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The Desktop will be going away in Threshold...kind of.

Shortly before Mary Jo Foley published her piece about the plans for Threshold, we had near-identical details from our own sources about the company's plans for the update. Hearing the same information corroborated by different sources certainly seems to validate and authenticate the details that we have each received.
We can now share some further details to add a bit more color regarding why certain moves are happening, along with some new information.

First of all, on smaller Windows devices - the ones where Microsoft gives away the license for free - the classic desktop will be going away. These devices will live in the Modern environment and this change is one of the reasons why the Surface mini did not ship.

This makes a lot of sense too - on small devices like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the desktop is nearly impossible to use as you lack the precision of a mouse (this is also why the Surface Mini would have shipped with a pen) so keeping these devices locked to the Modern environment is logical.

Snapped apps will continue to work in the Modern environment on these devices, and we understand that there will be new options for organizing apps on screen in the Modern UI as well.

Yes, the desktop will be going away on smaller Windows tablets - Neowin
 

Coke Robot

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Wow! :what:

That's a bolder move than the Modern UI! The logic sounds safe if you use Office and File Explorer on the Desktop, but the reality is that some people don't use JUST those two, itunes comes to mind. An x86 Windows tablet that can't run itunes. Mozilla Firefox is second, as well as google chrome browsers. Third party anti-virus suites and firewalls as well. Possibly the Adobe collection...

I wonder if the new "organization" of Modern UI apps means a proper post-Desktop multitasking environment.
 

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wpcoe

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I've been considering buying a Windows tablet, very possibly a Surface Pro 3, to pretty much replace my notebook. I use *lots* of desktop apps. A decision to remove the traditional Windows desktop from tablets would make that a rather expensive mistake for me. What is considered a "small device" for which Microsoft gives the OS license for free?

[edited to correct "Surface 3" to "Surface Pro 3"]
 

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Coke Robot

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Some tablets that will run the Windows with Bing SKUs (the free licenses) are considered 10 inch and smaller tablets. Some rumors are swirling around that this will even include every Intel Atom powered 10 inch and smaller tablet.

The Surface Pro 3 is exempt, the Surface Pro 2 just barely misses the 10 inch mark so it won't be affected.

This whole thing if it is true might not go down very well.

But this basically makes every Atom powered tablet pretty much useless for any x86 software unless Microsoft is devising a new UI that enables those devices to still run Win32 software. If they don't, Windows RT basically is what every tablet in that respective category will have to be because if you take the Desktop out of the equation, Windows RT has the advantage of having current 100 percent malware resistance.
 

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wpcoe

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Thanks. So to be safe in the future when buying a tablet *now* I guess I should remove all 10"-and-under tablets from consideration. Darn.
 

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EMINENT

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My guess is it's going to be like MJF stated, whereas the start would be 7-like on pc's with the option to use the start from 8.x, and on tablets it will always be start menu. Same on phones too, now that there's a file explorer. If windowed apps are coming, I see them being always full screen on tablets and phones, I wouldn't mind an app switcher from the left like on W8.1 on my phone.
 

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Superfly

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I'm not sure which direction M$ is taking with this... but here's an idea...

Have a base edition like Windows 9 Modern (like with Bing) and Windows 9 Desktop Edition - but also offer a Windows 9 Ultimate edition for those that require both environments...at a premium obviously.

I may be completely missing the boat here, but that seems a logical step.
 
Last edited:

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jimbo45

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I've been considering buying a Windows tablet, very possibly a Surface Pro 3, to pretty much replace my notebook. I use *lots* of desktop apps. A decision to remove the traditional Windows desktop from tablets would make that a rather expensive mistake for me. What is considered a "small device" for which Microsoft gives the OS license for free?

[edited to correct "Surface 3" to "Surface Pro 3"]


Surface Pro 3 will be considered as a "desktop" for this purpose -- in any case I have just received mine -- it's running bog standard W8.1 Pro on it PERFECTLY -- no probs with keyboard and mouse plus external monitor -- a PLEASURE to use -- much better than my previous laptop.

It's amazing how many people on this Forum think of the surface pro 3 as a tablet --It's a PORTABLE computer in every sense of the word (and more portable than most laptops too).

A Modern OS has to interface properly with MOBILE devices -- splitting the OS into 2 separate SKU's just seems stupid in the extreme to me. You might want - especially using modern convertible or "multi function devices" to function in BOTH modes -- and you don't want to be re-booting or re-loading the different environment each time.

A desktop OS (where you CAN disable the desktop if only running on a mobile device if you want to) which can run SEAMLESSLY the metro type of stuff is what's needed. If you only need a desktop OS then Ms should stick to upgrading W7 as it does that job perfectly.

I'm hoping for a nice FLEXIBLE and modern OS in W9 / Threshold or whatever they decide to call it -- given the stupid names OS'es get perhaps it will be called ADAM'S FOLLY. !!

Cheers
jimbo
 

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JP56

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I've been considering buying a Windows tablet, very possibly a Surface Pro 3, to pretty much replace my notebook. I use *lots* of desktop apps.

[edited to correct "Surface 3" to "Surface Pro 3"]

I tried that route, starting from the very same position. Result? Six months down the line, Windows tablet sold, new expensive notebook bought. I found trying to edit (eg) Excel sheets with an on-screen keyboard in a touchscreen environment is frustrating to say the least... Sold the SPro, couldn't get the old notebook from t'missus so (unfortunately??) had to buy a replacement (Vaio Pro 13). Bliss!
 

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insane014

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Desktop as we know it needs a change big time! Unnecessary overlapping windows with directory branching on the side just shows how confusing navigation is and how bloated user infrastructure is. Completely unnecessary. Should have changed ten years ago but when you have monopoly you simply don't care.
 

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jimbo45

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Desktop as we know it needs a change big time! Unnecessary overlapping windows with directory branching on the side just shows how confusing navigation is and how bloated user infrastructure is. Completely unnecessary. Should have changed ten years ago but when you have monopoly you simply don't care.


Hi there

How would YOU like to have it then

Try translating a document into 3 different languages without having all 3 versions viewable at the same time, or getting data from one application into another - say a spreadsheet workbook.

Multiple windows are ESSENTIAL for a lot of tasks where several processes need to be done at the same time.

Nobody - whether Linux, Android, Ios or Windows has come up with another solution for performing those jobs.

If you've got a way then maybe you could be the next multi-billionaire -- I certainly can't see a way of changing the OS so I can perform those sort of tasks more conveniently.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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alphanumeric

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Hmm,

First of all, on smaller Windows devices - the ones where Microsoft gives away the license for free - the classic desktop will be going away. These devices will live in the Modern environment and this change is one of the reasons why the Surface mini did not ship.

Windows RT Mode? Or are they going to port everything to run in a Metro window? I've already had one cup of coffee but I still don't see how that's going to work.
 

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EMINENT

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Hmm,

First of all, on smaller Windows devices - the ones where Microsoft gives away the license for free - the classic desktop will be going away. These devices will live in the Modern environment and this change is one of the reasons why the Surface mini did not ship.

Windows RT Mode? Or are they going to port everything to run in a Metro window? I've already had one cup of coffee but I still don't see how that's going to work.

That's what it sounds like to me. The newly redesigned start menu would be like W7. On tablets/phones, the start menu makes up the whole start screen. Windowed apps on the desktop would default to full screen on tablet/phone. So you'd have a unified, copy of the start menu on every device. It'd be cool if they could make the start menu interact with the messaging app too.
 

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Coke Robot

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I've been considering buying a Windows tablet, very possibly a Surface Pro 3, to pretty much replace my notebook. I use *lots* of desktop apps. A decision to remove the traditional Windows desktop from tablets would make that a rather expensive mistake for me. What is considered a "small device" for which Microsoft gives the OS license for free?

[edited to correct "Surface 3" to "Surface Pro 3"]



It's amazing how many people on this Forum think of the surface pro 3 as a tablet --It's a PORTABLE computer in every sense of the word (and more portable than most laptops too).


Cheers
jimbo
Tablet PC is what I think they've been referred to...
 

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Coke Robot

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Hmm,

First of all, on smaller Windows devices - the ones where Microsoft gives away the license for free - the classic desktop will be going away. These devices will live in the Modern environment and this change is one of the reasons why the Surface mini did not ship.

Windows RT Mode? Or are they going to port everything to run in a Metro window? I've already had one cup of coffee but I still don't see how that's going to work.

Exactly. They'll need to redesign the multi-task WDM for the modern environment for starters. Second, this is literally just Windows RT and means this whole lull of Windows RT should be dropped is pointless because even a good chunk of x86 tablets will just be like Windows RT but RT has the advantage for malware resistance through and through. If you can't run ANY traditional Desktop Win32 software, what's the point then?

Maybe since it's a freeware OS, it might allow users to upgrade to run Win32 software since it's Microsoft. But, there is also the rumor that current 7 and 8.1 users might get 9 for free so if you have a Dell Venue Pro 8 tablet, you should end up getting the ability to run Win32 software. If they axe out that feature for those tablets either way, a LOT of people might get really upset....
 

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DMGrier

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I don't understand why everyone is getting upset about this as we are talking about tablets under 10", why would you run a traditional desktop on an 8" screen as that is just silly. I know itunes right? cause it is not like people who have itunes does not already have an ipod, iphone or ipad.

The point of this decision seems clear, people who want to use a true tablet which is under 10" will only have access to the Metro UI as this UI is what will work best, I think anyone wanting to use x86 applications on something like an 8" love to torture their eyes. For people who want to use x86 based applications and have a tablet for useability purposes will be required to purchase 10+" screen. What is so hard here? This all makes sense to me. It is not like 10+" tablets have not came down in cost...

Dell Venue 11 Pro HD Windows Tablet | Dell
 

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RBS

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Well, I for one, think it would be a tragic mistake.

I have a couple tablets that I run dual monitors on (HDTV's), I like my tablet as a tablet, but do my desktop work on the large screens. To me this is just further proof, Microsoft has no clue how their customers use their products.
 

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Coke Robot

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I don't understand why everyone is getting upset about this as we are talking about tablets under 10", why would you run a traditional desktop on an 8" screen as that is just silly. I know itunes right? cause it is not like people who have itunes does not already have an ipod, iphone or ipad.

The point of this decision seems clear, people who want to use a true tablet which is under 10" will only have access to the Metro UI as this UI is what will work best, I think anyone wanting to use x86 applications on something like an 8" love to torture their eyes. For people who want to use x86 based applications and have a tablet for useability purposes will be required to purchase 10+" screen. What is so hard here? This all makes sense to me. It is not like 10+" tablets have not came down in cost...

Dell Venue 11 Pro HD Windows Tablet | Dell
This is true, not going to argue too much here, but this completely nullifies the use and purpose of the Intel Atom processor and using an x86 based SoC for these smaller tablets 10 inches and below. I never understood the idea of an 8 inch Atom powered tablet when that is EXACTLY why Windows RT was built for. A small device isn't clearly going to be used for heavy hitter Win32 software, maybe of course the exception being itunes, so why would ANY have done that? Windows RT on an ARM processor is what an 8 inch tablet is all about.

But then there's the likelihood that 10 inch tablets are lumped into this group. The first and second gen Surface tablets have 10.6 inch screens. That's enough for people to use the Desktop and Win32 class programs just fine. That wouldn't be a good idea to do for them.
 

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Coke Robot

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Microsoft should call their new freeware SKU "Windows Basic" as that's what it literally is, a basic version of Windows. The version that has the legacy Desktop would be called "Windows Pro."

Gosh, for some reason this whole thing seems like validation of Windows RT almost.
 

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