Windows Threshold: Answers to the questions you have been asking

For the past 5 weeks or so, we have been uncovering quite a bit about Microsoft's next update to Windows, internally called Threshold, and since then, we have received a couple a copious amounts of emails and pings on Twitter about the update, and as we have learned more, we want to help clarify some of the common items we keep getting asked.

Is the Charms bar really dead?

Do you have any whiskey handy? If you do, pour one out. On the desktop, in the current builds, the Charms bar is dead and it is moving inside the modern apps. Currently, the Charms functionality is moving inside modern apps to a button in the header bar. The location of the new 'charms' area is subject to change and for those apps that are dependent on the Charms bar, don't be surprised if you see Microsoft politely ask them to adjust their functionality to fit with the new style.

We haven't heard anything about Metro 2.0, are they not updating the modern UI?

Here's the thing with the updated modern UI. There will be changes and new features, Microsoft is still keeping it a bit close to the chest but we are starting to hear whispers about what all will be included on the touch-side of the OS. Know that there will be updates but we are not quite ready to crack open this nut, yet.

Is it really coming this fall?

The current builds of Windows Threshold have a new watermark that no longer refers to the build as Windows 8.1 and that it is now a 'preview' build. This aligns to how Windows 8 was released, and we fully believe that this is what Microsoft will do based on our own sources as well as what others are saying. The fact that builds are now referred to as a preview means that Microsoft is gearing up to let outsiders use the build.

I thought the Start menu was coming back to Windows 8, why has this changed?

If you go back and watch what was announced at BUILD 2014, Terry Myerson said that the Start menu would be an update for Windows 8 users, and while we believe that it was originally slated for update 2 and then pulled, technically, Windows Threshold will be an update to Windows 8. It also seems plausible that Windows Threshold could be a free update for Windows 8 users, so for those of you who have bought in to the Windows 8 ecosystem, you will very likely be able to get Windows Threshold

Is Windows Threshold going to be called Windows 9?

Most believe that Windows Threshold will be called Windows 9, but there is still a small fraction of the enthusiast community who thinks that this will be called Windows 8.2 or something along those lines. It is of our belief that this update will be called Windows 9. By the time that Windows 9 is ready for release for all consumers (RTM) Windows 8 will be about 3 years old, so it seems logical that a new name is warranted. We have also heard that Microsoft is doing everything it can to get away from Windows 8 as quickly as possible since it has not been well received with consumers.

Apple hasn't put Siri on the desktop, why should Microsoft put Cortana on its desktop?

Simple, Microsoft wants Cortana on all of its key platforms including Xbox. Cortana's ambitions go far beyond that of what Apple is doing with Siri and you can already see this with how quickly Microsoft is adding features to the mobile platform. By bringing Cortana to the desktop, they will also be adding millions of users to its data pool so that it can make the service even better. More so, Cortana will eventually be able to interact cross-platform as well and it could serve as the data-link, much like OneDrive to tie services together. Imagine being on your Xbox and saying "Cortana, set a reminder to call my wife at 10 A.M" and magically, the reminder shows up on your desktop, your phone and your tablets that are running Windows Threshold.

These are just a few of the questions that we have been receiving over the past few weeks about Threshold, and if you have any more let us know in the comments below, or you can reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Will Windows 9/Threshold support the VB6 runtime ? There is a lot of VB6 programming out there which needs to be updated from Windows XP. The Visual Basic programming community needs this.

I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that one.

I do wish you people would finally realize your language died in 2002 and is never coming back, no matter how much time you waste begging and pleading for it.

Haven't see or heard anything about a user selectable UI. If Microsoft things that one UI is going to work very well over the wide range of hardware to which Windows is being pitched (netbooks, tablets, laptops, desktops, and lets also include smartphones for emphasis), Windows-9 will also be a disappointment

Brad, I did want to ask, have you heard anything about Surface support with Threshold? Is the OS planned to support Microsoft's first gen devices?

Dot Matrix said,
Brad, I did want to ask, have you heard anything about Surface support with Threshold? Is the OS planned to support Microsoft's first gen devices?

It would make sense if Microsoft would do this.
Win9 is rumored to be free. Reason for it, is that MS hopes people will upgrade from XP, Vista, Win7 and Win8 to Win9. That way MS will have only 1 platform to work on (obviously this is utopia for MS) So leaving Surface RT behind on Win8 wouldn't make any sense. But then again, this is MS....

b4rtw said,

It would make sense if Microsoft would do this.
Win9 is rumored to be free. Reason for it, is that MS hopes people will upgrade from XP, Vista, Win7 and Win8 to Win9. That way MS will have only 1 platform to work on (obviously this is utopia for MS) So leaving Surface RT behind on Win8 wouldn't make any sense. But then again, this is MS....

It'll be free only if Microsoft can make up for it elsewhere... Such as advertising. I'd rather pay to license the OS.

Surface RT will be supported.

"It'll be free only if Microsoft can make up for it elsewhere..."

Windows 8+ hasn't yet got the market share of Windows 7, the key will be to move < Win 7 users up to the latest OS. This isn't to say it will be free, but it is to say the chance of it being a free update is very, very high.

I guess I'll NOT be updating, then. Most of the changes described are ruining the platform for me. I HATE the idea of bringing the Start Menu back, I HATE the idea of doing away with the Charms. I also despise puking desktop concepts onto Metro and dragging people back to the tired desktop. Metro 2.0 should be focused on making the live tiles much more functional and interactive so that the need for the desktop is diminished. But apparently fogies have won the day.

Robert.E.Wade said,
I guess I'll NOT be updating, then. Most of the changes described are ruining the platform for me. I HATE the idea of bringing the Start Menu back, I HATE the idea of doing away with the Charms. I also despise puking desktop concepts onto Metro and dragging people back to the tired desktop. Metro 2.0 should be focused on making the live tiles much more functional and interactive so that the need for the desktop is diminished. But apparently fogies have won the day.

Same here. I want focus on a scalable, dynamic, UX, which moves away from the classic desktop. However, Metro 2.0 sounds as if it'll be transforming the desktop into a modern experience that'll move Windows forward. I really hope to see the interactive live tile concept brought to life in this release.

Sadly, it appears Charms is done with for the most part, which is a shame since a unified and centralized location for app and system settings is exactly what Windows needs at the moment.

The only question on my mind was whether it was free or not and this has not been answered. I'd also wager that this is easily a top question on other peoples minds too.

Zlain said,
The only question on my mind was whether it was free or not and this has not been answered. I'd also wager that this is easily a top question on other peoples minds too.

Microsoft has yet to officially announce Threshold, let alone price SKUs.

Unanswered question. Will there be a user-selectable UI? Clearly, one UI will not and cannot be equally suitable for all the hardware on which Windows claims to work well. (Windows-8 has proved that, oh so well.)

User-selected? I agree with the concept, but I'd say that's an issue of one UI not being suited to every user and use style, rather than hardware.

The issue IMO is more that Modern is not suited to many users' preferences/use style, rather than to hardware. Modern is a nearly universal UI, while the desktop _only_ works well on stationary machines.

Its just that many people don't like it and don't feel it works well for them - which is perfectly reasonable.

Windows 8 works well on all the hardware its been put on - it's some of the meatware it doesn't work well with. :-)

Great News, Thank You Neowin <3 and Thanks to Microsoft ;)
Yeah Cortana is great on desktop, Windows 9 name has a Like, Fall is good season(my birthday), Like for death of charm bar and keep stinky Windows 8.x away :)

what happens when you click the wifi/lan icon on the taskbar? currently, it opens a Metro edge panel. is this still the case?

I find the choice of words 'the charm bar is dead' a bit extreme. The charms are simply being logically placed in consistency with the new modern apps that also run within Windows. When you use Windows with a mouse then it makes sense to place every button on screen and close to the window that is active. Keeping the charms around would have been foolish.

Personally I'm hoping Microsoft will provide a 'touch up' for the entire desktop. As in go through all icons and re-do them to fit the modern UI. Windows on non-touch PCs should have the desktop as their one and only interface but I still want my non-touch devices to be consistent with my touch devices in terms of looks.

For example the start button has been made 'metro', yet the other icons on the taskbar are still very much 'aero'. The worst offender is the modern app running within the desktop. It's icon is a horrible mess of both metro and aero. The same can be said for the entire desktop in 8.1.1 so hopefully this is something they'll greatly improve upon in Windows 9.

Dot Matrix said,
They're Apple. They'll mock Microsoft's innovations, while they implement "something better".

Because Microsoft doesn't do the same? :huh:

How about we quit worrying about the feelings of a goddamn company...? Sheesh.

What's happening with Windows Media Centre? Is it being replaced with the Xbox One TV Software with Live Tuner support? Since it is also coming to LG TVs and other smart devices.

I really hope that that's what they do but I suspect they will just push everyone who wants WMC to an Xbox. WMC is a brilliant but poorly supported application that deserves a decent upgrade.

SCOOBY_666UK said,
What's happening with Windows Media Center?

Dead.
They couldn't even get cableCARD working back when it was a thing. tight integration in the consumers' hands make the content owners very nervous. Thus Microsoft is playing nice with them in exchange for more content deals through Xbox Video.

deadonthefloor said,

Dead.
They couldn't even get cableCARD working back when it was a thing. tight integration in the consumers' hands make the content owners very nervous. Thus Microsoft is playing nice with them in exchange for more content deals through Xbox Video.

In that case the need to build in services like Sky Go/Virgin TV Anywhere/BT (UK Services) directly in to the One Guide and make the Software Universal with the ability to run on all Windows Devices.

I have a cable card working with Media Center on Windows 8 right now - been using it since I installed Windows 8 on release. It was surprisingly easy to set up. Its also the reason I wont buy an Xbox One. My Xbox 360 will play content from my PC in the Media Center interface - even the DRM stuff.

SCOOBY_666UK said,
In that case the need to build in services like Sky Go/Virgin TV Anywhere/BT (UK Services) directly in to the One Guide and make the Software Universal with the ability to run on all Windows Devices.

That's kind of the plan.
The plan is for Microsoft to build an infrastructure for universal apps across the NT ecosystem and They; being Sky Go / Virgin TV / BT / etc to bring their content to the table.

So no, you probably won't see any of those anytime soon.

Other than the return of the Start Menu (the choice to use it or not should've never been removed), I am hoping Microsoft re-adds the GUI for managing wireless networks back in. Removing it from 8 and relying solely on the Command Line is a pain in the butt.

AmazingRando said,
Removing it from 8 and relying solely on the Command Line is a pain in the butt.

Did you disable Modern?

I can manage wireless networks fine.

Eolirin said,
It's not gone, it's a charm. The wireless icon in the taskbar opens it directly even.

That opens up the common UI for control. So in the common UI, you can get right to the doorstep but not leap to that properties dialog. They removed it from Control Panels for no good reason and it's a pain in the butt.

If Microsoft released Windows 8.2 that did just have the start menu + windowed modern apps, many people would be so happy about that, myself included.
If Windows 9 is going to be as advertised, I would hope it is something special

Anarkii said,
If Microsoft released Windows 8.2 that did just have the start menu + windowed modern apps, many people would be so happy about that, myself included.
If Windows 9 is going to be as advertised, I would hope it is something special

I suspect Windows 9 is Windows 8.2 or 8.3 with a new branding. I think Microsoft has come to accept that they've ruined Windows 8's reputation when they put a touch experience on non-touch devices (as in: most Windows 8 devices out there). Windows 9 is their way to start over with a OS that has a non-touch interface for non-touch devices and vice versa.

I think they would have released the start menu (and Windows 9 itself) if it had been ready. Every day they wait hundreds of consumers experience Windows 8's double UI on a desktop PC, which can be a frustrating experience. And since Windows 9 should quickly replace Windows 8's touch interface from desktops, it makes sense to provide it as a free upgrade to everyone with a Windows 8 PC.

And it costs Microsoft nothing extra since it was already intended as a free upgrade to Windows 8. 'Under the hood' there wont be a big difference between Windows 8 and 9. The 'true' (technically different) successor they have to Windows 8 will now be called Windows 10, and we wont see that for a couple of years.

And this bit:


We haven't heard anything about Metro 2.0, are they not updating the modern UI?

Here's the thing with the updated modern UI. There will be changes and new features, Microsoft is still keeping it a bit close to the chest but we are starting to hear whispers about what all will be included on the touch-side of the OS. Know that there will be updates but we are not quite ready to crack open this nut, yet.

Is this article suggesting these amendments to the Windows 8.1 'experience', e.g. a Start Menu and windowed Modern apps, are distinct from what has also been talked about previously in the Windows 9-context, e.g. virtual desktops, taskbar/gadget enhancements and a 'distinctive new look and feel'?

That's what it seems to suggest to me - "Threshold" is 8.1+, previewed maybe soon, looking as suggested in the image above, and Windows 9 is something more, but later.

??

DConnell said,
Charms moving to the" header bar"? What's the header bar? And is there a 3 drink minimum?

It's that stupid bar at the top that appears for mouse users that blocks interface elements especially when using remote control utilities like Remote Desktop and Team Viewer.

That they are doubling down on this awful feature makes me very disappointed. I'll miss the Charms a lot. Like so many other parts of Windows 8 it's benefits was never proper explained, demonstrated, or defended. So one more truly innovative feature will be dropped because Microsoft lacks commitment to their own OS.

How different would things have been if they had written an interactive tutorial in advance of the release of Windows 8 that built a custom Star Screen for each user and showed them the benefits of the stealth interface and how it puts the information you want first then gets out of the way. Instead we'll be going back to toolbar hell.

Well, sh*t. That's what I was afraid of. Once again MS goes too far. That titlebar thing doesn't belong in Modern in the first place, now they're adding features to it?

First they push too hard on Modern (while not providing enough help with the changes), now they're destroying the unique features of Modern to please the desktop UI fans who don't even use it.

I don't want to be dragged back to the desktop for everything any more than the desktop UI fans want to be forced into Modern. But apparently Microsoft doesn't understand the concept of balance.

Microsoft. Middle ground. Find it!

Forjo said,

It's that stupid bar at the top that appears for mouse users that blocks interface elements especially when using remote control utilities like Remote Desktop and Team Viewer.

That they are doubling down on this awful feature makes me very disappointed. I'll miss the Charms a lot. Like so many other parts of Windows 8 it's benefits was never proper explained, demonstrated, or defended. So one more truly innovative feature will be dropped because Microsoft lacks commitment to their own OS.

How different would things have been if they had written an interactive tutorial in advance of the release of Windows 8 that built a custom Star Screen for each user and showed them the benefits of the stealth interface and how it puts the information you want first then gets out of the way. Instead we'll be going back to toolbar hell.

That's not the header bar, that's the title bar. The header bar is the thing that appears when you rightclick or for the Windows Store, it's always visible.

From what I've read and understood, the Charms bar isn't going anywhere on tablets and similar touch devices where it is actually useful.

Only on desktop with windowed Metro apps is it changing, which kind of makes sense... having a charms bar on the right hand side of the screen for Metro apps that will be windowed, would be odd to say the lease. Each app will have it's own charms bar or sorts that will be located in it's header bar.

I find it very useful on stationary computers, although my complaint is less about Charms being moved than it is the retention of the interfering Modern titlebar. It should be headed out the door, not getting stuff added!

I'm not talking about Modern apps on the desktop, but in their own environment. In the Modern environment, the titlebar serves no purpose whatsoever.

On the desktop, the titlebar is useful but in Modern, the 8.1u1 implementation of titlebars in Modern simply gets in the way of the app's controls. Even Microsoft's own apps have this problem.

Remote desktop software is especially problematic. How am I supposed to click on a close box in RD or Citrix or Teamviewer if the app's own titlebar drops down to block it? I end up closing the _session_ rather than the program within the session.

Forjo said,

It's that stupid bar at the top that appears for mouse users that blocks interface elements especially when using remote control utilities like Remote Desktop and Team Viewer.

That they are doubling down on this awful feature makes me very disappointed. I'll miss the Charms a lot. Like so many other parts of Windows 8 it's benefits was never proper explained, demonstrated, or defended. So one more truly innovative feature will be dropped because Microsoft lacks commitment to their own OS.

How different would things have been if they had written an interactive tutorial in advance of the release of Windows 8 that built a custom Star Screen for each user and showed them the benefits of the stealth interface and how it puts the information you want first then gets out of the way. Instead we'll be going back to toolbar hell.


I hear you. I also prefer having my taskbar on the top, but I quickly learned that the way the title bar handles out, and the taskbar draws out when you have it on top... that it wasn't going to be a real option. Makes me sad. :(

Forjo said,

It's that stupid bar at the top that appears for mouse users that blocks interface elements especially when using remote control utilities like Remote Desktop and Team Viewer.

That they are doubling down on this awful feature makes me very disappointed. I'll miss the Charms a lot. Like so many other parts of Windows 8 it's benefits was never proper explained, demonstrated, or defended. So one more truly innovative feature will be dropped because Microsoft lacks commitment to their own OS.

I really hope the Charms just go to the Status Bar and not the window. (If the Status bar were able to be moved the same way the tiles in the taskbar are movable I can't think of any problem at all.) I've been very critical of Jensen Harris and some of the things that happened with Windows 8, but I think there are elements to the inclusion of the Charms Bar that I enjoy.

Studio384 said,
That's not the header bar, that's the title bar. The header bar is the thing that appears when you rightclick or for the Windows Store, it's always visible.

Well, if they handle it like Windows Phone and hide it behind the breadcrumbs I could adapt. But I really hope I can still swipe in from the side. It's convenient and I already have the muscle memory.

Hopefully not as the only option. I don't need the desktop UI, just the programs, and I don't want to be forced back onto the desktop.

Edited by DConnell, Sep 2 2014, 9:54pm :

Scar said,
I still don't believe that it will be free for Windows 8 users, but if so, that will be amazing!

I really hope it will be. I think they wouldnt fair too well with one black eye from Windows 8 and then another black eye from charging for a "fix" for what's "wrong" with it.

Scar said,
I still don't believe that it will be free for Windows 8 users

it will be a bold move to charge 8-users for getting back the Start menu

Scar said,
I still don't believe that it will be free for Windows 8 users, but if so, that will be amazing!
They confirmed it to be free, actualy. They said that the startmenu and windowed apps where coming in a free update to Windows 8 users, if this is part of Threshold, and doesn't come in the monthly updates, it's free.

AmazingRando said,

I really hope it will be. I think they wouldnt fair too well with one black eye from Windows 8 and then another black eye from charging for a "fix" for what's "wrong" with it.

So you're saying that Windows 7 should've been free too? At the end of the day, they didn't force you at gun point to buy Windows 8, and let's face it... they're a business. Businesses exist to make money. Giving their main product away for free wouldn't serve anybody well, except for a self-entitled few. Cut price for Windows 8 users perhaps, like a suped-up "Upgrade" edition.

Scar said,
I still don't believe that it will be free for Windows 8 users, but if so, that will be amazing!

Even if "Threshold" is dubbed Windows 9 or Windows _____ , I have a feeling it will be free (for Windows 8.x users) as a way of making it up to users for the issues, real or perceived, with Windows 8.x. But, I wouldn't be shocked if they made Windows 8 users pay a small upgrade fee.

Apple has been doing the upgrade price for OS X where one pays $29 and that user can upgrade all of their Macs that are running the immediately previous version. Of course, we have seen Microsoft offer the special deals with new PCs a couple of times where you only pay $14.95 to upgrade, for a limited time.

Perhaps Windows 8 users pay $9.95 or $14.95, but Windows 7 users can upgrade for a bit more, anywhere from maybe $19.95 to $39.95. I think to encourage Windows 7 users to upgrade, Microsoft should sweeten the deal and be somewhat aggressive. To encourage even more users to get on and use their services (Office 365, OneDrive, Bing, etc.), they could even allow Windows 7 users to upgrade for very minimal cost and Windows 8.x users to upgrade for free. Heck, maybe they even have a special Windows/Office 365 upgrade offer or a special Windows/Office 365/OneDrive upgrade offer for some or all current Windows users.

Microsoft could always do some type of creative hybrid approach that is similar to Apples' $29 upgrade policy or offer a couple of different prices and upgrade paths depending on different factors.

All of that said, again, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Windows 8.x users get to upgrade/update for free.

TCLN Ryster said,

So you're saying that Windows 7 should've been free too? At the end of the day, they didn't force you at gun point to buy Windows 8, and let's face it... they're a business. Businesses exist to make money.

No. Windows 7's code base and development cycle was entirely different and separate than Vista and from Windows 8. Everything MS has released so far, or that has leaked, has pointed to Windows 9 being a solution for Windows 8's problems (real or perceived) due to enormous customer feedback and rejection.

If they can prove to me that Windows 9 is a truly unique and exhaustive approach making it a brand new product, then I can see them asking for full price. However their sales and marketing team will have a long way to go to prove that to people.

TCLN Ryster said,

Giving their main product away for free wouldn't serve anybody well, except for a self-entitled few. Cut price for Windows 8 users perhaps, like a suped-up "Upgrade" edition.

Their long term goal is to continue to sell their products to the same person over and over again. So their real focus is customer goodwill and trust to sell repeated products to that person.

I'm not going to pay full price for yet another one of their OS's that fix what was broke in the previous OS. I've been on this ride since Windows 3.1 and thankfully there are more than enough fully featured alternatives that I have a choice now to get off.

If MS is serious about adoption, they'll make it free for everyone that has a copy of Windows, even XP, Vista, or Windows 7. They make almost no money on upgrades anyway, people tend to upgrade OS only when they upgrade their hardware; they're not losing much of anything by making the upgrade free, unless you think that new versions of Windows inspire people to go out and buy new computers, something I think is dubious at best.

There are a lot of benefits to them getting as many people on Windows 9 as possible too, there's a good chance that Windows 7 will end up being the next XP if they don't do something to make it very easy for people to move to a more modern OS, and it'll open up much more exposure to their services. Getting as many people as possible onto an OS version that uses OneDrive and Cortana is a big deal, and having a much larger install base for the WinRT apis is important too.

They'd be crazy *not* to make it free, and delivered via Windows Update, for as many people as possible.

AmazingRando said,

I really hope it will be. I think they wouldnt fair too well with one black eye from Windows 8 and then another black eye from charging for a "fix" for what's "wrong" with it.

Wasn't 7 a fix for Vista that people still paid for?

Scar said,

Wasn't 7 a fix for Vista that people still paid for?

Yep. Just as XP was a fix for ME/2000. And 98 was a fix for 95.

Time to either fix the train or jump off.

AmazingRando said,

Yep. Just as XP was a fix for ME/2000. And 98 was a fix for 95.

Time to either fix the train or jump off.

Indeed.

Eolirin said,
If MS is serious about adoption, they'll make it free for everyone that has a copy of Windows, even XP, Vista, or Windows 7. They make almost no money on upgrades anyway, people tend to upgrade OS only when they upgrade their hardware; they're not losing much of anything by making the upgrade free, unless you think that new versions of Windows inspire people to go out and buy new computers, something I think is dubious at best.

There are a lot of benefits to them getting as many people on Windows 9 as possible too, there's a good chance that Windows 7 will end up being the next XP if they don't do something to make it very easy for people to move to a more modern OS, and it'll open up much more exposure to their services. Getting as many people as possible onto an OS version that uses OneDrive and Cortana is a big deal, and having a much larger install base for the WinRT apis is important too.

They'd be crazy *not* to make it free, and delivered via Windows Update, for as many people as possible.

This won't be a free update. As it was said above, Microsoft is a business. They're not going to drop their revenue stream just to please people. Then they wouldn't be making money. Unless you want an OS that is filled to the brim with ads?

AmazingRando said,

If they can prove to me that Windows 9 is a truly unique and exhaustive approach making it a brand new product, then I can see them asking for full price. However their sales and marketing team will have a long way to go to prove that to people.

Their long term goal is to continue to sell their products to the same person over and over again. So their real focus is customer goodwill and trust to sell repeated products to that person.

I'm not going to pay full price for yet another one of their OS's that fix what was broke in the previous OS. I've been on this ride since Windows 3.1 and thankfully there are more than enough fully featured alternatives that I have a choice now to get off.

Going off rumors, they already have. Metro 2.0, Cortana, etc. No one has made you buy Windows in the past, and Microsoft certainly isn't going to force you to buy Threshold if you don't want to. But they are a business, and their main revenue stream is to license you their software. There is no "free" in the tech business.

Dot Matrix said,

Going off rumors, they already have. Metro 2.0, Cortana, etc. No one has made you buy Windows in the past, and Microsoft certainly isn't going to force you to buy Threshold if you don't want to. But they are a business, and their main revenue stream is to license you their software. There is no "free" in the tech business.

No there's not. Heck 8.1 was subsidized by Bing and their own ad network. Microsoft is really enjoying back to the good old days when they werent under scrutiny by the DOJ for monopoly abuse. Dont like Bing being the built-in search provider? Big deal, cant change it. No API's, no option, no choice.

Cortana is a bait and switch BS. And Metro 2.0 is a design language based on some of the most loosely shifting drivel I have ever seen since Metro 1.0. No I'm sorry Modern. No I'm sorry Windows Improved User Experience Ehanced Visual Layout Edition 1.0. Or whatever.

No, Microsoft didnt force me to buy their product since I am not their target customer. I build my machines and am intelligent enough to install and run whatever I want. But we arent talking about the me's of the world, or the you's. So your argument basically says, "Yeah they make crap, but they didnt force you to eat it and what do you care if a bunch of people who dont know any better eat it?" Nice. Stay classy there pal.

AmazingRando said,

No there's not. Heck 8.1 was subsidized by Bing and their own ad network. Microsoft is really enjoying back to the good old days when they werent under scrutiny by the DOJ for monopoly abuse. Dont like Bing being the built-in search provider? Big deal, cant change it. No API's, no option, no choice.

What? There are plenty of ways to change the search defaults. And Microsoft isn't doing anything more than what Apple and Google are doing. Where's their anti-trust lawsuits?

Dot Matrix said,

What? There are plenty of ways to change the search defaults. And Microsoft isn't doing anything more than what Apple and Google are doing. Where's their anti-trust lawsuits?

I can change the OS internet search provider? That's news to me. Where is this setting?

When there is legal proof that Apple or Google are committing anti-trust violations, I'm sure they will be brought to book, the same way Microsoft has been found criminally responsible in their past.

You can also change default search providers on some other OS's. Chrome OS for example you can use any search provider you want.

AmazingRando said,

I really hope it will be. I think they wouldnt fair too well with one black eye from Windows 8 and then another black eye from charging for a "fix" for what's "wrong" with it.

it happened earlier in the Vista to 7 transition, so I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft did it again.

Eolirin said,
If MS is serious about adoption, they'll make it free for everyone that has a copy of Windows, even XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

My family has a copy of Windows 3.1 sitting around... Does that mean I'm entitled to get Windows 9 for free? :p

JaykeBird said,

My family has a copy of Windows 3.1 sitting around... Does that mean I'm entitled to get Windows 9 for free? :p

Nah, only Windows 3.11 users and up.

JayZJay said,

Even if "Threshold" is dubbed Windows 9 or Windows _____ , I have a feeling it will be free (for Windows 8.x users) as a way of making it up to users for the issues, real or perceived, with Windows 8.x. But, I wouldn't be shocked if they made Windows 8 users pay a small upgrade fee.

Apple has been doing the upgrade price for OS X where one pays $29 and that user can upgrade all of their Macs that are running the immediately previous version. Of course, we have seen Microsoft offer the special deals with new PCs a couple of times where you only pay $14.95 to upgrade, for a limited time.

Perhaps Windows 8 users pay $9.95 or $14.95, but Windows 7 users can upgrade for a bit more, anywhere from maybe $19.95 to $39.95. I think to encourage Windows 7 users to upgrade, Microsoft should sweeten the deal and be somewhat aggressive. To encourage even more users to get on and use their services (Office 365, OneDrive, Bing, etc.), they could even allow Windows 7 users to upgrade for very minimal cost and Windows 8.x users to upgrade for free. Heck, maybe they even have a special Windows/Office 365 upgrade offer or a special Windows/Office 365/OneDrive upgrade offer for some or all current Windows users.

Microsoft could always do some type of creative hybrid approach that is similar to Apples' $29 upgrade policy or offer a couple of different prices and upgrade paths depending on different factors.

All of that said, again, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Windows 8.x users get to upgrade/update for free.

I would be very surprised if it came for free. For some reason I have a feeling this "It will be free for Windows 8 users" comment is nothing but a ploy to get people to upgrade to Windows 8 till 9 is eventually released. I run Windows 8 myself and never thought for a single minute to go back to 7 for any reason whatsoever. So I won't really compare it to Vista(which I bought, ran for a year till I eventually downgraded to XP) or ME.

It's hard for me to imagine a new version of Windows is coming out for free for the first time ever. They might add another update for Windows 8 users, probably called Windows 8.2, with the start menu back and other features but Windows 9(with all its new features, possible UI revamp and other stuff soon to be revealed) will surely be a paid upgrade. Think of it as something like Windows Vista's Service Pack 2 for Windows 8 users, Service Pack 2 was released two months before Windows 7.

Cortana coming to windows is probably the most interesting feature. Imagine editing a simple photo can be accomplished by A.I (Cortana)

Edited by Master of Earth, Aug 18 2014, 12:30pm :

Master of Earth said,
Cortana coming to windows is probably the most interesting feature. Imagine editing a simple photo can be accomplished by A.I (Cortana)

then i guess i gotta get a mic or a headset with a mic