Windows Threshold: Microsoft's plan to conquer Windows 7 users

Original author: Mary Jo Foley
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One of the main goals of Microsoft is to create a new OS that Windows 7 adherents will switch to. At the moment, this OS has the working name of Windows “Threshold”.

Windows “Threshold” ( threshold) - starting point, border, limit ) - the new major version of Windows, due out in spring 2015, is attracting more and more attention. Not surprisingly: one of the main goals of the OS development team at Microsoft while working on the next releases (which may or may not be called Windows 9) is to create an OS that is more suitable for migrating Windows 7 users.

To achieve this, Microsoft is working to include in the new OS many features that are aimed specifically at desktop users, i.e. those users who interact with a computer (whether it’s a desktop or laptop), primarily with the keyboard and mouse, and only secondly with the help of an additional touch interface.

With the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has developed a set of profiles that depend on the hardware used. Some devices running Windows 8.1 have Power and Search buttons on the Metro home screen in their interface, while others do not. Some devices load the default ("obsolete") desktop by default, while others load into the Metro home screen.

According to my sources (author’s sources - approx. perev.) Microsoft will adhere to this trend in the case of Windows "Threshold". The OS interface will look and behave differently depending on the equipment on which the system is running. Desktops and laptops will load by default into a regular desktop. 2-in-1 devices such as Lenovo Yoga or Surface Pro will support switching between Metro mode and the normal desktop, depending on whether the keyboard is connected or not. The version for phones and tablets will be completely devoid of the old desktop, but according to information from my sources, it will still support applications that work side by side. This mobile version of the OS will work on ARM smartphones (not only on Lumia), ARM tablets, and, possibly, tablets with Intel Atom.

One of the main goals that Microsoft sets when developing a new OS is to fix usability errors for those users who are used to talking to a computer primarily with the keyboard and mouse, rather than using the touch interface.

The desktop version is rumored to include the Start Menu, a new version of the traditional Start menu, an early concept that Microsoft showed at the Build conference in April. This version will also have the ability to launch Metro applications and applications from the Windows Store in windows on the desktop. Whether Microsoft will turn off the Metro initial screen completely and make it an option that can be enabled via the Start mini-menu is not sure, but it will not be surprising if this happens.

Waiting for Threshold. What to do now?

According to my sources, before the public release of Threshold in the spring of 2015, Microsoft promises to present a public preview version of this OS in the fall of 2014. Before that, Microsoft will release the second and latest update (Update 2) for Windows 8.1. Because Microsoft said it would include the Start mini-menu only in the release version of Threashold, but not in Windows 8.1 Update 2, you should not expect anything serious from Update 2 except minor changes and improvements to the UI.
Windows 8.1 Update 2 should already be completed in terms of code, its development will be completely frozen 2 weeks before the August Tuesday patches (August 12, 2014). Microsoft will probably not make a fuss about Update 2 and will just release it transparently, along with other August patches, sources say.

Microsoft has almost done away with Windows 8.x. No matter how much is not easy and is not functional it turned out, she turned to Windows Vista 2.0, in something from what Microsoft is trying in every way to distance. Currently, Microsoft is racing at full speed to the Windows Threshold and will do everything possible to make this OS not look like Windows 8.

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