HOLD FOR LG: Microsoft Prepping New ‘Threshold’ Operating Systems

Threshold. ThatEUs the working name of the next major wave of Microsoft operating system releases that are intended to cross the threshold of better integrating the companyEUs three major platforms -- Windows for computers and tablets, Windows Phone and Xbox One.

According to news reports, the Threshold release date is being targeted for the spring of 2015. While there do not appear to be plans for the three platforms to converge into one, there are expectations that more common elements will be shared between them. The Threshold name -- derived from a planet mentioned in the huge Xbox hit game Halo -- refers not to one release but to the coordinated release of all three.

There are several Microsoft initiatives underway to move the three platforms closer, including development of a single app store and of a developer toolset that has more similarities between the three operating systems. Potentially, developer skills that can be reused across platforms, and a single Microsoft commercial outlet for developersEU efforts, could increase the appeal of Microsoft platforms for companies creating applications.

Merging Phone and RT?

There had been speculation that the company, in its next full release, might try to merge the two operating systems that are based on ARM processors, the RT version of Window and Windows Phone. Some reports have also suggested that the next Windows Phone will be able to support 7-inch to 10-inch tablets, although possibly only ARM-based devices.

Additionally, there is speculation by Microsoft-watchers that the company will integrate or at least make the workflow similar for such common tasks as document creation/management, search-related functionalities, and IT management of devices.

In July, for instance, outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer noted in an e-mail to company employees that Microsoft, going forward, will leverage its strengths across PCs, Xbox, Office, and enterprise-based products like Windows Server and...

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