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Next Major Windows Update "Threshold" for Spring 2015

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments
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More details for the next big Windows version.

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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  • 1 Hide
    Durandul , December 11, 2013 2:50 PM
    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.
  • 6 Hide
    PraxGTI , December 11, 2013 3:16 PM
    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.)

  • 5 Hide
    InvalidError , December 11, 2013 3:35 PM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    scout_03 , December 11, 2013 6:58 PM
    A little note to microsoft the should take more care or the costumer and not trying to get new os every 2 years without fixing all the bug and flaw they have in there previous os release .They should not forget that private costumer are the first user for these os and corporate will go from advice from there tech department it who are previously a single costumer .
  • 0 Hide
    phatboe , December 11, 2013 10:54 PM
    @PraxGTI MS is pushing yearly updates so that they can convince users to join a subscription pay model. By pushing yearly updates that they know most people can't afford it will add to their argument that a subscription is the way to go in order to keep up with their latest OS/software/services/etc.
  • 0 Hide
    houghe9 , December 12, 2013 5:32 AM
    the cost of windows is insane. half the cost of a budget or older pc. microsoft should be giving it away. windows was the monopoly because that is all we knew. now there is ios andoroid linux distros people are willing to try different things. when they see those other things out perform windows its hard to justify going to buy an upgrade for your pc.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , December 12, 2013 7:23 AM
    Quote:
    the cost of windows is insane. half the cost of a budget or older pc. microsoft should be giving it away. windows was the monopoly because that is all we knew. now there is ios andoroid linux distros people are willing to try different things. when they see those other things out perform windows its hard to justify going to buy an upgrade for your pc.


    This is very true. It's why ending XP support and talking about how 8 is so much more secure than 7 is such a problem. The facts are that PCs built even 10 years ago are still very viable for the vast majority of tasks people do on their PC which amount to web browsing, word processing, and light gaming. Anyone not wanting to upgrade their PC for that reason certainly does not want to shell out $100+ for a Windows license. Microsoft's business model is obsolete and they know it. Not even the vast library of software they have built up for the platform via monopoly power is enough to save them in a world transitioning to cloud based apps and services.

  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , December 12, 2013 8:11 AM
    Quote:
    The facts are that PCs built even 10 years ago are still very viable for the vast majority of tasks people do on their PC which amount to web browsing, word processing, and light gaming.

    The PC I had 10 years ago (3GHz Northwood P4 with HT) is too slow to smoothly play Youtube videos beyond 360p, same goes for Flash-based animations. I think that would be a deal-breaker for many people who have PCs that old unless they do not even do that much with theirs. That seems pretty far gone on the viability curve IMO.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , December 12, 2013 9:32 AM
    You can tell already, they overcomplicated a very simple issue. Keep updating WINDOWS 7 (the last acceptable windows platform to the mainstream and business folk) and have a different OS for touch screen PHONES and TABLETS (not touchscreen computers, it's too slow compared to keyboard and mouse). iOS and MAC OS X are different. The underlying tech doesnt need to change, but you won't get x86 WINTEL pentration on mobile devices. People link change and they like cheapness. that is why Android wins. It's "open", cheap, mod friendly and developer friendly. The exact OPPOSITE of apple.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , December 12, 2013 9:35 AM
    Also, the fundamental flaw in Windows is the registry. It's why you have to restart, it's why things go bad, it's why malware is everywhere (it's easy to get into), etc etc etc. Microsoft can't get rid of the registry because that's all they know how to work with. All previous developers would be screwed...obviously that entire mindset doesn't work on a phone or tablet (a real tablet, not Surface 2 pc in a tablet shell...which you also have to restart all the time, like a Windows box).
  • 0 Hide
    coolitic , December 12, 2013 12:05 PM
    What they are doing now is to force us to buy w8, get accustomed to new UI, then if we still hate it to use original start menu in 8.2. This is probably because they know that many users wont even try new UI. Still, not the best move they could of made.
  • 0 Hide
    coolitic , December 12, 2013 12:05 PM
    Also 2015 is a bit late, assuming this big update is 8.2
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , December 12, 2013 12:29 PM
    Quote:
    Also 2015 is a bit late, assuming this big update is 8.2

    The stranger part to me is that a "major update/big version" is called 8.2 instead of 9.0. Based on what they did with 8.1, 8.2 makes it sound like it is going to be another free update or service pack for 8.x users.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , January 8, 2014 9:56 AM
    I don't thing this as an big update. They just merge Windows phone and WinRT and make some improvement to windows 8.1 os for desktops. But who knows...