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Start menu could actually replace Start screen in Threshold

start menu

A new report, via unnamed sources, claims that the next major version of Windows, code named Threshold, will actually replace the current Windows 8.1 Start screen with Microsoft's new version of its Start menu.

The story comes from well connected Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, via his own unnamed sources in the company. They have indicated that the new Start menu, which was briefly shown by Microsoft at its BUILD 2014 developer conference in April, won't just be an option in Threshold but in fact will be a full replacement for the current Start screen.

So how will this work? According to his sources, Thurrott says the new Start menu isn't really based on the old menu that's so familiar to Windows desktop and notebook users. Instead, when a PC with Threshold (which may or may not be called Windows 9 when it launches) boosts up, it will detect if the PC is a traditional laptop or notebook and then provide a Start menu that has the same kind of size as the old fashioned UI.

However, if Threshold is used on a device that just has a touch screen with no keyboard, like a tablet, the Start menu will then boot to a full screen experience that will look much like the current Windows 8.1 Start screen. Users will apparently be able to switch from the full screen to the smaller Start menu with Threshold, according to Thurrott.

As usual with these kinds of unconfirmed reports, take this new story with a grain of salt. It's also possible Microsoft could change its plans as well. Current rumors have Microsoft launching a public preview of Threshold this fall, with a full release sometime in spring 2015.

What do you think about this new rumor of a Start menu that changes size depending on the hardware?

Source: Winsupersite

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Reader comments

Start menu could actually replace Start screen in Threshold

231 Comments

Agreed. I hate the windows 7 start menu now. And that concept that they showed with that misscontraption is UGLY!

What if they synch your phone's Start Screen with your PC's Start Menu? And all the app icons on the left were live tiles, for supported apps of course. And what if they let you resize the Start Menu however and whenever you like... full screen if you want, or as small as the old Windows 2000 menu?

Free scale start menur would be great! Honestly they should have made the start menu cover only the right side of the screen (swipping the right side will bring out start menu instead of charms) with and adjustable width. Or that might just be because my laptop is 15.6 inch and a full screen start menu just feels like a waste of screen space.

Finally!!!
Back to the good old Windows when OS is clever and configurable. Start screen is unnecessary. Full stop!

I never liked the start manu, I just hit windows and started typing to search haha. What I need is an ability to pull out universal search (Windows key + S) without pressing two keys.

How about touch screen AIOs? Click your keyboard to your Surface and your start screen changes? WTF?

I thinking Microsoft is going for a "mode" changing approach that will be user chosen when it comes down to hybrid devices such as the Surface Pro and so on. Similar to a concept I've seen, when in te Desktop the capactive-Windows button should be able to be pressed and held to enter the start screen --- and vica versa when in the start screen. But if it's only tapped/clicked, you return to the Start Screen (home) while in the modern UI) & the start menu launches when in the Desktop.

High probability of letting the user configure this. Surface scenario, imagine u get a selection on what you prefer.. "We noticed that you have plugged in a keyboard, would you like to use this device as a desktop computer?"

High probability of Microsoft not thinking through this scenario properly and making a disjointed experience. I'll be waiting for threshold before buying a new PC. If they totally stuff this up, I'll be going Mac.

 

I love my start screen and have a hybrid ultrabook right now, which I also use as a desktop replacement. The only issues I've had with modern with keyboard and mouse are caused by the STUPID titlebar and X buttons introduced in Update 1. They frequently appear and dissapear for no reason and prevent me from dragging apps between screens or snapping them by mouse. Given they couldn't implement this simple change, I have no faith in them bringing back the start menu so I never have to see it again.

I second the concerns about implementation on AIOs. I have an all-in-one with a keyboard and mouse attached and I want the Start Screen as my default. What the hell is the point of Live Tiles if you can't see them? If MSFT takes the o/s backwards just to appease the luddites who constantly bitch about change, it will be a very sad day. And a certain short signal.

This. And I speak as a significant investor since I first saw demo of Windows 8. Metro completely blows away iOS and Android, and I have also upgraded all my tech gear to leverage the benefits.
Tiles and touch work, and we DEMAND more. Interactive tiles are expected. Pull down notifications are expected. OS level messaging/chat (rich presence, cross platform) is expected.
Desktop is the legacy here, not Metro, and now I'm nervous. Microsoft don't have a great track record. I have everything crossed.

That's what they said about the Update 1 rubbish like titlebars in modern apps, and I'm yet to find a way to turn that awful crap off.

Doesn't matter. Nobody cares. There hasn't been a huge rise in WP8 sales because it has similar tiles to W8 (or vice versa)

This is not peer pressure, this is pressure from customers. What do you expect Microsoft to do if customers are willing to buy what they're shipping?
 

I completely disagree. There may be the odd developer out there who still likes to bitch about Windows 8 but they would complain at any change. The one group who has solidly bitched, moaned, whined and fucking belly rumbled their way through the change to Modern UI is tech journalists. They complained feverishly about how the Surface RT was terribloe, hgorrible, rubbish, useless etc when in fact they just hadn't bothered their arses to astually learn how to use the thing.

With every subsequent update that has brought the Windows 8 experience closer and closer to Windows 7 the tech journos have lauded the changes while the comments sections fill up with people i.e. customers, saying "leave it alone, it's great". Techradar, Engadget, The Register - those three have done more harm to Windows 8 perception and sales than if Microsoft had ritually slaughtered a pig and hung it outside Redmond. All they have done is tell the general public how bad Windows 8 is. I cannot tell you the number of times I've had this conversation:

"Windows 8 is absolutely awful and has no apps"

"Really, have you ever used it?"

"No, but I read it on .......... website"

Spend 5 mintues showing them how it ACTUALLY works and they go away impressed. Yes there are issues, no it's not perfect but the changes they have made have each been backwards steps. What they SHOULD have done is stick to their convictions, have a user education/marketing campaign of epic proportions and bypass the tech wanks alltogether. Windows 8 was better than 8.1. There, I said it.

I almost threw up when i saw the preview of this at build conference. Just embarrassing, why do people not take this opportunity to rethink there approach to technology. What are people really doing on their pc? 8.1 is the right direction. Having said that, i wouldn't knock back the feature of multiple apps open in windows on my hi res monitor...

Hopefully, the people lagging behind will get stuck in the past. It is not for everyone to join the revolution..

I concur. Buy a touch screen or stay in the past. That's like the people that still want real keyboards on their smartphone because the touch screen is stupid. Get on board with change or stay lost.

Touch screen is useless on desktop. I sit more than an arm-length away from my screens... and I have long arms! I'd have to be bent over my desk, ruin my posture & eyesight, and get smudgy fingerprints all over my screen just so I can use something less efficient than my mouse?

More than arms legnth? I agree, touch screens are not for everybody.  I am about an arms legnth away from my touch screen but for you It wouldn't be a good thing. At best I'm flipping pages in the MetroUI side of the house. (FlipBoard) Your hands won't be all over the screen unless you are playing a game like Fruit Ninja...which I don't.

I just went to a full day seminar given by our IT leadership Academy on successfully managing changes in technology in the workplace. People not in IT simply hate change. Try to change any current process at work and watch the backlash erupt.

i'm glad not everyone in microsoft like to think like you ;) 8.1 *maybe* its the right direction for you, but not for everyone. Lot of people (like doctors!) are just too busy with they real work to re-learn a new computer-approach. The operative system must help all kind of user to easily use the computer, and if it requires too much stuff to learn to successfully use it then it just have a bad UI. I love windows 8.1 and i loved to learn this new way to use computer, but i'm a computer programmer and i love to use my pc. Sadly not everyone is like me or you, there are tons of people that hate Windows 8 and claim thats is just *sh1t* because of the new interface, totally ignoring all the great work under the hood. Windows must be a operative system for all the people, not only enthusiast. I really want to bitchslap who decided to force all users to use the Modern UI interface, it was so easy to predict that the masses couldn't accept it without tons of complains.

That's why spellchecking can't replace a good editor. Go ahead and read the article a second time before you submit. We can wait a couple more minutes for the news to come out.

No, its definitely boosts.

The next windows is going to turbo boost.

Its going to boost that start screen like its never been boosted before.

How is it useless? Start screen is exactly the same start menu only bigger.

And it says it will let you make it full-screen or small, so what's the problem? Options are good.

The issue is whether this will restrict or constrain Metro and touch first UI development in ANY way. Touch FIRST and voice FIRST are the gateway to more powerful human/computer interactions in the future. The menu and icon system was designed for mouse and keyboard first, in a time when the computer was a receptacle, a glorified typewriter, not a portal. Then the internet happened, and gave us the ability to consume and collaborate interactively.
And so now it should be like layers of an onion.
It starts with a dashboard of information and updates. Then you can drill in a bit to get more detail (eg. interactive tiles). When you want to go deeper still and start creating/responding then you give more focus (eg open an app). All of this should be possible through touch and voice, and mouse/trackpad. But appreciate intricate work may require a cursor to be fully efficient.
Really, the OS and the application software must understand your input devices, and learn your preferred usage patterns.
For those who eschew touch, less drill down should be needed (eg in ribbons) as the cursor is a more precise tool so more detailed options can be exposed straight away.
And conversely for those who embrace touch first (or don't have a cursor controlled device attached), more drill down is needed, ideally including not taking your finger from the screen - like Swype, hold not jab).
One of the key things has to be accepting the selection and manipulation limitations of the keyboard. No one would try creating a PowerPoint with just keyboard for example, so lets not waste effort and dev time in future on making every single interaction possible through keyboard shortcuts.
You can still buy typewriters on eBay, just as you can still find old PCs and icons. Try the antiques section.

While touch and metro is all fine and nice, especially for consumers, you people should STOP forgetting about "prosumers". You don't want keyboard shortcuts? Fine don't use them. Nobody forces you to use them anyway. Ribbon is there to help you. Also stop talking like office is the only "work" suite out there. There are things that will be impossible to create by touch and even more so by voice, such as 3D Modelling. This is where keyboard and a 3 button (minimum) mouse is essential.

We need BOTH M&K and touch & voice. When we invented planes, we didn't get rid of cars. This is no different. Each serve their purpose. So this whole argument how developing desktop applications that makes use of keyboard is somehow slowing progress is ridiculous. Some people actually work via computers, instead of just messing around with 20 social networks and watching youtube.

Laptops never replaced Desktops and neither will touch replace M&K. Will traditional desktop become less popular? Absolutely. WIll Desktop and M&K disappar completely? Absolutely no. Some people actually need those tools to make all that junk for you consumers to consume on your touch toys.

Neowin the article thieves and Thurrott the news thief, both equally as wrong as each other more times than not... Yep good source

Thurrott has no sources other than previously published posts, he's just quick to post them as his own, too quick sometimes and then backtracks when they're wrong, I've linked him to leaks multiple times that he knew nothing about but wrote on his blog hours later he had them for days, he's nothing but a quick poster with a blog and no conscience

Or it could be that he has inside sources that he's not just going to go "oh, yeah, someone already told me about this", since as far as he knows, you could be from Microsoft trying to get him to give up his sources.

Take the Surface Mini for example: He knew a week in advance that it got cancelled, but he didn't write about it since he didn't want to give his source up because he thought it was so insane that the Surface team (who were trying to stop leaks) planted false information on their team to see who was leaking. You can't just give up a source, that would be a death sentence.

Have you read what you just said? He didn't write about it because he didn't know, he has no inside sources, he just claims he has AFTER the fact

That's a pretty broad assumption and doesn't answer my first paragraph. I don't think WPCentral would use him as a source unless they thought his inside informatinon was at least semi-valid, but go on. Keep thinking that just because he didn't tell you about his inside sources after you sent him a link, that obviously means that he has none.

I never asked him for sources, I'm not even a leaker, I'm a guy on the net who used to look up to Thurrott as a credible source and send him things I found, such as leaks, my twitter could easily show he knew nothing about them as he retweeted my links to his buddy Rafael with comments that were not coming from someone with inside knowledge, anyway, not arguing, believe his blog if you will, but trust me, I suddenly gained my common sense back when I stopped listening to his rubbish

You don't get it, do you? Let's say you're Thurrott and you've been given some inside knowledge (we'll use this Threshold article as an example). Some random person comes up to you and tells you about something that you've already known. Now, you have no idea who this person is, but you do know that Microsoft is trying to catch leaks. Do you a) tell this random stranger "oh, yeah, I've known this for days. My source told me a week ago" thereby risking the identity of your source or b) do you pretend that you don't know about this and keep your source safe? I think if you're smart, you'd pick the second one. He's been in this business for a while, but if you don't trust a source that even the EIC of this site has OK'd, then I can't help you.

You are full of it. Paul Thurrott has legitimate inside sources at Microsoft. This is not even up for debate. It's a known fact. You don't have a damn clue. Paul is usually right about everything he posts and it never comes from other sources, and if it does he gives credit for it.
 

You're spouting bullshit for whatever reason and you need to stop.

Agreed. Nowadays he's always posting AFTER news breaks "hey, I knew that all along!"

 

Plus, geez, what a negative nancy. I tend to stay away from his news and sites now, he's such a whinger, and pretty arrogant.

I follow Paul, including his podcasts. He is pretty good but his recent major flip flop on 8.1 update 1 was cringe worthy. His "what the heck" article created waves, but was soon replaced by unmitigated praise.
I'll keep following him, but I wish he'd be more supportive of the platform. He carries significant influence regarding direction and acceptance of this hugely important platform, so he needs to use this responsibly and avoid the temptation to big up clicks for his own brand by courting controversy.

How is Thurrott a news thief? He'll often post original stories that other people report on that later turn out to be true.

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everyone else agrees with you and that's why it should be an option

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

I like this awareness in the OS if true.  If my laptop is plugged into my monitor where I'm editing, I want the desktop and start menu.  When it's being used as a consumption device flipped into tablet mode, I want the Metro environment.

 

The only question is how will they implement this on Surface devices...interesting.

Isn't this pretty much what was already being said? That if you had a tablet you got the start screen and a mouse and kb setup got the new start menu.

why does microsoft insist on being one or the other? tey are gonna do this, then all the people who loved the metro start screen are gonna complain, then microsoft will have tor evise it yet again, would a simple toggle not be enough? =/

A simple toggle would alleviate a lot of complaints about many issues. Like disabling the backspace key from causing IE to go back a page, keeping the scrollbars visable rather than auto-hidding, manual sync on many apps that now don't include a manual option, etc, etc, etc.

Really ? Disable the backspace key for IE to go back a page ? FYI this is a feature that was with the first versions of IE....Look it up, I remeber doing it back in IE 5.5 in Windows 95....

Which exactly proves my point. That has to be the most infuriating and idiotic "features" ever devised for a web browser when so many people use laptops with a trackpad that can too easily cause a loss of focus on the text field. All these years with thousands of people complaining about it on forums around the globe, and yet they can't let people turn it off if they want to. Firefox allows it to be disabled. Chrome allows it to be disabled. Why won't MS?  The only possible explanation is to sabotage web apps that may have competed against MS products.

What is the point of using IE if another browser needs to be used when ordering online to avoid the inevitable text box loss of focus and ZAP, everything is gone. Perhaps mouse users and Metro IE users don't have a problem with it, but it has been a major problem for trackpad users for many years.

That better change, it makes no sense to please only the detractors and annoy all the people who previously liked the OS. I'm not one of the claustrophiles who wants a tiny menu so that 75% of the screen going to what I'm not currently doing (i.e., using the start menu).

EDIT: Thurrott said it would be a toggle.

The magic terrokkinit is you didn't have to use it more than a few times, navigate to your program (IF you didn't go to the .exe via Windows Explorer), open it and pin it to your task bar. Viola, no need for the Start Menu (which has been the Windows Menu for some time now) that you hold in contempt.

I actually still like the start menu, plus I am already so use to it, however I wouldn't mind it being smaller on my laptop, and bigger on my tablet

Bring back the regular start menu .....than Just replace the icons on the desktop with tiles and make the desktop horizontally scrollable so its basically the start screen on the desktop

*shudder* just like the bad old days of Windows XP where people actually stored all their shortcuts and files on the desktop.

Thurrotts rumors are usually on point. He was the one that I heard say the WP 7 phones will NOT get upgraded to WP8 and we would get some BS skin to 7.8. I hated it but he was right.

Why must those who refuse change push Microsoft to not innovate! Agrees! Give us the option to do either, for heaven's sake. Some of us actually LIKE change, MSFT!!

Good. I've always said that the biggest mistake with Windows 8 was putting that stupid start screen on desktops. Everyone I know hates it on the desktop, but loves it on laptops and tablets. Like, honestly, my mom didn't use her computer (didn't even touch it) until 8.1.1 came out because "before it felt too tablety. Now, I love it". I think that Windows 8 wouldn't have gotten so much hate if they didn't put the start menu on desktops.

I use Windows 8, it is on my Surface Pro classic. However, its only use I can see is to set up my computer - updates, settings, et al. Otherwise I have no use for this abomination known as Windows 8. Desktop mode on the otherhand, well it makes Windows 8 tolerable.

-SAB

I like the current 8.1 start screen and don't want to go back to some kind of old start menu hybrids... :)

I like the current Start Screen.  Don't see the need for a change but if it makes some grumpies happy, as long as I have the option to keep my Metro Start screen, I'm okay with that.

Hate it. I use my Start Screen. It is a live notification center, clock, info center. Also, I need to know what will happen with my Surface. Will it act two different ways with the keyboard attached or not? I always embraced the Start screen as my menu, so I have found the addition of start button and menu as superfluous. As long as there is choice, I am cool with it.

I have no problem when it auto-detects what kind of device you are on and changes the defaults accordingly but please let us configure it the way we want!! :/

I like what they have now, I like the start screw, I just boot to.desktop and when I'm in tablet mode I use the new start menu, as long as Microsoft gives options im fine

As long as I can pick which one I get. I have a laptop with touch and like the start screen. How about make configuration options easier to find, it a zoo currently.

The Start Screen is so much superior to the Start Menu...Now I wonder how much OS memory all this extra "stuff" will take up???

This seems painfully necessary. As well as a free update path from windows 7, and further integration with windows phone. Allow W7 to upgrade, and overnight you have remedied the problem of low adoption, and lukewarm developer interest. Leverage their existing installed user base = brilliant. I'm now excited to see what threshold brings, didn't really care before recent information came to light!

But I invested heavily in a desktop with ("stupidly big" (c) my fiancée) dual touchscreen monitors. Sometimes I have a keyboard/mouse, sometimes its touch/wacom pad. I'm going to end up with a highly schizophrenic system here.

If there as a choice, then I'm ok with it but I would not want to see the current start screen go. I like having the separate start screen and desktop. That's just my 2cents.

Microsoft is going in the wrong direction. They need to be doubling-down. They need to prove that their vision of the OS of the future is good. They need to win people over, not regress to the obsolete. Desktop functionality needs to be integrated into the modern app system, not the other way around (integrating apps into the desktop). The traditional Start Menu is dead, should stay dead; & the desktop should die, they deserve to be killed-off... It's time.

You might really be on to something here if it weren't for the real world data that shows Windows 7 and Windows XP are GAINING marketshare (think desktop and start menu) while Windows 8.X is flat or shrinking.

I like the modern UI. It needs work, but I'm lazy. I want my Start screen to feed me info with as little interaction as possible.

There had better be Group Policy control over this so I can disable (this new start menu) and lock this shit down because that's the last thing we need to deal with... having to try and explain to end users why sometimes the screen looks like this and sometimes it looks like that.   Fuck.

I want our users to simply know that "old computers" on Windows 7 = Start Menu,  new computers running "modern" Windows 8+ = Start Screen.   I can sell them on that and get them behind a unified interface across all our new devices... even non-touch devices.  We just had a department request that all their desktops (non-touch) be upgraded to Windows 8.1 so that they were consistent with their new tablets.  This just potentially complicates that.

I would almost bet anything this is the end plan. Too many companies have decided against Windows 8 due to the change of the OS, and the cost of re-training people. People, even more for older computer users have a hard time with change, and Windows 8, anyway about it, is a MAJOR change.

I would bet this would be changeable via Group policy, at least I hope so to. Widnows 8 has many advantages but, the new start screen is a stopping point for a lot of my cleints (I am a Windows systems admin for the last 20 years now), this option will help in the corporate end.

Windows 8 start screen bought me back to Windows after being a hater for all of XP, Vista and 7. I like it a lot. If they take it away then I will be like all the stubborn buggers that are hanging on to XP now making life difficult for everyone at MS.

If anyone at Microsoft is reading this, make DAMNED sure this is OPTIONAL. Many of us recognize the superiority of the Start Screen and DO NOT want to lose it.

Hell yeaaaaaa that start screen was the reason I returned my windows 8 laptop..I didn't like it switching between the two and blah.. Very happy I am

Great - now if they would only fix all of the broken file associations so clicking on email links (for example) don't launch Modern UI Outlook.com interface when I have Office 2013 and Outlook installed on my machine. It's stupid crap like this that keeps me from allowing my techs to deploy this OS into production. Which sucks because the underlying OS is great. It's fast, stable, works great with peripherals, etc but the UI... oh the UI.

Yes I know you can (in most) cases manually fix all of those issues and yes I know group policy can work around a lot of it as well... but seriously it should not be that difficult to deploy a functional OS.

Why is everyone so upset that people have the option? Even if it defaults one way, you can change it to the other.

I really hope the tiles from the start screen Will be an option for the the desktop alongside small pictograms, large pictograms etc. I also don't want to see a difference in behavior between a modern UI windows store applications and legacy applications when multitasking

This is frustrating, I'm on of those consumers who loves the current Modern UI Start Menu.

Really hope they don't drop it because people either hate it or just can't be bothered to discover how it works and so join the band wagon of haters

Well they should have adopted this approach from the get go, no touch screen - boot to desktop. However W 8.1 + update 1 have made it more easier to use a mouse and keyboard for navigation.

I don't expect anything great from current MS OS team which are mostly ex-WP team. They will build new Windows which have lots of bugs and malfunction like WP 8.1.

MS have wasted all of their time and money, sources doing go forward and backward while their competitors keep going forward. I think MS have done all they can and their era seems to be over.

I really don't know what to think about this. I have a win8.1 "traditional" laptop, and surface rt running 8.1 and I really like the start that we have now.

people should just go sell their cars and trade in for a horse carriage. replace all the bulbs at home with oil lamps. stop using sms and go back to telegram. sell all your pc, notebooks and tablets and return to typewriters, pen and paper.

microsoft has finally lived up to its name. micro and soft. fuck this shit. im buying a mac.

Honestly I think if there super smart there could be a question in the setup on a new PC with threshold asking "do you prefer a modern time saving touch first UI or a clunky mouse first outdated classic UI." Save that choice to their MS account so its always the same across all new devices.
There are always going to be some people that don't get the new interface or want to invest a small amount of time in learning it so why not make it simple for all users across all their devices.

If I read the article correctly, we only have the option to switch to start screen on touch devices? That SUCKS.

My big frustration these days is that my Taskbar and Navigation Properties ignore my command to return to the Start SCREEN when I close apps. It sends me to the freakin' desktop (where there are no app shortcut icons anymore) and I have to click the start button to get to the Start SCREEN where my apps are BIG, easily clicked targets.

While I have single click turned off for file explorer (I want to be able to select a file without opening it), I LOVE single clicking to launch an app. It's intuitive and half the effort. Now, it seems that Microsoft is going to mimick AT&T's phone tree'd menu system, with multiple clicks required to get to the tool you want to use.

For those of you who think you want the old start menu back, go to the Start Screen, then down to your Apps page. Remember when all those links were on the start menu? Do you really want to navigate through all that again? Good times. The start MENU was introduced with Windows 95. TWENTY YEARS AGO. Imagine if they took away the Start SCREEN on your WP and you had only the Apps list. Wouldn't that be fun?

TY, Si1entButDead1y! I don't want to unpin the few items I have on my taskbar, but at least I now understand why the OS is ignoring me.

The Apps page is awful to navigate and you can't configure it like the Start Menu. In W7 I had everything highly organised... the start screen and apps page is just a huge mess of icons like the bad old days of having masses of shortcuts on the desktop.

I'd give up the Windows Menu for Hubs (ala WP 7) again. That might make Windows 8.x somewhat useful, when I am consuming.

-SAB

I'm pretty sure it won't completely replace the start screen. Touch interfaces will be ... again... Unfriendly. I'm pretty sure that we'll see an option from start screen and start menu.

Could work...
I still think the start screen will become what is on our phones and tablets with all apps , shortcuts ( whatever is "pinned to start") synchronized via cloud.. With the traditional desktop available for only high end tabs and the usual laps and PC's...

NOOOOOO ! It was the best thing in Windows since Windows creation and the only reason I became interested in purchasing their hardware again. This makes me question my investment in Surface 3.

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