The next version of Windows could launch next year, bringing back a version of the Start Menu, adding support for virtual desktops, removing the Charms Menu, and generally improving the user experience for keyboard and mouse users, among other things.

But Microsoft likes to test its software extensively before releasing it to the public… and for the last few major releases the company has offered a preview or beta version that users can help test.

Now it looks like the first preview of the next version of Windows, code-named “Threshold” could launch as soon as September or October.

windows start menu

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16 replies on “Lilbits (8-15-2014): Windows “Threshold” preview coming this fall?”

  1. Everyone seems to hate Windows 8.1. I like it and prefer it to Windows 7. Early on Windows 8 wasn’t good because there were so many invisible hotspots, including the Start button. But 8.1 fixes a lot of the keyboard/mouse usability issues. I don’t have much issue with Modern UI (Tiled) apps and actually prefer developers to make those over desktop apps because they are much easier for me to manage and don’t have as much risk as desktop apps.

    1. I wouldn’t say everyone… People who complain are just a lot more vocal, but the reasoning behind the hate often doesn’t really justify how strong their opinions are in this case as many of the complaints can be thrown right back at the previous Windows releases…

      It’s not like MS ever really offered much in the way of customizing, it has pretty much always been a 3rd party solution… Yet they mark that as a strong limitations for W8 but not the previous versions… Even though, many of the same 3rd party solution companies have been around nearly as long as Windows itself and providing such solutions for Windows users who had never been happy with the defaults…

      While a lot of people rarely upgrade unless forced to… even before XP people had held onto previous version of Windows… So a lot is just people’s nature to resist change…

      Also, the claim of people voting with their wallets is similarly exaggerated because we’ve been in a period of general PC decline that effected even non-Windows products like Apple’s OSX systems that also saw a decline during the same time period!

      So I would say the only valid argument is W8 wasn’t as great as a product as it needed to be but neither was it terrible… Just not good enough yet in its present form as it dealt with too many compromises but redesigning a desktop OS without giving up the old one entirely takes time…

      But Threshold was something MS planned on doing from the start and is one of the reasons why MS didn’t just give up on Metro at the first sign of resistance… It was just not something they could do from the start!

      Mind, there are actually benefits to the Metro environment… Like Linux the apps are run sandboxed, they support advance power optimization and minimum system resources that make the system far more efficient, and in Threshold they can be run Windowed and be treated like traditional desktop apps but still retain all their benefits…

      When people can run the same app on their mobile device on their desktop and not have to sync or have multiple copies of their data then the benefits will start to become self evident to the average user… but till then we will continue to have those who don’t see the potential and will loudly as they can denounce such development…

      Unfortunately, a lot of times people won’t know they really like something they think they hate until they finally use it and actually notice the benefits…

      1. What makes you think Linux runs anything “sandboxed” at all? It sounds like you have quite a dream there about WinRT (there is no “Metro” only the WinRT subsystem) lasting. But all of your arguments seem to be either emotional or simply discounting majority sentiment as being wrong because it is the majority. In fact there doesn’t seem to be anyone who favors the WinRT direction unless they stand to profit from it personally or they belong to the “misery loves company” crowd who bought in and want everyone else to fall down the same rabbithole to suffer.

        1. Most things in Linux are run sandboxed… Most of the apps are self contained and is why they don’t have much of any dependencies and can fairly easily be ported to other platforms… along with not crashing the whole OS every time a single app crashes, etc.

          MS started late sandboxing… first with drivers, namely video drivers starting from Vista onward so the system can usually recover from a video driver crash without needing to reboot the system… and now with W8’s WinRT/Metro (Metro means modern and is what MS named the WinRT environment!) MS finally employs sandboxing to apps to gain many of the same benefits Linux distros have enjoyed for years!

          So no, my arguments are based on facts and realistic expectations of what they can and can’t do in a reasonable amount of time…

          Problem is there are too many people with emotional based opinions who don’t analyze logically but rather what they want and feel should be given them…

          Really, if we went that route then we would have never adapted GUI at all and been stuck to this day with command prompt interfaces and the mouse would have never been more than a novelty…

          Problem is the way people use computers has changed from how it was 30 years ago when the traditional desktop was really first established and it’s getting very close to the time that Windows has to either adapt or be left behind…

          Really, how many business that were once big and popular have to go out of business or decline to next to nothing… Examples like Nokia, Blackberry, TI, etc. when it becomes abundantly clear that even if the path is uncertain that relying on old strengths is a sure fire way to become extinct!

  2. Do you think they will finally realize that the OS needs to be faster and lighter with add one of the users choosing? NAH

  3. A laptop with a glare inducing shiny touch screen that is a finger-print and smudge magnet – and they make that the primary UI. Dumb. And don’t forget, every time you try to touch the screen, the laptop wants to tilt and fall over. Double-Dumb. And you have a full keyboard and physical mouse pad in front of you all the time – but they don’t want to let you use it. Dumb-Dumb-Dumb.

    If I wanted a Tablet, I would have bought a tablet, not a laptop. Get it Micro$oft?

    1. Touch screens can be made matte and it is possible to keep smudges to a minimum with certain coatings and or use of alternative input methods like motion/gesture control and other alternative input systems…

      Metro isn’t just about touch but expanding the alternative input methods available, which just like keyboard and mouse can be more useful in certain usages than others… Like there are times a keyboard is preferable to a mouse and vice versa…

      The idea that just a mouse and keyboard is all you need belies that they don’t cover all usage scenarios and they both have their limitations!

      Really, people made similar short sighted comments about the mouse when it was first introduced… At a time command prompt was still the dominant form of input those arguments similarly made sense at the time but ultimately were proven false because both the UI and how people used devices adjusted and adapted to the new input option and similarly we will adjust and adapt to even more input options being given us now…

      So try to understand… Technology constantly involves and how you use it now is not necessarily the end all and be all of how it can be or should be used!

      1. Yes, touch screens can be made matte, but they won’t make them for some reason – dumb.

        Metro may be all about “alternatives”, but Microsoft went a looong way to make anything but touch a DIFFICULT alternative to use.

        Laptops and desktops are there for a completely different reason compared with tablets. Laptops and desktops are about fast, copious, and precise user input – which isn’t possible with a tablet. Therefore, the keyboard and mouse, while not perfect, are your best choice when they are sitting right in front of you – PROVIDED the UI allows you to use them!

        My comment is NOT short sighted. I can see PERFECTLY Microsoft’s attempt to limit my alternatives to fit THEIR view of the future. Yes, I can “work around” Microsoft’s attempt to limit choice – but it is a pain in the neck, and most people who are not technologically inclined will be forced to follow Microsoft’s way.

        Removing sensible UI options (the most sensible in-fact when it comes to laptops and desktops) in order to force an ideology on your users does NOT represent an “evolution” in technology – it is fascist DEVOLUTION.

        1. Matte touch screens was mainly a matter of cost but as the technology improves then such things can become common but the technology has to become widely used before that happens and thus a catch 22 for when to expect it…

          And the main difference about a tablet is it’s designed for use on the go or primarily for consumption if too big but the point of 2 in 1’s is it doesn’t have to be just a tablet anymore and the same device can function both as a tablet and a laptop or even a desktop…

          We’re reaching the point that they’re finally going to be providing processors with scalable function… The upcoming Core M for example will provide additional performance when docked to a desktop base that provides additional cooling…

          MS also has the patent for switching between processors when docking a device without needing to reboot the OS that they’ll likely start taking advantage soon…

          Really, never underestimate the simple fact that what MS is ultimately going to be offering is improved convenience… It’s the same reason devices like smart phones have been successful and replaced better dedicated devices…

          Never mind the fact most people rarely need more than a mobile device for most of their computing needs unless they need to do work but 2 in 1’s that can serve both purposes are where the market is headed…

          Even ignoring Windows the alternatives are ultimately headed in same the general path… Apple has been steadily integrating iOS features and touch screen support into OSX… they had advance touch pad gesture support long before Windows 8… Google is similarly moving Chrome to increasingly cross platform usages with adding touch support and eventually going to merge it with Android… Linux distros are being created for touch devices as well, like Ubuntu Touch… Mozilla is trying to create their own Firefox based phone OS… and the list goes on…

          Sure, it would have been better if MS could have provided better customization options from the start but a all purpose OS is not something that can just be created overnight…

          Mind the desktop may have had about 30 years to develop but the WinRT environment needed to be heavily developed as well before they could properly restructure the OS and they couldn’t get the proper feedback unless people actually used it…

          But let’s get rid of this notion of fascist anything… No OS options really let the user decide how its UI is designed… Windows customization has always been heavily handled by 3rd party solutions… and the same has been true of most OS out there…

          So the only thing to really complain about is the lack of alternatives…
          but otherwise, yes, your comment has been and continues to be short sighted!

          Fact is how people are using computers has already changed significantly over the last decade alone… Much of what MS has done with W8 was a last minute catch up attempt to a market they’re already late to, with the only caveat being the full potential of the market has yet to be realized and thus it’s not too late to get into…

          Really, the declining PC market has as much to do with the lack of change in the PC systems as it does with the lack of improving features and performance to justify new purchases… So like it or not what you’re used to is going to have to change, it’s still up to you whether it’s sooner or later but change is going to happen eventually, especially when the full potential of this new market is finally realized and the benefits become truly undeniable!

  4. I don’t expect too much of Windows Treadstone. It will probably still have a lot of Win8 badness, and in general feel like a little red wagon with one wheel wobbling and threating to come off. But they need to do something before their user base dwindles any further. Perhaps Windows 10 will finally ashcan the entire WinRT subsystem next to Microsoft Bob and other failed experiments.

  5. “But Microsoft likes to test its software extensively before releasing it to the public…” LOL, you sure about that? If they would have listened to their beta testers (suckers) feedback they would have realized that no one wanted 8.0 or 8.1 in the first place!

    1. MS heard the outcry but decided to force-feed

      the Modern UI anyway, with the expectation that
      Modern would become the dominant UI in this
      manner. End users voted with their wallets.

      1. I wish I could legally downgrade my Windows 8.1 install on my ASUS desktop to Windows 7 without having to buy an additional license. It came with 8.1 and though I have it tweaked with Classic Start Menu, I do not like it one bit.

    2. The decision to stick with Metro was likely because Microsoft realized it was desperately behind the eight ball when it came to mobile devices, and needed to make a big splash from its premier operating system — i.e. unifying the user interface with their mobile platform.

      It was a gamble, and it didn’t pay off. Lucky for them, they still have time to try again. (It helps to be a $360 billion company.)

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