back to article Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Microsoft will map out its plans for the successor to Windows 8.1 – which might be named Windows 9 – at a company event in April, we're told. Microsoft will start a discussion around the next iteration of its client operating system at its Build Conference on 2 to 4 April in San Francisco, California. "Threshold", believed to …

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@Phillippe

"Microsoft has got some great technologies, Exchange, Sharepoints, for instance but the rest is legacy and should be treated as such."

Sharepoint is fully build upon ASP.NET, which is a web technology I actually prefer using. SharePoint on the other hand is merely a rather obscure layer on top of that, usually causing more problems than providing actual solutions.

I agree that Microsoft has some very interesting technologies, but Sharepoint isn't one of those. ASP.NET on the other hand... That is a different ballgame in my opinion; I'll take ASP (optionally backed by the Mono project) over PHP any day of the week.

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Re: Will anyone still care?

Microsoft has got some great technologies, Exchange, Sharepoints, for instance but the rest is legacy and should be treated as such.

<p>I'm not following that logic. Exchange and SharePoint are two of Microsoft's absolute worst technologies.</p>

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Bod

Re: Will anyone still care? @BillG

"Have you ever tried another collaboration platform? They are pretty much all better* than Exchange."

Including Notes? !!

Pretty much the main alternative to Exchange you'll find in a corporate environment and will have you pulling your hair out and screaming for them to switch to Exchange.

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Re: Will anyone still care?

> Sharepoint is fantastic. A revelation in technological wonderment!

> Especially after using Lotus Notes!

It's unfair to compare **anything** short of swimming in a pool of toxic waste to Blotus Notes <g>.

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Anonymous Coward

We're only just about to upgrade our 700+ users here from XP to Win7.

I wonder if we'll get a chance to use Win9 or if by the time we next change the user's OS it'll be Win14 or something?

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Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

... of odd and even numbers? Only the odd number Windows versions are any good (ok, just XP (5) and Win7. Vista (6) and Win 8 are not so good)

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Anonymous Coward

yup, it's too late

We were thinking about taking our chances with XP through to the release of W9 but last week decided to buy nearly-new Win7 licensed Lenovos. It's costing the organisation about £100/seat more than what we would have spent on OS licensing - so it's a grudge purchase - but at least Microsoft isn't getting a bean.

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Def
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Coat

Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

Windows 2000 was version 5, whereas Windows XP was actually version 5.1. Windows Vista is version 6.0, while Windows 7 is version 6.1, and Windows 8 is actually only version 6.2. Confused? You will be...

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Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

Without going on Wikipedia or whatever is accepted doctrine for Windows version numbering, 2000 as Win5? I don't think so. Windows 3-3.1. Windows 95-98 is 4. Windows ME was, possibly, what I'd define as 5, if it isn't classed as a 95-98 version OS. If the latter, then XP was 5.

2000 was based on NT. It was not released to consumers as a consumer OS, everybody just latched onto it. So the first genuine merging of Windows and the NT OS' was actually with XP, where Microsoft threw up their hands and said, 'You want an NT OS for consumer, you got it." 2000 should be numbered solely as an NT OS, not consumer or a merged OS. But this is ignoring any MS/user retconning, I'm just going off my personal experience and memory as someone who's clearly getting too old when they remember drooling over going from command prompt DOS to a GUI'ed Windows and every release since.

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If its not broke dont fix it..Windows 7 was nearly a perfect operating system compared to vista. My thoughts are leave the interface alone...dont rush out new products. Maybe add functionality through upgrade packs. Download new features for maybe ten or twenty dollars..dont force a 100 dollar beast no one wants...and dont ell us Metro is the future even after we told you NO STEVE BALLMER we dont want metro....

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Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

I believe AutoCAD cornered that particular market many, many years ago.

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What, and deny Micro$oft the chance to sell huge bulk licensing deals to hardware manufacturers to STIMULATE the hardware market? Be honest, hands up who has bought a shiny new machine with W8 on it when your old machine with W7 on it was performing reasonably well still? I know I did (partly through curiousity just to get under the hood to find out if it was really as bad as everyone made out or whether it was just "basically" configured and with a bit of careful tinkering could be resolved)

I'll probably get castigated for this, but I now actually quite like W8.1. I dont spend more than 10 seconds a day on the START screen, mind.....

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Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

Oh noes, not agayne!

You can guarantee that someone will roll this tired cliché out each time we discuss Microsoft OS releases.

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Linux

Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

Confused? Not since Windows 3.1...

I credit my continued enjoyment of, and productivity in, my career (Oracle DBA) to dumping MS before Win95. Lack of a stable multitasking environment took me from 3.1 to O/S2 --> Solaris --> Solaris/Linux --> AIX/Linux --> Linux.

I would go back to a previous life as a sheet metal machine rather than put up with all the technology that has been compromised by the MS agenda of customer lock in and dirty tricks.

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Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

"Lack of a stable multitasking environment took me from 3.1 to O/S2"

I used OS/2 from 2.1 to 4.0. Each version easily frozen with badly behaving programs and the dreaded SIQ. And some very bad graphic drivers... I did like the GUI of OS/2 but NT3.5 and NT4 were ahead of OS/2 when stable multitasking was concerned.

Also you are talking about Microsofts dirty tricks (which are numerous) and praising Oracle and IBM. Please.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

That's grossly unfair. The last (in fact, only) Star Trek convention I went to was great fun.

OK, the more ardent fans were a little strange, but still a lot more welcoming than Win8 (or Vista, for that matter).

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Re: Is Windows trying to copy the StarTrek convention...

wasn't ME technically "Windows 98 ME", only with DOS ripped out of it and replaced with something worse. I would have thought it was windows 3.x, windows 9x, XP, vista/7/8 are essentially the same lineage

im sure a quick look at wiki would tell us the "truth" but I cant be arsed.

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Notro

Does that stand for no trolling?

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Re: Notro

No trolling? On El Reg forums?

Perish the thought!

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Save billions on marketing

By giving people what they WANT.

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Re: Save billions on marketing

"By giving people what they WANT."

You wish. Since the previews of W8, Microsoft has resolutely refused to listen to feedback. That's great if you have a vsionary idea, and know what the market wants before it can articulate it. But "Microsoft" and "visionary" are words that don't sit easily in the same sentence.

So they have stuck their pudgy corporate fingers in their ears and refused to listen to users, hoping that market dominance would enable them to force change on the world, and they've blown the multiple opportunities to fix Windows 8. If third party applications can make W8 work for most users, why didn't MS listen, and embed that functionality as a choice? There's a few TIFKAM lovers out there, and a few people using WIndows with touch, they could have chosen to keep TIFKAM; the rest of us could have chosen a standard desktop, with a proper start button, menus, and freedom from Microsoft's rather sad collection of "apps".

Windows 9 already smells of WIndows 7, if you ask me. But that's in a bad way, because I suspect it will be a light working makeover and re-branding of a flawed predecessor, done simply because the predecessor took so long to be fixed after release that it never gained traction in the market. And likewise I suspect that the thieves of Redmond will expect all the people who paid for W8 to pay again for W9. Given the number of f*** ups that Microsoft have made in the past ten years, I'd imagine even corporates won't touch W9 until service pack 2 (so about 2017).

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Re: Save billions on marketing

By giving people what they WANT.

Not so simple. MS office is one of the planets biggest time wasters. Familiar OS paradigms are already feeling clunky as the accessibility of stuff is falling well behind its quantity. Sharepoint is not a great solution to corporate information overload. UI designers are struggling to give form to the next great leap forward. If MS give people what they want now by looking back it is doomed. The danger (hope) is that it will become irrelevant before any intelligent and creative forms survive its political sewer and its outsourced battery farms. Metro is obviously the wrong path, we evolved to recognise signposts by their contextual and spatial relationships - a bunch of disembodied tiles and a god awful ribbon isn't it. So what are they to do, they are no Google?

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Re: Save billions on marketing

They may be the planet's biggest time wasters. But Win 8 has been one of IT's best ever soap operas.

MS should stop doing software altogether - they're not very good at it anyway - and go full-time into performance art.

TV, theatre, musicals, Steve Ballmer doing stand-up - the whole comedy enchilada.

It would be like The Office crossed with - er - The Office. Only for real. Streamed live, from Redmond - quicker than you can say 'New revenue stream.'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Save billions on marketing

The problem is that there is usually a very big gap between what people think they want and what they actually want, once it's been given to them. This is what software companies have to work out, if they're going to develop, rather than stagnate, it's also probably a good thing that they mess up every so often, because if they didn't they wouldn't be pushing enough.

Henry Ford said something along the lines of "if I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be in the business of making faster horses."

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Re: Save billions on marketing

Microsoft TELLS you what you want. Were it not for their money in the bank, I would never have believed such arrogance could work over such a long period. Humanity never ceases to amaze me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Save billions on marketing

Thank your deity they aren't. Google f**ks most things up anyway, or steals your data and gives it to others

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Re: Save billions on marketing

As opposed to Apple SHOWING you what you didn't realise you wanted...

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Re: Save billions on marketing

Trey Parker as the new CEO perhaps? About the only way they can get any more laughs....

(Note lack of "Joke Alert" icon.)

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Re: Save billions on marketing

You're right, but not necessarily for all the right reasons. Yes, the corporates are moving to Windows 7 from Windows XP, but not necessarily because they dislike Windows 8. What they actually dislike is the prospect of paying the overheads for upgrading the OS, possibly upgrading the hardware and certainly upgrading whatever software they use that refuses to work on the new OS. With so many scrambling to get everyone off XP before the support cutoff, the idea of going through it all again doesn't leave many feeling enthusiastic about it all.

In a way, this is one strength of Linux in that it is possible to evolve rather than have an explosive change that disrupts your user base. To an extent this is also what people liked about Windows XP in that they had a lengthy support run with few worries about the loss of compatibility when the occasional service pack came around. Vista, on the other hand, was too much of a leap and were it not for the age of XP and some of its supposed shortcomings, I suspect that W7 would have suffered a similar fate. It was only the fact that W7 was such a good release compared with Vista and that XP was being ousted that gave W7 its chance. What you had with W8.x was exactly the same explosive change that blighted Vista, the bullying sales tactics that saw Vista pull PC sales into the doldrums and a design that, I'll say yet again, harkened back to the days of Microsoft Bob.

So what if W9-or-whatever is merely a spruced up W7? We could do worse. As for allowing TIFKAM apps to run in a Windows Desktop environment, somebody owes me a new keyboard! I'd rather see the old gadgets come back - yes, let's face it, they were killed off because of TIFKAM. I know Microsoft insisted that they were afflicted by some sort of security flaw, but I can tell sales bullsh*t when I smell it!

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Re: Save billions on marketing

Henry Ford said something along the lines of "if I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be in the business of making faster horses."

And people said the same thing about Steve "Seven Inch Tablets Are Way Too Small, and you really like iTunes, no you really do and you must have it" Jobs.

Mind you, at least the iPod and iPod Maxi ended up being somewhat popular.

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Coat

@Ledswinger Re: Save billions on marketing

[...] and know what the market wants before it can articulate it

Very close to the definition of hubris, innit?

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Re: Save billions on marketing

They're just following Steve Jobs' method "People don't know what they want. I give them what I want and make them want that too."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Save billions on marketing

"Microsoft TELLS you what you want. Were it not for their money in the bank, I would never have believed such arrogance could work over such a long period. Humanity never ceases to amaze me."

Everyone here is aware how much Microsoft is worth, how many desktops/laptops/servers/consoles and devices they deploy to each year? YOU may not want what they are offering, great find a solution that fits you better. They are extremely successful (getting less so but that may be down to their size and the fact that any decision now takes eons to make) at what they do. For all the above posters complaining about their arrogance/stupidity/lack of foresight in not doing things the way YOU want/demand them, set your own software company up, sell that software and come back and tell us all "see what I did" when you become the richest man on the planet.

Downvote below :-)

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Re: Save billions on marketing

This is assuming that Microsoft still remember what Service Packs are. Me?! I'm still waiting for a Windows 7 Service Pack 2. That or heck even a Rollup Patch would be welcome right about now!

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Maybe they should buy Stardock?

It sounds like Windows 9 is just going to be Windows 8 with Start8 and ModernMix.

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Re: Maybe they should buy Stardock?

It would be nice if the classic theme made a return too...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe they should buy Stardock?

Can we have proper 'Classic' Back? You know the one that makes the desktop look like XP Classic not the Telly-Tubby Mk1 which is the normal XP interface.

I know that this is very much wishful thinking but I only have a few years to go before I retire and so far 8/8.1 with all its totally un-intuitive charms and click on this invisible 2 pixel square and wonderful things will happen.

Even Unity is better than Metro and that really saddens me to say it. I'm really more of a Gnome-2 sort of person.

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Devil

Re: Maybe they should buy Stardock?

> Can we have proper 'Classic' Back? You know the one that makes the desktop look like XP Classic not the Telly-Tubby Mk1 which is the normal XP interface.

That'll be the Windows 2000 interface, then. And nothing wrong with it, it works, the start menu doesn't take up enormous screen real estate, and yes, you can even modify it so your desktop picture is "Bliss" (more like Bleah).

Looks like the red Teletubby if you squint hard enough ----->

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"Telly-Tubby Mk1 which is the normal XP interface."

I always thought that Microsoft had become emboldened after winning the "look and feel" lawsuit over Apple, and then focused their sights on Fischer-Price to get the XP interface.

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Re: Maybe they should buy Stardock?

What we need is Win8's guts under WinXP's Classic UI.

Easy.

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Linux

Glad to hear that salvation is on the horizon, an opportunity for Microsoft to abandon this foolishness that is Windows 8/8.1

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Hopefully, yeah. My take was always that MS knew that plenty of people were happy with Win7, so felt they could be a little bit experimental with Win8- if the masses didn't like it, they could roll out Win9, just as they did with Win7 after Vista.

With Intel pushing out a Kinect-like 3D sensor reference design to laptop OEMs, ( 'RealSense': http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084810/hands-on-intels-realsense-is-both-productive-and-fun.html Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC ), Win9 would be a chance for MS to introduce free-space gestures to Windows.

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Trollface

I have a free space gesture for them. Not sure what command it maps to, though. Possibly something that needs a certain number...

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Possibly something that needs a certain number...

1, or perhaps 2?

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So now this rumour is out there, corporates are more inclined to wait to see if's true - thus holding up any possible 8/8.1 moves. MS should release an 8.2 with Start + Apps in Windows a.s.a.p. There's a lot under the covers in 8/8.1 to like from a corporate point of view, but can't see past the Interface change.

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Threshold

I wonder if that name will become eerily prescient in the coming years.

As in, "Microsoft was on the threshold of (success ? failure ?) with the release of what became known as Windows 9"

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I want to say I'll never buy Windows 9, but I probably will, once MS have obsoleted Windows 7 with embrace and extend.

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The choices will be Windows 8, Windows 9, or migrate away (Apple? Android? Linux? )

It's make or break for Microsoft. If Businesses can see that they are going to have to migrate from XP/7 "Windows" to something that shares only a Microsoft Logo on the packaging and a kernel, the other alternatives won't look nearly so radical as they once did.

As already posted above, all Microsoft has to do is give businesses what they actually want. Otherwise, Microsoft will be signing its own corporate death warrant.

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Most of the City businesses I know are only now starting the XP to 7 migration, having spent all this time proving hardware and software compatibility.

That second point is the most important: software. Most companies will only upgrade due to security necessity, and even then binary compatibility is priority #1. If they could run their obscure/bespoke 32-bit (because most still are) Windows applications on any other operating system, most would consider it.

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Since our customers had a limited "roll in" of Win8 units last year we have some experience with END USERS and Win8. And the typical end user has no problems with Win8. They get a Modern UI start screen with their 5-10 programs as icons and use that. Most find it faster/easier than the Menu and at least as useable as the "Icon on desktop/taskbar" setup from before. The applications are the same they had on Win7 so no change there.

Most users do not care about the OS, they care about the software packages they use. If those are present, easy to find and work - they have no problems. If they work on a light, mobile unit that takes less space than a notebook - mobile workers like it even more. And ticking off check boxes / filling forms with a good pen support works fine and fast.

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