Windows 9, aka Windows Threshold, is expected to get a fall preview. If you can’t wait to ditch Windows 8, get all the details about Threshold right here.
1. Threshold’s Fall Preview Will Start in September or October
According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, the Threshold preview will make its debut in late September or early October. Those who use the preview version of Threshold will need to agree to periodic, automatically installed updates.
Foley adds that one of her contacts (“who has provided accurate information on Windows in the past”) told her that the Threshold preview would be “public and available to all those interested.” This would be different from other recent computer OS previews, such as Apple’s public beta program for Yosemite, which had limited enrollment.
2. Windows 9 Threshold Is Expected to Get a Full Release in 2015
While Mary Jo Foley cited a spring release window in the report above, it is possible that Threshold might not appear until the summer of 2015. Either way, it will put the new OS in consumer’s hands just before the fall educational rush, when students and schools are buying new computers or outfitting older models with the latest OS.
3. Windows Threshold Will Boast New Features
Threshold is expected to debut a “compact” Start menu, boast a new visual look, and introduce a number of UI refinements. ZDNet adds that charms will get dropped, while virtual desktop support will be added. Mary Jo Foley adds that Cortana integration may also be featured in Threshold.
4. The Threshold ‘Preview’ Might Be an Alpha, Beta, or Near-Public Release
Check out this concept video that predicts what the Threshold experience will be like.
It is not yet clear how finished the Threshold preview will be when it opens to the public. Computerworld has an interesting run-down of Microsoft’s history of software previews:
“‘Technical Preview’ is a moniker that Microsoft has used in the past for its Office suite. For both Office 2013 and Office 2010, Microsoft used the term to describe an invitation-only sneak peek. Both application suites were later released as public betas prior to their official launch.
Windows, however, has used a different nomenclature. For 2012’s Windows 8, Microsoft called the early looks ‘Developer Preview,’ ‘Consumer Preview’ and ‘Release Preview,’ all open to everyone. The first was analogous to an alpha, the second to a beta, and the third to a done-but-not-approved release candidate.”
If Microsoft is trying to win back consumers that were disappointed by Windows 8, it seems likely that the Threshold preview will be fairly polished. Too many bugs in the preview could further damage the reputation of the Windows brand.
5. Threshold’s Preview May Line Up With Broadwell Release
Wondering if you should buy a gaming PC now, or wait until a Broadwell PC hits the market? Check out the video above to get some good advice.
PCWorld notes that the preview of Threshold may line up rather nicely with the release of Intel’s new Broadwell processor. Broadwell tech is expected to get a little press at the upcoming IFA event in Berlin:
“A September technical preview also roughly aligns with the release of the next generation of hardware. At the IFA show in early September, Intel is expected to formally announce the first ‘Broadwell’ processors based on the 14nm technology it recently unveiled. Several hardware OEMs are scheduled to release either new products based on the chips, which will be known as the ‘Core M’ for notebooks, or hardware refreshes that replace existing Core processors with the new Intel chips.
If that’s the case, a combination of Threshold and Broadwell could inject a jolt of adrenaline into a PC market badly in need of it and offer consumers and businesses alike a reason to open their checkbooks.”