Microsoft Threshold - RUMOR

No one is talking about this here? Seems like a big deal.

If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements.

As we’ve heard before, Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for all three of these platforms more similar.

But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft’s various Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of “high value activities” across platforms.

What say you? Nightmare or needed?

I’m missing the ‘big deal’ part of this. The only news here is that somebody leaked the code name.

So more common elements… they’re adding a start menu to Windows Phone?

Reading the article, all I get is a bunch of high-level marketing type of speak. So without hearing some specific descriptions, it’s hard for me to get worked up about it.

Yeah, this just seems like the expression of the “integrated platform” niche they were aiming at with both Windows 8 (“touch screens for everyone!”) and the XBox One (“isn’t it wonderful that we make you buy a peripheral that you’ll never use?”).

As for the merits of this approach, it seems like a sound business plan on paper, but if they’re still actually running different update systems (which it sounds like they are), then I wonder about the wisdom of adding more work to just make them seem the same.

Well that’s the future of iOS / OS X.

IE, all the innovation in software now is in mobile Apps, desktop OS looks increasingly antiquated and trapped, and the Intel / Microsoft “tax” has overpriced and overpowered the desktop PC for what most users need. Hell Intel still charges something like $50 for Crystalwell memory to OEMs.

It’s not the future of OSX/iOS. Apple is going in the exact opposite direction.

That said, this is the right move by MS, assuming they can get execution right. Which is assuming a lot.

I’d argue the integration of iBooks and iWork with both iOS and OS X suggests otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, iOS on x86 is probably never going to happen, and Apple is no longer the agile company it once was.

Nightmare, sounds like. “high value activities” sounds like more UI convergence, to the detriment of all platforms.

More on Threshold:

Start menu (not just the button) coming back. Also, Metro apps will be able to run in a window instead of taking up the whole screen.

It’s almost like Microsoft is becoming sane again!

Good news. I might switch to Win8 if this happens.

Welcome back to the fold, MSFT!

That’s pretty much all of my objections to Windows 8 as a desktop OS. I’m running two add-ons (Start8, Modern Mix) specifically to address those two issues.

They still have a way to go as a touch OS, but at least it won’t be a step back from Win 7 anymore.

Clever marketing, no? Backpedal on the shit that was the major sources of complaint and low adoption in your brand new OS, and brand it as OS consolidation. Woohoo!

That article says sweet FA about OS consolidation anyway. It talks about potential changes in Windows 8.2, mentions it will probably ship with 3 SKUs, but mentions nothing at all at how that relates to Xbone and Phone OS. We are sure as hell not going to see a start menu and windowed apps on Xbox, so how’s that consolidated OS working exactly?

Yeah, I know, they may be doing back end sdk/api/platform stuff to ease development and such things, but really, there is no confirmed information at all on what ‘Threshold’ means for OS consolidation. Sounds more like Threshold is simply the code-name for Windows 8.2 and everything else is pure pipedream speculation.

Nice. I really want to see them get back on track with DirectX. With AMD’s Mantle coming out, it’s about time Microsoft do so me real innovation in DirectX. Lately so many games use far inferior forms of FSAA and every developer I’ve talked to blames MS and lack of control. NVidia does as well since their control panel increasingly does not over-ride or supplement AF or FSAA.

I’m just very concerned of MS going too far with Threshold and making Windows too XBox-like and the Xbox tooe Windows-like. At some point you need to stop with the “mashing everything into one” and say “these are different platforms and need to be treated and developed as such even if we can’t integrate everything we’d like.”

Wow, a complete repudiation of the original win8 design principals. Surprising turnabout.

I don’t know, they’ve not talked about putting 3d cueing back into the interface (you know, the little cues which let you easily identify where buttons are).

I’m not going to comment on whether any of the rumors are accurate, but I will say that it’s pretty clear the new OS org leadership has some freshly different priorities and ideas than Sinofsky’s crew. And by “priority”, I don’t just mean the what, but the how and the when.

You know, I see a lot of people and sites complaining about the lack of cueing in iOS7, but nothing about metro. Of course iOS has a hugely larger install base, so that may not mean much, and I don’t use metro enough to have an opinion. Anyway, I strongly suspect that Apple will be focusing on better cueing in future updates. I don’t expect them to go with 3D, but I bet we see more consistent color usage alongside increased use of button outlines and iconography.

@LMN8R: I would be amazed if they actually brought the start menu back. Showing the task bar on the start screen, sure. God, I wish I could do that now. Maybe even overlaying the start screen as a horizontal “stripe” covering 85% of the desktop, that would be sweet. But the start menu? That would be a heck of a thing. And personally, I think it would probably be the wrong choice. In many (but not all) ways, the start screen is more functional than the start menu was.

They took a lot of cueing out the base Win8 interface as well Stusser.

The desktop UI? Not that I’ve noticed.

I agree that metro lacks cueing, I just said I hadn’t seen complaints. Probably because nobody uses it.