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Microsoft's April 2015 "Threshold" Release May Be Windows 9

Thanks to a number of sources, here's what we understand will happen with Windows over the next 15 months. In April, Microsoft plans to release Windows 8.1 Update 1 (or GDR1 internally) and Windows Phone 8.1. After that, Windows may likely not see another major update until April 2015, the "Threshold" release. We previously pegged this as Windows 8.2, but now there are reports that this release will be labeled Windows 9 instead due to Microsoft wanting to distance the platform from the Windows 8 "debacle."

According to Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, Microsoft will talk about what the company plans for Windows 9 this April during the Build 2014 conference. We will reportedly hear about Microsoft returning the Start Menu back to the desktop, and the ability to run Modern UI-style apps in Windows. Microsoft wants customers to get excited about the platform, and these two details should help.

Thurrott also lays out a roadmap for developers, reporting that BUILD will not produce early bits of "Threshold," as the Redmond company won't even begin development until later that month. Currently, Microsoft is "firming up" the features it plans to release in the Windows 8.1 Release 1 (or Windows 8.2; it could be either).

"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," Thurrott writes.

The report states that Microsoft will likely make three milestone releases of "Threshold" before its final release. Thurrott speculates these will be named Beta or Release Candidate, but questions whether they will or will not reach public hands. If Microsoft is indeed trying to shove Windows 8 in a closet, getting a public beta out with cool features may be on the Microsoft cards, similar to what it did with Windows 8.1.

Thurrott reports that fixing the Modern UI (Metro) design language will be a major focus in Windows 9 "Threshold." So far the extent is unknown, but as previously stated, Microsoft is expected to bring Windowed modes to Modern UI apps.

Windows Phone 9 is also expected to be part of the "Threshold" release in April 2015, bringing both platforms closer together. By then, Windows Phone 9 and Windows RT are expected to be one platform. Also expected is a unified storefront bringing Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 together.

  • red77star
    If they try to do same thing as they did with Windows 8, it will also fail.
    Reply
  • carnage9270
    "We will reportedly hear about Microsoft returning the Start Menu back to the desktop, and the ability to run Modern UI-style apps in Windows."Was really Win8's only failing. If they bring it back in full functionality, they have a winner.
    Reply
  • Osmin
    I hope Microsoft improves Windows by adding the ability of multiple desktops in order to organize the workspace. It also would be nice to be able to scroll a non-active window without making it active and popping it to the foreground. These are nice options that I got used to while using Linux and the Apple OS X. I would also like the Widgets to come back since I preferred the Calendar and Weather widgets in Windows 7 over the Metro apps. If Microsoft was worried about security then have the same vetting policy on widgets like they do for Metro apps.
    Reply
  • pariahdox
    @red77starHence, bringing back the Start button and a traditional desktop for traditional laptops and desktops. :-D
    Reply
  • DBGT_87
    Bring Start Menu Back
    Reply
  • hyperanthripoid
    "but now there are reports that this release will be labeled Windows 9 instead due to Microsoft wanting to distance the platform from the Windows 8 "debacle.""Or they just want upgrade money to fix their "debacle". They probably realized they could not charge for the 8.2 update.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    This is Modern UI2 (aka metro 2) so no traditional desktop. But if they can make Modern UI better for desktop usage it will be just fine. The MS economy is build to Modern UI aps store. What I am waiting is the new and improves disk operation system... Maybe if they can get it working we will get win9 and prize tag. If it is not ready this will be win8.2 and maybe cheaper to upgrade? Who knows. This is very early "leak", and not directly from MS.
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    What I would really like to see with Windows 8.2 is an update to explorer.exe so that it will finally have full support for file paths longer than 255 characters in length. This is a very annoying limitation that occurs frequently in deeply nested folders on my computer. I have to use Totalcommander to do the operation I ought to do with Explorer. NTFS itself has support for file paths longer than 10,000 characters I believe.Also, start using "MiB" and "GiB' instead of "MB" and "GB" where applicable. When you are stating a capacity in the base 2 system, use "MiB" or "GiB" and when stating a capacity in the base 10 system, use "MB" or "GB" please! It confuses a lot of users into thinking that their hard drive isn't as big as it should be.Also make the task manager more code efficient, take longer to load than the Windows 7 task manager.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    What I would really like to see with Windows 8.2 is an update to explorer.exe so that it will finally have full support for file paths longer than 255 characters in length. This is a very annoying limitation that occurs frequently in deeply nested folders on my computer. I have to use Totalcommander to do the operation I ought to do with Explorer. NTFS itself has support for file paths longer than 10,000 characters I believe.Also, start using "MiB" and "GiB' instead of "MB" and "GB" where applicable. When you are stating a capacity in the base 2 system, use "MiB" or "GiB" and when stating a capacity in the base 10 system, use "MB" or "GB" please! It confuses a lot of users into thinking that their hard drive isn't as big as it should be.Also make the task manager more code efficient, take longer to load than the Windows 7 task manager.
    ... wrong article?
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    $700 for a 4K TN monitor would've been a great deal, if not for the 30Hz refresh rate. It's apparent from the images I've seem of the monitor and from the first hand accounts of tech editors, that this monitor uses a very good TN panel. Unfortunate really, I'm willing to bet a lot of gamers and enthusiastes would've been all over a $700 4K monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate.
    Reply