Report: Windows Threshold May Be Coming Free To All Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Users

Just few hours back, we reported about Microsoft’s upcoming plans for Windows 9/Threshold. With Windows Threshold, Microsoft will put their focus on desktop users. Since the vast majority of users will be from Windows 7 moving forward, Microsoft preparing great set of improvements for them. Also, depending upon the device in which Windows is installed, the Start screen/Start menu option will vary. For example, desktop users can completely avoid Start screen with the help of the upcoming Start Menu which will include Live Tiles and windowing of Modern UI apps.

Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet confirmed the above details from her own sources and also revealed that the combined Phone/Tablet SKU of Threshold won’t have a classic desktop environment at all and obviously it will work on ARM-based Lumia phones, ARM-based and Intel Atom based Windows tablets. Another major information which was buried in her post is regarding the Windows Threshold availability. She reported that Windows 9 might be available for free to not just Windows 8.1 users, but also Windows 7 SP1 users. That’s a huge news because giving away Windows 9 to Windows 7 users essentially means that Windows will be available for free to most of the users.

The Microsoft OS team is hoping to get as many Windows 7 users moved to Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8 users to Windows 8.1 Update in preparation for (hopefully) getting them to move to Threshold once it is out. It’s still early in the Windows development cycle for Microsoft to have decided on packaging, pricing and distribution, but my sources say, at this point, that Windows Threshold is looking like it could be free to all Windows 8.1 Update and maybe even Windows 7 Service Pack 1 users.

Source: ZDNet

  • skruis

    Hmmm. Cue the ‘gotcha girls!’ cause I’m anticipating a ‘gotcha’ in the free upgrade from 7.1 to 9: that the 7.1 license being used is part of a downgrade purchased as part of an 8.x license or that the 7 license was purchased within the time table of Windows 8’s availability….meaning that user’s were dissatisfied with 8 and reverted to 7 and that Microsoft is making amends with a ‘free’ upgrade to a desktop friendly modern OS.

    Additionally, I find it interesting that they talk about a merged Phone/Tablet SKU. I had originally thought the ‘shake up’ coming to the Windows Phone-iverse was Android compatibility via a virtualized Android emulated runtime with repackaged apps delivered through the Windows store but … but … but this makes me think that we’ll see the Phone and Metro UI’s become interchangeable which could lead to dockable Windows Phones with large screen (24″) Metro app capability. That would be neat and then imagine ‘Pro’ models running Intel x86/x64 tech that are ‘desktop’ capable.

  • counterblow

    I just hope that the first Surface is getting threshold. By stripping out all the useless desktop crap from it the original Surface should run faster.

  • Jeff

    Meh. I’m still waiting for them to clean up the mess that is X-Box Music/Video/Podcast/Radio/synch and finally kill that off and replace it with Zune – one program to do all my media purchase, streaming, synchronization, and management. I viscerally despise X-Box Music/Video, and for the three weeks or so that I had Windows Phone 8.1, I did not ever listen to or stream any music or video to the phone. On my tablet, before I sold it, I rarely used XBM or XBV because they utterly and completely suck. As in, the person/people who were involved in the programming of those two things, and the person/people involved in deciding to go that direction instead of Zune should be fired and shamed and never get another job in software ever again.

    Do you see Apple deciding: “Let’s split iTunes up! It’ll be great! Let’s use iTunes Music for music only, iTunes Video for Tv/Movies, but no music videos, then create iTunes Podcast and iTunes Radio to get podcasts and listen to FM radio, and finally an iPhone Synch to synch everything by opening a folder to drag and drop files into the phone! That’ll be so great and user friendly and magical and revolutionary and the best thing ever!” No, you don’t. Because that’s a stupid idea. And the person who decided to split Zune and make it five programs should acknowledge that and be fired for it.

    Windows 9 also needs a better photo app with:
    -social integration – view all FB/TW/OneDrive pictures integrated into the interface without any effort on the part of the user to see whence those pictures came
    -effortless geotagging – not just “city/state” like Windows Live Photo Gallery. I mean zoom on a Bing Map down to the exact street corner, and mark with a pin where a picture was, and the direction it was taken. Or, enter a street address. Either way is better than the nothing we have now.
    -better organization: give us pivots or a left-column with: date taken, people, places, collections. First is obvious, second collects people tags, and offers (like WinLive Photo Gallery) to tag untagged pictures or faces it recognizes. Third organizes via geotags on a map (see Facebook’s places) and ties into Bing Scrapbook for your check-ins on FB to show where you’ve been, and fourth is your own collections for vacations or trips.
    All that would make an infinitely better app than the trash we have now.

    A better messaging app: take Windows Live Messenger, and also include the ability to text via your nearby Windows Phone (see iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite), and include Facebook messaging. Integrate Skype so you don’t need to really use a separate app.

    A better searching experience: the Bing Smartsearch is another stupid infinite panorama which makes no sense. Put pivots up top, so that people know that yes, there are 10 web site results, instead of having to scroll for five minutes to get to the fifty miles of screens to see the web results. That’s just stupid design. See: under “Search”

    Start Screen ( include a persistent date/time, wifi indicator, and battery indicator. It’s bad design to force me to keep swiping in the right start charm bar just to see that. Better yet, click on the wifi indicator to access wireless networks and a pop-up network center like from Windows 7; click on the date/time to have a pop-up (not full screen) calendar/clock widget so we can change date/time like in Windows 7; click on battery icon to see the current power plan and change if necessary. But make them pop-up widgets that aren’t full screen, rather dim the screen and focus just on the widget. Tap outside the widget to exit, or include a red X.

    Store: In the downloads/install screen, include persistent % complete, xx KB/xx KB indicator, and speed (45 KB/sec) for each download. I had having to constantly hover over just to make sure that the download is progressing, and hasn’t paused or hung. That’s bad design.

    I can keep going, but I know better than a lot of these people how to make good computer design.

    • Davey