Windows Threshold preview said to be on track for fall release

Microsoft is polishing up Windows Threshold and so far this week, we have exclusively reveled that virtual desktops will be coming to the updated Windows OS and that the Charms bar will be getting overhauled as well. While there has not been a single leaked build of the OS (yet), it does look like the plans to release a preview of the OS later this year are still on track.

Mary Jo Foley, who reiterated and confirmed our scoop about the virtual desktops, also reports that her sources have indicated that a fall public preview for Threshold is still on track for release. If true, that means that Microsoft is quickly moving towards a stable release of the OS and we will likely hear more about other new features in the very near future.

Microsoft is pushing aggressively ahead of Windows Threshold as it knows that to get consumers to upgrade from Windows 7 or even XP, it needs to bring back the Start menu. While most of you who have jumped to Windows 8 have easily adapted to the new setup, consumers (and the enterprise) in the wider market have spoken and they want the Start menu back before they think about upgrading.

We expect that Windows Threshold will be a popular release for Microsoft as it seems that many consumers have decided to skip over Windows 8; 75% of all desktop OS users still run Windows 7 or XP. Knowing that, Microsoft will have to hit a home-run with Windows Threshold if they want to keep control of the desktop market.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

OneDrive lands in the Amazon Appstore

Next Story

Man arrested after Microsoft finds child porn on OneDrive account

114 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Virtual Desktops have been available for Windows for a long time using SysInternals (which is owned by Microsoft). Just run desktops.exe and tell it to start on logon. So they are just adding a free product of theirs to the O/S and calling it an enhancement? LOL

Except that Virtual Desktops has serious limitations, such as the inability to move a window from one virtual desktop to another, because the OS doesn't support it. So no, it's not enough.

As long as backward compatibility is improved over Windows 8.1 for older games I'll be content. One other thing that also wouldn't hurt is integration of Games for Windows Live, or Xbox Live, into the OS directly. I don't think the system was all that bad, just poorly implemented and then not supported.

Windows 9 will be a great OS, history tells us it will.

Windows 98 was a great OS, then Windows ME sucked, XP was wonderful, Vista sucked, 7 is great and 8 sucks, so Windows 9 will be a good OS.

It seems that Microsoft somewhat likes to skip a generation when it comes to delivering good operating systems.

This is a myth that is often cited, but always completely falls apart under any scrutiny... and which requires a lot of cherry-picking.

(and nobody seems to remember that XP wasn't all that popular until SP2, which had so many changes it was pretty much a "new release" of the OS, and they love to ignore NT and 2000 (the REAL predecessor of XP, not ME).

Debunking this talking point is pretty easy. But it still won't die.

Sorry but that in generall is a load of Fud

* Win 95 was good (comparing it to win 3.1 and dos 6.22) but suffered from the same problems Vista would IE a big leap in requirements, poor drivers to start and poor compatibility with current software.
* Win 98 was ok but got better with ...
* Win 98 se
* Me was fine but, much like win8, people moaned becuase it was a big change from 98 IE looked like win 2k
* Win 2k was absolutly fabulous, biggest leap in OS stability for MS, and after a few service packs and driver releases was actually ok for consumer use
* XP was ok to start with from a user point of view but had/has really bad security
* Vista, in reality, shot it self in the foot with weird ass requirements and licencing but was fixed up after a few SPs
* Win 7 is objectivly the pinacle os by MS by usage
* Win 8, asside from a _few_ anoyances, is better than 7 in-nearly-every-way

According to who? You? Your personal scrutiny? Would your personal scrutiny hold any more value than other people's? No, it doesn't.

According to my personal experience ME and Vista sucked, their successors, XP and 7 are excellent products, whereas Windows 8 is not a good OS.

Does my personal experience constitute an absolute truth in any shape or form? No, it doesn't, but the fact that Microsoft released XP just one year after they had released ME, the extremely low adoption rates of Vista and Windows 8, the fact that 25% of computers still run on and outdated and unsupported OS like XP, Microsoft moving away from Windows 8 and 8.1 in just a couple of years, is not tantamount to me being 100% right, but is a good indicator that a sizeable chunk of Windows users, both home and business, somehow shared and currently shares my point of view, or at least part of it.

pmbAustin said,
This is a myth that is often cited, but always completely falls apart under any scrutiny... and which requires a lot of cherry-picking.

(and nobody seems to remember that XP wasn't all that popular until SP2, which had so many changes it was pretty much a "new release" of the OS, and they love to ignore NT and 2000 (the REAL predecessor of XP, not ME).

Debunking this talking point is pretty easy. But it still won't die.


There is an important fact though: XP was the first " consumer" oriented OS built on NT, something that W2000 was not.

Provided suitable, i.e., selectable, UIs are available. Instead of focusing on a similar type of hardware, MS now is trying to make Windows equally suitable for widely divergent types hardware, but with only one UI, as it tried to do with Windows-8. We have seen the results--not good.

Gabe, you're ignoring at least half a dozen versions of windows in order to cherry-pick your 'every other version' nonsense and "make it work". This is objective fact. So sorry,

I consider Windows Threshold more of a service pack (nothing like the change from XP to Vista, or even Vista to 7). Not sure why it has taken so long.

Hope for a major update with Windows 10.

It will need more than just a return of the Start Menu. However, that is a step in the right direction. It must have a user selectable UI that is oriented to the millions of users who use keyboards and mice with desktop-oriented applications. What is so difficult about having a user selectable UI? Remember...one size does not fit--never has, never will.

Hopefully MS can deliver a polished consistent and clean UI for desktop users and keep the metro UI on phones and tablets where it makes sense.

Hoping this update will be free for current Windows 8.1 users, especially it seems like current users who are happy don't seem to be gaining anything from this really (unless they curse at their computer everyday they use still because they can't just accept reality). So much focus on the desktop part, and barely anything about the future.

I have been using Windows 8 on a desktop PC since it was released and don't have any issues with it. I rarely used the start menu in Windows 7 and don't miss it in Windows 8. Most people are not able to adapt to change. Take someone out of their comfort zone and they will complain. When Windows 9 comes out so will the complainers. Enough already!!!!

Windows has always had in interim o's that wasnt received well, Windows ME, windows vista and now windows 8. Now IMO, W8 is not a failure more of a beta test. And look how many people lost THIER jobs behind it, Ballmer, Sikorsky and many others.

mrdeezus said,
Windows has always had in interim o's that wasnt received well, Windows ME, windows vista and now windows 8. Now IMO, W8 is not a failure more of a beta test. And look how many people lost THIER jobs behind it, Ballmer, Sikorsky and many others.

Well, to be fair to Mr. Sikorsky, his helicopters were quite good.

Dot Matrix said,
Ballmer resigned. And who is Sikorsky?

You can claim they resigned/retired/quit or whatever helps you sleep at night.

"We expect that Windows Threshold will be a popular release for Microsoft as it seems that many consumers have decided to skip over Windows 8"

Umm, why would she/ZD assume that? Many people skipped 8 and that automatically means they will flock to 9? Wow, people actually make careers out of posting nonsense like that.

COKid said,
Wow, people actually make careers out of posting nonsense like that.

Going by the quality of your comments you could make a fortune then. :)

People have skipped versions before, nothing new.. in general a majority people avoided Vista and flocked to 7 because it was much improved and is now the dominate version. Overall the majority are avoiding 8 and will likely move to 9 as they're fixing a lot of the complaints. It's hardly a stretch.

I think at this point we should all be able to accept that the alternate versions are betas for technical users and even releases are for the masses.

COKid said,
And the new version will be free, right? Oh wait, this is Microsoft, not Apple. ;)

You are comparing apples and oranges: I buy Windows OS of the shelf and I install on my computer, Apple sells hardware and the OS is commodity to it.

COKid said,
And the new version will be free, right? Oh wait, this is Microsoft, not Apple. ;)

I can't get any new versions of OSX for free.

Can Microsoft save their reputation? This release is crucial for the company. Windows 9 needs to be so good that the nightmare that is Windows 8, is erased from the dreams of consumers.

Everybody somehow survived WinMe and Vista too so *shrug* I'm sure we'll somehow get through it. (Although it takes literally a few seconds to fix if you're in the anti-Modern camp.. wind up with a better 7 than 7 afterwards.)

Max Norris said,
Everybody somehow survived WinMe and Vista too so *shrug* I'm sure we'll somehow get through it. (Although it takes literally a few seconds to fix if you're in the anti-Modern camp.. wind up with a better 7 than 7 afterwards.)

Yes but today consumers are much sensitive to competition in the pc and tablet market than ever before, windows 8 was a colossal failure, the biggest os failure ever for microsoft, and consumer confidence in microsoft is lower today than ever before because of the way microsoft handled it with pure arrogance and contempt toward consumers.

If windows 9 flops even half as bad as 8 did it will cause major problems not only in the microsoft OS market but also in other markets such as phones, tablets and office because their name will be forever tied to failure no matter what they do.

Order_66 said,
Yes but today consumers are much sensitive to competition in the pc and tablet market than ever before, windows 8 was a colossal failure, the biggest os failure ever for microsoft, and consumer confidence in microsoft is lower today than ever before because of the way microsoft handled it with pure arrogance and contempt toward consumers.

Meh I heard those exact same buzzwords before. Colossal failure, arrogance, contempt, yadda yadda, occasionally "year of" gets tossed in there too. And yet even after all of that Windows still is going strong. Happened before repeatedly, it'll happen again. Never mind "arrogance and contempt" really doesn't apply when they're listening to the consumers and changing it to what they want.. if they were truely arrogant you'd take it and you'd be stuck with it. Know what happens if 9 flops? People will stay with 7 for another year or two until 10 rolls around.

Max Norris said,

Meh I heard those exact same buzzwords before. Colossal failure, arrogance, contempt, yadda yadda, occasionally "year of" gets tossed in there too. And yet even after all of that Windows still is going strong.


Naturally since they have completely dominated the OS market for decades.

And yes, windows 8 was complained about during the preview days up to the present day, microsoft was told countless times that it would flop, they were told this is not what consumers want, one negative os review after the other over and over again, did microsoft listen?

Nope, in fact they took a giant dump on consumers by removing so-called legacy code for the start menu to try and thwart people from bringing it back and then continued to try and force their abomination onto the consumers.
It wasn't until people were getting fired internally and the overwhelming majority of users complaining about it in droves before ms would try to "fix" windows 8 with 8.1.

Does arrogance and contempt apply when referring to microsoft? Absolutely!

Order_66 said,
Naturally since they have completely dominated the OS market for decades.

Well considering you don't have to use it, kinda sounds like people want to, yes? I mean if everybody hated it, OSX, Linux or Unix would be doing a whole lot better.. and yet.. no.

Order_66 said,
Nope, in fact they took a giant dump on consumers by removing so-called legacy code for the start menu to try and thwart people from bringing it back and then continued to try and force their abomination onto the consumers.
It wasn't until people were getting fired internally and the overwhelming majority of users complaining about it in droves before ms would try to "fix" windows 8 with 8.1.

"Thwart?" How in any way are you thwarted? I can find plenty of alternative start menus.. "Thwarting" would be making it so you couldn't change it. And yet, just like every version that came before it, you can replace stuff.. the look and feel, the file manager, the shell itself, and oh my, even the start menu. "Out of the box" does not mean "set in stone." A lot of people complained about XP's "Fisher Price" menu. They complained about Vista's start menu. Oh look, people are complaining yet again. Fun fact, people hate change. Extra fun fact, not unique to Windows in any way. You want to see a "what the f'k did they do" change? Go ask anyone who switched from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 and then to a different shell (or even a different OS) how that panned out.

Order_66 said,
Does arrogance and contempt apply when referring to microsoft? Absolutely!

Sure, if you want to completely ignore that you're totally able to change it up any way you like. Sounds more likely to apply to people who are pushing an agenda. ;)

And it looks like the Charms bar is actually going away?

my sources say the Charms Bar will be going away completely for all desktop, laptop and tablet users with Threshold.

CJEric said,
And it looks like the Charms bar is actually going away?

Better not. Centralized app management is a huge key feature. I Love not having to fuss about with train-wreck applications and figure where everything is.

nope. read again & check the article posted a couple hours back.

the charms bar isn't going away per-say, it's just being revamped for desktop/laptop users for the windowed modern apps. it'll probably be similar to how it is now still for tablet users

Brando212 said,
nope. read again & check the article posted a couple hours back.

the charms bar isn't going away per-say, it's just being revamped for desktop/laptop users for the windowed modern apps. it'll probably be similar to how it is now still for tablet users


While Neowin in their article speculated that "the Charms bar could still be alive within [the tablet] interface", Foley's sources seem to indicate that it will be going away completely for all users.

Dot Matrix said,

Better not. Centralized app management is a huge key feature. I Love not having to fuss about with train-wreck applications and figure where everything is.

It will be gone or greatly minimized from the desktop by Windows 9. I was right about the Start Menu. You were wrong about the Start Menu.

Dot Matrix said,

snip

Have you looked at the front page of Neowin? There's a story about how the Charms bar is going through a major overhaul for Threshold. Do you honestly think that means they're going to make it MORE intrusive? NO. They're going to make it less intrusive. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Start Screen only.

Edited by Andrew, Aug 7 2014, 6:21pm :

Dot Matrix said,

snip

In all seriousness Dot it is microsoft who is working your nerves, the charms bar is going thru a serious overhaul for windows 9 and I wouldn't be surprised if it disappears completely for desktop users or at the very least made very minimal or even optional.

When it comes to a typical desktop pc without touch the charms bar really is worthless the way it is now.

Edited by Andrew, Aug 7 2014, 6:47pm :

Indoobidubly said,

Have you looked at the front page of Neowin? There's a story about how the Charms bar is going through a major overhaul for Threshold. Do you honestly think that means they're going to make it MORE intrusive? NO. They're going to make it less intrusive. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Start Screen only.

It could well mean that the Charms bar will become more usable on the desktop side, a change that I would welcome. I'm not sure how it would interact with desktop programs not designed for it, but maybe programs would be made to work with it from here on.

But centralized controls are a good thing.

Virtual desktops are a no-brainer. They already implemented it in Windows XP, and people are screaming for improvements to the desktop side of things.

Anyway, can't wait to test Threshold.

Ah yeah, but Watercolor very much existed. 'Aero Diamond' seemed to have been invented wholly on these very pages (and was a raging tiger!) - I think for all the bazmillion posts of blahblah that Neowin has contributed to the 'lore of Windows yet to come', it should get at least one feature named in it's honour. I unfortunately can't remember their handle, but I think one committed proponent has sadly passed, so it would also be 'in memoriam'.

Love that oblique Start Menu/Desktop view. Would imagine it would have been awfully slow on anything but the bleeding edge back in 06 tho.

Dot Matrix said,
Windows 8's problems were never a result of that.

yup, it's probably fair to say that it had many other, possibly more important, issues

Poor documentation of the new design when 8 was first released was a biggie.

And this is from someone who _loves_ the new design. It's solid IMO, but regular users really needed help with the first couple steps

Edited by DConnell, Aug 7 2014, 6:03pm :

Dot Matrix said,
Windows Threshold doesn't NEED the Start Menu to be successful. Windows 8's problems were never a result of that.

Microsoft's billion dollar market testing and consumer analysis reports disagrees with you 100%.

Indoobidubly said,

Microsoft's billion dollar market testing and consumer analysis reports disagrees with you 100%.

Then provide a source, otherwise step aside, please.

Indoobidubly said,

Microsoft's billion dollar market testing and consumer analysis reports disagrees with you 100%.

It doesn't need a start menu to be successful. Providing one is simply the easy way out.

Dot Matrix said,
Windows Threshold doesn't NEED the Start Menu to be successful. Windows 8's problems were never a result of that.

Then provide a source, otherwise step aside, please.

Dot Matrix said,

Then provide a source, otherwise step aside, please.

Yeah, I have access to Microsoft secret documents. You're so obtuse.

The fact of the matter is, the original Windows 8 vision is getting more dead and buried by the day.

Here's a timeline for you:

Windows 8 released
Windows 8.1 updated with "boot to desktop" and "disable hot corners" as options
Windows 8.1 updated with Start Button
Windows 8.whatever/9 shows Start Menu to be back 100%
Windows 9 showing that Charms bar will be minimized in user experience

Do you honestly think Microsoft made all these decisions based on anything other than market research or consumer unsatisfaction?

Indoobidubly said,

Yeah, I have access to Microsoft secret documents. You're so obtuse.

The fact of the matter is, the original Windows 8 vision is getting more dead and buried by the day.

Here's a timeline for you:

Windows 8 released
Windows 8.1 updated with "boot to desktop" and "disable hot corners" as options
Windows 8.1 updated with Start Button
Windows 8.whatever/9 shows Start Menu to be back 100%
Windows 9 showing that Charms bar will be minimized in user experience

Do you honestly think Microsoft made all these decisions based on anything other than market research or consumer unsatisfaction?

Correct. The Start Screen and the removal of the start menu murdered windows 8 in the eyes of the consumer. While I don't have hard proof, what I do have is the interactions with practically every customer who has used windows 8.

That's not to say I don't have any customers that actually like it. I have one or 2 .. it was funny I was talking to this guy who DJ's at the local bar. I reintsalled Windows 8 for him on a new SSD after his hard drive died. It was funny because he was telling me how much he liked windows 8 in almost this apologetic manner, its like he was apologizing to me for liking windows 8. .

Indoobidubly said,

Yeah, I have access to Microsoft secret documents. You're so obtuse.

The fact of the matter is, the original Windows 8 vision is getting more dead and buried by the day.

Here's a timeline for you:

Windows 8 released
Windows 8.1 updated with "boot to desktop" and "disable hot corners" as options
Windows 8.1 updated with Start Button
Windows 8.whatever/9 shows Start Menu to be back 100%
Windows 9 showing that Charms bar will be minimized in user experience

Do you honestly think Microsoft made all these decisions based on anything other than market research or consumer unsatisfaction?

Really. Microsoft has provided blog after blog of why they did what they did.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...volving-the-start-menu.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...gning-the-start-screen.aspx

The Start Screen was never the issue with Windows 8, and the fact that everything seems to point that the Start Screen UX is still very much a part of Threshold proves my point.

Dot Matrix said,

Really. Microsoft has provided blog after blog of why they did what they did.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...volving-the-start-menu.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...gning-the-start-screen.aspx

The Start Screen was never the issue with Windows 8, and the fact that everything seems to point that the Start Screen UX is still very much a part of Threshold proves my point.

They are black peddling plain and simple, they / you, can sugar coat it all they want.

They're not backpedaling. Not in the least, when the Mini Start still features Live Tiles, and Universal Metro applications are still front and center.

warwagon said,

They are black peddling plain and simple, they / you, can sugar coat it all they want.


Nothing suggests that Microsoft is going to remove the Start screen or anything, so I am not sure what the big deal is . . .

warwagon said,

They are black peddling plain and simple, they / you, can sugar coat it all they want.

I can hardly agree with calling Metro being more integratedi nto the desktop as backpaddeling.

Dot Matrix said,
They're not backpedaling. Not in the least, when the Mini Start still features Live Tiles, and Universal Metro applications are still front and center.

This is what I had tried to say in another news article, and no one seemed to care that it completely contradicted what he or she believed . . .

Not quite related to this topic but this wouldn't be the first time Microsoft reversed a UI-related decision due to customer feedback.

Out of complete boredom I pulled up the PDC 2008 video introducing the then-new Windows 7 desktop. One of the points the MS guy made was back in XP when Quick Launch was hidden by default in favour of the new Start Menu. Sure, you could re-enable it via a right click, but customers tend to stick to the defaults. So Microsoft re-enabled the QL toolbar as a default after XP RTM.

If people aren't taking to the new UI decisions in Windows 8.x, despite MS explaining their rationale, then MS has to reconsider what defaults will work for the majority of their users. You're free to override these defaults so that, for example, you can insist on booting Windows 8.1 to the Start screen instead of the now-default of the desktop. That's your choice.

MS, like any business, is not in a position to advance some agenda - they're in it to sell a product to the largest group of customers possible and maintain loyalty. That also means anything new they introduce can be a flop - and that's alright so long as they learn from it.

Dot Matrix said,

Then provide a source, otherwise step aside, please.


And your statement is based on your opinion or facts? If the latter what is your source as well?

Cosmocronos said,

And your statement is based on your opinion or facts? If the latter what is your source as well?

I posted two above.

Dot Matrix said,

I posted two above.

They are just hidding the fact that they are bringing it back because ever one wanted it in windows 8. Even you a year also thought / said quite a few times actually that the start menu was dead and never returning.

The issue was never Windows Store apps nor the Live Tiles, but the way they were presented for Desktop users and the way Desktop software was funneled though the same UI. That was their vision, for all users (touch and traditional), and they're absolutely back-pedalling on some aspects of that vision.

DConnell said,
Poor documentation of the new design when 8 was first released was a biggie
I've said that forever. You *need* to walk someone through Win 8 and they are golden (although Win8 at release had some shortcomings and really felt a hair above beta). If MS had some great tutorials or overlays that you could turn back on later or mute all together much of the Win8 "shock" would have been avoided. I think the problem is it was barely finished on release so there was no way to build those tutorials.

Dot Matrix said,

Really. Microsoft has provided blog after blog of why they did what they did.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...volving-the-start-menu.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...gning-the-start-screen.aspx

The Start Screen was never the issue with Windows 8, and the fact that everything seems to point that the Start Screen UX is still very much a part of Threshold proves my point.

If you want to believe all that sugar-coated corporate spin I can't help you. What's next, do you believe they got rid of the Kinect on the X-Box One because it was "all part of the plan"?

Dot Matrix said,
They're not backpedaling. Not in the least, when the Mini Start still features Live Tiles, and Universal Metro applications are still front and center.

And then for Windows 9.1 they'll release the mini start without access to Metro apps. Then for Windows 9.2 they're remove even more features that were in the original Windows 8.

Edited by zhangm, Aug 7 2014, 6:20pm :

Indoobidubly said,

If you want to believe all that sugar-coated corporate spin I can't help you. What's next, do you believe they got rid of the Kinect on the X-Box One because it was "all part of the plan"?

Sure, whatever. Since when did R&D and development become associated with corporate greed?

Dot Matrix said,

Sure, whatever. Since when did R&D and development become associated with corporate greed?

Corporate Greed comes first. R&D comes second. Hence the return of the Start Menu.

I've said that Windows 8 is the way forward for Microsoft, and considering all of the technologies introduced in Windows 8 are being carried forward, my point is made.

DConnell said,
Poor documentation of the new design when 8 was first released was a biggie

This. Every relative and customer of mine that got/put Windows 8 on, it took me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to show them the ropes; they all like it, some even saying it's better than Windows 7.

Dot Matrix said,
I've said that Windows 8 is the way forward for Microsoft, and considering all of the technologies introduced in Windows 8 are being carried forward, my point is made.

Could you please comment on the fact that you've made statements over the years "that the the desktop was dead. That boot to desktop would no longer be an option. That the hot corners would never be disabled. That Metro apps would never run on the desktop. That the Start Menu would NEVER return".

Everyone has rebuttal-ed your comments with previous statements akin to the quoted comment above yet you won't acknowledge them. Is it fair to say that no one can take your comments regarding Windows progression with any weight?

Zidane said,

Could you please comment on the fact that you've made statements over the years "that the the desktop was dead. That boot to desktop would no longer be an option. That the hot corners would never be disabled. That Metro apps would never run on the desktop. That the Start Menu would NEVER return".

Everyone has rebuttal-ed your comments with previous statements akin to the quoted comment above yet you won't acknowledge them. Is it fair to say that no one can take your comments regarding Windows progression with any weight?

The desktop as we know it is dead, if rumors about Threshold are to be believed.

Dot Matrix said,

The desktop as we know it is dead, if rumors about Threshold are to be believed.

Are you kidding me?! They are enriching the desktop experience in Threshold by bringing back a Metrofied version of the Start Menu, allowing Metro apps to run in the desktop environment, developing multiple desktop feature, integrating Cortana in the desktop etc.

From all these rumours, how can you conclude that the desktop is dead?!

lamborghini said,

how can you conclude that the desktop is dead?!

Metro-ification of the OS in Threshold, and it's complete removal on tablets. It's pretty clear that Microsoft is looking past it. Microsoft's futuristic "Productivity" videos also point to visions beyond the desktop as we know it today. With the Start Screen still rumored to be included in Threshold, Microsoft might one day again, remove it in favor of another mechanism. We won't be using mice forever.

Dot Matrix said,

The desktop as we know it is dead, if rumors about Threshold are to be believed.

You mean the "rumors" that the Start Menu is back and that the Charms bar will likely be greatly marginalized? Or how they're trying to hamfist the metro apps into the desktop?

Dot Matrix said,

Metro-ification of the OS in Threshold, and it's complete removal on tablets. It's pretty clear that Microsoft is looking past it. Microsoft's futuristic "Productivity" videos also point to visions beyond the desktop as we know it today. With the Start Screen still rumored to be included in Threshold, Microsoft might one day again, remove it in favor of another mechanism. We won't be using mice forever.

Wow, you really don't understand.

Start Screen/Metro vs Desktop. If Start Screen/Metro were "winning" they wouldn't be stripping down the Metro features and putting whatever is left over into the Desktop. If Desktop were losing there would be NO MORE DESKTOP.

Even your analysis is wrong. You can't win (but that's your own fault).

Dot Matrix said,

The desktop as we know it is dead, if rumors about Threshold are to be believed.

I'd say its evolving, rather than dead. But as long as the result is more suited to modern computing than the UI from 1995 we've been stuck with, does it matter which happens?

I'm not married to the desktop interface these days (though I do use it some), but that could change if it gets some of the best elements of Metro blended into it. Not that I'm inclined to go back to all desktop - a mix suits my computing style best.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro-ification of the OS in Threshold, and it's complete removal on tablets. It's pretty clear that Microsoft is looking past it.

Hmmm ... Did they not learn their lesson with Win8? In Threshold Desktop users are not going to see the start screen by default and the Threshold machines will boot to desktop.

In Tablet mode Desktop is unnecessary, true. But, as we see from recent reports that Tablet demands are declining. PC is not going to be replaced by Tablets anytime soon. Hence, Microsoft can not afford to look past the Desktop.


Dot Matrix said,

Microsoft's futuristic "Productivity" videos also point to visions beyond the desktop as we know it today.

Good try. Futuristic video means nothing. In the futuristic video, we see interactive rooms, transparent phones, 3D user interface, haptic touch, etc. If these features do not get wide acceptance by the users, they would not come to the market.

Dot Matrix said,

With the Start Screen still rumored to be included in Threshold, Microsoft might one day again, remove it in favor of another mechanism. We won't be using mice forever.

You are being repetitive. Start screen will remain as an option, true. But as we have seen from the customer responses, Start screen on the desktop was not popular at all. Hence, we see the return of the new Start menu.

As long as customers love mice based user interfaces, Microsoft *as a business* must develop products for those customers to satisfy their demands.

DConnell said,

I'd say its evolving, rather than dead. But as long as the result is more suited to modern computing than the UI from 1995 we've been stuck with, does it matter which happens?

I'm not married to the desktop interface these days (though I do use it some), but that could change if it gets some of the best elements of Metro blended into it. Not that I'm inclined to go back to all desktop - a mix suits my computing style best.


My guess, and hope, is that in W9/Next we will see a return of the "Sideshow", as it was originally conceived and not that sub-par piece of software that we had in Vista,
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/?id=69878
which will integrate also the Charm Bar and the Start menu,
It is also interesting to note that the original concept predated, fifteen years ago, even the concept of "interactive tiles". Ref. Page 4 of the TR.
Also there was an interesting interview with a MS manager that came back to y mind reading a post about Aero Diamond; check it here:
http://www.istartedsomething.c...tjeerd-ces2007/#aerodiamond
The chapter about Aero Diamond is the twelfth or thirteenth and right below it there is a link to a concept of what such evolution could have been and it is intriguing....

Edited by Cosmocronos, Aug 7 2014, 8:13pm :

I regret ever replying to this topic. It is ridiculous that my notification system is filled with so many comments from other members who are arguing over some features that may or not may be in an operating system.

Ian William said,
I regret ever replying to this topic. It is ridiculous that my notification system is filled with so many comments from other members who are arguing over some features that may or not may be in an operating system.
Right there with you... oh and sorry for this notification ;)

Wow this is awesome news... and I love that there's no leaked builds yet. This is going to be the greatest version of Windows to date. I hope they have an event and shock everyone with the amazingness lol.

I'm thinking the same. Although our ideas of what sucks are probably polar opposites. Hopefully MS will come up with something both sides can live with.

warwagon said,
Please don't suck, Please don't suck, Please don't suck!

Is it too much to ask for total customization for desktop users (so I can keep my modern first approach on desktop, but others dont have to) with flavors of modern sprinkled in to make tablet PC use more familiar, all while only take up 5-6 Gigs of install space? =)

It feels like Microsoft has turned a corner. Laptop sales (buoyed by new hybrids & 2-in-1s) are recovering while tablet sales are plummeting. I think it's because consumers are realizing that 2-in-1s are simply a better value... and more powerful than traditional tablets... which are really just big phones.

I think Windows 9 will put the troubles of Windows 8 in the rearview mirror the same way that Windows 7 repaired the damage that Vista did.

warwagon said,
Please don't suck, Please don't suck, Please don't suck!

Current Windows 8.1 doesn't suck. It depends how you're using it and what you're using it for. You should not judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree.

warwagon said,
Please don't suck, Please don't suck, Please don't suck!

I'm sure you'll find enough to complain about. I mean what else would spend your whole time with if not?

DConnell said,
I'm thinking the same. Although our ideas of what sucks are probably polar opposites. Hopefully MS will come up with something both sides can live with.

There is an easy way to achieve it: Options...

cybersaurusrex said,
I think it's because consumers are realizing that 2-in-1s are simply a better value... and more powerful than traditional tablets... which are really just big phones.
I think this is where they can knock it out of the park... and hopefully, and I'm dreaming here, they can turn phones into PC's on a dock or something.
I think Windows 9 will put the troubles of Windows 8 in the rearview mirror the same way that Windows 7 repaired the damage that Vista did.
Be careful here. Vista did HUGE amounts of good for Windows 7... and frankly Vista drivers by OEM's were the main culprit. I imagine Win8 will be the same for Win9. Huge inroads, learning etc. Much of its tech will be included.

I'm excited. Though I do think Win8(.1) will be unfairly named the bastard once again due to the cluster# it was initially. If only MS wouldn't get so trigger happy on alternate releases.

Cosmocronos said,

There is an easy way to achieve it: Options...

And tech-sites will whine and give the OS a bad reputation for having to many options, being cluttered and non-user friendly...