Windows 7 isn’t out the door yet, but Microsoft seem to be making good progress with Windows 8. It is interesting to note that Windows 7 has only been on general release for a month and yet many people are already eyeing up future iterations of the Windows operating system, including Microsoft itself. As it appears Mayan calamities aside, the next Windows should be here in just about three years!
A roadmap slide from Microsoft’s Italian subsidiary has Windows 8 penciled in for a 2012 release. According to Microsoft Kitchen, the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week saw Windows 8 mentioned in a slide detailing the future roadmap for Windows. It was mentioned by name and with a firm but flexible 2012 release date.
Apparently, Windows 8 will fit with Microsoft’s plans to keep significant OS releases four years apart. The previous major release seems to be not Windows 7, but Windows Server 2008, we’re supposed to believe. It is interesting to note here that Microsoft’s competitor Apple by contrast operates on a flexible schedule dictated by the scale of the releases themselves, such as the nearly two years between Leopard and Snow Leopard.
It will purportedly keep in step with a rhythm developed by Microsoft that has the software giant launching major releases four years apart, as Windows Server 2008 is considered a major release, but its R2 upgrade and even Windows 7 are both treated as “release updates.”
While the roadmap is almost certainly the genuine article, the fact that Windows Vista doesn’t even appear on the diagram suggests it’s aimed at the enterprise IT buyers and has a point to make in making Microsoft look reliable and punctual with its OS releases. If the next release goes according to plan we will have a new release of Windows client and server somewhere in 2012 codename “Windows 8”. Job offers at Microsoft already start mentioning Win 8.
So what would Microsoft want to do with Windows 8? That again depends on how popular Windows 7 proves to be. If it manages to kill XP off then expect only slight and probably under-the-surface changes; if not then some more wild and risky choices could be made. Whatever happens it looks as though it could be built on 128-bit architecture. Well it is still a long time, let’s enjoy Windows 7 and 2008 R2 for a while!