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Windows Spring 2015 Update Codenamed "Threshold"

By - Source: ZDNet | B 33 comments

Threshold is expected to be Blue's sequel.

ZDNet reports that the Spring 2015 wave of Windows-based releases is codenamed "Threshold," which is derived from the planet of the same name in the original Halo released back in 2001. Unnamed sources reportedly said that Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson actually mentioned the Threshold codename in a recent internal company email about his plans for a unified operating system engineering group.

So far the unofficial Windows roadmap reveals that Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 will receive an update in Spring 2014 (v8.1.1?). This will also be the time when Microsoft releases the "Blue" update for Windows Phone, catching it up to v8.1. After that, Windows 8.1 will reportedly receive another big update in Fall 2014, v8.1.2 perhaps, around one year after Windows 8.1 originally went live.

Based on information provided by unnamed sources, Microsoft is planning to shift its major releases to the Spring. The "Threshold" update is likely similar to the "Blue" wave of updates, and is scheduled to take place in the Spring 2015 timeframe as previously mentioned. Included in this update is reportedly Windows 8.2, Windows Phone 8.2 and Xbox One. This numbering scheme is merely speculation given that Microsoft will likely want to keep Windows variants on the same level.

Right now Windows 8.x, Windows Phone and the Xbox One OS share a common Windows NT core. But by Spring 2015, Microsoft is expected to have already merged Windows RT and Windows Phone into one platform. We saw this coming with the introduction of larger screens in the latest Windows Phone update. The company is also expected to release a unified developer portal in Spring 2014, followed by the unified storefront in Spring 2015.

In addition to the common developer toolset and storefront, Threshold will reportedly add another level of commonality across all Windows platforms by supporting the same set of "high value activities." These include "serious fun," meetings, tasks, research, information assurance and IT/Dev workloads. Steve Ballmer mentioned the concept of high-value activities back in July when he announced the company's re-organization.

"We are going to focus on completely reinventing experiences like creating or viewing a creative document and what it means to communicate socially at home or in meetings at work," Ballmer said. "We are going to immerse people in deep entertainment experiences that let them have serious fun in ways so intense and delightful that they will blur the line between reality and fantasy. And as we develop these new experiences, we will also support our developers with the simplest ways to develop apps or cloud services and integrate with our products."

The company is also reportedly working on a Siri competitor called Cortana, which is a fictional AI in the Halo series.

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  • 1 Hide
    joz , December 4, 2013 7:01 AM
    If I have seven or more cards in my graveyard, does it do something extra?

    *MTG reference folks, move along*
  • 5 Hide
    brandonjclark , December 4, 2013 7:10 AM
    8.1.1? 8.1.2? Ugh, just call it 8.2. They don't want to confuse regular people.
  • 0 Hide
    red77star , December 4, 2013 7:36 AM
    It is just matter of time before Microsoft admits that Windows 8 is failure and they do something different with Windows 9. By looking at November stats, Windows XP stayed flat, Windows 7 gain. Windows 8 lost lot of market share in favor of Windows 8.1 but all together with RT < 10%, bottom line failure. Nokia is doing fine with Windows 8 Phone but compared to overall market...rather a joke. ~5%
  • -3 Hide
    red77star , December 4, 2013 7:40 AM
    Unified experience won't work because it is impossible to bridge gap between PC running i7 Crossfire Setup and 32GB of RAM on it and shitty phone with ARM processor. Those two devices have nothing in common.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , December 4, 2013 7:55 AM
    Convergence is the right way to go, but my guess is Microsoft does it the wrong way.

    This will probably lead to an even more closed ecosystem in which all applications are controlled via Microsoft's Windows store. They are already "hiding" the desktop on RT.

    The idea of a Windows Phone that turns into a full blown desktop OS when docked would be appealing though. Perhaps even the limitations of the ARM processor could be avoided by using x86 Intel chips. That would be a big way to set Windows Phone apart from the competition.
  • -1 Hide
    vmem , December 4, 2013 8:19 AM
    they're gonna name it after a Halo planet, yet Elop wants to sell off Xbox? yeah right
  • 3 Hide
    vmem , December 4, 2013 8:27 AM
    Quote:
    It is just matter of time before Microsoft admits that Windows 8 is failure and they do something different with Windows 9. By looking at November stats, Windows XP stayed flat, Windows 7 gain. Windows 8 lost lot of market share in favor of Windows 8.1 but all together with RT < 10%, bottom line failure. Nokia is doing fine with Windows 8 Phone but compared to overall market...rather a joke. ~5%


    8 has it's problems but it's not a complete failure. what they did to streamline and lighten up the overall OS package is all much needed work. it's also good that some things, such as 'device manager' and 'disc manager' are now more accessible than ever. they even fixed the color problem with windows 7 when playing older games such as starcraft.

    what they screwed up on is expecting a desktop user to use a tablet UI. they need to either stop pushing for a unified experience, or at least allow desktop users to use a UI better suited to keyboard & mouse.

    as for what you're talking about with marketshare, it's more complicated than you make it sound. I suspect the windows 7 gain is from Apple users coming back to Windows, as well as a number of power-users 'downgrading' their newly purchased win8 machines to win7 (yes you can do that). as for the XP problem... Microsoft needs something more drastic without pissing off existing users. the truth is, if win7 didn't convince those people to upgrade, nothing will, at least not at the price of $100 per license. then only way forward is to hand out win7 licenses at $10 or for free, and gobble up their own marketshare before another OS does so.
  • -3 Hide
    phatboe , December 4, 2013 8:30 AM
    I don't mind having a single Kernel or een a single OS. But this One UI across all devices thing is stupid.
  • 2 Hide
    therogerwilco , December 4, 2013 9:00 AM
    And all of these comments of "oh no, win8 is a failure and unified devices are lame!" are probably coming from Apple users.

    Personally, I love the integration between my Surface Pro and my gaming desktop. It would be nice if they took it to a greater degree.
  • 0 Hide
    catfishtx , December 4, 2013 9:13 AM
    Quote:
    The idea of a Windows Phone that turns into a full blown desktop OS when docked would be appealing though. Perhaps even the limitations of the ARM processor could be avoided by using x86 Intel chips. That would be a big way to set Windows Phone apart from the competition.


    Sign me up. I do find it odd though that we are wanting a new "Wintel" solution.
  • -1 Hide
    S Brideau , December 4, 2013 9:39 AM
    Quote:

    what they screwed up on is expecting a desktop user to use a tablet UI. they need to either stop pushing for a unified experience, or at least allow desktop users to use a UI better suited to keyboard & mouse.



    Now this is just sheer ignorance on your part. Windows 8 does have a desktop interface, and on 8.1 you can even start it to make it go directly to the desktop. I have Win 8.1 on one of my computers and pretty much never use the metro ui because I don't need to use it.
  • -1 Hide
    nhat11 , December 4, 2013 10:06 AM
    MS promised unified experience in win8.... yet another OS to get because of their failed promises. win8 you should be able to play X1 or 360 games on.
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , December 4, 2013 10:15 AM
    Quote:
    MS promised unified experience in win8.... yet another OS to get because of their failed promises. win8 you should be able to play X1 or 360 games on.


    I don`t think they mean gaming consoles when talking about unified. And to be honest i don`t even care about that even though there are some exclusive titles on xbox that i would like to play.
  • 1 Hide
    hannibal , December 4, 2013 10:22 AM
    Firsts steps to One Windows OS to Rule Them All...

    To brandonkclark: 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 sound a lot like normal servicepacks so that is why they maintain 8.1 name. 8.2 seems to be bigger update that can cost something... who knows...

    Allso it is possible that 8.2 will be windows9. Metro UI with transparent tiles... The timeframe would suggest to that direction. Allso Windows 9 aka 8.2 will be integration of windows phone and windows RT so reason enough for bigger increase in version number.
    If this is true then windows10 aka skyWindows may be the first windows that is "same" in all platforms... How much there will be same, remains to be seeing, but internet aka skydrive based applications etc. can make it possible to share many files and application between your, desktop, lattop, tablet and phone.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , December 4, 2013 10:35 AM
    Quote:


    I have Win 8.1 on one of my computers and pretty much never use the metro ui because I don't need to use it.


    Doesn't this statement in itself mean it probably shouldn't be there or at least needs an overhaul? On something like the Surface it's fine, but why would I want anything to do with the Metro interface and full screen apps on a 27" monitor? Everyone says Windows is for productivity yet they force metro on Desktop users.

    A touch optimized UI can be done well and still be useful for desktop users on a large monitor. Look at Unity from Ubuntu for example.

    Leave the Metro interface for everything 10" and under and give desktop and notebook users a better flowing option based entirely on the desktop.
  • -1 Hide
    JD88 , December 4, 2013 10:46 AM
    Sorry for double post.
  • 0 Hide
    thundervore , December 4, 2013 11:48 AM
    Quote:
    If I have seven or more cards in my graveyard, does it do something extra?

    *MTG reference folks, move along*


    lol threshold! I got the joke!

  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 4, 2013 12:51 PM
    Quote:
    We are going to focus on completely reinventing experiences like creating or viewing a creative document and what it means to communicate socially at home or in meetings at work


    Translated: "We are now going to screw up the interface of office and communication software as well, because %$@# you."
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 4, 2013 1:07 PM
    Quote:
    A touch optimized UI can be done well and still be useful for desktop users on a large monitor. Look at Unity from Ubuntu for example.


    Linux sysadmin here, work with machines on Ubuntu every day. Unity is a plague and is the least productive interface if you don't count Windows 8. Sure, it's usable. But why was there a need for it on the first place? It sucks compared to older Gnome (and even to new Gnome 3!) and to Windows 7 UI!

    Quote:
    Now this is just sheer ignorance on your part. Windows 8 does have a desktop interface, and on 8.1 you can even start it to make it go directly to the desktop. I have Win 8.1 on one of my computers and pretty much never use the metro ui because I don't need to use it.


    No, this is denial of fact on YOUR part. Whether you want it or not, Metro WILL intrude your Windows experience: press Super key on Win7, you get a nice Start menu, press it on Win8 - huge intrusive screen full of stupid tiles. It's INTRUSIVE. There should be an option to completely switch it OFF. Majority of users did NOT ask for it. It's a trick by MS to make everyone switch to touchscreens, which are a highly inferior input device as compared to mouse and keyboard.

    Quote:
    And all of these comments of "oh no, win8 is a failure and unified devices are lame!" are probably coming from Apple users.


    I'm a hardcore Windows/Ubuntu user and I think that Win8 sucks and unified devices are BS. What's good on tablet or phone isn't good on desktop and vice versa. I was JUST fine with the state of the market pre-Win8 (Win7 for desktop and laptop, Android for phone/tablet, everything else STFU and die because redundant/inadequate)

    Quote:
    Unified experience won't work because it is impossible to bridge gap between PC running i7 Crossfire Setup and 32GB of RAM on it and shitty phone with ARM processor. Those two devices have nothing in common.


    At least someone who understands. Different hardware, different tasks, different UI.

    Quote:
    they're gonna name it after a Halo planet, yet Elop wants to sell off Xbox? yeah right


    Don't worry, that clown won't become CEO. He did his job - Nokia lost most of its value. He's no good for anything else, as his BS suggestion shows. It's like Apple deciding to drop iPhones or MBPs.

    ----

    A few days ago I have read a review of a Dell workstation laptop. It's beautiful: QHD+ screen, Quadro graphics, i7-4900MQ, and so on... guess what it ran? Win7. That's right. Despite Win8's alleged "better support" for high-res screens. Because THIS is what you run when you need to get WORK done.

    Windows 8 is a pain in the neck for everyone and if everyone would just agree to ignore it, MS would be forced to drop it. Consumer? Buy a Mac. Yes, that radical. Sysadmin? Ban Win8 from your organization due to "integration and staff re-learning difficulties" or some such. Already got a laptop? Stick to it. Power user? Wipe 8, install 7. Can use Linux? Move to it. Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Win8 laptops, don't let your friends and family do it either, troll and ridicule Windows 8 on every corner. Malware writers? Please release a ton of malware specifically targeting Win8. Let this joke of a UI die - let MS understand that it can't get away with shoving stuff we didn't ask for down our throats.
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , December 4, 2013 1:22 PM
    Quote:

    Windows 8 is a pain in the neck for everyone and if everyone would just agree to ignore it, MS would be forced to drop it. Consumer? Buy a Mac. Yes, that radical. Sysadmin? Ban Win8 from your organization due to "integration and staff re-learning difficulties" or some such. Already got a laptop? Stick to it. Power user? Wipe 8, install 7. Can use Linux? Move to it. Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Win8 laptops, don't let your friends and family do it either, troll and ridicule Windows 8 on every corner. Malware writers? Please release a ton of malware specifically targeting Win8. Let this joke of a UI die - let MS understand that it can't get away with shoving stuff we didn't ask for down our throats.


    I agree that Win8 is a pain, especially for sysadmin and power users/content creators etc, but I can't agree with your solution. remember when MS used to shove IE down our throats and how many years it took for most people to realize that FF was out there? and then how many more years it took for MS to make IE a better browser?

    the way I see it, the ONLY REASON that metro-interface is there is to push MS into the increasingly crowded tablet/phone market. like it or not, the mobile devices market is a DUOPOLY, and honestly, it's terrible. Apple runs a closed system, and if you want CHOICES, you're basically stuck with android. while it's a good OS, I don't like monopolies, period. I'm aware that I can run cyanogen, that there's a ubuntu OS coming out, and that win8 phone has a tiny part of the market, but still, none of those companies has the ability to gain enough traction to get app developers on board. the sooner MS expands its tablet business, the sooner MS will drop this metro non-sense on the desktop. honestly I think it's only there to push up marketshare numbers and get app devs interested.
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