Microsoft Threshold is coming, and it will continue to merge Microsoft’s operating systems

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We all knew this was coming. After all, Microsoft exec Julie Larson-Green practically spelled it out for us recently when she said at the UBS Global Technology Conference that Microsoft won’t have three operating systems. Now, Redmond appears to be moving closer towards that vision. Microsoft is working on a series of OS updates code named Threshold.

Threshold won’t be a single operating system released aimed at one product category relevant to Microsoft’s purposes. Instead, Threshold will reportedly arrive as a series of updates sometime in Spring 2015, and they will aim to solidify the currently iffy relationship between Microsoft’s desktop, mobile and Xbox operating systems. This campaign to unify Microsoft software is part of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s “One Microsoft” vision.

Among the changes that could come with Microsoft Threshold include a single app store for every version of Windows, along with cross-platform apps. However, way before the arrival of Microsoft Threshold, Redmond will likely release both Windows 8.1 Update 1 as well as Windows Phone 8.1. The contents of those updates could contain some pretty strong indications about the direction of Microsoft and the approach it will take with the development of its operating systems down the line.

Unification or not, Microsoft will have to do a lot to sway people over to Windows 8. After all, Windows 7 and Windows XP dominate Microsoft operating system usage, while Windows 8’s adoption numbers lag behind considerably.

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