vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

by Mark Tyson on 7 August 2014, 10:11

Tags: Windows 8

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qachij

Add to My Vault: x

We are already expect to see the return of the Start Menu in a new modern form with the release of Windows Threshold. We saw new screenshots of that aspect of the Windows UI less than a month ago. Now Windows insider Mary J Foley has discovered some more rather sizable tweaks which will bring big changes to the UI of the next major Windows OS release. There are three key changes we have heard about; the addition of virtual desktop spaces, the elimination of the charms bar and modern apps in desktop windows.

Virtual desktops

As mentioned by ZDNet, virtual desktops are common in other OSes so it's not that surprising to see this facility appear in a modern Windows release. The feature may be not at the very forefront of the Windows UI but could be there for 'power users' to unlock if they feel the need, muses Foley.

Available but not in-your-face sounds like a good option to me as I have used some virtual desktop systems in the past and found that they didn't fit in and/or weren't necessary for my way of working. I simply forgot about them being there, just like the Windows 8's modern UI…

Charms Bar

The charms bar might be eliminated entirely or confined to touch-friendly systems depending upon which 'insider' source you read. If the charms bar is chopped it apparently won't be missed as the relevant functions will be listed in a menu/button within the modern apps. For instance ZDNet's Foley suggests that apps will need to include a share button in the UI if the developer wants to enable that functionality from the app.

Modern Apps in desktop windows

We have recently gained the ability to minimise and close full screen Modern apps and also see them running in the task bar of the desktop UI. Microsoft is expected to supplement the minimise and close title bar buttons with the minimise/maximise toggle function common to most desktop apps. That will be another welcome option in Windows 9 Threshold - if there are any Modern Apps that you find useful.

We should see a developer preview of Windows Threshold become available for tinkering and testing this autumn with the full release ready for around April next year. ZDNet's Foley says the preview should let Windows XP/Vista and 7 stalwarts get a feel for the new mouse/keyboard and business friendly Threshold.



HEXUS Forums :: 28 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
It's kind of odd that they've decided they don't want to do anything to help Windows 8 sell. It's not a good image to be seen to be abandoning 8 for “Threshold”/9. Whatever the new name is, a new name means that the public will see it as a new generation, and that 8's short life marks it out as a Vista-esque error.

If I'm right and this is how 8 ends up being remembered, that would be a huge shame. It's the best Windows I've ever used, and I've been using Windows since the early 90s. Even though I could add a 3rd party Start menu myself, I haven't because I don't need to. I think the Metro-view Apps panel is genuinely better: bigger, easily sortable, easily modifiable, and I can get to things even faster just by typing the first letters of the app/function I want. Beyond that, the OS is better in many ways than 7. Microsoft made a huge mess of selling this system to desktop users.

The worst thing is that all the salty people who swore off Win8 will forever remember this as their victory: how they were so right, and Microsoft “lost”. The next time MS finds itself in a difficult patch with a new product, the internet will ruefully sing “Windows 8”. They lost control of this conversation, and they could have easily contained it if they'd tried to do so and not left users to squabble amongst themselves.
Otherhand
It's kind of odd that they've decided they don't want to do anything to help Windows 8 sell. It's not a good image to be seen to be abandoning 8 for “Threshold”/9. Whatever the new name is, a new name means that the public will see it as a new generation, and that 8's short life marks it out as a Vista-esque error.

If I'm right and this is how 8 ends up being remembered, that would be a huge shame. It's the best Windows I've ever used, and I've been using Windows since the early 90s. Even though I could add a 3rd party Start menu myself, I haven't because I don't need to. Beyond that, the OS is better in many ways than 7. Microsoft made a huge mess of selling this system to desktop users.

The worst thing is that all the salty people who swore off Win8 will forever remember this as their victory: how they were so right, and Microsoft “lost”. The next time MS finds itself in a difficult patch with a new product, the internet will ruefully sing “Windows 8”. They lost control of this conversation, and they could have easily contained it if they'd tried to do so and not left users to squabble amongst themselves.
I'm going to disagree with most of what you're saying - where I'll agree is that the core of Windows8 is definitely better than ‘7. Heck even the userspace tools - like Resource Monitor etc - are better in 8 than 7.

Microsoft definitely IS still promoting 8 - and promoting hard. Just because the techno-illuminati are already talking about Threshold doesn’t mean that anyone else is. And I'm sure there's some hardcore Vista fans (not me) who'll really take issue with that “Vista-esque error” swipe.

Me, I'm thumbs up for Microsoft on Threshold. They realised that MUI isn't the “one UI to rule them all” - and I'm hearing that it's particularly dire on conventional mouse/keyboard/multi-monitor setups. So MS has had the courage to go back to the drawing board and merge the best bits of 7 and 8 - giving you the full MUI setup on touchscreens and “conventional” on the non-touch desktops both with the improved tools and underlying processes - what's not to like about that? And that's not a “victory” for the 8-avoiders necessarily, it's a plus for us all.

It's all about choice - give me the option of a better way to do something and I'll gladly take it. What I don't want is being forced into contortions just to suit some marketing flac's idea of a unified OS.

Oh, and Satan will be wearing a scarf and gloves before I install 8 on my Windows box. On the other hand if Threshold continues to impress (based on the preview reports) like it has to date then I'm a shoe-in for a pre-order.

By the way … “salty people” … care to explain that crack?
I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.
The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.

Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.

Personally I will do the usual, keep an eye on cheap upgrade deals and make my own mind up.
Percy1983
I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.
Sweeping generalisation. In my case I've spent hours with the accursed thing - or maybe it was actually minutes and just seemed like hours… ;)
Percy1983
The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.
Partially agree - 8 does seem to have a reputation in some circles as being a mule to drive. Yet I know pretty much equal amounts of people who find it an advance and those who curse the day it was launched. That's the trick that I think Microsoft might achieve with Threshold - please BOTH of those groups.
Unless, of course, we're now going to get all the 8-fans moaning that 9 is merely a pale reflection of their usability zenith.
Percy1983
Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.
Service packs are issued to put in new functionality and fix bugs. So if 7 is a Vista+SP then surely that means that Vista was lacking functionality and/or bug-ridden. You seriously would prefer that to the same OS with the extra functions and/or bugs fixed?
PS I'm not going to disagree with the assessment that 7 = Vista + big service pack.
Percy1983
Personally I will … make my own mind up.
Ditto. 8's dead to me, I'm looking forward to a Vista-esque service pack for it. If 8's good for you then fine.
Percy1983
I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.

Oh Yay, this ignorant and narrow minded point of view comes up again. I've had it on machines for ages, and i don't like it. I've tried it with touchscreen convertibles, net-tops, net-books and regular laptops. It didn't really make full sense for any of them, and im far from the only one in the world who has tried and dislikes W8.

There are some people who it works for, and sure there are some people who just jump on the, “its crap” bandwagon without giving it a chance… but there are a lot of people who have tried it and don't like it, for a multitude of different reasons.

I don't understand the need to try and separate people in either intolerant, lazy people who fear change or the windows 8 master race whose patience and persistence has rewarded them with the fruits of productivity. The reality is far more segmented.

Percy1983
The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.

Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.
Or maybe everybody loves/loved it because they fixed all the problems everyone hated in the previous version?
I tried Vista, and it was a pain in the neck. It had some great features for improving productivity and it obviously looked a lot better than XP, but the stability just wasn't there before i gave up with it and went back to XP. Win 7 not only improved on the ‘stepping stone’ level of features in Vista but more importantly, it was pretty solid out-of-the-box.
Stability isn't much of an issue with Win 8 in my experience, its usability. Performance upgrades are marginally noticeable on some hardware, not groundbreaking, yet the interface is awkward and un-intuitive without installing 3rd party tweaks.

I agree they need to change the name and move on because the Win 8 name is riddled with bad press that prevents them from advancing farther with the average user. I would also say there is a significant enough number of improvements they need to make to warrant a new name, and to make me take it seriously.