Windows 9 ‘Threshold’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Microsoft Holds Annual Shareholder Meeting

Windows 9, aka “Threshold,” is expected later this year. Learn whether this new version of Windows is an improvement over Windows 8 with this handy guide.

1. Windows 9 Is Also Known by ‘Threshold’ Designation



Windows 9 is sort of a placeholder name. The final release might be called Windows 9, but it could have a different final name instead. Some blogs are referring to Windows 9 as “Threshold.” According to ZDNet, the Threshold name is a codename.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who is renowned for getting the scoop on all things Microsoft, explains the reasoning behind this intriguing codename:

“The codename Threshold, for those wondering, derives from the planet around which the first halo ring orbited in the original Halo game launched back in 2001. Threshold joins “Cortana,” Microsoft’s answer to Siri, as yet another codename with its origins in the Xbox franchise.”

2. Windows 9 Is Expected to Get a Full Release Next Year

Microsoft Planning Windows 9 Launch In April 2015: ReportMicrosoft's "Threshold" project is thought to be a codename for Windows 9. Microsoft is reportedly planning an announcement for April.2014-01-12T17:46:54Z

Check out the report above to learn more about the launch window for Threshold.

Infoworld has some theories about when Windows 9 will make it’s first appearance, and when it will get a public release:

“Windows 8 Update 2 is expected to arrive in August. That might substantiate the talk that a public preview of Windows 9 will be released by year’s end, with a spring or summer 2015 official launch, putting Windows 9 in line with the next school and holiday cycle for 2015.”

3. Windows 9 Designed to Win Over Windows 7 Hold-Outs

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Forbes makes an interesting point about Windows 9: it is, in some ways, analogous to Windows Vista. It might sound strange at first, but Forbes writer Antony Leather makes a compelling argument:

“In fact, there’s a definite ‘Vista’ effect going on, with plenty of people admiring certain aspects of Windows 8, such as its speed, reliability and more recently its enhanced scaling for 4K monitors, but are sticking with Windows 7 because the negatives outweigh the positives. It’s no way near as bad as Vista, but it still represents somewhat of a failed operating system as far as Microsoft is concerned; it has not tempted anywhere near as many Windows 7 users away from their beloved OS in the same numbers as Windows 7 did with XP.”

It is likely that Microsoft will tailor Windows 9 to appeal to those people who never upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8, in the hopes of both boosting sales and restoring consumer confidence.

4. Windows 9 Will Have Long-Awaited Features



PC World notes that Windows 9 will have some features that some Windows users have been lusting after for quite some time. These will include a compact Start menu with smaller Live Tiles.

Neowin adds that “app snapping” will get some further refinements, along with a “visually distinct” look that will let you know immediately that you’re using Threshold and not an older version of Windows.

5. Windows 9 Rumors Coincide With Drop in Windows 8 Usage


According to a recent article from ZDNet, the run-up to the launch of Windows 9 seems to be coinciding with a drop in Windows 8 usage. It appears that when XP’s service ran out, more users opted to upgrade to Windows 7 than to Windows 8. ZDNet notes that Windows 8.1, used by 6.6 percent of computer owners, has a very small lead over Windows 8 with just 5.9 percent.

ZDNet adds, however, that Windows as a whole maintains a 91.5 percent marketplace in the operating system sphere.

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