Windows Threshold: Partners get access to the builds

Later this month, Microsoft is expected to release a public build of Windows Threshold for use by developers and enthusiasts alike. But, if you are a top tier Microsoft partner, there is a good chance that you already have access to these builds.

It was tipped to Neowin a few weeks back that partners were starting to get more recent builds of Threshold and we have been able to confirm that this is true. But, if you are thinking that this will mean a leak soon, don't get too excited as there are many security features in place to discourage these groups from letting anyone see the contents. On top of this, not all features are enabled in these builds.

Microsoft has always worked closely with its key partners, so it is not a surprise to hear this, as they need to keep these groups informed about the company's direction. 

Windows Threshold will introduce a number of new features that you can read about here, most notably, the return of the Start menu. It is expected that Windows Threshold will likely be called Windows 9 to help push Microsoft past the woes that Windows 8 has introduced. Of course, naming is subject to change but by all accounts, this is a large update for Windows.

As we get closer to the rumored release date, expect that more information will get leaked as more users get their hands on Microsoft's latest builds.

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Cortana or bust! lol, really I'd like Cortana to make it onto all Windows platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.x/9.x. Also, if its not too much trouble, throw it on Android as well (wishful thinking :p).

You know, if the rumors about this being the last big/major Windows release form MS and after this just getting smaller "Updates" every 6 or 8 months I think not calling this Windows 9 and actually calling it something else would make more sense unless we're all fine with being on Windows 9 for years like Apple has done with OSX, but even they use version numbers.

Windows has gotten to a stage where there's not much more in the way of features you can add (at a lower level). Windows 7 would be what I call the last major release. Gone are the days of major updates like from Mac OS 9 to OS X, and Windows 3.1 to Windows 95/98 to XP.

Listening to customers is a very welcome move on Microsoft's part - just hope this time they don't go crazy again like they did with Vista and then again with 8. You can have amazing tech under the hood but if it's confusing or annoying at the UI level then you lose people very fast.

Orange Battery said,
Listening to customers is a very welcome move on Microsoft's part - just hope this time they don't go crazy again like they did with Vista and then again with 8. You can have amazing tech under the hood but if it's confusing or annoying at the UI level then you lose people very fast.

With Vista they weren't crazy. They just delivered an inferior version of Windows as it ran terrible on hardware of that time.

They were crazy with Windows 8. Not that Windows 8 itself is the fault. It's whoever decided to smear the same interface on non-touch devices. On touch devices its the best OS Microsoft has ever created. But most people got to experience on a desktop and will never understand this.

The interface is actually remarkably similar to the Windows 8.x desktop. There is a dock at the bottom of the screen similar to the taskbar, a Launchpad not too dissimilar to the start screen and Spotlight search that functions much like Windows Search.

The workflow I have between my Windows 8.1 PC and MacBook is virtually the same.

just wait for the public preview. MSFT is back to listening to customers to everybody will get to try it. Yet those of your hoping for a start menu are in for a huge letdown as you should be looking at windows 7 for the next decade if you cannot evolve. Just get out of the way for those of us that have moved on.

neonspark said,
just wait for the public preview. MSFT is back to listening to customers to everybody will get to try it. Yet those of your hoping for a start menu are in for a huge letdown as you should be looking at windows 7 for the next decade if you cannot evolve. Just get out of the way for those of us that have moved on.

While I personally do not have problems using the Start Menu I wonder what such statements are supposed to mean:
"those of us that have moved on" It seems that, compared to W7 users, you are a minority.

I believe there's little eye candy to see. I can't believe they're actually releasing this version of Windows in April next year.

Jose_49 said,
I believe there's little eye candy to see. I can't believe they're actually releasing this version of Windows in April next year.

That would make it two years since Windows 8's release, which would be on par with Microsoft's new development standards.

We've worked like this for decades now.... we just can't talk about what they give us... Heck I remember when we got the first alphas of what became windows XP... at one point we had an alpha of a version that never saw the light of day...

We've worked like this for decades now.... we just can't talk about what they give us... Heck I remember when we got the first alphas of what became windows XP... at one point we had an alpha of a version that never saw the light of day... back then one was called Odyssee and another was Neptune... one of them died off one of them moved on to become windows XP as part of the whistler project

neufuse said,
We've worked like this for decades now.... we just can't talk about what they give us... Heck I remember when we got the first alphas of what became windows XP... at one point we had an alpha of a version that never saw the light of day... back then one was called Odyssee and another was Neptune... one of them died off one of them moved on to become windows XP as part of the whistler project

Ahhhh yes, Neptune 5111 lol.

besides, most people don't realize the crapware that these alpha versions are and the bad rep they will give the OS who is recovering from the biggest failure since vista. I'm ok testing alphaware on VMs but most users, blinded by the prospect of a start menu are i for some massive disappointment and should wait for the RC versions before even trying it.

neufuse said,
We've worked like this for decades now.... we just can't talk about what they give us... Heck I remember when we got the first alphas of what became windows XP... at one point we had an alpha of a version that never saw the light of day... back then one was called Odyssee and another was Neptune... one of them died off one of them moved on to become windows XP as part of the whistler project

The development process has changed since those days.

not really, partners have always gotten alpha build access in advance, as most of us are IHV's and large ISV's that have to work directly with MS on a lot of things... nothings changed on that relationship with MS and their development process in ages

neufuse said,
not really, partners have always gotten alpha build access in advance, as most of us are IHV's and large ISV's that have to work directly with MS on a lot of things... nothings changed on that relationship with MS and their development process in ages

Yes, it has. The Trustworthy Computing Initiative changed the way Microsoft develops code, and the Longhorn reset also helped kill off older development processes.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms995349.aspx

but that's not what we are talking about here, we are talking about how MS gives alphas to partners, not how Microsoft reviews code and develops code for security

Dot Matrix said,

Yes, it has. The Trustworthy Computing Initiative changed the way Microsoft develops code, and the Longhorn reset also helped kill off older development processes.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms995349.aspx


Development process and pre-release distribution process are two entirely different things.