Windows Threshold - what the users wanted all along

Windows Threshold - what the users wanted all along

Summary: Windows Threshold backs down from its one-size-fits-all approach to present the best interface for the device its running on.

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Details of the next version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, have come out and Microsoft has bit the bullet and obliterated the Modern UI from the desktop. Depending on the configuration of your device, Windows will present you with a different interface (the desktop and an enhanced Start menu for keyboard-centric environments, the Modern UI for tablet / phone).

It was a bold choice to force users of all devices into the tiled world of Windows 8. How did that come to be? Perhaps it was a failed attempt to anticipate users’ needs, which would explain ploughing ahead with the Modern interface for the desktop even against users’ cries.

Thankfully Microsoft is showing it’s listening to market feedback (or thinking about the money from upgrades it’s missing out on), and Windows Threshold may be the bridge Windows 7 users will cross to enjoy the benefits that Windows 8.1 provides (basically everything is faster even on underpowered machines).

Looks like Microsoft’s goal of having one operating system for all devices is going to be realized by having an OS work differently depending on the device – which is perfect for the user.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Windows 8

About

Howard spent 14 years in the tech industry working as a programmer, evangelist, and community manager for Microsoft. In 2009, he had lived his "dream" of middle-management long enough and opened a Japanese restaurant called Standing Sushi Bar. Trading in stock grants and software licenses for raw fish and cash, he enjoys mixing his passion for technology into the daily hustle of small business.

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73 comments
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  • Again It Appears That MS Is Being Presumpuous And Jumping The Gun...

    How about creating an OS that just works, instead of concocting a bizarre divining routine and trying to guess what users will want to do!

    MS needs a new OS from scratch, that's not bloated but secure and possesing a small footprint (as opposed to a Windows 8 that takes up some 30-gigs of diskspace on a 64-gig Surface machine).

    Regurgitating the NT kernel is no longer the answer to the quandary they find themselves in.

    Piling touch pasta sauce on millions of lines of spaghetti code going all the way back to the 90s is exactly how we arrived at Windows 8.x, which happens to be an unnatural disaster!

    I knew the Post-PC world would not be kind to Wintel, but I had no idea.

    MS is lost and the sad part is that if they never find their way I don't think it would even matter.
    orandy
    • There never will be a Post PC world, bro.

      What dimension are you from? Windows 8 takes up 30 gigs where you come from? In my galaxy Windows 8.1 takes up 15.5 gigs. Maybe you have extra features.

      After two of the most childish analogies ever, you repeat one of the stupidest things that people that get paid to write about tech love to say: Post PC. People that get paid to write about this stuff have been saying the PC is dead since 1996. Let me tell you, Sunshine, there will always be PCs. There never will be Post PC. Get used to it.

      And since there will always be PCs, there will always be Windows running on Intel hardware. A lot of people like Windows, at least in this dimension. This is not an accident, nor did Bill Gates point a weapon at them. It works. Now I know, a lot of people seem to not like Windows 8.x. But they are people that can't figure out how to open Word without a Start Menu. They are people that get confused at a three way intersection. I don't care what they think about Windows 8. Not in the least.

      To get back to that Post PC thing... Tech writers love to say the PC is dead, but they haven't the slightest idea what they're talking about. Local (like in your home) computing power is cheaper that it ever has been, and will get cheaper. It will always be ideal to use an interface like this laptop: Local storage, local computational power, and NOT totally dependent on a network connection. This is called a PC. There will always be a PC. Anyone that says differently is just wrong.
      pishaw
      • Never? Oh yes there will be.

        The first electromagnetic pulse from the sun to hit Earth in the computer age could potentially instantly turn the Earth into the post PC world.

        Might want to look up the 1859 Carrington event.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • Disagree here

        > Now I know, a lot of people seem to not like Windows 8.x. But they are people that can't figure out how to open Word without a Start Menu. They are people that get confused at a three way intersection. I don't care what they think about Windows 8. Not in the least.

        I'm a programmer (
        Rob Evans
    • "Post-PC world"?

      Did we call it the Post-Oven world when the microwave was invented? Was it the Post-Fan world after air conditioning was created? Are we in a Post-Dentist world now that pretty much everybody owns a toothbrush?

      There are many mutually exclusive items out there, but PCs and phones aren't one of them.
      ForeverCookie
    • Post-PC? How very 2010.

      If you mean "Post Windows", just say so.
      Heenan73
    • The UI is the problem

      i don't really have any complaints about the kernel, though MS should continue to improve it as a matter of course.
      John L. Ries
    • Post PC World... No such thing

      Ahhh, the old "Post PC World" theory; as if we will all sit at our desks and do our work on 9.7" tablets or 4" phones.

      Sorry.. but the business world wants nice, big juicy 23" LCD screens and PC's with tons of power and RAM.
      ribzilla
  • I don't think it was about user's needs at all.

    "Perhaps it was a failed attempt to anticipate users’ needs"

    I don't think it was about user's needs at all.

    I think it's about techno-religion: The worship of things that are "the future, like it or not."

    Technology not as a way to advance and improve the human race, but rather for its own sake. The idea of "XYZ is the future, and it's our role to shove you into it, like it or not."

    I don't understand the attitude, but I think it's ultimately detrimental to us as a society, and may lead us into a technological dystopia rather than the society we all dream of.
    CobraA1
    • With Microsoft, it's NEVER about users' needs ...

      ... they ALWAYS think in terms of control, and any concessions ALWAYS point to desperation.

      They just don't get, and, sadly, probably never will. Contrast with Amazon, who don't make the worlds best devices - or indeed, the world's best anything - but they are where they are because they can almost read consumers' minds.
      Heenan73
      • LOL

        That's what we call a "strawman fallacy"
        Buster Friendly
        • I disagree

          The evidence provided by MS' release record suggests that at least some senior MS-execs, to include the recently departed Steve Ballmer still think they can dictate to the market and the market will meekly follow, as long as they're firm enough about it. Bowing to the wishes of customers may even be seen as weak and somewhat dishonorable.

          But I figure that if the market punishes MS enough, management will eventually get the point.
          John L. Ries
  • Regurgitating the NT kernel

    @orandy

    "Regurgitating the NT kernel is no longer the answer to the quandary they find themselves in."

    This part is very true trying to make a tablet class OS for tablets with a desktop OS seems silly. Then they are using things like connected standby to make the rest of it work.


    Windows its self is great but for the average home user on a tablet its too complex with too may variables. Apple put a lot of automation into OSX so the user can focusing on whatever they are doing.

    Keep RT for tablets and x64/x86 for laptop / desktops.

    For the love of god work on offline files in the business space!
    Pete_AUS
    • Totally Agree Pete

      Great point.
      orandy
    • We call that

      We call that Apple dumbing down. It's fine as long as what you want to focus on is what Apple wants you to focus on.
      Buster Friendly
      • RE:We call that

        Your comment if very true. But for the non tech savvy people out there this is what they need.

        For every tech pro that says how crap Apple are there seems to be a lot of people buying then, So what does that tell you?

        I support Windows 7/8 at work and can tell you Apple is crap in an active directory / enterprise environment.
        Pete_AUS
        • RE:We call that

          I support Windows 7/8 at work and can tell you Apple is crap in an active directory / enterprise environment.

          Meaning I am not biased towards Apple (seems you cannot edit your own posts on here)
          Pete_AUS
        • A lot?

          No, there isn't a lot of people buying them. The Mac has been a constant failure.
          Buster Friendly
          • Enlighten us

            Please tell us where you draw this conclusion from?

            The follow is taken from Mac Rumors report on the 2013 earnings for Apple

            Apple sold 16.34 million Macs

            It sold a record 150 million iPhones on the year, up 25 million from 2012, and the company has now sold 421.3 million smartphones in total.
            It sold 71 million iPads, a new record,
            and the company has now sold 169.2 million tablets.

            http://www.macrumors.com/2013/10/28/apple-reports-q4-2013-year-end-results-7-5-billion-profit-on-37-5-billion-in-revenue/
            Pete_AUS
      • Yeah. That certified UNIX

        under the hood? Doesn't really exist. It's mythical.
        baggins_z