Microsoft's Threshold brings operating systems together

Ballmer's 'One Microsoft' begins to take shape in Microsoft's Threshold

According to a report by ZDNET's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is planning its next wave of operating systems for spring 2015, codenamed Threshold. Threshold is intended to update all three Microsoft operating systems - Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One OS - and allow them to share common elements. All three operating systems already share a Windows NT core, but Microsoft is also looking to unify its app store and make the developer toolset on all three platforms similar.

Microsoft is also planning to support a set of "high value activities" across all platforms, including content/documents (Office), IT management (Intune), and decision making (Bing).

Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned these "high value activities" as a focus for the company in a memo to employees back in July. This was also when Ballmer laid down the company's "One Microsoft" strategy to bring all of Microsoft's products closer together.

Prior to Threshold being released, Microsoft still has further updates planned for Windows 8 and Window Phone 8 in 2014.

Anonymous sources told ZDNET that Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson mentioned Threshold in an internal email about plans for a unified operating-system engineering group. The company told ZDNET that it has no comment on "rumors and speculation."

More stories

Studio director Chris Lee steps back from Halo Infinite

Latest in a series of high-profile departures from the project in recent years

By Rebekah Valentine

Microsoft quietly closes its final quarter before next-gen

Update: Company projects 40% growth in hardware sales next quarter, constrained by supply

By Rebekah Valentine

Latest comments (9)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
Looking forward to this.

edit: Expanding on my comment, what I'm actually looking forward to is a more unified ecosystem between devices, and more transferable apps.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 4th December 2013 9:34am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development6 years ago
Not before time. This is Microsoft's last chance to salvage something from the mess everything's currently in.

Kudos for announcing it, I just hope they deliver.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd6 years ago
Based on the oscillative nature of the Windows OS, we should be in for a good one this time round. But considering it is being pushed out to all devices, I don't have much hope.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (9)
Considering how the Windows 8 unification thing just ended up crippling the desktop users, in a way, I can't really look forward to this u.u
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 6 years ago
I'm not looking forward to this, desktop already has disadvantages just because they wanted to run it on a crappy tablet.. They should put Aero back and let desktop users completely circumvent the Metro apps.. I'm already using Windows 8 a few months now, and I regret having bought it, I now wished I just bought Windows 7..
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 6 years ago
I'm starting to hear people say they want Surface 2. That's good news.

I think this unification/simplification is vital for growth. It's smart. Ballmer may have list me at points, but this makes a lot of sense. Smart move.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nick Wofford Hobbyist 6 years ago
The idea is that those tablet/laptop combo devices will be insanely cheap after a few years. They're already really interesting for consumers; they just need the price to come down.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance6 years ago

That is so true. They hit, then miss, then hit, then miss again. But I just can't see a hit where the UI for XBox One and my PC are similar. Announcements like these make me more enthusiastic for Steam OS than anything else.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Shirley Programmers 6 years ago
This is pretty much the same thing Microsoft promised developers in the run up to Win8+WinRT+WP8, the unified app stores, cross compatibility across platform and tools, shared binaries etc. Almost none of it delivered because the OS groups in MS were too busy politicking and defending their patch to collaborate and get the work actually done.

With Ballmer going and more important the old management structures that caused the politicking gone before he leaves it should actually happen this time. Like others that frightens me, merging RT and WP makes sense but Microsoft's rampage to destroy the desktop hasn't been revoked yet and whenever theirs a compatibility choice they choose to vandalise the desktop.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Shirley on 4th December 2013 2:07pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.