Rumors about the next major Windows release are starting to crop up. Earlier today, Paul Thurrott of the eponymous Supersite for Windows posted a story about Windows "Threshold," which he says we can "think of as Windows 8.2." The story suggests that release may do more to cater to desktop users than Windows 8.1 does.
Quoting unnamed sources, Thurrott says Windows Threshold's desktop interface will let users run Modern UI apps inside windows. Translation: no more Modern UI apps monopolizing your entire screen, unless you want them to. On top of that, Thurrott expects Windows Threshold to revive the Start menu. (Windows 8.1 brought back the Start button, but the menu is still AWOL.)
Also interesting are a couple of stories by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Both stories are linked in Thurrott's article, and they reveal some more general details about Windows Threshold.
The first story, posted last week, claims Threshold will arrive in the spring of 2015 and will "include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements."
The second story adds that there could be three separate Threshold releases (or SKUs) for consumer devices, desktop PCs, and enterprise systems. According to Foley, the SKU for consumer devices would be "focused on WinRT apps," while the desktop release would "be customized so that mouse/keyboard users will be able to continue to have some semblance of productivity and familiarity with Windows." Presumably, the Start menu and Modern-UI-apps-as-windows functionality to which Thurrott alludes would show up in that release.
(Thanks to Neowin for the tip.)