At the end of September, Microsoft will supposedly show off the new version of its flagship operating system – which will either be called Windows Threshold, or Windows 9 – and in the run up to that event, plenty of details continue to spill out of Redmond. A new post on WinBeta claims to have the scoop on what Windows will be like in the not-too-distant future.
According to the post, the separation between desktop focused computers and less powerful tablets is still on track, with full computers like desktop PCs, laptops, and Surface Pro devices losing the Modern UI Start Menu entirely. To replace it, we’ll see the roll out of the mini-Start Menu, which combines the Live Tile style of Windows 8’s Modern UI with the classic pop-up Start Menu from Windows 7.
Meanwhile, tablets will lose the desktop entirely, and will be restricted to the Modern UI and its Live Tiles – a smart move that should limit confusion about what were formerly Windows RT devices, and compatibility issues between RT and Windows Phone apps.
The post explains how significant this shift will be for tablets:
“Consumers shouldn’t be able to tell that it’s Windows underlying the UI. This means no registry, desktop icons, close buttons, win32 applications or windows. The Modern UI is front and center and the only thing users should have to deal with.”
The new versions of the OS will also reportedly feature “interactive live tiles,” which will allow “users to interact with live tiles without needing to open the app.” Threshold on tablets will also have a notification center, which will apparently “act very similar to the Windows Phone 8.1 version.” Throw in Cortana and live folders, and we may see a really great revamp of Windows for non-PC devices.
Altogether, these changes make Threshold sound like the result of a few years of less-than-successful design choices. If Windows 9/Windows Threshold can deliver on everything we’ve been hearing, Microsoft may have found a way to offer a real alternative to its users who’ve been swayed by cheap, functional Android devices. I can’t wait to check out the newest versions of Windows when the previews roll out this fall.