Microsoft is almost dying.

He clearly has lost it.

He apparently missed the memo, Windows is one of the many billion dollar businesses within Microsoft, it is however not the most important, and this has been going on before Windows 7, time to wake up.

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

what absolute nonsense. they have a few more rolls of the dice yet, and a massive pile of cash to give themselves the best chance every time. they have set the ground work for a new ecosystem. let's see them build on it now.

Enron said,
They could just sell Windows 7 as Windows 9 and they'll do fine.

Except Metro/Modern has taken off, with more development being done for the new WinRT API set than Win32.

Which means, Windows 7 users will soon be left even further behind.

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

Groan, you do realise that Microsoft do have more to offer than Windows on the desktop?

So the only company that is leading or at least top 3 in these markets: Desktop OS, Server OS, Embedded OS, Tablet OS, Smartphone OS, Consumer Hardware, PC and Console gaming, Development Software, Cloud computing, Database Server, ERP software, Office productivity suite, Online Search, Email, Storage, Chat, VOIP (and many others), will die if one version of one of it's product fails. Right.

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

Statistically, even if the next two versions of Windows are horrid, Microsoft will be just fine, as they are only competing with themselves. You don't OS X or Linux stepping in to replace Windows 7 PCs.

PS Outside the over-hype of anti-Windows 8 sentiment you find here and on a few other sites, the majority of users don't care and don't have a problem with Windows 8.

In enterprise, it is doing better is some markets than Windows 7 because of the Modern UI that is simple, WinRT that is easy to develop new applications to replace internal software and the expansion of device support.
(Specifically, the Windows Embedded market along with POS and Kiosks configurations work better with Windows 8 than any previous version, and that isn't even touching the emerging 3D printing/scanning market that it caters.)

Enron said,
They could just sell Windows 7 as Windows 9 and they'll do fine.

I would say for non touch screen devices by default install windows 7 style (with start menu back) and modern apps open in border less windows like zune app but include app store so people can have freedom of installing full screen apps. but for touch enabled devices Enhanced version of Windows 8.1 with better apps and faster start ups. and pleaseee more Microsoft Apps. Microsoft was originally software company for god sake and now lacks basic apps. Google Reader style app, better video app. Sound,Movie Editing app. Photoshop like app. some games anything....

korupt_one said,
why would it be too late, they are the first to start unifiying all the platforms together, apple and google will be years behind.

Actually, you may see Apple's plans for the fusion of OS X & iOS as soon as this year ;-)

Steve121178 said,

Actually, you may see Apple's plans for the fusion of OS X & iOS as soon as this year ;-)

Probably, but it wasn't that long ago that Apple said that any convergence would be disastrous.

Maybe with Apple doing the 'me too', people will be more accepting of a unified OS model from Microsoft.

trojan_market said,

I would say for non touch screen devices by default install windows 7 style (with start menu back) and modern apps open in border less windows like zune app but include app store so people can have freedom of installing full screen apps. but for touch enabled devices Enhanced version of Windows 8.1 with better apps and faster start ups. and pleaseee more Microsoft Apps. Microsoft was originally software company for god sake and now lacks basic apps. Google Reader style app, better video app. Sound,Movie Editing app. Photoshop like app. some games anything....

This thinking is truly the minority...

Most desktop users like and use Modern UI.

As for more Apps, I agree Microsoft needs to get their previous 'live' offerings updated and with more features for the Modern UI. However, Microsoft has always been reluctant to take on areas where other developers are providing their software.

Microsoft is a 'platform/development' provider, and less of an Application provider.

They never competed with Photoshop, or released products that would hurt their partners. Even Microsoft Expression that was designed for XAML and the new development technologies, Microsoft pulled back on it, as it was impacting Adobe and
Corel.

If there is missing 'software/hardware' Microsoft will fill that void until others step in to take on the roll. They don't has aspirations to provide or create every piece of software a PC/Tablet user would need.

(Even going back to Windows 3.x, Microsoft assumed and expected WordPerfect and Lotus would create versions and retain their PC marketshare. It wasn't until Windows 3.0 was sitting without a proper wordprocessor did Microsoft do a quick revision of the Windows 2.x version of Word to get it running, far earlier than they had planned a release. Even Excel set for almost a year without a 3.0 compatible version.)

Steve121178 said,
Actually, you may see Apple's plans for the fusion of OS X & iOS as soon as this year ;-)

I see their initial implementation no better than AMD Bluestacks or Intel's dual OS system.

Lord Method Man said,
This will be a make-or-break release for Microsoft.

I don't think so if history is any indication. Microsoft tends to release a major OS that overhauls things but tends to break a lot and the one following it is a major success because its able to optimize the changes and people grow used to it.

XP was a bloated, buggy mess compared to W2K/W98, once SP2 came around you couldn't pry people off of it.

Vista was a complete overhaul of the security architecture which caused drivers that were not following best practices to fail. Drivers got sorted out and Windows 7 was a phenomenal success since everything was already compatible.

Win8 really changed up the design, it runs very fast but people have a hard time with the changes. Based on past history I suspect Win9 may do very well since they have an idea of how people use it.

Mobius Enigma said,

This thinking is truly the minority...

Most desktop users like and use Modern UI.

As for more Apps, I agree Microsoft needs to get their previous 'live' offerings updated and with more features for the Modern UI. However, Microsoft has always been reluctant to take on areas where other developers are providing their software.

Microsoft is a 'platform/development' provider, and less of an Application provider.

They never competed with Photoshop, or released products that would hurt their partners. Even Microsoft Expression that was designed for XAML and the new development technologies, Microsoft pulled back on it, as it was impacting Adobe and
Corel.

If there is missing 'software/hardware' Microsoft will fill that void until others step in to take on the roll. They don't has aspirations to provide or create every piece of software a PC/Tablet user would need.

(Even going back to Windows 3.x, Microsoft assumed and expected WordPerfect and Lotus would create versions and retain their PC marketshare. It wasn't until Windows 3.0 was sitting without a proper wordprocessor did Microsoft do a quick revision of the Windows 2.x version of Word to get it running, far earlier than they had planned a release. Even Excel set for almost a year without a 3.0 compatible version.)


as far as start menu goes, most people using Mouse and keyboard (not touch) missed it. I myself kinda got around it by keyboard and I am fine but I know many people are frustrated. by next year most PCs will be touch screen enabled so this argument would be dismissed presumably. as far as app ecosystem goes, I know Microsoft is OS provider not app provider but Microsoft need a push so consumer will be interested in platform and buy it so developers see enough market for their application to bother. so I still think they need kind of initial push. Maybe they could start with a catalogue of Must needed apps and pay some developers to do them. Office suit is very nice. a touch optimized version would be nice (with the same features not stripped down version)

I'm picturing a Metro desktop with a traditional Task Bar, Start Button & Menu.

The new, Metro-fied Task Bar will allow both Metro & desktop apps to be pinned side-by-side... and Metro apps will have Metro-style jump lists. Meaning, you can be working in Word, but quickly check the weather by moving your mouse over the Metro weather app pinned to the task bar... without ever leaving Word.

THAT'S what I'd like to see. The best of both worlds.

Using Desktop programs on a tablet is a horrible experience. Only IT people think desktop programs on a tablet is an attractive proposition. Regular consumers will reject the experience faster than you can say Windows Media Center. The only way to make old desktop programs a good experience on tablet is to rewrite every single individual program (impossible).

Which means the only people who want this are traditional (non-tablet PC) users which is a fast dying market. The people who abandoned laptops/desktops for tablets are never coming back no matter what interface or OS changes you make. Laptop/desktop can't compete on price with tablets because they require more hardware, they can't compete on mobility either. And consumers who have abandoned PCs for tablets are overwhelmingly satisfied. So what this Threshold rumor describes is a company chasing after a lost hardware market that will never come back. At best MS can convert the old diehards and productivity workhorses who refuse to transition to tablets. The floodgates are open though, people are moving to off-brand cheap Androids, Kindle Fire, iPad, and Surface for non-desktop use. These people will never come back to desktop programs.

People are not trading out PCs for tablets because they don't like Windows 8, they're doing it because tablets are much cheaper and do everything they need. The market for people and companies who need PCs is shrinking. No OS interface can make people want hardware they don't need anymore. Sinofsky understood that Microsoft's goal was to transition consumers to Windows tablets, not to try to stop tablets from dominating PCs. Threshold sounds like a misguided attempt to chase after a dying market of PC users.

Thrurrott's math in this article is also abysmal if we lend any credence to Netmarketshare data. He claims Win8 is a failure and only 25M users of 8.1, but 8.1 has about 4% share of 1.5B PCs which is closer to 60M users (according to Netmarketshare). Both versions combined have around 11% share which would be around 160M active users 5 quarters after the debut of Windows 8. Hardly the catastrophic failure Thurrott portrays. Perhaps the Myerson regime wants to present the Sinofsky era as a total failure for their own benefit, but it is not true at all.

Microsoft cannot stop the decline of the PC. Keyword is decline not death. There is no interface that can convince many consumers they need $500-$1000+ computers anymore when they can go to Walmart and get an $80 no-name tablet that gives them all the Facebook/Google access they ever wanted a PC for. Microsoft needs to figure out how they can dominate tablets and smartphones. That is their main challenge. Continuing to profit off the desktop diehards is important also, but of ever declining importance.

The number of people that 'refuse tablets' might be a lot bigger than you think. In fact, there is no way the enterprises is ever going to switch to tablets, unless these tablets are usable, and take it from me, that is not going to be an iPad nor an android tablet.

Avatar Roku said,
Thrurrott's math in this article is also abysmal if we lend any credence to Netmarketshare data. He claims Win8 is a failure and only 25M users of 8.1, but 8.1 has about 4% share of 1.5B PCs which is closer to 60M users (according to Netmarketshare). Both versions combined have around 11% share which would be around 160M active users 5 quarters after the debut of Windows 8. Hardly the catastrophic failure Thurrott portrays. Perhaps the Myerson regime wants to present the Sinofsky era as a total failure for their own benefit, but it is not true at all.

Microsoft cannot stop the decline of the PC. Keyword is decline not death. There is no interface that can convince many consumers they need $500-$1000+ computers anymore when they can go to Walmart and get an $80 no-name tablet that gives them all the Facebook/Google access they ever wanted a PC for. Microsoft needs to figure out how they can dominate tablets and smartphones. That is their main challenge. Continuing to profit off the desktop diehards is important also, but of ever declining importance.

Paul has ok sources, but when it comes to details (and math) he is not a 'technical' person.

I can still remember a colleague pointing out his assumption about the NT HAL which was completely backwards, and even after a bit of correspondence, Paul never did understand.

He claimed the NT HAL made it harder to port to new architectures, when by definition and design the HAL makes it far easier to port. He stated in an article that Microsoft would have a hard time dealing with ARM devices because he believed they would have to do a complete rewrite of each NT version for each ARM CPU variation.

(Needless to say Paul was very wrong, and not able to comprehend why.)

So, respect his sources of information from Microsoft, he has friends, but don't buy into any of his more 'technical' writings or how they fit a bigger picture that requires understanding he doesn't posses.


Avatar Roku said,
Using Desktop programs on a tablet is a horrible experience. Only IT people think desktop programs on a tablet is an attractive proposition.

Who said anything about forcing people to run desktop applications on a tablet? you do realise that Surface is a hybrid tablet meaning that at times you might actually want to run applications in desktop mode? why do you believe that it has to be all one way or all the other?

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Who said anything about forcing people to run desktop applications on a tablet? you do realise that Surface is a hybrid tablet meaning that at times you might actually want to run applications in desktop mode? why do you believe that it has to be all one way or all the other?

Additionally, the TabletPC existed for 10 years successfully in enterprise environments running 'desktop' software with nothing more than a Pen.

Windows' TabletPC input controls make even hard core desktop applications work well.

Between the 'touch' keyboard and handwriting support, there are virtually zero things that cannot be used rather well. This even includes mouse/keyboard heavy software like CAD/Engineer software and even games.

I won't argue that software designed around touch/pen works better than desktop software, but the difference isn't that great once the user take time to get used to the alternate input.

This is why Microsoft would be crazy to have removed all desktop aspects a full x86/x64 tablet - added in with the fact users can easily plug in a keyboard and mouse - and as you state have a full PC experience and be limited to a tablet.