Richi Jennings

Windows 9: On the threshold of greatness? New rumors reveal exciting plans

December 10, 2013 6:25 AM EST

Windows 9 'Threshold' -- New Coke analogy
Will Redmond back down, like Coca-Cola did?

Microsoft (NSADQ:MSFT) is said to be giving back more of what we lost in Windows 8. 'Threshold' -- presumably called Windows 9 -- will reinstate the Start menu, allow modern/metro apps to run in desktop windows, and offer other sops to enterprise requirements.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask if it's too little, too late.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
Mary Jo Foley, affects sound: [You're fired -Ed.]

As Microsoft moves forward with its "Threshold" Windows wave, there might be just a few Windows SKUs built on top of a common Windows foundation. ... It's definitely still early days...things could change. But...there could be three primary SKUs: A "modern" consumer SKU; a traditional/PC SKU; and a traditional enterprise SKU.
...
Modern...would be focused on WinRT apps...targeting ARM- and Intel-based devices. [It] wouldn't be optimized to run Win32 apps. [It] would be the SKU for Windows Phones, ARM-based Windows tablets/PCs, phablets and other kinds of tablets...what has previously been rumored as a forthcoming Microsoft hybrid Windows Phone OS/Windows RT.
...
Traditional consumer...would be aimed at the current PC market [and] include a desktop and be customized [for] mouse/keyboard users.
...
Traditional Enterprise...would include all the usual business bells and whistles, like...support for group policy, device management and more...subject to IT policies/approvals, making enterprise users who don't want silent, automatic updates a lot happier.  MORE

 
And her chum, Paul Thurrott, runs with that baton:

If you were worried that Windows 8.1 didn't go far enough in appeasing desktop users...I think I have some good news for you.
...
[It] will let users optionally run Metro apps in floating windows on the desktop. ... After bringing back the Start button in Windows 8.1, Microsoft will take the next logical step...and make the Start menu available.
...
Microsoft is, if not moving forward per se, at least continuing to do the right thing and responding to complaints.  MORE


 
With a dusty, 1980s-era metaphor, Mark Hachman buries the ax:

[It] could be one of the more startling reversals since New Coke.
...
Microsoft apparently feels that Windows 8 needs to provide a Windows 7 experience to those who want it. ... That initial Windows 8 Start page can be daunting to the...newbie who lands in the brave new world of Windows 8. ... Give credit where it’s due: Microsoft’s development teams may indeed be feasting on humble pie. ... But they’ll also be giving the gift that many have asked for.  MORE


 
Should we pay attention? Neil McAllister avoids safe skepticism:

How much credence do we give these rumors? ... Both Foley and Thurrott are seasoned Microsoft sleuths with reliable sources close to Redmond.
...
However, there is still plenty of time for Microsoft's plans to change. [They] agree that this next round of Windows updates isn't due to hit until 2015.  MORE


 
OK, Microsoft is responding to the market. But prabal says it doesn't make sense:

MS shouldn't bring the start menu back.
...
People just love to complain. There are so many users who say "Hey, there was no start menu so I got mad and got myself a Mac". Guess what, Mac does not have a start menu either. It's just idiotic. ... If MS focuses on those idiots complaining, then they will become idiots too!  MORE


 

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.