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