"Threshold" to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015


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"Threshold" to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015

Microsoft tries to put Windows 8 in the rear-view mirror

 

At the BUILD developer conference in April 2014, Microsoft will discuss its vision for the future of Windows, including a year-off release codenamed "Threshold" that will most likely be called Windows 9. Here's what I know about the next major release of Windows.

 

As a kind of recap, we know that Microsoft will update Windows 8.1 in 2014, first with a service pack/feature pack-type update called Update 1 (or GDR1 internally). I wrote a bit about this update recently in Windows 8.1 Update 1 (Very Early) Preview but the expectation is that it will ship in April 2014 alongside Windows Phone 8.1, the development of which Microsoft will soon complete.

 

Also in April, of course, is BUILD 2014. That show will hit just weeks after Microsoft completes its corporate reorganization and will surprisingly be very much focused on Windows Phone and Xbox, according to my sources. But I think Windows watchers will agree that the biggest news from the show will be an announcement about Microsoft's plans for the next major Windows version, codenamed "Threshold."

 

I previously wrote about Threshold in Microsoft to Take Windows to the "Threshold", Further Changes Coming in Windows "Threshold" and Big Changes Are Coming to Windows. This is the release my sources previously pegged as being the one that will see the return of the Start menu and the ability to run Metro-style apps on the desktop alongside desktop applications.

 

But Threshold is more important than any specific updates. Windows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That's a disaster, and Threshold needs to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of over a billion traditional PC users while enticing users to adopt this new Windows on new types of personal computing devices. In short, it needs to be everything that Windows 8 is not.

 

Here's what I've learned about Threshold.

 

Windows 9. To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking.

 

BUILD vision announcement. In case it's not obvious that the Sinofsky era is over, Microsoft will use BUILD to provide its first major "vision" announcement for Windows since, yes, Longhorn in 2003. Don't expect anything that grandiose, but the Windows team believes it needs to hit a happy middle ground between the KGB-style secrecy of the Sinofsky camp and the freewheeling "we can do it all" days that preceded that. As important, the firm understands that customers need something to be excited about.

 

No bits at BUILD. Microsoft will not be providing developers with an early alpha release of "Threshold" at BUILD, and for a good reason: The product won't even begin development until later that month. Right now, Microsoft is firming up which features it intends to deliver in this release.

 

Metro 2.0. Maturing and fixing the "Metro" design language used by Windows will be a major focus area of Threshold. It's not clear what changes are coming, but it's safe to assume that a windowed mode that works on the desktop is part of that.

Three milestones. Microsoft expects to deliver three milestone releases of "Threshold" before its final release. It's unclear what these releases will be called (Beta, Release Candidate, etc.) or which if any will be provided to the public.

 

April 2015 release. Microsoft is currently targeting April 2015 for the release of Windows 9 "Threshold."

 

In some ways, the most interesting thing about Threshold is how it recasts Windows 8 as the next Vista. It's an acknowledgment that what came before didn't work, and didn't resonate with customers. And though Microsoft will always be able to claim that Windows 9 wouldn't have been possible without the important foundational work they had done first with Windows 8?just as was the case with Windows 7 and Windows Vista?there's no way to sugarcoat this. Windows 8 has set back Microsoft, and Windows, by years, and possibly for good.

 

These things don't happen in isolation?the big and slow Vista arrived inauspiciously just as netbooks were taking off and Windows 8 arrived just as media tablets changed everything?and it's fair to say that the technology world of today barely resembles that of 2006, creating new challenges for Windows. Threshold will target this new world. It could very well be a make or break release.

 

I'll let you know when I've learned more.

 

Source: winsupersite.com

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Will definitely be interesting to see where they go with 9.  I know it's being hopeful, but I really do hope for a Metro/Standard option.  If you pick metro.. you get all metro (akin to RT) if you pick standard, you get a windows 7 style desktop.  Any "metro" apps would run in windows removing the need for things like modern mix.  Full start menu same as 7, so no need for a full screen. 

 

Either way.. im interested to see what direction they go.

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Will definitely be interesting to see where they go with 9.  I know it's being hopeful, but I really do hope for a Metro/Standard option.  If you pick metro.. you get all metro (akin to RT) if you pick standard, you get a windows 7 style desktop.  Any "metro" apps would run in windows removing the need for things like modern mix.  Full start menu same as 7, so no need for a full screen. 

 

Either way.. im interested to see what direction they go.

 

I agree, especially if they want businesses to ever adopt newer versions after Windows 7.

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Will definitely be interesting to see where they go with 9.  I know it's being hopeful, but I really do hope for a Metro/Standard option.  If you pick metro.. you get all metro (akin to RT) if you pick standard, you get a windows 7 style desktop.  Any "metro" apps would run in windows removing the need for things like modern mix.  Full start menu same as 7, so no need for a full screen. 

 

Either way.. im interested to see what direction they go.

I think paul thurrott stated in the past that there will be 3 different SKUs of windows. windows x, windows x pro, and windows x enterprise. the non pro version would be the version for phones,tablets and some pcs. the pro is the same as the regular but includes the desktop, and enterprise which has the pro stuff plus the enterprise features

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I remember when many clamored MSFT to release WinXP SE, during Win7's development, and were upset when they saw what Win7 was shaping up to be. I'm honestly confused as to why many are again clamoring here for more of the same in regards to development for a new OS? If Win7 is what you want, then you already have it.

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I remember when many clamored MSFT to release WinXP SE, during Win7's development, and were upset when they saw what Win7 was shaping up to be. I'm honestly confused as to why many are again clamoring here for more of the same in regards to development for a new OS? If Win7 is what you want, then you already have it.

 

Windows 7 is what we want, just like XP is what we want.  But 7 builds on XP and isn't totally new, yes there are changes.. yes it's different but the feel is the same.  8 was a long way away from what most (including I) expect from a desktop os.  So it's not that we aren't satisfied with 7.. we totally are.. but we are disatisfied with windows 8 and it's direction.  We don't want to be stuck with a 13 year old OS that is no longer supported just because MS decided to go mobile on the desktop.

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I remember when many clamored MSFT to release WinXP SE, during Win7's development, and were upset when they saw what Win7 was shaping up to be. I'm honestly confused as to why many are again clamoring here for more of the same in regards to development for a new OS? If Win7 is what you want, then you already have it.

Yanno, I used to enjoy debating the metro thing with you. Now, it just makes me feel like a bully.

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Maybe people want a windows-7 like system with the enhancements of 8/8.1 because it adds additional features and improves others, i.e. the start from hibernation being normal, better graphic features, etc. but they're being held back because of things they don't like e.g. lack of a start menu.

 

Windows 7 support will end before W8/8.1, so I don't blame people wanting a newer OS like W7.

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The major version change from 8 to 9 looks really like a marketing ploy for Microsoft to distance themselves from the Windows 8 stained line.

If they start a new development cycle after April 2014 for a release one year later, I have serious doubts that there will be many changes in that release ...

I am not going to raise my expectations ...

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Maybe people want a windows-7 like system with the enhancements of 8/8.1 because it adds additional features and improves others, i.e. the start from hibernation being normal, better graphic features, etc. but they're being held back because of things they don't like e.g. lack of a start menu.

 

Windows 7 support will end before W8/8.1, so I don't blame people wanting a newer OS like W7.

 

Personally I also like Aero, I like glass, I like frost.. I don't like the sharp edges, the opacity, etc of 8.  If 9 had full transparency as an optional theme that would be awesome too.  Other than that.. you got it dead on.

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The major version change from 8 to 9 looks really like a marketing ploy for Microsoft to distance themselves from the Windows 8 stained line.

If they start a new development cycle after April 2014 for a release one year later, I have serious doubts that there will be many changes in that release ...

I am not going to raise my expectations ...

 

They have no choice here, the trolls and ignorant haters have done all they can to make Win 8 look bad, and it's not, so changing the name is the only sensible thing for MS to do

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They have no choice here, the trolls and ignorant haters have done all they can to make Win 8 look bad, and it's not, so changing the name is the only sensible thing for MS to do

 

Im not trolling nor am I ignorant.  I don't like Windows 8, and I am not alone.  Im not going to support or use what I don't like.  I am going to push to get something I do like, if I can't find it.. I will go elsewhere.  Just like if I buy a cell phone, I will try and get the best deal, else I will go to another company and try to get the best deal, and I will play the two companies against each other until one gives me a deal the other cant.

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The major version change from 8 to 9 looks really like a marketing ploy for Microsoft to distance themselves from the Windows 8 stained line.

If they start a new development cycle after April 2014 for a release one year later, I have serious doubts that there will be many changes in that release ...

I am not going to raise my expectations ...

The major work is done in Windows 8. I too, feel that any changes in Win9 will be incremental. Windows 9 will need to play nice with a wide range of existing hardware, tablets included. Personally, I'm happy Microsoft isn't giving any more justification to the trolls. Haters gonna hate.

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Although I don't hate Windows 8 by any means, Metro apps on the desktop would make sense if they want corporate buy in. With the 8.1 changes, it's possible to do, Metro apps can be resized to almost any size, just like a responsive web app would be able to do.

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Wasn't expecting to hear something like that from P.T.  :o

 

Well, the failure of Windows 8 is slowly becoming a revelation ... no how bad people like Dot Matrix think it isn't.  Hopefully Threshold will be a merger of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

 

Kicker being that MS could have easily avoided all of this if they hadn't attempted to shove "Mod" down our throats and allowed us to choose between "Mod" and the Start Menu.

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I'm one of the probably few folks that don't mind Modern style start screen (and apps) and WIndows 8 Desktop Mode, during the day I use off and on Xbox music, xbox video, Windows 8.1 Mail app, Modern Skype, sometimes a game snapped to one side of the screen, and also using Desktop IE, and such.   

 

Overall i'm happy with Windows 8.1, looking forward to update 1, and Threshold in the future as well, and Windows Phone 8.1 for my Windows phone that I currently got.   

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Im not trolling nor am I ignorant.  I don't like Windows 8, and I am not alone.  Im not going to support or use what I don't like.  I am going to push to get something I do like, if I can't find it.. I will go elsewhere.  Just like if I buy a cell phone, I will try and get the best deal, else I will go to another company and try to get the best deal, and I will play the two companies against each other until one gives me a deal the other cant.

For you, it doesn't matter if its called Windows 8.2 or Windows 9 as long it addresses your concerns.

However, there are others out there that once they have a set idea about an OS, they wont budge no matter what updates or changes you make. It happened to Vista and it will happen with 8.

Besides that, what people like yourself want is Metro gone. I wish people would stop saying they want 7 back though, since that's not really what they are talking about. What most of us want is a traditional desktop ui. 8 actually has that believe it or not, but by also including Metro and allowing elements of that ui to interact with the desktop ui, it has soured some on the idea of using 8 at all. So what most around the internet want is the Win 8 desktop without Metro and including the original start menu.

I've been able to happily use the desktop in 8 due to the improvements they made there and further changes in 8.1, but there are people like yourself that feel the 8 desktop is still completely unusable and want more brought back from 7, such as Aero glass, the original start menu, etc. Some of that is aesthetic and not a technical/usability issue, but some are and that's perfectly fine. The people that use windows are highly varied and that means a varied selections of wants and needs.

MS just needs to reintroduce the choices and then everyone can use the system as they like. I just hope people will actually respond positively if they do make the changes that are wanted.

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I'm one of the probably few folks that don't mind Modern style start screen (and apps) and WIndows 8 Desktop Mode, during the day I use off and on Xbox music, xbox video, Windows 8.1 Mail app, Modern Skype, sometimes a game snapped to one side of the screen, and also using Desktop IE, and such.   

 

Overall i'm happy with Windows 8.1, looking forward to update 1, and Threshold in the future as well, and Windows Phone 8.1 for my Windows phone that I currently got.

I fall into that camp as well. I use a handful of metro apps off and on and then just live on the desktop side.

Its weird though, I almost feel uneasy saying things like this considering how many can't stand 8.

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Wasn't expecting to hear something like that from P.T.  :o

Go read the article on the front page. It isn't a surprise considering how whiny P.T. can be when he doesn't get his way.

 

In fact, he said this stuff on Twitter yesterday, and didn't once answer people back as to why he said this. He ran and hid.

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I certainly expect Windows 9 to provide a seamless desktop experience; as long as Windows forces this crazy back-and-forth between the two modes, it'll remain largely ignored on the desktop PC, which after all is still where Windows has its largest user base and where it truly excels.

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Im not trolling nor am I ignorant.  I don't like Windows 8, and I am not alone.  Im not going to support or use what I don't like.  I am going to push to get something I do like, if I can't find it.. I will go elsewhere.  Just like if I buy a cell phone, I will try and get the best deal, else I will go to another company and try to get the best deal, and I will play the two companies against each other until one gives me a deal the other cant.

The funny thing is that the main tug of war is between users supporting the same company.

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The funny thing is that the main tug of war is between users supporting the same company.

 

This is true, and it's about a different version of the same product.  However many see it as Version A = good,  Version B= sucks.. so make Version C like Version A.

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