has a speculative article based on tips from anonymous contacts
talking about Microsoft's future plans to converge the Windows desktop, Windows
mobile, and Xbox operating systems (thanks nin via
). They say the plan is to roll out an update codenamed "Threshold"
in Spring 2015 that will bring the three systems closer in line. Microsoft has
refused to comment on their report, calling it "rumors and speculation," but
here is what they say MS has up its corporate sleeve:
From what I've
heard, Threshold doesn't refer to a single Windows OS -- not even the expected,
converged hybrid comprised of the Windows Phone OS and Windows RT. Instead,
the codename refers to the wave of operating systems across Windows-based
phones, devices and gaming consoles.
The Xbox One OS, Windows 8.x OS and Windows Phone 8 OS already share
a common Windows NT core. As we've heard before,
Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows
platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for
all three of these platforms more similar.
But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft's various
Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans
to support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. These
high-value activities include expression/documents (Office, and the coming
"Remix" digital storytelling app, I'd think); decision making/task
completion (Bing, I'd assume); IT management (Intune and
Join, perhaps?) and "serious fun."
CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned this
concept of high-value activities at back in July when he announced
Microsoft's cross-company reorg to make the company more focused around its
new "One Microsoft" mission.