There’s a lot of information coming out about the future versions of Windows – and it’s looking like Microsoft is listening to its users. First and foremost, it seems like the Metro interface will be disabled completely when Windows runs on traditional laptops and desktops; however, Metro applications will still run in windows on the desktop.
The Desktop/laptop SKU of Threshold will include, as previously rumored, the Mini-Start menu – a new version of the traditional Microsoft Start menu, an early concept of which Microsoft showed off at the company’s Build developers conference in April. It also will include the ability to run Metro-Style/Windows Store apps in windows on the Desktop. Will it turn off completely the Metro-Style Start screen with its live-tile interface, as Neowin is reporting, and make the tiled Start Menu a toggleable option from the Mini Start menu? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Meanwhile, convertible devices will work pretty much like Windows 8.x does today, switching between the two modes. Microsoft will also do the inevitable: merge its phone and tablet operating system into one product.
The combined Phone/Tablet SKU of Threshold won’t have a Desktop environment at all, but still will support apps running side by side, my sources are reconfirming. This “Threshold Mobile” SKU will work on ARM-based Windows Phones (not just Lumias), ARM-based Windows tablets and, I believe, Intel-Atom-based tablets.
These are all looking like some very decent changes, and something they should have done from the get-go. In fact – they should have never tried to shove Metro down desktop user’s throats to begin with. They should have moved Windows Phone over to NT (which they did anyway), and scale that up to tablets.
I am, though, quite interested in what the Metro-on-desktop apologists are going to say now. For entertainment value, of course!