Microsoft has the tech-world in a tizzy once again with rumors flying about on their new codeword for the unification and integration of all their Windows based platforms. Expected to debut tentatively in the spring of 2015, project codenamed “Threshold” will bring together Microsoft engineers to deliver updates with one common goal.
The codeword Threshold has been taken from the content of Microsoft Studio’s popular hit game, Halo. Halo was launched in 2001 and has also been the originator of Microsoft’s version of Apple Inc.’s virtual assistant, Siri. The Microsoft version of a virtual assistant has dubbed with the name of Cortana. Cortana is an artificial intelligence companion in the Halo storyline.
The plans to unify Microsoft’s engineers have been rumored before when CEO, Steve Ballmer, first publicly mentioned the concept on a “One Microsoft” last July. Ballmer talked about the company moving to “high-value activities” uniting all three Windows-based platforms, Microsoft Windows X.X, Windows Phone, and their newly launched gaming/entertainment system, the Xbox One. This goal of codename Threshold will advance these platforms to allow them each to share some commonalities.
Microsoft has recently begun to show their hand at unification on their newly released Xbox One console. The gaming and entertainment system shows tell-tale signs of performing just like any other Microsoft Windows 8.X PC. The console contains multitasking abilities and the “snapping” of apps to the sides of the screen. This feature already mimics the tiling concept of Windows 8.X based machines.
Even though all three Microsoft platforms already contain the common NT core, distributing deliverables through just one app store will allow the engineers to develop a toolset that is much more similar to all.
The Microsoft Windows rumors about codename Threshold were leaked to ZDNet’s, Mary Jo Foley. Foley’s contacts within the tech-giant’s company confirmed that Executive Vice President, Terry Myerson had mentioned Threshold in and internal email. Myerson’s internal email was based on his plans for one-unified group of engineers.
As mentioned earlier, Threshold has plans for “high-value activities.” These “high-value activities” are said to be; “IT management,” “task completion and decision-making,” and “expression and documents.” There is some speculation that “IT management” is referring to their products of “Workplace Join” and possibly “Intune.” “Task completion and decision-making,” may be referring to Microsoft’s “Bing” search engine. Experts are also guessing that expression and documents are including “Microsoft Office” and also the possible inclusion for the upcoming “Remix,” which is a new storytelling app. Exactly how a product like Microsoft Office will be used or integrated into Xbox One, remains a mystery. One more activity was also mentioned by Ballmer in his talk on “high-value activities,” he also included “serious fun.”
Even though Threshold is already likely in the works, customers will not have to wait until the spring of 2015 for their next updates. Windows 8.1 users will likely see updates coming for their OS in the first half of 2014. Another big revision to Windows-based phones is also expected. The phone update, codename Blue, is expected to enhance the support and integration of Microsoft’s services.
Foley tried to get some official word from Microsoft confirming their plans for the unification of Windows platforms and more on their new project codename Threshold. Microsoft officials replied that they have no comments toward “rumors and speculation.” Even though experts have already known that Microsoft unification plans are being executed, Threshold remains just a rumor.
By Brent Matsalla