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Windows "Threshold" Tech Preview Coming Soon?

By - Source: ZDNet | B 29 comments

As expected, unnamed sources are now reporting that Microsoft will launch a preview of Windows 9 “Threshold” in early October 2014, or perhaps even in late September 2014. This release will be labeled as a “technology preview” and will require users to accept automatic monthly updates.

Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 9 “Threshold” to the masses in Spring 2015 and bring a set of improvements that should make life a bit easier for desktop customers. These include placing the Start Menu back where it belongs, windowed Modern UI apps on the desktop, virtual desktops, the removal of the charms bar and more. Heck, there’s even talk that Windows 9 may be free for those upgrading from Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

Previous rumors indicated that the Windows 9 platform will load in two separate ways. If the customer has a touch screen or tablet, Windows will boot to the Start Screen. Otherwise, Windows will boot to the desktop when there is no touchscreen connected and a keyboard and mouse is detected.

Although the Start Menu will supposedly return to the taskbar, leaks of recent Windows 9 builds have shown that the Menu will be quite different, containing both familiar Windows 7-style links and Modern UI apps in one list on the left and a list of live tiles on the right. The main taskbar aligned at the bottom appears to be unchanged.

Just last week, we reported that Cortana will be integrated into Windows 9. However, in one of the current leaked builds, Cortana is a standalone app that customers click to open. Unlike the Windows Phone 8.1 version, this desktop app merely takes up around 25 percent of the screen and resides in the middle. Users can type out a question to the virtual assistant, or if a microphone is installed, verbally ask the question.

Will Microsoft launch more than one preview of Windows 9? As previously stated, the version making its debut in September/October is labeled as a “technology preview,” which will be open to the public to use. There may also be another “consumer preview” for the not-so-adventurous customer at the end of 2014. As a point of reference, Microsoft distributed three “milestones” before taking Windows 8 to retail: the developer preview (Sept. 2011), the consumer preview (Feb. 2012), and the RTM version (Aug. 2012).

Microsoft seems eager to distance itself from the original Windows 8. The launch of Windows 8.1 and Update (1) made a vast improvement for the desktop user and seems to have invigorated the PC market. We can’t wait to see what Windows 9 will officially bring.

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  • 0 Hide
    GPUPacman , August 15, 2014 2:45 PM
    I just got Windows 8.1...
  • 3 Hide
    FastGunna , August 15, 2014 3:16 PM
    Might try this on a second HDD, if I like it and its a free upgrade I will do it when the time comes. The free upgrade would be more useful for people like my grand father who is still running XP and wants to upgrade.
  • -3 Hide
    ickibar1234 , August 15, 2014 4:20 PM
    Will Explorer support file paths longer than 255 characters? Proper units for storage, showing MiB, GiB, TiB, etc when appropriate instead of just MB, GB, TB, etc?
  • 9 Hide
    Shneiky , August 15, 2014 4:35 PM
    The world says that a mebibyte is 1048576bytes and a megabyte is 1 000 000.

    In my world - megabyte = 1024 kilobytes and a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Same for my father, my colleagues and well, basically all around me (with exception of some mac fanatics). I wish someone to get rid of MiB, GiB and whatever and just accept "mega" as a x1024. Mega is a human word designed to show a unit of measurement that is on a higher level. Just apply it as a 1024 instead of a 1000. The sense is the same. Would make the world a better place.
  • 2 Hide
    none12345 , August 15, 2014 5:42 PM
    "In my world - megabyte = 1024 kilobytes and a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Same for my father, my colleagues and well, basically all around me (with exception of some mac fanatics). I wish someone to get rid of MiB, GiB and whatever and just accept "mega" as a x1024. Mega is a human word designed to show a unit of measurement that is on a higher level. Just apply it as a 1024 instead of a 1000. The sense is the same. Would make the world a better place. "


    Technically kilo = 1000, mega = 1000000, etc. So, its not wrong when they use 1000 instead of 1024.

    Tho i agree, for me, in the computer world, everything will always be a power of 2, 2^10 = kilo 2^20 = mega etc. But, technically its incorrect, tho it makes more sense in the binary world of a computer.
  • 2 Hide
    Shneiky , August 15, 2014 6:32 PM
    That is not technically - it is linguistically. In human language we use kilo or mega for a power of 10. But also, linguistically, kilo and mega represent a higher tier unit. So, if we "technical" assume to readjust our linguistically proposed terms from human language to computer language or in other sense, just to use it as a higher tier of unit - kilo and mega can be 1024. Funny logic, isn't it ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    thor220 , August 15, 2014 7:29 PM
    Quote:
    "In my world - megabyte = 1024 kilobytes and a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Same for my father, my colleagues and well, basically all around me (with exception of some mac fanatics). I wish someone to get rid of MiB, GiB and whatever and just accept "mega" as a x1024. Mega is a human word designed to show a unit of measurement that is on a higher level. Just apply it as a 1024 instead of a 1000. The sense is the same. Would make the world a better place. "


    Technically kilo = 1000, mega = 1000000, etc. So, its not wrong when they use 1000 instead of 1024.

    Tho i agree, for me, in the computer world, everything will always be a power of 2, 2^10 = kilo 2^20 = mega etc. But, technically its incorrect, tho it makes more sense in the binary world of a computer.


    It should be 1024, it's annoying having to constantly look these thing over to see which standard is being used.

    Related to the article, I wonder if the new windows is still going to have the mouse/overclock issues that windows 8 has/had. I also wonder if there are other compromises microsoft made to the OS that could affect desktop users.
  • 0 Hide
    mikeangs2004 , August 15, 2014 7:30 PM
    do the MSDN Windows 8.1 Pro include media center?
  • -2 Hide
    Roger Crouch , August 15, 2014 8:19 PM
    Microsoft doesn't actually have anything new here, they're just trying to force a subscription-based OS onto a market that doesn't want one. They've forced Excel, Office et all to monthly subscription already.
  • 0 Hide
    Roger Crouch , August 15, 2014 8:21 PM
    Quote:
    The world says that a mebibyte is 1048576bytes and a megabyte is 1 000 000.

    In my world - megabyte = 1024 kilobytes and a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Same for my father, my colleagues and well, basically all around me (with exception of some mac fanatics). I wish someone to get rid of MiB, GiB and whatever and just accept "mega" as a x1024. Mega is a human word designed to show a unit of measurement that is on a higher level. Just apply it as a 1024 instead of a 1000. The sense is the same. Would make the world a better place.


    If you're on an ADSL still (god help your soul) then a Kilobyte is 1272 bytes. The industry has been using the terms more as a scale than as a rating.
  • 3 Hide
    JamesSneed , August 15, 2014 10:22 PM
    Quote:
    Microsoft doesn't actually have anything new here, they're just trying to force a subscription-based OS onto a market that doesn't want one. They've forced Excel, Office et all to monthly subscription already.


    Don't be silly they know better than to do that after Windows 8. Can you imagine how many people would then skip windows 9, no they cant afford that. Windows 9 will be what Windows 8 should have been. In fact if this article is true it would fix the only things that piss me off about Windows 8. I'm not saying they don't want to do the whole software subscription with Windows its just Microsoft is to smart to pull it now.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , August 15, 2014 11:51 PM
    If the fixes are made... then this is easily what Windows 8 should have been... but still the desktop needs the WIN7 style skin/windows. *I HATE* the boarderless windows - its takes perfect aim to grab the corner and resize the window... how damn stupid is that?!

    The flat SKIN style of Windows 8 sucks too.

    I'm content to stay with Windows 7 till about 2017 or so and be on Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    tobalaz , August 16, 2014 12:13 AM
    Sounds like every single thing I can't stand about 8 is being fixed except for power saver kicking in even when disabled and killing my wifi when I'm using it.
    And yes, I know to go intro the control panel, into the device manager, find my wireless cards, look at its drivers and pull a 2nd override on power saver killing it.
    Still does and it ticks me off and until THIS gets fixed I'm no way using anything above 7.
  • 0 Hide
    drapacioli , August 16, 2014 12:55 AM
    So Microsoft is apparently forcing you to subscribe for office applications like excel and word? Are you aware that their standard Office 2013 exists and is the same pay once format that has always existed? I own it, I promise you there's no monthly fee for it.

    EDIT: Brilliant job Tom's for completely screwing up your comment software. Apparently it's IMPOSSIBLE to quote a post on a mobile device, even if you switch to desktop version! If anyone knows a way to simply quote a post on a smartphone, please enlighten me, because the "quote" button just does nothing here...
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , August 16, 2014 4:18 AM
    Quote:
    So Microsoft is apparently forcing you to subscribe for office applications like excel and word? Are you aware that their standard Office 2013 exists and is the same pay once format that has always existed? I own it, I promise you there's no monthly fee for it.


    Office 2013 has a fixed feature set and will only receive maintenance updates. Office 365 will receive new features on an ongoing basis. Whether those features are useful to you is another story. I'm pretty happy with 2013 myself since it addresses many of the quirks in Excel that annoyed me in all previous versions. Of course there are still plenty of them.
  • 2 Hide
    Darkk , August 16, 2014 8:19 AM
    Windows 9 should be free with unlimited installs. Microsoft can still make money on their apps like Office. This will create wider acceptance. If folks want support other than monthly patches then a paid subscription would be good idea. The only caveat would make sense is to limit number of years for free support to say 5. This way the company can continue to focus on improving the OS as time goes on.

    This is basically the same model as Linux. Free installs but if you want serious help or support then have to get paid subscription or spend time in the community forums.

    I am running Linux Mint 17 and loving the freedom of installing it without worry about licenses. It's a learning curve but after awhile it's not so bad.
  • 0 Hide
    Zeroplanetz , August 16, 2014 10:01 AM
    Damn it. The one thing I was hoping would stay would be the charms bar. Arg.
  • 0 Hide
    KarterJK , August 16, 2014 11:37 AM
    Quote:
    do the MSDN Windows 8.1 Pro include media center?

    No, but it allows you to install it. Media Center is a $10.00 add on. RT, 8.0 and 8.1 can't install Media Center, it can only be installed on a Pro version.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Personally, I am hoping Media Center will be included with Windows 9, if not I doubt I would upgrade.
  • 0 Hide
    KarterJK , August 16, 2014 11:39 AM
    Quote:
    Damn it. The one thing I was hoping would stay would be the charms bar. Arg.

    I agree it is the only thing I like about Windows 8. I don't know why Microsoft thinks they must always remove something, when revising versions,
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , August 16, 2014 10:25 PM
    "... Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 9 “Threshold” to the masses in Spring 2015 and bring a set of improvements that should make life a bit easier for desktop..." It's easier for me to hold the mouse and move the things across the desktop, rather than reach for the monitor across the table to move windows...
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