Windows Threshold: Rapid release is getting really interesting

Microsoft is working feverishly towards a release of Windows Threshold that is expected to be released late next month. The build will likely be called Windows Technical Preview (the word 'Enterprise' may be tossed in there too), but what will be quite convenient when the preview is finally released is how you will go about upgrading to new builds.

On current internal builds of Windows Threshold, you can upgrade builds with a single click of a button. How it works is that when you open Windows Update, there is a new feature in this area that allows you to upgrade your build of Windows, meaning you could go from build 9825 to 9829 with a single click. 

We must stress that this feature is built into internal releases of the Technical Preview and could be pulled before it is released to the public... but the feature is fully built out, meaning that it is integrated into the UI and it is a native part of Windows. So, knowing this, it seems logical that it will make its way into the public preview.

The best part, per our understanding of the feature, is that when you use it, it does not require a complete reinstallation of the OS, and makes upgrading to new builds of Threshold quite easy.

This feature represents an interesting addition to the OS and their rapid release cycle. While we do not know about Microsoft’s future plans just yet, this could make it very easy to deliver rapid updates to the OS without inconveniencing consumers. Seeing that the company is now pushing out monthly updates for Windows, this feature could be part of that strategy to help make the process go more smoothly.

We need to point out that this is not simply ‘Windows Update’ but a new feature for the OS that is currently present in the internal builds of Windows Threshold.

As with all of this information, it is currently accurate, but Microsoft can pull these features at any time before the public release. 

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Its about time, windows updates have been archaic for way too long. The windows 8.1 upgrade in particular was pretty ridiculous imo, was pretty much a full os upgrade and it took forever...

I wonder if this is like the Xbox one Preview users, because my Xbox just goes to a new version and I have no idea how its being done. Its almost like its being pushed and not rebooting the device. If this is true that would be great. We would always be on the latest versions kinda like chrome.

Really hoping that Explorer gui or whatever named gui threshold has it`s written in direct 2d.
So gui is going to be up to speed when gdi is deprecated and not updated anymore . I`ve been waiting that since they published d2d. Also also all Windows utilities in d2d. When going to wddm 2.0 speed should`t be a problem. Looking forward to test technical preview :)

Super excited about Threshold! I'm planning to install it the day "before" the preview it's released! :)

And I want NEW desktop icons, PLEASE!!

TrekRich said,
They just need to put the Windows 7 menu back in, job done.

And put Aero or colors back in. Not pastels and flatness. If I did not have the white and gray borders which look so ugly with the orange background I would leave Windows 7

sinetheo said,

And put Aero or colors back in. Not pastels and flatness. If I did not have the white and gray borders which look so ugly with the orange background I would leave Windows 7

Yes. Please, God/Microsoft, give us the option for the square Aero you teased us with in the developer preview of Windows 8

Studio384 said,
Whatever do you mean? Auto update? You mean that feature that has been there since IE10?

You mean since IE 7 (via WU)?

Isn't realy "Auto update" as it follows rules by WU, the feature build into IE10 does not and can update directly to new major versions as soon as they are available, WU doesn't do that unless you choose it to do so.

Of course not. :)

I examined Longhorn' betas. The files number has been increased in conjunction with every build. Even if after reset (Omage-13). They had implemented one by one Longhorn' features to NT 5.2 core. The result: Huge mess. After Vista, the primary objective of NT6 editions actually fixing-optimizing NT6 messing. But how far will it go? NT7 should need brand-new and completely reset (without it will be built on NT6). Of course, this is a utopia. I dread to think MSoft will make the next Windows much more heavy, again.

This is how Windows 8.1 should have been delivered in the first place. Its amazing, a place where 40,000 engineers work and they decided to give you 3.6 GBs that can't be done incrementally through the Store. Numbskulls, seriously.

Only market trends can make Microsoft learn.

A more reliable Update process would be nice, as the present process is in desperate need of work. Lets hope it will be smart enough to install multiple updates in their correct order! MS's silence about user-selectable UIs does not bode well.

TsarNikky said,
A more reliable Update process would be nice, as the present process is in desperate need of work. Lets hope it will be smart enough to install multiple updates in their correct order! MS's silence about user-selectable UIs does not bode well.

Why is it that you always have negative comments to say? You do the same thing on another tech site.

SJTWD said,

Why is it that you always have negative comments to say? You do the same thing on another tech site.

He is correct.

The reason corps stick with obsolete products like XP and IE 6 for freaking forever is because updates break things. If there was a way to update or have updates not break things so much corps would upgrade more often.

SJTWD has never had a problem with the Update process when multiple updates are being presented at the same time? The last one, with just two updates, forced a user to install them in a certain order, or both updates would fail.

TsarNikky said,
SJTWD has never had a problem with the Update process when multiple updates are being presented at the same time? The last one, with just two updates, forced a user to install them in a certain order, or both updates would fail.

So "one" user having an update issue automatically means that the majority of users have update issues? If that is the case, show us the proof? But I know you can't because it doesn't exist. The fact of the matter is that all OS's have some issue with updates, especially OSX.
But you will never speak negatively against OSX, would you?

I wonder if Microsoft is also going to name their Windows releases now with an X.Y.Z scheme (they sure won't stop using 6.x.xxxxx for internal versioning).

Can you feel that? I smell excitement in the air.

Something tells me people are just begging for Microsoft to nail this next OS release. And they will, I'm sure of it.

AR556 said,

My concern is where businesses fall into this rapid release schedule. This is a better plan for Consumers, but I don't think Corporate IT depts are ready for something like this.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is going to be mandatory. It's about high time IT depts. on notice about staying up to date with their stuff.

Dot Matrix said,

I wouldn't be surprised if this is going to be mandatory. It's about high time IT depts. on notice about staying up to date with their stuff.

I don't think the problem is really that IT departments don't like to update. You may be right about some, but updates have a tendency to break things, applications and webapps alike. I think many IT departments are held back by software vendors not doing their part to patch their products for new operating systems, browsers, etc.

Edited by domboy, Aug 22 2014, 6:41pm :

It would be nice if it were that simple but the fact is that there are significant time/money costs involved in rolling out new software. There are always problems to be dealt with afterwards. Where I work, its not much of an issue as we're a small non-profit, but a hospital or big corporation's entire IT dept must experience explosive diarrhea days before/after an upgrade rolls.

Dot Matrix said,

I wouldn't be surprised if this is going to be mandatory. It's about high time IT depts. on notice about staying up to date with their stuff.

You worked at a call center DOT. You are fully aware what happens if there is an outage? I almost got fired for letting someone from AT&T upgrade our circuits causing an outage. We lost $1 million! Why am I still employed?? Who knows.

But can you honest explain to your boss why an update is a good idea when what they have works when you have that kind of risk?

You claim performance, but the current builds work fine. You claim new apps, but they are happy with what they already have, you mention clouds, they think security risk or PCI violation of confidential data.

We have one client who keeps updating their software causing breaks every single and I mean EVERY single weekend. We are losing tens of thousands in lost sales! The other one worked just fine stop RUSHING.

Businesses are not consumers and in the old days there were competitive advantages to upgrading. Today the newer stuff is not more efficient or do anything of value for the old so it makes sense to stick with the old hence XP. Sticking with XP made the corps lots of money and rose the share price.

sinetheo said,

You worked at a call center DOT. You are fully aware what happens if there is an outage? I almost got fired for letting someone from AT&T upgrade our circuits causing an outage. We lost $1 million! Why am I still employed?? Who knows.

But can you honest explain to your boss why an update is a good idea when what they have works when you have that kind of risk?

You claim performance, but the current builds work fine. You claim new apps, but they are happy with what they already have, you mention clouds, they think security risk or PCI violation of confidential data.

We have one client who keeps updating their software causing breaks every single and I mean EVERY single weekend. We are losing tens of thousands in lost sales! The other one worked just fine stop RUSHING.

Businesses are not consumers and in the old days there were competitive advantages to upgrading. Today the newer stuff is not more efficient or do anything of value for the old so it makes sense to stick with the old hence XP. Sticking with XP made the corps lots of money and rose the share price.

Just because what you have "works", doesn't mean you shouldn't be upgrading. Complacency isn't something IT admins should be getting in the habit of. XP is past its prime, and is rotten to the core. It's inefficient. It's slow. It's kludgy. It wasn't built for today's hardware. Support times are twice as high for XP as they are Windows 7.

We left XP. Not being secure nor compliant for our customers was the reason to leave it. But it cost millions and was a headache.

We are talking about Windows 8/9. We won't upgrade PERIOD. Support costs are nothing compared to an outage from an update or incompatibility. Ms needs to work on this. IE is heading now in that painful direction but it is costing customers like us to grip onto IE 8 tighter as standards compliance for future upgrades = short term pain upgrading apps. In the business world it is only per quarter outlook and that is a major problem as these things pay off over time. It is cheaper to pay to remove virii than to upgrade to a secure platform short term.

sinetheo said,
We left XP. Not being secure nor compliant for our customers was the reason to leave it. But it cost millions and was a headache.

We are talking about Windows 8/9. We won't upgrade PERIOD. Support costs are nothing compared to an outage from an update or incompatibility. Ms needs to work on this. IE is heading now in that painful direction but it is costing customers like us to grip onto IE 8 tighter as standards compliance for future upgrades = short term pain upgrading apps. In the business world it is only per quarter outlook and that is a major problem as these things pay off over time. It is cheaper to pay to remove virii than to upgrade to a secure platform short term.


You're missing out. Hell, Windows Threshold isn't even announced yet, let alone released, so how can you say you're skipping over it?

I'd be curious to see if they use this feature in the public preview to update people to newer builds so that we get more than 1 preview build. You know since Apple had 6 previews for OSX.

The Windows Developer Preview Programme basically... Must be a significant change to how Windows is engineered if it can support this.

September 30th, based on the WT-preview rumors floating around, can't get here soon enough. I have a VM awaiting it.

LimeMaster said,
Windows 8.0 really needed this for the 8.1 upgrade. Glad they are adding it to Threshold. :)

It was two clicks. Click the store tile, then click the big ass green box. Not really much different IMO.

SharpGreen said,

It was two clicks. Click the store tile, then click the big ass green box. Not really much different IMO.

You need to install all the other Windows Updates first before it will let you install it, which is very inconvenient if you've just done a clean install. So yeah, the new method they are introducing will definitely be faster as well as better, and I assume that means you'll get the new builds automatically instead of having to click it to install it manually.

Edited by LimeMaster, Aug 22 2014, 5:28pm :

It may have been two clicks but that was not the problem, the problem was that it was a full Windows upgrade with a high rate of failure.

SharpGreen said,

It was two clicks. Click the store tile, then click the big ass green box. Not really much different IMO.

I fix quite a few pc's for people who don't know much about computers. Most come to me stuck on 8 because these people never even clicked on the store.

At least a normal update applies itself, this one didn't even tell people it was available unless they looked for it.

SharpGreen said,

It was two clicks. Click the store tile, then click the big ass green box. Not really much different IMO.

It wasn't much of an ordeal as far as starting the process, but I was surprised to see the full OS installation process that followed. It also took FOREVER with so many reboots...

SharpGreen said,

It was two clicks. Click the store tile, then click the big ass green box. Not really much different IMO.

may not have been many clicks to initiate, but the upgrade took forever and had many reboots...

Zapella Tiago said,
Very Nice!!! In time!

Format C: remember haha

Haha yeah and it was always so exciting (and sometimes even break a little sweat before hitting Enter/Return) :D

Xabier Granja said,
Sounds a lot like updating WP8. I like it.

That's what I was going to say as well, sounds like how you upgrade WP.

itisomegakai said,
But they need to provide .iso for people w/ multiple Devices
or No connection regularly

No they don't, nor should they.
But if they did decide to do that, the recipient should pay for the physical media and shipping / handling charges.

abecedarian paradoxious said,

No they don't, nor should they.
But if they did decide to do that, the recipient should pay for the physical media and shipping / handling charges.

You have clearly never managed desktops in a commercial environment. I either use Dell's Windows OEM disks (which are actually the best of any manufacturer I've used) or continually spend time creating images for each office to reduce the time spent on updates.

My only hope is that Microsoft's faster release schedule will lead to greater availability of ISOs that are produced more regularly (and thus reduce the potential number of updates). It's the same reason people would love a Windows 7 "SP2" with everything rolled into it!

tickedon said,

You have clearly never managed desktops in a commercial environment. I either use Dell's Windows OEM disks (which are actually the best of any manufacturer I've used) or continually spend time creating images for each office to reduce the time spent on updates.

My only hope is that Microsoft's faster release schedule will lead to greater availability of ISOs that are produced more regularly (and thus reduce the potential number of updates). It's the same reason people would love a Windows 7 "SP2" with everything rolled into it!

You, and your organization apparently, clearly, aren't very organized, or don't manage your corporation's deployment operations and internal update server(s) very well.

Besides, if you're in IT, that's what you're paid to do, so do something to earn the pay. Microsoft provides the update, you figure out how to implement it. Otherwise, they're doing your job and you're getting paid for their work.

I don't know about you but I would be fired if I did an update that broke something. My job is to just put out fires all day.

Like my last job InfoSec in India manages our security and we have no say on what we run. We have 7 clients in my building alone each with their own apps, vlans, and configurations. As a result we kept XP all the way until this April.

A SP is what is needed as it provides a solid target with thousands of updates for all the app vendors to certify their apps upon which reduces the work of IT with update after update.

But MS is being *ssholes on this and even paying bestbuy and fry's to destroy copies of Windows 7 OEM and Office 2010 so they can force a cellphone OS upon its users. Making sure Sp2 is never released will just make our systems insecure. We won't ever upgrade ever unless forced too at work. Too much hassle when clients and users scream about fires all day.