Windows 8.2 Threshold: return of the real start menu and Windows apps on desktop?
When first previews of Windows 8 appeared on the Internet, it was clear that it would not just be the next iteration of the successful Windows 7 operating system.
While it was still the next version of Windows, Microsoft made the strategic decision to add a touch-optimized interface to it so that it could also be installed on tablet computer systems.
The problem here was that it did not sit well with part of the desktop user base, as it did not really add any value to the operating system on systems without touch screens.
In addition to that, the two interfaces and other decisions such as the removal of the start menu caused further irritation.
After realizing that, Microsoft added some changes to the operating system in form of a Windows 8.1 update. This was a step in the right direction, but did not make it the real successor of Windows 7 that many desktop users hoped for.
It appears however that Microsoft may return to its old ways when Windows 8.2 codenamed Threshold comes along.
It needs to be noted that the following bits are rumors at this point in time. They do come from Paul Thurott though, but that does not mean that it will exactly turn out like this. As things stand, Windows 8.2 will not come along before 2015, which means that a lot of things can change in the meantime, especially with a new company CEO.
In addition to that, Paul's contacts only mentioned that this will land in the next version of Windows, and not Threshold specifically. It is however very likely that this is the same thing.
The Start Menu will return in its full glory as an option. This is something that Microsoft should have done from the very beginning, as its removal in Windows 8 alienated many users. Paul notes that it may only be an option for versions that support the desktop.
Windows apps run in windows on the desktop. I never really understood why Microsoft implemented a layered interface, instead of a single one in Windows 8. All versions of the operating system featured the desktop, and it was not really clear why a second interface was needed to run Windows apps.
Okay, it was clear that the Start Screen had been optimized for touch devices, but it was not clear why it was added to the desktop version as well.
Running apps on the desktop just like any other program on the other hand is something that not many would be opposed to.
The changes are certainly welcome if they are implemented. While it is too early to say if there will be others, like a unified interface instead of two for desktop PCs, it would be a logical next step.
I'm looking forward to the next year and 2015 to see how things unfold. For now, I'll stick to Windows 7 on my main PC, and to Windows 8 on my gaming PC.Advertisement