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Preview release of Windows 9-Threshold may offer more direct ways to offer feedback

Two separate reports claim that Microsoft plans to offer more direct ways for people to give feedback on the preview version of the next Windows OS, code named "Threshold".

ZDNet and Neowin, citing unnamed sources, claim that if a person using the preview version of Threshold opts to get automatic updates to the OS, they may get builds with features that won't be available for others who have downloaded the preview version. Microsoft will gather data from these different configurations in order to figure out which features will work best for the final version of Threshold.

Microsoft may also offer some feedback surveys with the Threshold preview version for users to complete, which will cover a range of different topics. As with the different preview builds, Microsoft will take the data from the surveys to help shape what the final version of the next Windows will be like.

rumor

If these reports are accurate, it would be a "win-win" for Microsoft and users of Windows. Microsoft will get the information it really needs to make Threshold the best version of Windows it can be, while users can feel that they had a more direct influence on its development. It certainly would be a change compared to when Windows 8 was launched in 2012. Microsoft decided to take away the Start menu from the desktop and forced people to boot to the Start screen instead of the desktop UI. Both moves angered many long time Windows users.

Microsoft has since given Windows 8.1 users the option to boot directly to the desktop interface and it plans to return a version of the Start menu to the desktop for Threshold. As we have reported before, Microsoft could announce the next version of Windows on September 30 as part of a rumored press event, and launch that developer preview version to the public on that date or shortly afterward. The final version, which may or may not be called Windows 9, could be released in the spring of 2015.

Would you like to see and fill out surveys and get different builds of Threshold when the preview version is released?

Source: ZDNet, Neowin

122 Comments
  • Great. Well going MS
  • No. A Camel is a Horse designed by committee. Trying to consider every idiot on the Internet with an opinion will create a system that is like a collection of assholes :/ Everyones got one.  
  • I agree with you except that camels are actually amazing animals...
  • I don't think you understand how you collect data from surveys.
  • They'll probably do surveys. I'm sure they'll have a set of questions and not just a comment box.
  • Maybe Microsoft will review the suggestions before acting on them, no?
  • Recent history has shown us MS react to "noise" on the Internet. Look at how they dumbed down plans on the Xbox One for digital sharing, and their intention to be the Steam of consoles. All because of big mouthed and vocal Sony owners, who wouldn't buy an Xbox anyway. Sometimes its good to have the courage of your own convictions.
  • Feature set randomly assigned to each computer doesn't sound like a good idea. I really want Threshold to succeed, but I fear this is going to backfire when people start comparing features and can't get one that someone else arbitrarily got.
  • * During the preview, of course.
  • People will always find something to complain about. Anyone using the Preview should know that they are beta TESTERS and be willing to put up with things not working correctly or having different features than another beta tester. But, as we all know, a bunch of regular users are going to jump in on this and whine and complain that it's not working like a production ready system.
  • YES!
  • +Whatever
  • #Whatever.... I like this lol.
  • +830
  • +1520
  • Those of us in the corporate world are looking forward to upgrade from win7 to win9
  • Absolutely! Sounds very cool and a great way to get user feedback.
  • Give me Cortana on my Asus T100 now!
  • Yes
  • NT 5.0
  • NT 6.0
  • NT 7.0 is Windows 9
  • No, 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, hopefully 7.0.
  • More like NT 6.4. 7 = 6.1, 8 = 6.2, 8.1 = 6.3, vNext = 6.4.
  • Actually, is 6.4 if the leaks and screenshot is right.
  • A way to deliver and bring much experience to user to being part of developing win 9. But how msft take millions what people what with different need. Thats a challenge to them.
  • Please no send a smile / frown
  • Why no send? This way always express emoticon I feel current.
  • They only go this path because they've got into a disaster, but still great anyway.
  • You can ask for whatever you want... they won't listen.
  • Xbox Updates rate says the opposite of what you are saying
  • Seems the Xbox Games app isn't high quality anymore, in terms of avatars. I complained.... where is the result?
  • stop diverting the topic, what does an app have to do with listening to customer feedback? If you seen the feedback that MS has taken for the Xbox Updates. Clearly shows that they are listening to customers   PS: There's not much use for the Xbox Games app since there are now folders in WP
  • I don't use Xbox Music due to the phone not reading local files correctly. Second, hate libraries/by artist/by album/etc. (FOLDER HIERARCHY IS NEEDED!!) Due to that, I'm still utilizing Android 2.3.5 on a GalaxyS 1, with PowerAmp installed. 2nd, my comment WAS relevant. I complained about lower quality avatars since 8.1 DP was first released. I don't use it for game launching anymore, sure, but isn't the application's pupose to do Xbox-related things: message friends, edit your avatar, check and compare achievements? Updates later, it's still low quality, compared to the 8.0 versions.
  • Poweramp was absolutely the best when I had Android!
  • The Xbox-related functionality is now in SmartGlass. All of it and more, and a much better experience.
  • You can do most of that with smart glass!
  • Lolwut? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • He means Xbox the console.
  • Lol dude somehow you always know people are actually talking about. #boss Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Meanwhile THIS person has never owned an Xbox, including the original. Companion applications mean nothing to me.
  • Companion is just part of the app. It also has Xbox Live functionality -- friends, achievements, threaded messaging, etc. All without needing a console.
  • Okay, but you still need Xbox Extras to edit your avatar OFF the console. Even Xbox Games for Win8 removed the ability to edit the avatar!!
    Also for the record, just gamerpics suck, when you're used to avatars moving about like in Sims.
    The only other way I'm able to edit the avatar is via web. Give it time beofre THAT is removed too.
    Microsoft is usually a "one-step-forward/two-steps-back" company, until the next big thing hits: no Samsung pun intended.
  • Xbox One updates say otherwise
  • Really looking forward to this preview, but I'm not sure if the feature variations will help or hurt the development. The users that don't get certain features may be the ones who would have benefitted their metrics the most.
  • YEAH, BABY~ positive !
  • I like the idea. It is something Microsoft should have done with Windows 8 beta and implemented some of the feedback they got from beta users instead of rushing into a 'not-so-great' launch.
  • Honestly, I don't think Windows 8 would have turned out the way it did if Sinofsky left before its development. Sinofsky screwed it up for the majority. I don't mind though. As long as they fix their mistakes, they'll get their customers back.
  • I agree....
  • I would hope that they really merge all systems in one and make this thing more link to wp. Having windows apps work on the desktop would be cool for devs and users
  • This early? This must mean windows 8 was a failire
  • How is this early?
  • No, your comment was a "failire".
  • +520
  • This is perfectly on time. Major Windows releases are always 2-3 years apart.
  • No, this means they don't have far from Windows 8 to Threshold. If Win 8 were as big a failure as everyone is making it out to be it would be another 18 months.
  • They said they were moving to a faster release cycle. That being said, I think threshold could have been Windows 8.2 but they will call it 9 because they want people who hated 8 to give it a chance. The core system probably won't change a huge amount. Just tons of features.
  • This is a great idea. So when Windows 9 comes out we wont have any whiney idiots like we have now with Windows 8.
  • Of course we will. It'll just be "they didn't listen to my one comment about this obscure and/or minute feature or detail that I wanted added/removed"
  • Like awesome^ here said, there WILL always be whiny people. Whatever Microsoft does, it won't please both halves because both sides want different things. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • So people who dislike the actual OS are just whiney idiots...
    You should send your resume to Sinofsky....
    Similis cum similibus.
  • Similar with similar people? I directly translated that using my knowledge of latin, but i am extremely interested in it having a true-er meaning Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Yes, it means exactly that.
  • Some of them are. ;) I think some people have very valid complaints. But some just like to complain.
  • I thought all pc's sent back telemetry in the preview
  • This sounds great for people who have Asperger's Disorder like me! And anyone else who likes computers who has Asperger's Disorder or Autism.
  • How is that related?
  • Yeah what
  • That's a pretty neat testing feature at this scale, I picture teams battling for supremacy... to the death!
  • I d't see unstopbelekemblabla in every good news for/from windows/wp
  • Haha U mean unstoppablekem...:D What about him??
  • Sounds like it'll end up a case of too many cooks to me.
  • I'm sure there will be a way to unify the data. Kind of like uservoice where the top ideas are brought forward. I'm sure it won't just be a comment box.
  • Alright, alright... Will Microsoft listen to me if I said that I want them to un-depricate DirectDraw; make it so it isn't software emulated? Because I'm an old-school PC gamer...
  • Threshold looks to be developed completely opposite to Win8. MSFT is embracing it's customers first and like the X1 OS I think we all will be able to submit direct feedback.  
  • I like the idea. However...Preview testers seldom represent the common core of Windows users. My concern with this is that the preview testers will suggest stuff (like the non-return of the Start menus) that directly conflict with the will of the vast majority of Windows users.   I think Microsoft should compliment this testing of Windows 9 with test groups. Invite random people to go spend an afternoon using Windows 9 and then gather their feedback on what they liked and what they didn't. I think that'd help them get a clearer picture of the will of the market, more than the opinions of tech-geeks that have completely different priorities when using Windows. It would also help them prevent another debacle like Windows 8.
  • Microsoft stores would be a great place. Set up a preview stand, and offer some sort of raffle to those who try it out and leave feedback.
  • Actually, that sounds like a f*cking incredible idea. Since the general public's perception is that Windows 8 sucks, getting them into the stores could potentially get a lot of traffic in those stores. That could lead to a lot more sales.
  • Microsoft Store have just in the USA. USA isn't the earth.
  • But it's better than nothing. Do you have a better suggestion?
  • No. LOL ahahhahahah
  • Good idea
  • Waiting eagerly for "threshold" dp release.....
  • just give me virtual desktops and im happy
  • I don't think I'm installing it. Nearly sick of testing...
  • Unless something changed 180 degrees, its another pr stunt. Look at the wp uservoice and see how MS despise feedback! There was user feedback during the w8 previews, nothing came from the feedback. It was not SS baby alone. Waiting for the opportunity to test drive the os.
  • They have implemented stuff from uservoice. Sometimes it takes a long time, and sometimes they decide that an idea is too complicated or will have to wait for a larger OS update, but I've seen lots of stuff get fixed from uservoice. One example was that they were originally only using Cortana as a code name, but with over 80,000 votes on uservoice saying that we wanted it called Cortana, they kept it.
  • Please confirm the one seen in YouTube is coming out not, if that one is coming, it will be fantastic
  • The one seen in YouTube? That's a little broad don't you think? How are we supposed to know which video you're talking about?
  • Would love to help MS. I think pushing the new start UI made it very useful to use apps and launch useful and selective data or apps faster. Out with the old, in with the new. Now windows should incorporate calls also to the windows desktops and tablets with WP in proximity.
  • This+1000
  • Same should be for windows phone 9
  • Will be free for Windows 8.x users?
  • Angered long-time Windows users. This is a long-time Windows user who was embracing the new UI, so thank you very much for completely screwing up my experience. Hopefully there will be choice, but what I fear is they will only add to the confusion. As well. We are acting as though all those users who are coming to purchase Windows 7 instead of upgrading to 8.x were a huge loss. My company recently spent thousands of dollars upgrading every PC from Windows XP to Windows 7. As they purchase new, even Windows 8 is creeping in. While I hope Windows 9 helps sooth ruffled feathers, as my next purchase will be a touch enabled device, I hope they do not throw the baby out with the bath water.
  • I would do a upgrade from windows 7 boot partition which I don't use anymore
  • Nice Microsoft, I like were this is heading. I can't wait to do some testing for you. Me personally like I said me personally liked window 8 with or without the start menu. I guess it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks but I like new ways of doing thing instead of never changing a thing. I could be wrong about the start menu like everyone else talks about but I like change. I was an android fan for many years had top phone like the note 3 but gave it away and decided to change is for my phone so I choose window phone, and yes I would never pick a apple product. So now I'm a window phone fan and will stick with it, even through the ruff times. Thanks everyone who made window phone possible. I own a Nokia 1520 nice phone it is :).
  • Welcome :D Yeah, 1520 is a beast :)
  • I still dont think Microsoft should release windows 9 if they do end up calling it that i think theyd be better off just releasing it as 8.2 with features and looks similar to Jay Machalani's Windows 8.2 Concept
  • Why? 8 has a bad perception for the public. Calling it 9 will make people give it a chance. And in reality the name doesn't matter.
  • Hi, but how to get the preview version?
  • It's not out yet. September 30.
  • I would like to see they change the desktop icon pack to a more modern one. And the ability to open Windows app in windowed mode is really what I am looking forward for. Waiting eagerly for this one Microsoft
  • Absolutely!
  • This is great! I can't wait to try it out.
    This is a real challenge though, they'll receive tons of different feedbacks, so managing and selecting the best for everybody with minimal compromise and trying to stay with the vision doesn't so simple. I just hope the final won't be a complete frankenstein or staying traditional just to please users. Hope for the best!
  • I would never use a preview desktop OS, especially this early in its life. My friend downloaded the new OSX to his macbook. The OS then proceeded to eat a disc in the disc drive, meaning that he can't load a new OS to make the drive work again. I know that OSX and threshold are different, but it shows the complexity of a desktop OS isn't worth the risk.
  • Ate a disc? Like in his optical drive? Or messed up his hard drive?
  • He put a disc in. Then the disc drive would not respond, read the disc or allow him to remove it. It doesn't bode well for the data on the disc either.
  • He could use a USB drive to reload the OS. I many people use preview or beta software without incident. In fact I am typing this on a preview OS! Also, the OS didn't eat the disc - it is software. The disc drive ate it. OS might be responsible via bad drivers or some such OR the drive itself was just going out.
  • Apart from the fact that the BIOS don't support loading from USB?
  • Which preview OS?
  • Most disc drives on PCs have a little hole on the side that you can poke a paperclip through and force the drive to eject the disc. I don't know if Macs have that though. Most likely it was an oddly timed hardware failure, not the preview OS. BTW, the disc is probably fine if he can get it out. I don't see how it would have been harmed.
  • This early?! Dude its not like they started from scratch.
  • .... ??? Maybe because it is Mac and macintrash or trashitosh blows as a developer OS... Ok my bias aside. I did open beta for vista, 7 and 8 on my daily driver petitioned on my HDD and I never had any problems. It was simple to remove and upgrade for real when it came out. And to set the record straight Vista ultimate was amazing if you had enough ram. Vista only got a lot of crap because home was horrible.
  • Absolutely want to help and provide feedback. Something like a private uservoice website for beta tester could be used
  • Would be great if they focused more on the desktop interface. It looks really bad compared to what OS X offers. Maybe the functionality isn't bad, but the look of Windows Explorer didn't really change much in the past.
  • Hope they leave the option to use the Start Screen in. I prefer it over the Start Menu. Also hope they don't disable the Modern UI on desktops.....I like and use both UIs on desktops and tablets.
  • I plan on installing the preview and helping out as much as possible. Looking forward to it!
  • I'm not so sure about an OS preview. If I had a spare computer then yes. But as it stands I'll wait until release. It will still be unfinished but at least all the previewers will have eliminated the big bugs.
  • Separate PC to test an OS? That sounds like ... well.. so previous-century! If you are already using Windows 8, and your PC is less than 7 years old*, there is this thing called Hyper-V manager. Press start, type "Hyper-V" and click on Hyper-V Manager. Do that on 30th sep, when preview is out and you have downloaded the ISO. With couple of clicks more, you will be able to start Windows 9 preview in your VM without leaving your actual desktop! First time it will install, so it may take 15-20 minutes. Next time on, just open HVM and run the VM it will take a minute to boot the OS. Additionally, the VM can also be used as a boot disk! Meaning, if you want you can set it so that when you start your PC, it will boot from virtual hard disk containing Windows 9!   If it suck big time or for anyother reason it start getting on your nerves, you can just ignore the file or delete the VM and claim back your disk space. (its generally just one file to virtual world on physical disk; no mess!)   For devs, someone might build a vagrant (http://vagrantup.com) file on day one (9/30) and make it available at https://vagrantcloud.com/discover/featured. All you would need to do is to open CMD/PowerShell as administrator and run "vagrant init authorName/window9boxSlug" (the slug and author-name which you would search on vagrantcloud.com) and get the ball rolling.. Since MSOpenTech helped vagrant team bringing Hyper-V adapter to the mix on GitHub, Visual Studio team should start releasing their previews on vagrant boxes too (perhaps in evaluation version of Windows!) and publish on Azure (instead of vagrant-cloud). This will make the newly released preview one-command-away and hence make VS look better!   * Older PCs didn't used to support SLAT, which is required by Hyper-V. Note: for optimal (bare-bone) performance, you can enable VM from your BIOS / UEFI; if its not already enabled..
  • Ok that's usefull
  • Alpha and beta testing is super fun. I'm down. I would throw it on my AMD brix htpc that sits next to my Xbox one (until there is better home group/media network capabilities I have to be redundant)
  • It would be helpful if the survey is runned all over the world and also they need to check out the feedback and also should fix the cons in the 8.1 update