How Microsoft is changing Windows updates with Threshold

Windows Threshold logo

Microsoft is planning to unveil Windows Threshold at the end of September, but details keep surfacing on the company’s plans for the next version of its software. Today I’m hearing new information on Microsoft looking to change how updates are delivered with Threshold and future releases.

In the first preview of Windows Threshold, it’s said that the software maker will introduce a new user agreement to make Windows updates mandatory (updates that will be released every 2 or 4 weeks) for those who like to test the early version of what we expect to be called Windows 9. And here is where we’ll start to see the company moving the operating system on the same path of Office 365 and Windows Azure with rapid and incremental updates on Windows and Windows Phone in a more regular schedule.

This means no more waiting long period of times (usually one to three years) to see a new feature implemented. As such we can expect the company delivering bug and security fixes as well as new features through Windows update very quickly.

Now here is the interesting part: Instead of releasing Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 12, Windows 14 (because, of course, Microsoft will skip Windows 13), the company will put a lot emphasis on only updating Threshold. If this information end up being true, it could also mean that Microsoft could be thinking on naming its operating system simply “Windows”, because versioning will no longer be relevant.

Microsoft seems to be adapting to the new era of free software, where revenue comes from different channels and not necessarily from charging a fee every time a new version of Windows is release. We’re already seeing these changes, and the company is no longer charging licensing fees to PC makers to ship Windows and Windows Phone on handsets and tablets.

Currently Windows 9 is rumored to be delivered as a free update for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8/8.1 users. The thinking behind the new strategy is to have as much Windows users upgraded to the latest version of the operating system and using Microsoft’s cloud services and apps, just where the money is.

Even more, the company has been spotted testing a new single-click update button that will possibly be included in the Threshold technical preview letting users move quickly to the latest build of Windows without having to completely reinstall the operating system.