Wonder where Microsoft's future is going to? No, not the future of the company by itself or who the next CEO will possibly be but the future of Windows? Always well informed Microsoft insider Mary Jo Foley got some information Microsoft denied to comment - for sure. Nevertheless, the info Foley received are somehow obvious and are about Microsoft's plans to "unify" the Windows (for desktop and tablet), Windows Phone and even the Xbox One code-base as much as possible. All this is said to run under the project name "Threshold". Threshold derives from the planet around which the first halo ring orbited in the original Halo game launched back in 2001.
The info, Foley received are based on an E-Mail by Microsoft Executive VP Terry Myerson who recently mentioned the Threshold codename in an internal E-Mail. This E-Mail was about plans for his unified operating-system engineering group and it's expected that Threshold will include updates to all three above mentioned platforms.
While the Xbox One, Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8 OS already share a common Windows NT core. However, rumors say that Threshold doesn't refer to a single Windows OS or a converged hybrid comprised of the Windows Phone OS and Windows RT; but the codename refers to the wave of operating systems across Windows-based phones, devices and gaming consoles. Nevertheless, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of "high value activities" across all platforms; even if "different" (which they aren't anymore then). The internal information say that these high-value activities include - according to Foley's information - expression/documents (possibly Office), decision making/task completion (possibly Bing), IT management (possibly Intune and Workplace Join) and so called "serious fun". All this will be then brought to the customer by a single and unified app store.
While Microsoft prepares for its next big thing, in the meantime Redmond is still working on the next updates and upgrades for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is said to be available around the same time as Windows Phone 8.1 (aka Windows Phone "Blue") which is expected to be released in spring 2014/Q2 2014.
Cheers ~ Arne