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Microsoft planning to unify all versions of Windows

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Microsoft planning to unify all versions of Windows
We've been hearing various rumors about the next major version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, and the prevailing idea has been that Windows Phone and RT would merge. But, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said those plans are more ambitious than we thought, and that Microsoft is working to unify all versions of Windows into one single OS.

During the Microsoft earnings call from earlier today, Nadella laid out the general plans, saying: 

We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes. We will unify our stores, commerce, and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user experience and a broader developer opportunity. 

Nadella didn't give a lot of details, but did say that the engineering team has been unified within Microsoft, so there is now one team building one version of Windows that will be for phones, tablets, PCs, embedded, and even Xbox. He said that the UI will scale across all screen sizes, and he also mentioned the universal app development that has already been released. 

Basically, it sounds like Microsoft is planning to converge Windows the same way that Canonical has been working towards with Ubuntu. There will be one OS code base that changes based on the screen size - phone, tablet, PC, and TV - and universal apps that will also adapt to each different screen. Combining this idea with other recent rumors, it sounds like the Windows Phone and tablet UI will stick with the Metro look, while PCs will go with the traditional desktop. We'll surely find out more before the rumored announcement in April 2015. 


source: The Verge & Neowin

47 Comments
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posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:15 4

1. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


ABout time but I dont plan on using a windows phone anytime soon.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:13 15

13. Liveitup (Posts: 1191; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


You have one life to live treat yourself don't cheat yourself, WP redefined design language, its a trend setting OS.

Its good to see Windows lead the way in terms one One experience across devices. Android has taken note with its upcoming One Android.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:33

16. ihavenoname (Posts: 1377; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Android One actually is Google's program to help OEMs make ultra-cheap smartphones with as good as possible user experience.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:51 5

19. Liveitup (Posts: 1191; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


That's why I said Microsoft is leading the way, though Android one is for entry-level and low-end Android devices it runs stock Android. its a build up towards the future where you have one experience across Android. Watch and see skins are becoming a thorn in Googles side.

http://www.technobuffalo.com/2014/07/18/ztes-new-smartphones-will-run-stock-android-out-of-the-box/

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:11

25. mousesports (Posts: 251; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)


get a life and a great GIRL

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:19

2. aldridhl (Posts: 49; Member since: 12 Feb 2011)


MS has a history of leaving earlier adopters behind. This is most likely going to happen to wp8. The only question is when.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:21 2

15. Liveitup (Posts: 1191; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


What history is that?, tell us.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 05:42

34. Trolloftheyear (banned) (Posts: 66; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


They don't have bad history(look at XP). But W8 may not be supported for long. 8.1 will.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:19

3. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1352; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I thought that was part of the plan behind Windows 8. If they're talking that further, I guess I'll be looking for a different PC next time. I want a desktop based OS for my PC, not one watered down for mobile.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:44 6

7. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Windows 8/8.1 (and Windows 9) aren't watered down
They are more powerful actually compared to Windows 7 on desktops since Windows 8 brings better performance, new features, and DX 11.1, 11.2 and 12
Also 8.1 show that MS are moving back to Windows 7, e.g. start menu button, boot to desktop default on most PCs, right click start menu options
Windows 9 is rumored to be even more like 7, e.g. more of classic start menu (no longer full screen), metro apps running in resizable windows

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:08

12. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1352; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


My point was Window 8 is setup more for touchscreen based systems, and currently, WP and the like aren't able to handle full desktop apps. That was the whole point of the Surface series tablets over standard Windows tablets running RT. Unless they change mobile devices to handle full Windows, the only way to unify all devices into one OS, they'd have to limit the desktop version.

My main gripe has been finding what I need in Windows 8. It seems no matter which part I use, start screen or desktop, I'm constantly having to do a search to find most anything. Whereas with previous versions, it was for the most part easy to navigate. The performance gains are nullified by the time it takes me to find what I need. I'm not saying that Windows shouldn't go the direction they're going in, just that I probably won't be along for the ride. If it doesn't serve my needs, I'll find something that will, end of story.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:59 2

21. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


What I think MS are gonna do is allow desktops/laptops/tablets have both desktop and metro, and then limit phone/mini tablets to only metro

Is Windows 8 really that hard to navigate?
The only thing that confused was the charms bar, because that new, I didn't think shut down/sleep would be in the charms bar settings (which MS has fixed now, its in the metro menu as well)
All the old ways of doing thing using desktop instead metro are still there, e.g. the desktop control center
And the desktop is nearly exactly the same

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 08:34 2

36. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Previous versions were not 'easy' to navigate. You got used to navigating is all. Think about it, if the design of windows, was this way since 95, and became the #1 os in the world (still is today), and then all of a sudden then went to win xp...the world would push a fit.

Some tips for you. There is no need to search. And if you do, just charm bar and search fast and accurate as hell and includes web search, or if you dont have touch, windows key and just start typing, literally just start typing. Again this is so easy, it defys logic. Just hit this button and start typing? Anything? Yup just type it will do the rest. This is easy not hard.

If you have a desktop, and you have updated to 8.1, your pc now boots to desktop. Apps? Alphabetical order in the start screen.

Right click the start button, bottom left, and everything you need is there, at least everything any power user would need.

Anything beyond that, if changing to a new layout is hard, then changing to a new OS is even harder. The difference, is you will be so willing to change OS that literally phsyc wise, your brain will be looking to forcefully learn. So a new OS may be easier to jump ship on, but it no way will you be flying all super fast, until you learn it.

So take that same mentality and apply it to win 8. If you watched the intro as it setup your pc, the 3 things it showed is all you needed.

Also if you go to control panel (right click the start icon), all settings are there, it will automatically if need be jump to the metro settings just in case you are lost in metro and need legacy look.

You talk about gains etc, but do not talk about any difficulty that would be associated with an entire new OS and design and layout and and and and and....

Also remember, settings for any app, any screen is the charm bar settings. It is literally the easiest unifcation for settings anyone could ask for, if that is hard, then MS should give up because people are well derp.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 10:08

38. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1352; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


So I shouldn't switch to something else because other people say it's not difficult to use and I should just suck it up, is that right? Sorry but I would never presume to tell someone how they should handle their lives. I usually try to give people another point of view.

Yes I realize that switching to another OS is going to be a lot of work, but it's called an investment. I have never even looked at another desktop OS, and I feel that maybe there's something out there that'd fit my needs better. To me that's worth the effort, especially if I don't lime the direction they're heading.

And like it or not, but I'm not alone in not being happy with 8/8.1. Everyone here always talks about how we're in the minority here on PA and regular people don't see things the same. Well just because some of you like this new direction doesn't mean everyone will. You act like if everyone just listened to you everything would run fine. Well sorry but I don't like where they're headed, and I have the update and don't see a lot of improvement. What I want is all this start screen BS gone, completely. If I could put W7 on there I would, unfortunately HP isn't offering drivers for W7. The further I go with 8 the more problems I have with my main use for it, video capture. The company producing my capture device stopped supporting Windows after 7, so as I go along I'm running into audio issues (app and system volume the same so if I mute the video capture I also must the entire machine, audio sync issues that weren't there before) and stability issues that I haven't had with previous versions. And I've looked around and apparently no one is producing capture devices that support W8.

You and I've had this discussion before, and it's going to end the same. You're not going to change your views and neither am I. So no sense beating a dead horse. I've laid out my issues with W8, if you don't agree with them fine, but your last post was essentially what you said the last time we argued, so it's just going to be a repeat of the same.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 11:35

39. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


It is not about changing views, it's about reality.

You talk about how difficult it is to find things. ok solution.
right click your start menu, all IT type of things are there, including shutdown. If right click vs left click is 'huge' then so be it.

Second you stated you search for things, like say perhaps settings.

Again every app uses the settings charm bar, for app developers, this is the same thing as android samsung phones using a menu key to access settings. Easy, it is how android and future OS's will handle things.

Again, if you still cannot find something, using either the charm search and typing, or clicking the keyboard start key and start typing, is again hard difficult or 'just' not your direction then fine.

But the 8.1 and now threshold which is what this article is really about, is super hard then dear god how much 'easier' can something get? Device drivers are about the company making the device and not really MS fault, to some extent yes. 9/10 running in compatibility mode resolves it, especially since the core of win8 is win7.

What video capture device do you have?

And just to point it out, you are so willing to put the time and investment into another ecosystem, stating that you never had an investment into the MS ecosystem. And that learning a new OS etc, will be just as hard if not harder and with other quirks than win8 has. Your experience with win8 will be the same on pretty much any OS. Just ask apps that broke when kitkat came out etc etc.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 13:23

43. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1352; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


When did I say I never had any investment in the Windows ecosystem? That's the whole point, that's all I've invested in.

Tell me which is easier, going right to the shortcut for the program in the program section of the start menu, or typing in a search. The first can be done with a mouse only, the second involves typing in what you're looking for. While it might not seem like much, it takes more time and relies on you remembering exactly what the program was called. Where in the previous versions, it went by the name of the company providing the software in the list.

The capture device I'm currently using is by Startech, who uses Grabee software. There are other devices which are similar to the point that the hardware is physically identical, but none of them uses their own software for their devices. The only one that do run almost 4 times the cost of the others. In the past it hasn't been an issue, but since they've dropped support, it is.

Whether you think W8 is perfect or not is irrelevant. Looking at the backlash over it shows the majority feel as I do. So should MS simply ignore what the majority feels and tell them to deal with it? How is that smart business? MS likes the new tile format, many customers don't, isn't it about what the customer wants? And that's where it's going, as they've said they want to kill off desktop in the past. As I've said, if that's what they want, fine, more power to them. It's not what I want, so why continue to use something I don't like? How is my not using Windows hurting you, what investment do you have in me using it? If there isn't any, then why keep badgering me about it? I've stated my views, nothing more. I haven't told anyone they need to drop Windows, I simply said what I plan to do. There are plenty of people who agree with you, and plenty who agree with me. Neither is wrong, because each side is dealing with their own situation. I'm not looking for help, because I've dealt with MS, the OEM, and the software provider, and all are pointing the finger at each other. So my only solution is to spend upwards of $400-500 dollars on something where hardware and software are handled in house, or find an OS that will work with my current hardware.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 22:02

45. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


If you want to go by symantics, no 'not everyone here' as you stated hates metro ui. And a lot of the gripes about win8 was addressed with 8.1, which was better mouse support.

Ok lets talk about clicks...ease of use, because we are talking about easy.

Easiest of use will be the desktop, or the taskbar.

So lets talk about the start menu. When you go to the start menu, your focus is entirely lost on the desktop. So now, you press a click, open the start menu, you now press a second click to look at all programs, then proceed to look for the folder, then the app.exe. So about 3-5 clicks give or take depending on how the start menu is setup. Quick launch? 2 clicks.

Now compare it to win8. You click the start button, you are now presented with a start tile screen. Like the quick launch you can pin stuff here. Again 2 clicks, and if you need to find it like you do in the start menu, you get 4 clicks, because there is no longer a folder like in the start menu. (taskbar works the same, so one click again)

If you are basing an entire OS switch because of finding a program in the start menu, the envy of android is customizing right? Then fine get a start menu back here is the link.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2054422/five-tools-to-bring-the-start-menu-back-to-windows-8-1.html

I could care less what your investment is, I use android, I use ipads, I use windows.

But when you create fud, like stating that win8 is in any form watered down or going to be, when in all reality it is faster and better, than windows 7 (save the ui for you) then it is pure fud on your part.

When you complain about the tile interface, and act like MS is going that direction and not listening again, fud, lies. They listened, they gave desktops straight to desktop bootup, the new update will now include a start menu.

"Unless they change mobile devices to handle full Windows, the only way to unify all devices into one OS, they'd have to limit the desktop version."

Again spreading 'I think this even though I don't know' information. Windows 8 in many benchmarks is the same, faster than windows 7. Currently 80%+ of the code from one app can go from windows 8 to windows rt to windows phone.

Also I searched for that software, and support for even a download was minimal at best. I searched for a Linux driver, nothing, ios? good luck. Maybe I spelled it wrong. All I got on google and bing was grabbee not grabee. And all websites for that were 'iffy' sites imo. Perhaps you could shed some forum links on this driver problem.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 22:37

46. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1352; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


It's amazing how you can read something completely different than what I wrote. I didn't say that "everyone here hates" it. If you can show me where I said that, I'd love to see it. I said in general there was a backlash on W8. Not here on PA, in the real world. Also, you say that they are listening and gave users back the start menu, but that was after the backlash. And before they did that, there was talk about wanting to get rid of the desktop and focus on the start screen/tile UI. Finally, just because I use android and like it's customization, does that mean I have to also want it on my PC. No, I want something familiar that I don't have to relearn everything every time an engineer gets a wild hair up his a$$. You pointed out that if someone went from Win95 to XP that they'd pitch a fit. But that's what they've done here. Instead of easing people into the changes in Win8, they dumped them all in and said this is it. So why are you surprised that's what's happening when you used that very same analogy. I get what they want to do, replace the program section of the start button with a separate start screen.

But is it not OK that I prefer the previous version? Do I have to like it because this is what they put out? You don't seem to be able comprehend why someone wouldn't like Win8. But it's not for you to do so. Have I ever told you that you shouldn't like whatever you like? No, I simply explained that I don't and my reasoning for it. If you can't accept that reasoning, then what else is there to say? And you may not care about what my investment is, but here's the thing, I have to. The way I spend my money doesn't affect you, but it does me, which is why I do care about this. So on that note, you have your opinions, and I have mine, end of story. Unless things have changed and I have to follow your will, I think we're done here.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:20 2

4. guest (Posts: 93; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


Music to Intel's ears.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:54

29. Penny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Good point, and true. Might we see Intel powered smartphones and phablets that can be set in a dock once you reach your desk, thus effectively acting as your desktop as well? I know Ubuntu was aiming to do this, but being able to do this with Windows would have much broader appeal.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 03:13

32. sip1995 (Posts: 804; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Ubuntu is a JOKE.....

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:28

5. fzacek (Posts: 1623; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Oh no, better buy a laptop quick before this monster is released. Whatever it turns out to be I'm sure it won't be any better than Windows 8.1, probably even more tile-based and annoying...

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:45 1

8. TheMoltenD (Posts: 52; Member since: 13 Jul 2014)


Whats wrong with 8.1 after you install classic shell?

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:45 1

9. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Just pin your programs to the taskbar, like the Mac OS X dock, its faster than the start menu (classic or metro)
Then use win+s for the programs you use less often and right click the start menu for things like control center, run

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:36

17. fzacek (Posts: 1623; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I don't use the start menu at all. I just live on the desktop. Still not as good as Windows 7 IMO...

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:53

20. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


But do you have reasons for your opinion?
If you do then please explain
If you just live in desktop then you shouldn't have noticed much difference since the desktop is almost 100% the same
The only differences I can think at the moment are no Aero theme and removing win+tab (but there's still alt+tab)

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:06

23. fzacek (Posts: 1623; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I'm pretty satisfied with it I guess. My only significant gripe is that the start menu is gone and the replacement seems a lot less intuitive...

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 06:04 1

35. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)


But you said you don't use the start menu?

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 14:08

44. fzacek (Posts: 1623; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Sorry. In that comment I was talking about the little option thing in the bottom left and right corners. In the comments before that I was talking about the page with all the tiles on it. Aren't they both called start menus?

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 11:43

40. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I am like you, on my desktop i spend 99% of my time there, from visual studio work to blender 3d work and games, but i hated the start menu of old and love the new one, its out of the way, i hated the 'menu' like system that could get long and useless, to me the start tiles are easier for quick launching stuff that i dont want clutting my desktop or taskbar.

right click start menu, will probably solve 90% of some issues that people had. Also searching is tons easy, just hit your start key and start typing and bam internet and pc search all in one.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:40

6. Settings (Posts: 310; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


This will be good. I know it might not seem good this day but in the few years forward this will be the next good thing.

People, groups, bussineses who thinks different are always bashed into failure. They always compare their past to what they can do in the future. Past is past, you can't change it. What you can do in the future that you can change.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:47 1

10. tigermcm (Posts: 712; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)


i smell hate hate hate. months ago when ubuntu said this was their direction people were so happy. now that windows is serious about doing this people say its bad.....can anyone explain?

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 12:34

41. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Because it is MS.

IF it works well, coding for MS and devs porting to MS will be soooo easy, and now apps on the phone can be available in desktop for those 'favorites', so much easier.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 23:57

11. kane74 (Posts: 13; Member since: 24 Jan 2014)


The problem's gonna be compatibility for current programs/games

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:17

14. pwnarena (Posts: 879; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


great!
there'll be a reason to buy a windows phone then

just imagine the number of PC users you can convert

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 00:44 1

18. PressStart (Posts: 117; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


If using a PC is gonna revolve around clicking or touching f**king tiles from now on, I think it may be time to say goodbye to my fair Windows. My laptop for about 5 years (win7) now has been a great experience. Win7 is the shizz.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:01 1

22. tigermcm (Posts: 712; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)


whats so wrong with clicking on a tile compared to an icon?

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:21

27. PressStart (Posts: 117; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


That's my personal feeling towards it. Squares, squares and more squares. Ugh. And the old centralized use desktop is no longer. Metro is not the windows I want to use.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:06

24. fzacek (Posts: 1623; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Same...

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:18 2

26. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2669; Member since: 26 May 2011)


As stated (and linked to) in the article, the word is that Microsoft will highlight the traditional desktop on PCs and minimize Metro.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:24

28. PressStart (Posts: 117; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


Banish Metro is what they should do, imo.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 02:52

31. cc3493 (Posts: 155; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


I dont think they should banish metro entirely. I like the way they are currently heading with a new design for windows thats less tiley and keeping the tiles for WP and tablets. I just wish they would make certain tiles interactive (like the music tile)

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 05:04 1

33. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1080; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


It appears Microsoft wont give up the modern UI tile / Aka metro tiles. I wish Microsoft would just Put the modern UI tiles only on touch screen devices like smart phones and tablets and all in one computers that come wit a touch screen since that is Microsoft's touch screen interface. Microsoft should have an updated Windows 7 like Windows 9 OS version that has no Modern Ui tiles for any computers that do not have a touch screen and also sell it online to folks who just want a mouse and keyboard operating system for their computers. This way People will have more choices than they got when Windows 8 came out 2 years ago

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 13:12

42. elitewolverine (Posts: 1554; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I have a 24in touch screen desktop. While we spend 90% in desktop mode using a mouse and keyboard, having touch and being able to interact with it in that way is huge, especially for one of our kids needs. I don't want to buy them android and the smaller tablets for their needs not so much, love the parent controls i have with ms account.

I would hate for them to give up Modern UI, and i dont even spend my time in it at all, (99% is desktop with blender 3d, visual c++ and games).

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 01:58 1

30. Penny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I've been saying this was going to happen and waiting for it to happen ever since WP7 was first released. I would be amazed if they could actually achieve it by Threshold/Windows 9. Very strong proposition to both developers and consumers, and opens up an entirely new world of possibilities in terms of what you think you can do with your smartphone.

posted on 23 Jul 2014, 08:41

37. nbringer (Posts: 135; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Final nail in the Ubuntu coffin. RIP!

posted on 24 Jul 2014, 07:46

47. sbw44 (Posts: 389; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


I dont get why these idiots hate live tiles! If you click on them it opens the app. If you click on an icon it also opens the app. So WTF? At least live tiles can show info that icons can't!

I hope MS keep live tiles because it looks way better than outdated icons! especially the new transparent live tiles!

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