Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Dec 2013 23:47 UTC

Mary Jo Foley has some information on the next wave of big Windows releases - scheduled for Spring 2015. This wave will supposedly bring the three Windowqs branches - Xbox, phone, PCs - more in line with each other.

The Xbox One OS, Windows 8.x OS and Windows Phone 8 OS already share a common Windows NT core. As we've heard before, Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for all three of these platforms more similar.

But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft's various Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. These high-value activities include expression/documents (Office, and the coming "Remix" digital storytelling app, I'd think); decision making/task completion (Bing, I'd assume); IT management (Intune and Workplace Join, perhaps?) and "serious fun."

The first bit seems like a no-brainer and should have been done already, but the second part seems like traditional Microsoft marketing nonsense. "High value activities"? Seriously? Could this be any more vague and meaningless?

Before Microsoft gets to Threshold, the company is on track to deliver an update to Windows 8.1 (known as Windows 8.1 Update 1) around the same time that it delivers Windows Phone "Blue" (Windows Phone 8.1). That's supposedly happening in the spring 2014/Q2 2014 timeframe, from what my sources have said.

With time frames like that it almost seems as if even Microsoft itself doesn't care.

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RE[6]: Not surprising..
by WorknMan on Tue 3rd Dec 2013 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not surprising.."
Member since:

Yes, Win8 has all that improvements. But all these improvements that you said could have been done on a sane GUI, like Win7.

Yes, they could. But it would've only been a short-term solution. Windows 'classic' as it exists now is a clusterf**k of framework on top of framework on top of APIs, going back to the 80's. Its time is done; they can't continue hacking on this dinosaur forever. Eventually, it has to be put out of its misery.

MS is moving in a new direction, and that direction is Metro. Whether you like it or not is really irrelevant. MS has made their decision, and they will either live or die by it. Obviously, it's not perfect at the moment, but it's a gradual transition that's probably going to take a decade or longer. They made pretty decent improvements to it in 8.1, and they will continue to improve it. If you doubt me, go back and take a look at Windows when it was at version 1.x:

If you had looked at that back in 85, you would have dismissed it outright and called it a miserable failure. Well, some people still do call it that, but that's besides the point ;)

And before someone points out that you can make Win8 looks like Win7, seriously, why waste time hacking Win8 to looks like Win7 if you can just use Win7?

I haven't spent any time hacking it. I just stay away from the Metro bits, for the most part. And even if I wanted to do so, all I'd have to do is install a Start menu replacement and disable hot corners. Would take all but 5 minutes.

None improvements that you said justify wasting money in a Win8 license if you already have Win7.

That is your opinion, and you're entitled to it. But I'm sure you've been wrong about other things too ;)

Edited 2013-12-03 23:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Not surprising..
by oiaohm on Wed 4th Dec 2013 00:10 in reply to "RE[6]: Not surprising.."
oiaohm Member since:

WorknMan on Windows 1.0 open up a few programs and notice the buttons are rounded. The fact about round buttons and human focus was known when Windows 1.0 was made.

This is not a new issue. Microsoft has gone and stuffed up all the history of User Interface research.

Windows 1.0 is closer to a human compatible interface than what Windows 8 or 8.1 are.

Windows 8 or 8.1 with classic shell is better for your staff than leaving it default. Particularly when you are aware of the mental damage of desensitisation to dangerous objects you are causing by having your staff use Windows 8 or 8.1 in default.

None of the improvements in 8.1 address the core problem. Humans are designed mentally to interface with the world with a very particular set of visual responses. One of those is pay closer attention to sharp objects to reduce harm to self. This is exactly what windows 8 and later is under mining.

Exploiting humans auto response to dangerous objects to sell a product is not a good thing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Not surprising..
by tylerdurden on Wed 4th Dec 2013 06:23 in reply to "RE[7]: Not surprising.."
tylerdurden Member since:

LOL What? Can you point to any actual research about what you're claiming?

The main issue with Metro ain't the "sharp" edges, I don't think anyone is retarded enough to think they can get their fingers cut by a tile on screen. I think , if anything, from a HID perspective Metro is a bit of a disaster mainly because the flat buttons everywhere induce a certain delay where the user has to guess whether that element is "pushable"(sic) or not. Also the terminology, gestures, and organization of the OS functionality are anything but intuitive.

But the sharp edges? That's a bit of a stretch.

Reply Parent Score: 2