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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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.

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.

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

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 :)

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. :-)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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