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First Details on Next Windows Release Reportedly Leak

While some users may still be updating to Windows 8.1, Microsoft could be on the threshold of its next major OS update -- literally. The next significant upgrade to the Windows family is allegedly codenamed Threshold and is said to include a single unified app store, according to ZDNet.

Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reports that Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president, revealed this information via an internal email to employees. In addition to bringing the rumored universal app store to Windows devices, Threshold is also expected to add tools aimed at enticing developers to create more apps for the platform.

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The update will allegedly apply to Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One operating systems.  Like Microsoft’s rumored “Cortana” project, which is the Windows Phone answer to Siri, Threshold borrows its name from the Xbox’s flagship “Halo” series.

The report servers as another indication that Microsoft plans to further streamline its mobile ecosystem moving forward. Just last month, Microsoft’s head of devices Julie Larson-Green said that the future of Windows “won’t have three” operating systems, hinting that Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone will merge more tightly.

The addition of a unified app store and more tools for developers could help Windows Phone keep up with the Android and iOS competition. In May, Microsoft revealed that the Windows Phone store only housed 145,000 apps, while the Google Play Store and iOS App Store offer around one million apps each. 

via ZDNet