As Microsoft is wrapping up Windows 7, with the release to manufacturing deadline just around the corner and the general availability deadline set for October 22, the company is also looking forward to the next version of Windows. In this context, the software giant already confirmed officially that planning for Windows 8 had started long before Windows 7 was even close to Release Candidate stage. At the same time, Microsoft has also started hiring people to work on specific future features that will end up in Windows 8.
Still, don't expect the Redmond company to come out with details just yet. But there is some talk of where Windows is heading. Following the release of Windows Vista, questions and speculation began to circulate on whether the successor of Windows XP was the last mammoth Windows release that Microsoft would produce. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer denied the possibility, and Windows 7 proves that it wasn't the case. Windows 8 will not stray far from the client-side operating system concept that Microsoft has been executing with each release.
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft chief software architect, managed to offer confirmation of this to BBC. Asked whether Windows 7 would be the last dedicated version of Windows that Microsoft would release, Ozzie replied “No, by no means.”
“Windows 7 is a tremendously exciting release. It has many innovations in the real of Natural User Interfaces and other such things. Computers will always need an operating system. Something that makes it very friendly for users to use. The nature of the operating system is indeed changing because of the ubiquity and utility of the Internet. The operating system is increasingly connected to those activities that happen on the Internet. Windows plus Windows Live deliver that within Windows 7 and that kind of integration of experience just gets better and better over time.”
At the same time, the man who replaced Bill Gates at the lead of Microsoft along with Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, doesn't see a prevalence of Cloud platforms over client-side operating system. “You'll see the combination of desktop-based, phone-based and TV-based systems that are all connected to the net. We don't do everything that we do in a browser. When we have phones we carry those phones with us and we do activities on those. PCs have very useful things that we do on the PC, just tremendous experiences. Same with the television. We have yet to see even the beginnings of the kind of innovation that we're going to have when every television itself becomes a computer that's connected to the Internet.”
Windows 8 – Life After Windows 7
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