Report: Windows 9 “Threshold” To Feature SKUs Germane To Devices

We first caught wind of Microsoft’s next version of its Windows OS back in December (and learned a bit more in January), and Redmond’s strategy for unifying the Windows experience across various types of devices is becoming more clear.

According to a report from ZDNET’s Mary Jo Foley, Windows “Threshold” (which will likely eventually be dubbed “Windows 9”) will be more about creating versions of the same OS that are germane to specific types of devices.

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For example, desktops and laptops will have a more desktop-friendly version, possibly without all the Metro UI business, while multimode devices and convertibles will get something more akin to what Windows 8.1 is--a dual-mode operating system that features both a desktop-like environment and a touch-friendly one.

Tablets and phones will have a touch-optimized SKU that eschews the desktop environment entirely, although it will be able to run apps side-by-side. Whether that looks more like the Metro UI or Windows Phone remains to be seen.

All of the above makes sense. Microsoft’s attempt to make Windows 8 an OS for every device (except for phones) just hasn’t panned out, with the two separate environments feeling clunky and bloated. Hopefully Microsoft has learned some lessons from the relative flop of Windows 8.x and will deliver a superb OS, as it did with Windows XP and Windows 7.

Threshold is expected to launch in the spring of 2015.