Just few hours back, we reported about Microsoft’s upcoming plans for Windows 9/Threshold. With Windows Threshold, Microsoft will put their focus on desktop users. Since the vast majority of users will be from Windows 7 moving forward, Microsoft preparing great set of improvements for them. Also, depending upon the device in which Windows is installed, the Start screen/Start menu option will vary. For example, desktop users can completely avoid Start screen with the help of the upcoming Start Menu which will include Live Tiles and windowing of Modern UI apps.
Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet confirmed the above details from her own sources and also revealed that the combined Phone/Tablet SKU of Threshold won’t have a classic desktop environment at all and obviously it will work on ARM-based Lumia phones, ARM-based and Intel Atom based Windows tablets. Another major information which was buried in her post is regarding the Windows Threshold availability. She reported that Windows 9 might be available for free to not just Windows 8.1 users, but also Windows 7 SP1 users. That’s a huge news because giving away Windows 9 to Windows 7 users essentially means that Windows will be available for free to most of the users.
The Microsoft OS team is hoping to get as many Windows 7 users moved to Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8 users to Windows 8.1 Update in preparation for (hopefully) getting them to move to Threshold once it is out. It’s still early in the Windows development cycle for Microsoft to have decided on packaging, pricing and distribution, but my sources say, at this point, that Windows Threshold is looking like it could be free to all Windows 8.1 Update and maybe even Windows 7 Service Pack 1 users.