Next Major Windows Update "Threshold" for Spring 2015

ZDNet continues to talk about Threshold, which is expected to roll out in Spring 2015. As a recap, this will reportedly be similar to Blue; a wave of updates that will bring Windows-based form factors even closer together: desktop/laptop, tablet/smartphone, and Xbox One. Windows RT and Windows Phone will reportedly be merged together by then.

Sources told ZDNet there will likely be three SKUs: a "modern" consumer SKU, a traditional/PC SKU, and a traditional enterprise SKU. The first "modern" SKU will reportedly focus on Windows Phones, ARM-based Windows tablets/PCs, phablets and other kinds of tablets. Some PCs may also run this build to compete with Google's Chromebooks. This build will also focus on WinRT apps (not to be confused with Windows RT), and won't be optimized for Win32 apps. Sources claim that on some PC-like form factors, there will be a "desktop" that keyboard/mouse users will find easy to navigate.

ZDNet reports that the "traditional" SKU is aimed at the current PC market, and will focus on users accustomed to the mouse and keyboard setup. Meanwhile, the enterprise version will include the usual business features such as support for Win32 apps via a Desktop environment, device management and more. Traditional PCs will likely be the main target, along with tablets and other devices. The site reports that this version may be made available only for volume licensing.

The site also believes that there may be an SKU for embedded devices and usages, including kiosks, point-of-sale terminals and so on. This is an assumption given that the Embedded team is now part of Myerson's organization. These SKUs will not be offered to consumers and business users directly.

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  • Durandul
    Microsoft's urge to be the bleeding edge again makes them look like fools to me. Why alienate your current and primary market skirt chasing mobile phones? From the way they market it, it sounds like the tablet is going to be the major consumer work machine, which I find to be utter bullshit. It's okay to appeal to a larger audience, but not to forget where your roots lie.
  • PraxGTI
    Trying to have "one OS to rule them all" is a really bad plan by any calculations.

    The product life cycle of an OS really needs to be taken into consideration.

    A mobile OS needs a life cycle of about 6-12 months to be effective.

    A business OS needs a life cycle of about 5-7 year to remain cost effective and keep training / hardware / licensing costs down.

    A personal OS is more than happy following the same life cycle as a business OS.

    There just needs to be a "piece" of the OS that allows some level of integration between the three (Like file synchronization, account synchronization etc).

    Microsoft, you are digging a hole that will leave a scar on your once loyal customers. Please re-think your strategy. It doesn't make sense to try to keep all of your customers updating their OS every 1-2 years. Updating the OS is natural when replacing devices, and only mobile phone users are replacing their phones constantly. Business and home users cannot afford to swap out their hardware every 1-2 years. Most businesses and people I know are lucky to get new hardware every 5-7 years. We don't just upgrade our OS like we upgrade our RAM or our video cards. The OS should remain stable and constant for the life cycle between purchased and replacement of hardware.

    Perhaps this is why they are pushing the tablet market. Less educated users making the decisions to purchase new tablets every year as Christmas presents for their family and friends? (Seeing as how tablets are not upgradable and as a direct result, new tablets will need to be purchased on the same life cycle of the OS now in order to be able to use the latest apps, games, etc. This seems to produce an opposite to the natural effect of replacing the OS on the hardware lifecyle.)
  • InvalidError
    Anonymous said:
    A mobile OS needs a life cycle of about 6-12 months to be effective.

    I don't see why mobile OSes would need a shorter product cycle. The only reason mobiles and tablets have a relatively fast product cycle now is simply because they still have a lot of catching up with PCs to do. By 2017, the hardware capability gap should be be pretty much gone as far as most people are concerned and people won't care much to upgrade their phones and tablets every 2-3 years as long as the battery and screen still work fine.

    By then, we very well might end up with some x86-based phones that run full desktop Windows... if it does not happen sooner.