Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


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

  1. #1


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    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

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Wow!

    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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  3. #3


    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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  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    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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  5. #5


    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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  6. #6


    Somewhere in USA
    Posts : 233
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    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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  7. #7


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I wonder if the new "organization" of Modern UI apps means a proper post-Desktop multitasking environment.
    It will be interesting to see what they can come up with...
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  8. #8


    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 by Superfly; 02 Jul 2014 at 02:43. Reason: Dyslexic fingers
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  9. #9


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by wpcoe View Post
    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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  10. #10


    Posts : 37
    Win 8.1 Upd 1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by wpcoe View Post
    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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The Desktop will be going away in Threshold...kind of.
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