Windows Threshold is getting really darn close to being ready for its public release. With the 30th of September quickly approaching, Microsoft is starting to put the final pieces together to create a release of the build that is ready for public consumption.
The preview of Threshold is going to be all about feedback. Microsoft wants to collect all sorts of input from the users as to what they like, what they don't like, which features should be changed, added or removed, and anything and everything in between.
Mary Jo Foley was the first to grab this bit of news and since we had heard the same thing and could add a bit more, we figured we would add some color to the reasoning why they want feedback and what to expect. The short answer to why they are focusing so heavily on user feedback is not just about polishing the experience for user - it's also because the enterprise hates Windows 8.
It's not a big surprise and this is why Threshold will have tons of feedback surveys to make sure that they avoid this issue with the next iteration of Windows. So what will these surveys look like? Well, they appear in large windows and cover a wide range of topics but for this example, we will use searching as a feedback item.
At the top of the survey, it says "Please share your feedback with Microsoft about Searching". Anything related to your search experience can be entered here, whether related to the Start Menu, Cortana or a bunch of other items. The next question asks if you were successful in "Searching" and provides you with Yes, No, or Not Sure.
You then move down the page to another area where you are asked about the following parameters: 'Ease of Use', 'Valuable to me', 'Enjoyable', 'Is it Fast?' and a couple more general questions as well. You rate these items on a scale of 1 to 5 and then send them off to Microsoft.
Microsoft will be using the telemetry data gathered over the beta cycles of Threshold to help shape the features to exactly what the user needs and more importantly, expects.
The rapid updates that we talked about in a previous post could be part of this as Microsoft very well could send different features to some users to test out. We're still trying to clarify this, but it is also possible that, depending on your feedback, different features may be made available to you to test out. Or, this could dictate which surveys you take too.
Microsoft has made a real effort lately to listen to consumer feedback and has been opening up avenues to discuss new features for some time. So it only makes sense that Windows, a core product for the company, would go down this path too. Even when they announced the return of the Start menu, Terry Myerson said it was based on feedback from users.