Breaking the Threshold with Windows OneCore: a modern UI framework that works across all devices


Breaking the Threshold with Windows OneCore: a modern UI framework that works across all devices

We’ve heard this a few times from various sources. One operating system to rule them all. One operating system for phones, tablets, computers, and Xbox. It looks like the framework for that operating system is being referred to as Windows OneCore. A job listing has surfaced, giving us a peek at what OneCore might be about.

“The XAML team is building the UI framework at the core of the ‘One Microsoft’ OS. Our framework is used by hundreds of thousands of developers, including many teams at Microsoft. Our goal is to provide the best modern UI framework, which is integral to the success of our platform and ecosystem,” the job listing reads.

Microsoft is hard at work in creating a UI platform and developer experience for all of the company’s devices. This is nothing new — as we have heard numerous times that Microsoft has been looking to merge Windows RT with Windows Phone. Microsoft seems focused on creating one operating system for all platforms — including Xbox.

“Our charter includes: Enabling developers to create UI that works well across all of our devices: phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox. Creating rich new controls that provide end users with delightful interaction and high usability. Expanding the capabilities of our platform to increase developer productivity – getting more apps to market, faster. Dramatically enhancing the performance of our framework to enable the creation of complex and fluid UI,” the job listing adds.

“Expanding the capabilities of our platform to increase developer productivity”

The job listing doesn’t directly refer to the name “OneCore.” Instead, the name OneCore has been spotted in various materials, with one of them in a work history of a Microsoft employee. The other recent reference of OneCore is in the LinkedIn profile of a Microsoft intern.

This intern, as mentioned on his LinkedIn profile, is working on porting “trademark Windows Phone features” for use in any Windows operating environment through Windows OneCore. This hints at many Windows Phone features that could make their way to future versions of Windows, including Cortana — something Microsoft has confirmed in the past.

It is apparent that Microsoft wants to create one centralized framework so app developers can have an easier time creating and monetizing apps. Microsoft recently announced a single Windows Dev Center website, making it easier for app developers to learn and create apps for both platforms. This is yet another step towards the company’s journey to a single unified Windows platform.

So what about Windows Threshold? Well, Threshold is the codename for the next update/release of Windows. Threshold is the codename for this particular release, meaning we’re not too sure what it will actually be called when it launches. It’s highly likely that this release will be called Windows 9 to further distance itself from the Windows 8 brand name, but with recent rumors claiming Windows 9 is coming after Threshold, we’re not entirely sure.

Threshold is intended to add another level of commonality across Microsoft’s various Windows-based platforms. This includes the Xbox One operating system, Windows operating system, and Windows Phone operating system — which already share a common Windows NT core. Microsoft is already working to deliver a single app store across all Windows platforms. 

It will be interesting to see how Windows Threshold plays out in relation to Windows OneCore. Will we see this UI framework in the next version of Windows? We’ll just have to wait and see. Windows Threshold is expected in early 2015.