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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it all begins to sound

a bit like the 'Vista' fiasco, all over again.

Have to agree with some other comments; Microsoft are seriously in danger of becoming irrelevant in OS terms.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it all begins to sound

What is the solution though? to admit defeat in tablet and ditch Metro or to tweak it further?

Microsoft knew that OEM licences meant people were forced to get Win8. But if they produced a separate tablet OS then it required people to actually go out and buy a tablet with their OS on it, something that hasn't really happened with their previous efforts.

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Windows

Re: it all begins to sound

> What is the solution though? to admit defeat in tablet and ditch Metro or to tweak it further?

Simply stop trying to force the touch metaphor on to a *non* touch-oriented desktop. Touch, including Metro, has a place, but not on a sodding desktop. Everybody knows this but for some reason MS have resolutely refused to listen.

It's like Microsoft want to commit corporate suicide. What's the point in moving from XP if there's no suitable replacement and Windows 7 is considered as dead-end technology

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Re: it all begins to sound

All they had to do was give users the option of whether they wanted classic or classic + touch and allow them to easily switch between the two if they changed their minds. Server 2012 has this ability with Full GUI -> Partial GUI -> Core (command prompt only) and it works great.

Windows 8 Desktop (TIFKAM and start screen aside) is actually a pretty solid OS and a good incremental improvement on Windows 7. TIFKAM is where all of the controversy has been. Making it optional would've prevented consumers and businesses from turning their backs on upgrading and making them easily switchable would allow users to ease in to it as TIFKAM and the Windows marketplace matured, thus luring people in with quality apps rather than trying to coerce them to use something they don't necessarily want. It is perfectly possible to completely avoid TIFKAM (bar Start Screen) on Windows 8 if you want, but the configuration is a little beyond Joe User.

I like the Start screen on Windows 8.1, but there are still relatively few apps in the Windows store that I have any desire to use. If I, a software developer who is generally a proponent of Windows 8, has no real interest in the app ecosystem and don't really see much worth using over the desktop equivalent, then what chance do they have with the average user?

If you've something radical and new that you want people to use, you make it easily accessible to them and make it appealing so they actually want to use it. Relying on upgrade cycles to force the change upon users has clearly backfired here.

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Re: it all begins to sound

"Have to agree with some other comments; Microsoft are seriously in danger of becoming irrelevant in OS terms."

As Microsoft staggers into the sunset, we can see the word "Apple" etched into the handle of the knife in its back. With Microsoft's cadaverous arm draped across the shoulder of Intel, only slightly less cadaverous, leans on its old friend whose free hand was just recently twisting something into its back. Tattooed on the back of each player's neck the word "Wintel".

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Alert

Re: it all begins to sound

You might see the word "Apple" carved on the handle of the knife, but it quite certainly put there at Microsoft's own behest. Nobody forced them to attempt corporate suicide by throttling one of its core products in the name of greed.

There were other ways to try to move into the tablet market rather than trying to sacrifice Windows (or, at the very least, produce a product that was a conglomeration of parts from Windows 1, Bob, Me and Vista, all patched together then sold snake-oil style in the hopes that they could shaft the emerging market the way they shafted so many other markets from the microcomputer to the console).

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Gimp

Re: it all begins to sound

I've got to aggree with John P. Windows 8 appears to be a much better engine. But the guys doing the Interface OMG!

Then there's the creepiness factor! People still think they own the software, even if its a 12 month subscription (Office 365), so its rare that they don't get upset when your signup process demands their age, sex and would like their phone number. Its productivity software, not some sleazy site....... Doh!

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Vic

Re: it all begins to sound

> What is the solution though?

Give the user *options*.

Each user can select "Classic", "Aero", or TIFKAM. Problem solved.

Vic.

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Force?

> Simply stop trying to force the touch metaphor on to a *non* touch-oriented desktop.

I keep reading this on these forums. It is simply not true. I've been using Windows 8 and 8.1 for nearly a year now. I do not have a touchscreen. I use desktop apps almost exclusively. At no point has the OS tried to force me to use touch or done anything whatsoever to make my use of these desktop apps any more difficult than it was under Windows 7. This problem I keep reading about does not exist.

You may not like Windows 8 for any number of reasons (and I have a couple of criticisms myself), but this one is simply not real.

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Anonymous Coward

WinOne?

To fit in with their silly XBone marketing.

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Silver badge

More accurately, WinSome, with the follow-up being LoseSome.

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If...

"WinOne? To fit in with their silly XBone marketing."

If Microsoft were to address the dissatisfactions that users have been having with Win 8 (and with everything after XP, in my opinion) then WinOne would be a brilliant name and slogan. To show that they are starting over.

I know that few people will agree with me but I think that there is a real chance that they will fix at least some of the biggest issues; there's a reason why Ballmer is leaving and the people on this forum are not the only ones who know what that reason is. And Ballmer might feel that he wants to do something to put the company back on the right track.

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Re: If...

Isn't the biggest issue that they keep making changes that no one wants? Most companies still have XP because it does what they want and little extra.

Who is the target audience for Vista / 7 / 8 - they all feel far more consumer focused than business. As a gamer, I actually rate 8 quite highly, but I can't see much in it worth recommending to clients.

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Re: WinOne

You may be on to something, Mr Coward, but I would suggest calling it Windows 7.1, to reflect a) the amount of progress that has been made; and b) the desire to wipe 8.x from the collective memory.

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Re: WinOne

Surely they will be naming it "Skylight" so you get a better view of the clouds.

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Silver badge

WinOne?

At least someone would buy it for the Gipper. :)

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FAIL

Re: If...

Certainly nobody really wants change forced on them, but I'd be interested to hear exactly where you get the "most companies" statistic from. For myself, I work in the public sector so I don't have an option to stay with XP.

Yes, I keep an eye on the gaming side of things too, but I notice a certain ambivalence where the OS is concerned. As long as it will run the latest and greatest hardware and support the games, they're happy. In a way, that's little different to the company types, but that's where the similarity ends.

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Re: If...

"Yes, I keep an eye on the gaming side of things too, but I notice a certain ambivalence where the OS is concerned. As long as it will run the latest and greatest hardware and support the games, they're happy."

And this is why Linux (including OSX) has no place in my home.

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Windows

Re: If...

And this is why Linux (including OSX) has no place in my home.

It is probably running in your router, your set-top box, your telly, your mobile phone, your fixed (if it's IP) phone, your washing machine and even in your car-navigation.

Homeless icon - every place is his home. --------------------------------------------------->

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Re: If...

"I'd be interested to hear exactly where you get the "most companies" statistic from"

Poor wording on my part. I meant more that most companies still on XP are that way because they see no reason to upgrade.

That said, I have personally worked at 4 large companies over the last year, all of which are completely or mostly on XP with varying plans of migration (and all of those to 7). The only reason behind the upgrade plans at these is support; they're not interested in any of new features (maybe some of the admin tools).

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Re: If...

>>As long as it will run the latest and greatest hardware and support the games, they're happy."

>And this is why Linux (including OSX) has no place in my home.

That is set to change with SteamOS, tho.

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

With Myerson at the helm, we can be pretty sure that nothing is going to change. Look at how Windows Phone hasn't changed, at all, over the last couple of years. Things that might have made it easier to use were discarded for the sake of 'purity'. With him in charge, it'll be all-Metro, all the time.

Frankly, if Metro has one failing, it's that they didn't push it far enough. There are easier ways to work with a computer than the standard mouse+kb-combo, but as always with MS, they have no grasp of taste or direction, so they'll just bung something out there and hope it sticks, like an ordure monkey...

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Hoax?

This story isn't an elaborate hoax? Are you sure?

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Trollface

Re: Hoax?

It's not April yet.

Mind you....

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Start Button

..represents so much. Way more than just an addition to an operating system (zzz please!)

It represented my journey from cave dweller to the hunched keyboard puncher I am now today.

I was 18 when Win95 came out. I saw it in shop windows, the start button brightly waiting for me to press it, and eventually I got to do just that on a PC belonging to a friends Dad.

I couldn't WAIT to have my own Start button.

When I got my own in 1998, I felt I had truly come of age, and also touched the future that Maggie Philbin had endlessly told me about.

XP came along and something was afoot...it had defaulted to a crayon colouring of Start button. Easily remedied mind, but a disconcerting change with age nonetheless - like ear or nose hair.

Win 7 went round. I was again irritated. JUST STOP. Leave the button alone.

Then Win 8. OMG. They only went and did it didn't they. I knew it. OMG Why me. No start button? I'm adrift. My link back to the day when I finally "made it" was gone. I hadn't even been asked. It was like when my parents decided to wallpaper my room, and didn't tell me there would be flowers on my wall. I was back to being 8 years old. No way could I take to that. I hated being 8.

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MS could have won plaudits with 8 .....

..... fairly easily. Basically give us an update of 7 and during install 'Hey, you have a touch screen, would you like a touch screen enabled version installed?'. Even if you decide which option people can choose they still prefer it to having no option.

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Re: MS could have won plaudits with 8 .....

"..... fairly easily. Basically give us an update of 7 and during install 'Hey, you have a touch screen, would you like a touch screen enabled version installed?'. Even if you decide which option people can choose they still prefer it to having no option."

Or install both versions, and boot into touch mode when touch hardware exists, and boot into desktop when touch hardware does not exist. Why in the name of all that's holy would an operating system boot into a touch-centric operating system on hardware with no touch support?

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WTF?

"It is expected that Metro apps – meaning those downloaded from the Windows Store – will be allowed to run on the classic Windows desktop."

Great, so MS is bringing back those shitty widgets from Vista, but now they are asking you to pay for them. Hell might as well resurrect Clippy as well!

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Touch = Metro

I never understood why Metro had to force itself on us with Win8. Why not just default to Metro if you had a touch enabled device or simply boot straight to the standard desktop WITH start menu for the 99% of us cavemen still using a mouse?

I'm a fan of Win8.1 with classic shell installed - it's nearly as good as Windows 7 :)

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Re: why Metro had to force itself

To brainwash all the desktop users so they rush out to buy MSFT phones and tablets, that's why.

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Re: Touch = Metro

> I never understood why Metro had to force itself on us with Win8.

Because PC is dying and Microsoft wanted to force users (and even more importantly developers) over to their new mobile interface. Remember that the plan was and still is for all versions of Windows to converge to Windows RT and to be run on slabs and cellphones. They knew before release that the users would hate Windows 8, but felt they needed to take that hit in order to position themselves for a future where the PC is replaced by mobile devices.

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Anonymous Coward

For every time there is a season...

... Churn, Churn...

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Silver badge

There's an interesting aspect to the comments so far

Apart from the brief mentions of the Sharepoint and Exchange superstructure products that run upon the OS infrastructure all of the other comments, up to the time I posted this, are purely concerned with the GUI shell and I think this probably reflects the fact that the GUI shell is synonymous with the OS in most user's minds.

MS could easily get away with releasing a 'new' Windows9 product by simply changing the GUI shell for W8, which would basically be money for old rope.

Expect it soon?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's an interesting aspect to the comments so far

"this probably reflects the fact that the GUI shell is synonymous with the OS in most user's mind"

That is because MS have been telling us for decades that the OS IS the GUI and that command line is so old fashioned, slow, legacy rubbish, especialy on servers.

Latest WIndows Server? Latest whizzy innovative idea? er command line operation, no need for that <cough> slow old fashoned GUI here. It is all the usual marketing bollox, and it went badly wrong with 8.

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Silver badge

Re: There's an interesting aspect to the comments so far

A gui is merely a way of running scripts without having to type.

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Coat

Re: There's an interesting aspect to the comments so far

And that's how you got RISC OS.

I knew Acorn had the right of it!!!

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Vic

Re: There's an interesting aspect to the comments so far

MS could easily get away with releasing a 'new' Windows9 product by simply changing the GUI shell for W8, which would basically be money for old rope

... And quite remarkably popular.

They *must* know this by now...

Vic.

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I eagerly await my Windows 9 Party Pack

This year I will opt for the PhotoPalooza

I hope they include those awesome Windows napkins again

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, wait, wait I know the punch line!

They want you to pay for it!

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It's part of a bigger picture

I live in the UK and worked for an American corporation for 11 years - who got bought by an Indian company (the nicest guys but not the faintest clue what they were doing - another story...). I moved to another smaller American company (still in the UK). I've also previously worked for another US corporation.

IMHO

My observation of US vs UK companies is that the US companies are insular and hierarchical. I will get to the point...

The top man has a "great idea". Everyone thinks its wonderful. There can be no argument - if there is it's likely your pass will suddenly stop working. A popular phrase is "Its great isn't it?"... Think about the coercive nature of the phrase. The question isn't an option. It's just part of the culture. Apple is floundering because for all Steve Jobs faults he did have some great ideas. Microsoft seems to be heading tube-wards... no names mentioned. Even in this day and age the US guys seem to have no concept of an outside world to the point where my company for instance still uses imperial sized nuts and bolts for a global product. Trying to explain things just results in buying imperial sized spanners. Customers are the last people they'd listen to. They're bottom of the pile. What do they know?

You may notice I refer to "Companies" and not "People" because on an individual basis, Americans have been accommodating and generally kind people but Companies there seem to have a life and ethos of their own.

The result of this culture is forging ahead with their product no matter what. This used to work.

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Re: It's part of a bigger picture

A very interesting, and accurate observation. Thanks!

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Silver badge

Re: It's part of a bigger picture

Too true.

The other month I stunned some American support staff of a product that we use by pointing out to them when they were confused that most of their non-US customers were measuring thing in millimetres, that the US is one of the three remaining countries on the planet that still uses Imperial measurements or, perhaps more accurately, does not use the metric system.

On an engineering front my previous dealings with a different US supplier was that they didn't seem to understand the RoHS rules (specifically lead in electronics) and how they were generally implemented in a similar way worldwide. Except for the US. As a result they had one product for the US and another product for everybody else on the planet, carefully glazing over when it was pointed out that producing an international compliant product would also solve their problems with the state of California that had similar requirements for their products and give them a single product to support. Their solution to Imperial nuts and bolts was also to send, at extortionate costs, imperial spanners...

* Yes, I know some countries use certain Imperial measurements on occasions, but the official designation is metric measures. I'll have a pint please... :)

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Re: It's part of a bigger picture

still uses Imperial measurements or, perhaps more accurately, does not use the metric system

Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?

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Re: It's part of a bigger picture

"Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?"

Judging from USAian sitcoms, you have to be a bit more obvious than that. Try

"Imperial units only licensed for use in British colonies to keep them subjugated"

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Re: It's part of a bigger picture

I was in the US Army, which just to add some degree of difficulty uses both Imperial (we call it standard) and Metric. The odometer on the tank reads in Kms, which must be documented, but we measure the fuel in gallons. Doing the math (or maths if you prefer) to convert Kms to miles is painful. It's even worse if you happen to be calling in naval artillery (that hasn't happened for a while) converting Kms to Nautical miles. Not a task that has to be done often granted, but c'mon now.

Don't get me started about the toolbag. Yup, metric and standard.

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Re: It's part of a bigger picture

‘‘E could ’a drawed me off a pint,’ grumbled the old man as he settled down behind a glass. ‘A ’alf litre ain’t enough. It don’t satisfy. And a ’ole litre’s too much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the price.’

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Silver badge

USA should love metric

Their pints are tiny, switching to half litres would give them more beer!

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: It's part of a bigger picture

Perhaps the rest of the world could start (accurately) calling them British imperial units, to help the USA readjust?

They're not, though, are they? Many of the US "Imperial" units are different from the units used in The Empire.

They have the 2000lb US Ton (aka "Short Ton") which is different from the 2240 lb British Imperial Ton (aka "Long Ton").

They have the 16 fl oz US pint which is different from the 20 fl oz Imperial Pint. I've actually heard an American say "Oh, wait, you Brits use a five-quart gallon"!

The real irony here is that the US has officially been adopting the metric system for about the last 40 years ... i just hasn't got very far in practice.

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Vic

Re: It's part of a bigger picture

> The odometer on the tank reads in Kms, which must be documented, but we measure the fuel in gallons

You want to try General Aviation.

We buy fuel in litres, but measure it in pounds...

Vic.

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