Windows Threshold technical preview expected late September

Windows 8.1

A "technical preview" build of Windows Threshold will be available in late September or early October, according to anonymous sources. Windows Threshold will be a stepping stone on the way to the full retail release of Windows 9 in the spring.

We've already heard whispers of what Windows Threshold will include, such as the return of the Start menu, Metro apps running in desktop, and axing the Charms menu. What "technical preview" really entails is up to interpretation, though it seems to suggest an early look for developers. Obviously we're very curious to see how Windows Phone ties into this pre-release schedule too.

How many of you guys are going to give the new technical preview a go, given the chance? Which features would you like to see in Threshold?

Source: All About Microsoft


Reader comments

Windows Threshold technical preview expected late September



I do not want the charm bar removed from my PC or laptop! I love it. I have a touch mouse (Logitech T620) and use it all the time.

I use it:
1. To check the time from anywhere.
2. To do global or in app searches.
3. To manage PC or apps accounts and options.
4. To print.
5. To share stuff.
6. To update my PC.
7. And other tasks.

Yeah same to all the above. I love how it just works from everywhere for similar tasks. Makes everything nice and neat and tidy too. Microsoft...if you're reading this...TAKE NOTE PLEASE!!!

I agree. It is one of the most useful features, especially when using a tablet. Unless they have a better plan for Windows 9, I would like to see the Charms menu stay for all versions.

As a Surface user I love the charms menu and it MUST stay. That applies to tablet only and with keyboard. As for PCs maybe the option to select or turn off, perhaps enterprise would preference no charms bar? But I too would like to see the Charms menus stay, at the very least as an option, across all versions.

I think it will go away and will be replaced with a notification center that will have the same features integrated. Toast notifications won't just disappear anymore. Also, I think Cortana will be integrated into the search portion of the notification center. This is the only route they should be taking if they plan to remove, it needs to be replaced with something that is more functional

I wouldn't want it to be 'axed' maybe give users a settings options (On or Off Slider). I like the bar in general.

Funny how the not-so tech friendly community cries and it gets axed. Innovation is sometimes killed off by the ignorant. I hate how MS comes out with great innovative things and it's considered 'too early' or 'too forward thinking', but if Samsung or Apple brings it out, it's 'The Next Big Thing.' crazy...=(

Stop giving in to all the whiners. In my experience, people who complain about windows 8 don't use windows 8. They just think they'll hate it. Everyone I've updated to 8 loves it. The real problem is training people.

In which case, people whining for the charms bar should also not be given their way until they train themselves in windows 9 now.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

My mother was one of the very reluctant ungraders from Windows XP. I got her a new laptop with Windows 8 and she loves it so much she bought herself a Surface! She figured it out and loves using it. People love these products when they actually use them. MS move forward but please don't move backwards!

True Story: Yesterday I had this conversation.

Me: Using Word on my 1520

Lady sitting next to me: What type of phone is that? (she was intrigued by the design and screen)

Me: It's a Lumia 1520,  Windows Phone. I exit Word to the WP 8.1U Start Screen.

Lady: (seeing the start screen) I don't like Windows 8!

Me: (shocked and disgusted, not even caring that this is NOT Windows 8) Why? Have you tried it?

Lady: My sons have Windows 8. I don't like it. I go straight to the desktop.

Me: (still disgusted) Oh......ok.

Conversation done.


Really....seriously.....this is getting ridiculous. Blind dislike for square widgets that you can customize. Her phone was a Galaxy Note 2. Another big screened device but the hatred of large EASY TO SEE widgets (live tiles for us in the know lol) versus smaller static icons is baffling.

She says she doesn't like Windows 8 but likes using the desktop IN WINDOWS 8....she is still using Windows 8.....so her dislike isn't actually Windows 8 but rather live tiles. Yeah.....super difficult to click on big shortcuts to my favorite programs that I pinned and organized on the start screen....so difficult....much wow.

Some people are vehement with their hate. One guy in an AT&T store said "I DON'T LIKE WINDOWS!!!". I was like woooaaahhh, it's ok...not that serious. Most of these people do not have any experience with Windows 8 or Windows Phone but rather people who have read stupid and biased articles that claim Windows 8 is horrible, doomed, failed and so forth, so much to where any kind of tiled interface = "I HATE TEH WINDOWZ!!" They are told by store representatives to avoid Windows everything.

I could put Launcher 8 on my Nexus 5 and people would react the SAME EXACT WAY!!!!

I can understand if a person has tried something and come to their own conclusion but when a person has inherited the bias of another person, that is utterly ridiculous.


You hit the nail on the head. And this applies to a lot of other things in life besides Windows and other tech stuff. Very many people, by osmosis, inherit opinions whose origins they don't even understand, and they propagate it like first hand knowledge. All I can say is I have learned to guard my mind and my opinions against 'popular' belief, make my own experiments where I can and draw my own conclusions. It's so easy to get caught in the flow of public opinion if one is not aware of these things.

This is exactly how I feel. This is why I still follow sites like iMore, Android Central, CNET, and use Cortana to keep up on all of the Big Three tech companies.

I don't want to blindly follow Microsoft, I want to be able to make the educated decision why it's best for me. That's why I get so frustrated when people blindly follow Apple, Goggle, Samsung, etc. I know more about thee devices their using than they do, yet then they get and explain to me why their product is superior and I should switch.

I believe everyone should use whatever works best for them and their lifestyles, but /please/ explore other options and see if it'll suit you better.

Of course, this very site is riddled with the same problem. Just mention the words "Mac" or "Samsung" and people flip shit, I swear.

Typical Windows fan club bs.

What gives you the rightto belittle anyone who doesn't like what you want or have the preferences.

Like you could have tried to show her your way of doing things or at least attempt it....but nooooooooooo..end of conversation because of how you feel about it.

People have their own reasons for disliking tiles vs the old desktop and it doesn't matter a tinkersdam wither you or everyone else like you like it or not.It's up to those who do like it to convince those who don't,and shutting down like you did didn't change a single thing.

Next time be excited about it and show how easy and great it is,instead of shutting down the conversation. Take the high road instead of looking down on someone because they have a different view of it.

You had a great opportunity to showcase your phone and the platform and you blew it

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

True, it was a lame response.   She doesn't hate Windows 8, she simply doesn't use Metro/Modern UI.   I go straight to the desktop myself, probably eighty percent of the Windows 8 population does the same thing.   One simply could have said with Windows 8 you can do what you want to easily, use the desktop or not.

Did you read the conversation or just replied out of hand???
Maybe you didn't notice when he asked if she'd tried it? Or her reply that her sons have it and she HATES it? So he DID attempt to 'enlighten' her, but respect for her already chosen opinion caused him to do the decent thing, which was to mind his business. It's not a do or die affair, I discuss with those that are interested in listening, not those that tell you that they have already tried it and hate it - case closed.

Let's get a few things straight.


1. I didn't belittle her or anyone else based upon their likes or preferences. You may need to re-read my comment. My comment is about the extreme bias that some people have to the point of where they think that my phone ran Windows 8. She was so biased to where she was no longer interested in the 1520, decided she didn't like it, without even trying it.


2. I didn't end the conversation. The conversation ended. There is a big difference.


3. No, I could NOT have tried to show her my way of doing things or attempt it. Why? We were in a kick-off meeting and the president of the college was speaking and asked us to write down AQIP questions. It was not the time nor the place for a Windows Phone demonstration.....hence #2, the conversation ended.


4. I didn't shut down, she did...after seeing the live tiles and thinking it was Windows 8. Per my comment, I asked an appropriate question to follow up her comment and left it at that given the event at hand.


5. Hmmmm...taking the high road... I always take the high road. I am a writer, teacher, IT Ambassador, I am heavily invested in Windows/Windows Phone, iOS and Android ecosystems in my professional career and personal life. I own iOS, Android and Windows tablets and phones and I write process documents for each, give guidance, consultation and purchasing recommendations based on customer needs, not MY needs. Last fall, I taught an Android 101 class. 2 days ago, in the New Hire IT Orientation class that I taught, I informed the attendees about the ease of use of iOS and setting up employee email via exchange from process documents that I authored and made screenshots from my own personal iOS devices. Why? because 2 out of 3 had an iPhone. I also sat in a director's office last week to help her decide on a Lenovo Mixx tablet as her iPad was not meeting HER needs.

This high road that you speak of...I don't EVER look down on anyone based upon their likes or dislikes. If you knew me, you would know that my philosophy is this: All that matters is that you are happy with your decision. I can just show you your options.

If I push my preference on some one else (I prefere the Windows ecosystem) when they clearly are not interested, I am just as biased as the examples in my comment, just as biased as the examples in my 3500 word article I wrote about Bias.

Taking the high road is being able to know when something is better, when to inform someone of it OR when to detect that the knowledge you have of such things means nothing to that indivdual and it is best to leave them alone. Taking the high road is when you KNOW their current product may be factually worse (saying an iPhone camera is better than the 808 PureView) but you still inform them of the facts yet accept their decision AND help them wholeheartedly with their iPhone and iOS needs.

I don't like MACs at all but I still help people, recommend them to people based on their needs and offer technical support and training, professionally and personally. I don't hate OSX, I just prefer Windows. Who cares what I prefer when I am assisting a MAC user unless they ask for my opinion.


6. The entire internet cannot contain my excitment, my passion for being unbiased in helping others. Everyone that knows me can vouch for that statement.

Showcasing a phone and platform means NOTHING to a person that is biased and has closed their heart, ears, eyes and mind to something. We are not talking about a mere preference, we are talking about people who blindly hate something and their hate isn't based on their own experience. Once again, even then, I don't look down on them. It is their decision, their money and what they need out of their device and that is all that matters.


7. I didn't blow any opportunity. I am known as THE mobile tech guy wherever I go, the Windows Guy and I work with the lady. Everytime she sees me, she will see my Windows Phones AND my Android Phones and iPhones and there is always and opportunity, whenver she opens her mind to look and listen.

Well if I were in the same situation...

I would even yell at that person because Win8 and WP8.1 are not the same!!! They just share the UI but not the functionality!

Really.... People have mistaken Windows phone for windows 8... You know what I mean... Grr.. Grammatical errors xD

Microsoft as a company prefers to backpedal. They'd rather keep the ignorant happy than spend the effort to properly communicate what they are doing. At least the consumer side is. The Enterprise side is able to sell or educate on anything they need to.


There was very little wrong with Windows 8 as it was, the start menu/button on desktop is really not needed or an improvement over the startscreen. For most people it's just a garbled mess of installed apps and has very little use. The die hards have plenty of add on options giving them their little corner of the Windows universe they seem to need to cling to.


Microsoft missed what Apple has and vice versa, those two being are forward thinking and communication/selling skills. You pick which misses which..

I think they have the option already. I seem to recall seeing a setting to turn off the charms menu for people who accidently activate with their mouse.

Well it doesn't really make sense to kill it, especially for devs already invested using it. I really do hope they don't kill it just because people don't want/use it. Charms really got a nice concept even for desktops potentially, just needs to be more powerful.

Ditto, use it on desktop and tablet daily. It could share from desktop much better, but it is so useful. Don't kill it ms.

Lol. But we all know what it is... So at least it isn't ambiguous. Once you tell a user what it is called, you can reference it and they remember... Probably because the name is weird.

The charms bar is awesome. Keep it. On a tablet or touch screen device it would be tough without it.

They may remove the bar, but not the functions... If they added an interface that was easier, more discoverable and efficient for both touch and non touch I think everyone should be happier...

How about the option, ad charms to taskbar. That way, if you don't want any slidy things, you can get rid of them, but if you love the full screen look, you can keep it beautiful like it is now.

I believe I read the same thing. It was misunderstood by bloggers. They are changing the interaction for the charms but not the function of the charms itself.

Yep, I want a charms bar and I would like to see those horrible legacy right click menus removed from the start screen and a move back to the bottom bar context menu. I want to be able to put apps on the SD card like WP can as well so my tablet can come close to the app space my phone has. Oh, and could we finally get rid of that ugly start button too?

Yes, do not take away anything, Microsoft.  That's what caused this train wreck in the first place.   Give people choices and INVITE them to try out new features and techniques.  Do not remove features and FORCE them to learn new procedures for getting their daily jobs done.  

I believe charms will not be totally removed but revamped. Think action center in WP. That will be the new charms.

The action center and the WP8.1 update in general killed a lot of what made WP special and different. As it is it's quickly turning in to Android with live tiles which may well be what MSFT is aiming for.


People hub is mostly a contact list now. Games hub a list of installed games, music hub and photo hub are basically dismantled. Social media integration all but gone instead of made stronger.

That's my first reaction too! Don't take my charms bar! With luck, they will keep it for touch devices bit disable it by default on non-touch devices

I would recomend you to update to 8.1 then, the preview isn't supported since January. You should realy concider upgrading.

Definitely going to at least install it in a virtual machine. Last time ran the technical preview on my main computer which mostly worked, but wasn't fleshed out enough to stay as my main is at the time, but did come close.

If it runs well enough on the VM might install it as my main OS.

So we're going to that the start menu and explode it to fullscreen and give you ask the same functionality and more. Then we're going to take the new start screen and put it back in a small format so people can feel comfortable again because change is scary.

The start menu is a waste of taskbar space. Fortunately the 8.1 update 2 allos you to hide the modern UI apps from taskbar as that was another horrid idea.

I'm sure that if Apple gives its users a charm bar to the right with the EXACT SAME FUNCTIONS, it will be magical, revolutionary, and the best thing ever in the entire world, and everyone should use a Mac.

"But Windows had it two years ago..."

"But a Mac does it better!"

"It's the exact same thing..."

"But this is a Mac!!!!"

It's a religion to Mac users.

I'm a major fan of the current start screen but if they make the start menu in a way that my Windows Phone start screen is synced on the start menu (same aspect ratio), I'm done. Also, make the charms menu permanently open like in that of OS X as a menu bar on top. I really like the consistency in UI of the charms bar. Don't care how it looks as long as it's consistent in a pretty way.

I'm expecting that's they'll do with applications when they're in windowed mode with the charms on the top bar. Hopefully they get rid of that awful frame around every window, a leftover from Win95.
I think they're changing it as people forget the functions are there. Occasionally I do too even though I use all the charms regularly.

God no, please don't keep the charms bar up all the time the way Macs have the menu bar. I'd hate that with a passion. It drives me crazy because it's like having a program that never closes.

Well it doesn't have to be on the top alone. I just stated it could be like that of OS X. Maybe on Windows it could be on the Taskbar? The charms bar permanently on the task bar for PCs would be good. The taskbar isn't going anywhere so you can't complain that's getting in your way.

While they could put out on the taskbar, I can't think of how they could have functions like sharing via email operating in a way that is both natural and attractive. It needs some brainstorming that's for sure.

Axing the charms menu is a huge step backwards. This will be a glorified windows 7. Windows can't evolve if people can't adapt.

BEST NEWS EVER. I love beta testing products and as an IT student it's right up my alley, I'm jumping on the technical preview bandwagon as soon as It is available.

The charms bar is a very powerful concept, unified interface and sharing between apps, it's a major step forward in usability, I think that taking it away is wrong. It's against everything MS has been working for in the last two years. A sign of weakness.

I hope we will get the choice if we want the charms bar and new start menu instead of the old(ish) menu that is coming back, I prefer the new start menu and charms bar :)

I'm excited! Hope Charms stays, it just needs more refinements. Windowed Modern apps is sweet, but I hope they redesign the windows for it to be more fitting to Modern apps, not just it looks like legacy window being slapped there. I really don't care for Start Menu as long as I still have Start screen, with interactive Live Tiles.

....also, please replace all the icons to match for Modern UI, its a must!

I would like to see a number of unread emails when it is pinned to the taskbar (like a mini live tile).
If I have to open the start menu, I might as well open the app.

Whaaaaaaaaaattttttttt is Microsoft upto i likeeeeee microsoft when it want to release a new software and we are waiting :) and what is a threshold i am hearing it a lot is it a new system new for microsoft just like windows xp for example and will windows phone get the threshold update and is it a part od windows 8 version like (8.5 they maybe named it threshold)??????????????!!!!!

I am always trying these, so I am all in. As bad as Win 8 might (have been) be, I really love it, even from the consumer preview. This is just one step closer to OneCore! The new start screen button should be sweet!

It should adapt to the scenario. For example on my surface I use it both ways. I want the desktop stuff there when the keyboard and mouse are connected and the touchy stuff when its not.

Win 8.1 Update 1 already does some of this. They should extend this model for 9

Having a touch screen monitor on my desktop I have to say, STOP SCREWING WITH IT. Alot of the touch features are even better on a touch enabled desktop. That said I do have to recognize the absolutely ridiculous cost of touch screen monitors. I wouldn't even have one if it weren't for an incredible sale I hit. Real hard to ask people to "just try it" when they cost so damned much.

I doubt the charms bar will be gone. It is a brilliant tool if you know how to use it. I am betting that for the desktop users, it the same functionality will be actually IN the window. Because for touch users, it is a great and consistent way to navigate settings.

I wonder how many people will install this without understanding what it is and then will complain that it doesn't work like the stable release of Windows 8.1.

Ooh I should have my Sp3 by then! I will run it on a virtual machine at first before installing it directly.

Also I wonder if the said preview has Cortana integrated :P.

I would kik to see the unification of notepad and wordpad, OneNote integration, replacing wmp with Xbox music and add a library manager, cortana, better photo tools,

I would throw my computer out the window if X-Box Music were made the default music player.  It's ridiculously feature-poor, clunky, laggy, and ugly.  Check out Zune. It's a beautiful piece of software.  Check out Windows Media Player.  That is a great program with a lot of features.  Only feature I really miss using it is the advanced tag editor from Windows XP that for some reason they refuse to add back in.

As long as the simplicity and functionality is there I don't mind but I can't tell you how often I've used the Charms bar, it really is excellent. Especially for sharing from ie or any other app. If they keep the features but change how you access them I won't be too annoyed.
Definitely give the preview a shot, I've done the same since Windows 7 so why not.

I want charms bar still as an option. And I like classic and current menus so seriously give an option for that, too. The new start menu that's a blend of both defeats the purpose of live tiles.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Yeah, I really hope they keep the charms bar. I use it all the time, especially for sharing stuff, on both touch and non-touch computers. Losing it would be a tragedy.

They call them metro because the design concept of modern apps and the windows 8 family was inspired by the simplicity of Swiss printing design and the icons,motion,design found in transit centers. If you look carefully you'll find similarities among those and windows design. so those apps were called metro apps when they first released in windows 8 release preview. Later Microsoft rebranded them to modern apps. But people like to call 'em metro apps. I knew this from Microsoft website and other sources. But i can't give you surety. And the abbreviation of RT is Run Time. Windows RT-windows Runtime. Sorry for my bad English.

They have already made two mistakes... 1. Getting rid of the tile-based start menu instead of giving the user a choice between the two styles and... Getting rid of the charms bar since it made Wireless Display, Play To, Projection, Sharing and App-Based Settings easy to access

Those features and the tile-based menu made Windows 8.1 really good... Especially how the menu interlaced internet searches with offline file searches and in-app searches when the developers have included the in-line searches

It are only rumors. I can think of a situation that when on tablets/hybrids they keep the charmbars, but on desktops they won't.
I think Windows 9 wil recognize the kind of devices its running on, so the software wil have a different UI depending on the different needs.
That's the only way to make it work cross different devices.
Posted via Windows Phone Central App

I'll be trying it out in a VM. You can already turn off the charms bar in 8.1 as well as the other corner activated bits so I don't think they are axing it probably will just change how desk top users access its functions.

Why do people have to whine about everything? Can't people be happy that the preview is coming in SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER? Aren't they glad it isn't December?

Wow am I really on wpcentral. Amazing news that Threshold preview is coming way sooner than everyone expected and every comment is about Windows. This could well mean wp9 preview as well, at least it was mentioned in the article. I'm far more interested to see what happens there. Windows updated we can all guess at, what it means for mobile is less sure.

It's the first time we get a "Technical Preview" of Windows. Then again, it's just a name, last time, they called it "Milestone Preview".

I'd like to see desktop open applications and icons rearranged to be visable when a Modern app window is introduced.

I think what makes sense is to blend charms, which are only really useful for sharing, with how sharing is done on WP. I think in the end MSFT will unify not kill features.

Biggest draw back is metro is not a file based UI. Windows is really on a crisis right now with the user space file management is a disaster. Example looking at the OneDrive metro app to copy a installer to my computer, it has a copy function, but where do we go, launch the desktop. Okay the paste function in explorer does not have the file. Okay launch desktop OneDrive now copy the file. Plus c:\user space structure is a nightmare of legacy compatibility folders, hide 99% of that shit streamline libraries integration and OneDrive integration. Given me the files I use and an easy way to find older stuff I don't care how or where its stored anymore.

The funny thing about a charm's bar is that what is the use of it if all the apps and programs can run in a "windowed" mode on the desktop? As for when you have them full screen maybe. Not sure if it should stay or not... Been using Windows 8/8.1 before they were released. haha

I have a Surface Pro Classic and have no idea what the Charms bar even is. With the exception of updates, if it isn't part of Desktop Mode, I've not found it useful.

Mmm, I don't think a technical preview sounds very appealing, given what the Windows 8 Developer Preview was like. I'll wait for a Consumer Preview to land on my Surface Pro 3.

From the speed they're pushing out WP8.1 updates, it wouldn't be a surprise if we could get a WPThreshold (very early) preview not soon afterwards, since MS are unifying development of Windows Store and OSs.

If axeing the charms menu also means axing the search shortcut, I would really prefer they just place an option in the settings giving people a choice.  I've grown very used to doing a quick windows-Q to search for apps rather than rummaging through the start screen.

You do know that you can press <Windows key> and then start typing, so the same action exists with one less key press (i.e. no need to press Q)

What are the risks of downloading it? I'd get a beta WP OS as soon as it comes out because if something bad happens nothing important will be affected, but that I'm thinking that definitely wouldn't be the same with downloading a preview of Windows.

I'll put it on a VM and give it a whirl. Either way I'll get the RTM before consumers since I work at a big place and create the system images. I've been rolling out 8.1 over the last month. I hope threshold is very similar. If so I can start rolling it out soon after it's officially released and supported by third party vendors.

not going to try it, to alpha for me, I can't wait to see the new windows run on a phone, normaly, it is supose to be the same windows on PC talbet and phone if I'm not wrong...

Am I the only one that learned to like the start screen in the desktop? Other than that I still look forward to the new mini-start screen.

As for the charms bar it is okay if they remove it from the desktop part in Windows Threshold. I never liked the fact that the share button was very much useless in the desktop app not to mention IE couldn't share a page from the desktop application of IE to your social networks.