Microsoft to share Windows Threshold plans at Build 2014 show: Report

Microsoft to share Windows Threshold plans at Build 2014 show: Report

Summary: Microsoft's Windows team may share its high-level plans for its next-generation Windows 'Threshold' release at its upcoming Build developers show, according to a new sourced report.


It looks like those Threshold tipsters were right on the money about Microsoft's next-generation Windows release.


According to a January 11 report from Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott, Microsoft Threshold looks to be a spring 2015 release wave. Specifically, if Microsoft sticks to schedule, Threshold should crest around April 2015, Thurrott said he's been told by his own sources.

Microsoft is going to disclose its Threshold plans at a "vision" level at its Build conference in San Francisco in April 2014, Thurrott said. If this happens, it'll be a back to the future moment -- and one that will be welcomed by many in Microsoft's developer and user communities. Microsoft's Windows division finally will begin sharing at least some details about its future Windows plans publicly again.

Thurrott said the Windows team is expecting to disclose that Threshold development will start in April of this year, and that there will be three milestones, meaning test builds before the product is released to manufacturing and made available in April 2015 release.

Currently, as I mentioned as part of a recent Windows Weekly episode's "Rumor of the Week," Microsoft is moving toward naming Threshold "Windows 9," so as to distance and differentiate itself from Windows 8, Thurrott said he's heard from his contacts.

In addition to further unifying Windows and Windows Phone, the Threshold release also will feature the 2.0 version of Microsoft's "Metro" user interface/design language, Thurrott is reporting.

As I noted back in October last year, "Threshold" is the codename for a wave of releases, the same way that "Blue" was the codename for the latest Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 8.1 releases.

Threshold will include updates to all three Windows OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements, my sources have said. It's not clear from Thurrott's report how much Microsoft execs will say at Build about the Windows Phone and Xbox "Threshold" deliverables.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows Phone, Windows Server


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Maybe it's time to drop the "Windows" name altogether...

    Very excited for the changes... and that Windows 8 will be in the rearview mirror. Maybe Microsoft should consider dropping the "Windows" name altogether... and just call it "OS9" or "OSOne". I mean, it's really not "Windows" anymore any way. It's tiles, etc.
    • BadIdeaSaurusRex

      Drop the brand name that is used on 91% of the computers worldwide? lol.

      Just for comedy sake after "OS9" what would you name the next version?

      The tile interface is Windows. I could forgive someone not getting that in 2010 when Windows Phone debuted, but in 2014 not getting that is pretty sad.
      • You're thinking old school...

        Yes, Windows is on 91% of the desktops/laptops worldwide... but Android is on just as many mobile devices... and that's where the growth is.

        The Windows brand is ubiquitous, but it's not relevant to consumers... and that's the market Microsoft is trying to crack. They've got a lock on the desktop market as you point out, but that market is shrinking.

        My suggestion about "OS9" or "OS1" was just an off-the-cuff remark... but the rationale behind it is still valid in my opinion. Windows is a dying brand. Microsoft needs a new brand for a new generation of products. Just like they had to move on from DOS. It's time to move on from the Windows brand.
      • It hasn't been 91% for a long long time.

        It is that simple. Unless you are talking about beige boxes.
      • Surface OS...

        If they dropped the Windows brand, the new OS could be called "Surface OS." Immediately, "Surface" suggests touch... which suggests mobile. And there you have it.
      • After OS9?

        Maybe OS X Bagpuss, or maybe Garfield... :-P Microsoft OS X, with extra lasagne.

        Maybe that is what the tile interface really is, it is a metaphor for lasagne, you just have to figure out how to stack those tiles and get the meat sauce between them... Mmmm, lasagne.

      This company and it's subpar "products and services" are obsolete.

      History will remember MS as:

      A greedy company that duplicitously put much better companies out of business, stole and rebranded the IP of others, used it's controlling and monopolistic position to wreak havoc on businesses and consumers with price gouging for decades, used customers as beta testing guinea pigs, wrote reprehensible software, missed the Internet, missed Mobile, and conspired with the only company as greedy as them (Intel) to stifle technology, in order to bleed the PC market dry.

      Finally, MS is going away... "and what a glorious world it will be."
      • You

        What a glorious world it would be if all the Windows hater departed. Android with Google telling you that you will link e-mail to plus? or an y of their other insecure methods? Play it again youngster. I have used Windows since 3.0 without a hitch, tried Chrome and actually got viruses and have tried Linux which is not compatible with anything. You,. youngster need to educate yourself before posting.
        Dave Crowder
        • And you sir,

          need to stop lying to yourself. Technically, no operating system is 100% safe. If it were, it would be unusable *cough, cough* Vista. People have one of two agendas in mind: 1)Attack the largest number of users, or 2)Educate a company on where its security flaws lie. Also Windows NT has to be the worst victim for getting viruses (although Windows ME is a close second, since it was the first OS where I experienced a virus-Thank-you McAfee).
          Richard Estes
      • yo, again

        care to look at Google and Apple/ I suppose not as your are only a punkster hater.
        Dave Crowder
      • Too funny

        The cut throat nature that you applied to Microsoft could be applied to almost all the tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. And as far as gouging and monopolistic position, that sounds like Apple today. And as far as MS customers, enterprise seems to like MS, many consumers like myself do as well.

        Its 2014, let go of all the hate this year.
        Rann Xeroxx
        • Except that

          in terms of market share, iOS & OSX, do not have majority market share. On mobile devices Android is dominant and traditional PC's, MS still has around 90% market share.

          Where Apple is dominant is in terms of profit share, and as far as iOS is concerned in the mobile device space, usage share.

          And as far as gouging, where does Apple gouge? You have a choice to buy or not buy their products. And the customer service in their own stores is till a lot better than most, if not all, consumer electronics retailers. On top of that OS upgrades are free for iPhone, iPad, and now Macs. You need to provide a little more context.
    • Not so fast

      Full screen apps are great for small screen devices but on a large desktop computer or laptop windows are still very useful and are what people want, which is why future updates of the Windows OS will allow full screen apps to be run in windows mode. Thank goodness.

      In other words, Windows 8 may have moved away from "windows" in a lot of ways, but future versions will move back towards windows, so dropping the name does not make sense.

      Besides, at a certain point the name of a product no longer needs to be tied to its original meaning. It's just a name.
    • Ha!

  • Excited to see what metro 2.0 will look like.

    I wonder what direction they will go in? Are there any rumours about this because really I'm more excited about this that the whole merging of wp/win8/wRT
    • Rumors I've heard

      Include windowed metro apps on the desktop and some sort of optional metrofied hybrid start menu. I think windowed metro apps could really help developer interest in metro apps. If they make the API a bit more functional it's definitely a safer program model than many traditional win32 programs.
      Sam Wagner
      • App prices is a significant issue for Windows 8

        At this point, the single greatest thing MS can do for developers, is get the prices of apps in the Windows store up. Way up. E.g. Autodesk sells its AutoCAD Lite version for $1200 - regular price.

        How are productivity developers seriously going to produce software for the Windows store, at prices like $2.99 for their apps? $2.99 cannot even cover advertising. Maybe there should be 2 Windows store apps on the Windows 8 start screen instead of one. A general store app, and a professional store app, with a minimum price for apps of about $5. Also MS should try and get strongly branded software, with relatively high prices, listed in the store. Until this matter is addressed, I don't see how MS is going to get the best developers in its ecosystem, to develop the best productivity / business apps, which is extremely important for business adoption of Windows 8.
        P. Douglas
        • $2.99 will

          bleed you dry, if it's something that you need, and was freely available for, say, XP. I understand they're trying to make it more secure so that you can't just download any old virus disguised as a useful program from anywhere on the web (copying Google and Mac , and even Linux "ecosystems" to some extent) but c'mon something like a tray calendar, or a more useful calculator.. these were always available free.
          What's more, office programs are available free (LibreOffice etc.) to compete with the monster MS builds. Eventually, they'll cut that off or make you pay Microsoft to download it (not the developers.)
          What's more, the bloated, confusing interface of Tiles + menus needs to just go away. They haven't yet implemented it correctly.
      • Hoax alert!

        These rumors are far away from reality IMO.
        • Maybe. Maybe not.

          Truth is, until MSFT officially announces the OS, or provides details, we'll never know.

          Truthfully, I'm not missing the Start Menu at all, and am quite enjoying the new Metro apps. They've brought more to the table than Microsoft has managed in the last decade. I like the fact that they're easier to clean up than desktop apps, and provide none of the bloat or shovelware.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion