Windows Threshold Preview expected to arrive around late September

Microsoft is getting its head down to work and pushing out internal builds of Windows Threshold at a rapid pace and while we had heard that a fall preview was in the works, it looks like the end of September is now the timeframe for release. What we do not know is if this will be a public release or if this will be limited to Microsoft partners. It looks like the preview will be public but there are still quite a few details to be ironed out about the release.

The information comes from the reliable Mary Jo Foley and we can corroborate some of her information. While we have not specifically heard that the end of September is the definitive timeframe, we were told that a release for the enterprise would occur in the very near future. More significantly, internal builds now reflect this with an updated watermark.

Over the past few weeks, we've been slowly uncovering Windows Threshold with tidbits about its distinctive new interfacevirtual desktopsCharms bar overhaul and now we are learning a little bit more about the development path of the project.

There are still more bits and pieces to learn about Threshold and we still have not seen any references to Windows 9 in the builds; it is believed that this will be the name, but it is still subject to change.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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So if DP is in September, maybe we'll get CP in December? That would kinda sorta line up with their intended 'Spring 2015' release target.

Jordanzhninja said,
They are changing the way the updates work so that it works more like Xbox One with monthly updates

And that's great news, but I'm referring strictly to these preview releases (the equivalents of the Beta & RC if you may).

I'm just curious if they're going to follow a similar path to the Win 8 previews: DP in September, CP in February and RP in May (although the last though might come earlier, since they want to release this thing in Spring 2015).

Does Windows 7/8/8.1 keep performance up in time? One major issue with Windows is performance deterioration over time, some call it "Windows rot", for no apparent reason, or at least I don't know why it happens.

Well, if newer versions are still prone to this problem I think Microsoft should focus on that.

I really think they should keep up the good work regarding performance, performance over time, stability and built-in automated OS maintenance.

Also I think that the OS should make it easier to install new drivers, something like Windows Update telling the user when there's a new driver available.

Gabe84 said,
Also I think that the OS should make it easier to install new drivers, something like Windows Update telling the user when there's a new driver available.

Windows does 8.1 does this flawlessly, but I still prefer to install nVIDIA driver from official site.

A lot of Windows Rot is a PEBKAC issue. Can't expect miracles. Short of restricting the user in what they can do and taking away choice, there will always be Windows rot.

I'm still on XP, sure my PC it isn't as snappy as it was in Jan 2006, but it's still faster than many more recent Windows 7 and 8 machines, I've seen OS rot happening in 24 hours, with machines full of junk software, basically those users kept clicking OK when installing legitimate freewares, so they were full of toolbars and adware.

I run regular maintenance, don't install crap, run regular antivirus and antimalware scans, I gave up on defrag though, takes way too much time, I also run registry cleaning softwares when my PC looks too slow (CCleaner and Registry Winner) they somehow seem to work.

I know Windows 8 has built-in automated maintenance, both for HDD and SSD, but besides telling people not to install whatever software they stumble upon, read carefully what they're installing, and scan for viruses and malware, what else would you suggest to avoid Windows Rot?

I see the obsession with trying to make one "look and feel" for the wide range of hardware continues. Why not get over it, and let users decide on the UI they want (oversimplified)--tablet vs. laptop/desktop? An inappropriate UI is not going to encourage people to move from Windnows-7.

TsarNikky said,
I see the obsession with trying to make one "look and feel" for the wide range of hardware continues. Why not get over it, and let users decide on the UI they want (oversimplified)--tablet vs. laptop/desktop? An inappropriate UI is not going to encourage people to move from Windnows-7.

This is a tired argument. A singular UI isn't going to kill you. Windows never offered "choice" of shell before, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Aero Glass was the one thing holding me back from Windows 8, because I couldn't even set the titlebars to black without it hiding the text... Hell.. I would settle with a plain GDI look over the Windows 8 look. Thankfully, there have been third party solutions to this like there are with the start menu. So I upgraded finally. If Windows 9 doesn't have a DESKTOP oriented UI that isnt dumbed down and boxy, I hope Aero Glass third party tool will still work.

We need High DPI support throughout desktop and desktop apps & utilities (WIndows Media Player, Windows Picture Viewer, and other desktop utilities can be near impossible to use on high DPI devices even with a mouse, let alone touch). Get a Surface Pro 3 or Yoga 2 Pro and try and play around. It can be painful.

Agree with a uniform look and feel (over-haul icons, control panel, Internet Options, Font dialog, all sorts of settings and utilities)

Better integration of metro and desktop... should be able to have default apps for EACH (if I'm on desktop, launch desktop version... if I'm on a full-screen start screen or in a metro app, launch metro version). Should be able to have Metro IE and desktop Chrome installed and usable at the same time, even when Chrome is the default for the desktop.

Should be easier to pin an existing desktop website to the start screen. Right now, you can do it, but it's a completely unintuitive pain.

Unified notification center, like WP8.1's "Activity Center" ... history of all metro notifications here, along with the ability for desktop app notifications to be here, as well as fast settings like volume, display brightness, media playback, etc.

pmbAustin said,
We need High DPI support throughout desktop and desktop apps & utilities (WIndows Media Player, Windows Picture Viewer, and other desktop utilities can be near impossible to use on high DPI devices even with a mouse, let alone touch). Get a Surface Pro 3 or Yoga 2 Pro and try and play around. It can be painful.

Cannot agree more. Desktop is merely usable here on surface pro 3 when not connected to a mouse and keyboard. And a surface whose desktop is not enjoyable to use is not very much more than a surface RT.

- There should be a better way to explore pictures, the current viewer is old and not very touch friendly on desktop mode.
- Add an option to delete pictures from the source after importing them from an external device on Metro mode just like the desktop mode.
- An icon overhauling would be nice.
- A click on a link with email/emailto command, should open metro email client if desktop doesn't have any default client.
- Screen power management shouldn't be inside the screen saver properties on desktop mode, I have never liked this.

Couple of easy things for me:
In Windows XP I could switch to thumbnail view in Explorer and I would see my folders with a full picture on them (as long as I named an image 'Folder' within the folder itself). In future versions of Windows, the image has been cropped by about 40% and now horizontally placed making it much harder to view folders at a glance.

Internet Explorer and Explorer - in Win 8 they organise non HTML favourites after (to the right) of HMTL based shortcuts - very annoying for those of us wanting to place batch files or things like RoboForm shortcuts on our favourites bar - like we could before Win 8.

Make all settings accessible via the control panel - why am I using charms, or right clicking on my computer - it should all be in one place!

Stop working on gimmicks and get the basics right - the stuff at the core of the OS that we use all the time.


theyarecomingforyou said,
I read an article today saying that the Charm Bar will be removed altogether in Threshold which, if true, is great news.

My guess, and hope, is that it will be integrated in a nee Sidebar. Time will tell....

theyarecomingforyou said,
I read an article today saying that the Charm Bar will be removed altogether in Threshold which, if true, is great news.

Far from a great news for me and other surface pro 3 owners. Charms bar is a handy feature on a touchscreen. I use it a lot. Not to mention for those of us who also had a type cover, there are 4 dedicated function keys that are based on the charms bar. Hearing it go away is heartbreaking.

I wonder how many people will install this without understanding what it is and then will complain that it doesn't work like the stable release of Windows 8.1.

Nimdock said,
I wonder how many people will install this without understanding what it is and then will complain that it doesn't work like the stable release of Windows 8.1.

I wonder how many will complain it's still largely based off Windows 8.

Dot Matrix said,

I wonder how many will complain it's still largely based off Windows 8.

1 major area Windows 9 or Threshold needs revamping is the updates delivery system. They should be point updates. Like 9.0.1 9.1.1, etc. Slipstreaming updates should be made easy like it was with XP.

Slipstreaming updates is still easy in Vista+, it just uses a different process than it did with XP. It is actually a lot more powerful now. You can slipstream not only updates, but drivers and even 3rd party software if you want.

Wonder what the changes will be like for a Surface Pro 3?
I also may have to in the future buy a really bad laptop to see what the changes are for laptop users

I can't wait to fire up a VM to play with this. Now I wish I hadn't given my old tablet to my father in law, I could use it to play around with the Windows 9 Preview to see how the same OS crosses 2 form factors.

While native NIC teaming sounds like a cool feature to include, it would work about as well as the native (aka software) based RAID that has been included for years that no one uses. NIC teaming is best done at the hardware level.

isnt it already included since win8 came out or is it a server 2012 only feature? I know it is in there and the interface is on w8 i just never actually used it on a w8/8.1 box

Really looking forward to use it and personally wanted to explore more about IE12 and also not to mention some changes to UX will be welcomed.

I'm hoping for more than some UX changes; I want a while he UI. Windows 8.x on the desktop reminds me of the old eggplant themes of Windows 98 mixed with Windows 7.

Yes I know many don't care but I'm one of those people who get bugged to death over this and if they are going to try to further fuse the desktop with modern apps then they really need to make things more uniform and polished on that front finally...

You gotta admit the Windows 7 icons really don't fit in the whole modern set.

(Although I'd prefer it if they'd just square out the Windows 7 visual style and bring that back, the solid bright things they force on you in 8 are horrible.)

Ambroos said,
You gotta admit the Windows 7 icons really don't fit in the whole modern set.

This is literally like dead last on my list of things I wish they'd change (I just change 'em myself), but I do agree.. doesn't fit. There's some pretty decent user done sets that has the flat modern look really well.. makes it look a lot more polished all around. It's the little things.

That said, dying to see what the new start screen/menu/hybrid-thing is going to be like in reality. Has a lot of promise.

d5aqoëp said,
Mandatory comment requesting new icon set.

While I expect this to finally happen I don't expect it in one of the previews.

Ambroos said,
You gotta admit the Windows 7 icons really don't fit in the whole modern set.

They're not from 7. They're Vista icons, mixed with some XP and Win 98/95. It's a ****ing mess.

MS since Vista provides feature complete OS at the preview stages. That means - if there is no new icons in the preview, there is no new icons in the RTM.

LeWonder said,
MS since Vista provides feature complete OS at the preview stages. That means - if there is no new icons in the preview, there is no new icons in the RTM.
No they don't. The Windows 8 Release Preview to Windows 8 RTM had a whole new desktop interface. Windows 8.1 RTM gained Improved apps, new Windows Store tile, new features in IE, new backgrounds and wallpapers, etc. Windows 7 RTM also had feature changes compared to its final preview.

Win 8 Preview-RTM - they hoiked the glass out of the window frames, didn't they? That's stretching "whole new desktop" a bit...? All the important UI items were revealed in the public Preview IIRC?

Mugwump00 said,
Agree - this myth of the beta not be representative of the shipping OS has no basis since 'Waterolor', AFAICR.

There is a big difference between these previews and what was the good, old Beta programs, regrettably another victim of Sinofsky megalomania, which were private and testers received builds which were real Betas hence subject to changes and modifications.
Yes, these previews are, more or less, features complete although, for example, there were differences between the first preview of W8 and the successive ones

Agree. But this is probably the only exception. I guess they were thinking about to do that originally (because of longer battery life) but had some doubts. And once they received enough feedback with "metrofy the desktop" requests they decided to remove the Areo. BTW the changes were not that drastic to UI usage patterns.
The icons are a different story - changing them involves a lot of testing. They just can't be last minute changes.

LeWonder said,
Agree. But this is probably the only exception. I guess they were thinking about to do that originally (because of longer battery life) but had some doubts. And once they received enough feedback with "metrofy the desktop" requests they decided to remove the Areo. BTW the changes were not that drastic to UI usage patterns.
The icons are a different story - changing them involves a lot of testing. They just can't be last minute changes.

How about LIVE ICONS? ;)

Ostronyx said,

How about LIVE ICONS? ;)

How about NO?
Live tiles are enough of a headache. They don't display correct timely info most of the times.

If I get it right - Live Icons were not supposed to have a distinct visual identity and good discoverability. They are just good for a quick visual search within a folder.
On the other hand application icons have to support these goals in quite different and complex environments: wallpapers, surroundings by text and other controls, windows sizing, DPIs, colorings and on. And there are tons of apps in Windows.

LeWonder said,
MS since Vista provides feature complete OS at the preview stages. That means - if there is no new icons in the preview, there is no new icons in the RTM.

Feature Complete does not mean nothing can change. Icon sets, Wallpapers and sounds and not features, they are just media included with the OS. Also a number of things which people might assume are features, are actually part of another project and just included with Windows, those also can change.

d5aqoëp said,

How about NO?
Live tiles are enough of a headache. They don't display correct timely info most of the times.


Do you know what Live icons are? Look for a demo on Youtube....