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Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft

Vista Followup Already in the Works 482

Posted by Zonk
from the let-the-corpse-of-xp-cool-first dept.
DesertBlade passed us an InfoWorld article, which has the news that Microsoft is already hard at work on the next version of Windows ... and we may see it as early as 2009. Possibly codenamed Vienna, the next Windows iteration will be coming a brief two and a half years after Vista's launch. This is the same timeframe Microsoft claims it would have utilized for Vista, had they not put Longhorn 'on the back burner' to deal with security issues in XP. Corporate Vice President of Development Ben Fathi is already discussing features for the next OS: "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is ... Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers. It's too early for me to talk about it ... But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."
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Vista Followup Already in the Works

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  • by JonathanR (852748) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:37AM (#17961598)

    We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology

    The power switch?
    • More important one: RESET!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think they mean new software features.

      For instance a completely new file system.
      • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mikeisme77 (938209) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:38AM (#17961886) Homepage Journal
        That would be nice... One that doesn't require manual defragmenting the hard drive (everybody else can do it...) But they've been working on a new file system for a few years now and keep pushing it back, so it's kind of going the way of Duke Nukem' Forever...

        The new interface/interaction paradigm might be cool, but that should come out of Microsoft Research so they can do proper user experience testing (and not just test like 13 MS employees like they did with the ribbon (this was mentioned on the Office development blog)... The ribbon looks cool, but I find myself digging around for items that I used to just have a small toolbox pop up for or were just on the main toolbar--plus there doesn't appear to be a way to reorganize the ribbon...) The regular MS people just don't have the training/expertise to do much user experience work--I've talked to employees about it at career fairs and such (I'm an HCI major) and most of them don't even know what user experience/usability work really is... And for a company that large and ubiquitous, that's just sad...
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jacksonj04 (800021)
          Vista *does* defrag automatically when idle, over-fragmented, 3am(ish) or when it's feeling like it. That said, a slightly more useful filesystem (is WinFS still due with Vista SP1 later this year?) would be lovely.
          • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by mikeisme77 (938209) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @08:21AM (#17962100) Homepage Journal
            So WinFS is finally being released? That was the one I was referring to that's been in development (and delayed) for years now. I've heard mixed thoughts about whether or not it will be better or worse, but we won't know until it's out...

            The other thing that might be useful (eventually) is a file system designed to optimize the use of flash drives (not really all that useful with 30 GB flash drives costing a few hundred, but this will likely be very useful in about 2-5 years after the prices have dropped considerably/larger capacity flash drives are available).
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by MojoStan (776183)

              So WinFS is finally being released? That was the one I was referring to that's been in development (and delayed) for years now. I've heard mixed thoughts about whether or not it will be better or worse, but we won't know until it's out...

              It will probably be an add-on to Vista, not part of Vista's successor (Vienna). Recent articles (past 2 months) about Vista's successors have hinted that WinFS is likely to be part of an add-on/service pack/roll-up to Vista codenamed "Fiji" (also called "Vista RC2" by some people). Fiji is due some time in 2008 and supposedly includes the vaporous WinFS, updated Aero, updated .NET Framework, updated bundled apps, HD-DVD playback (with decoder), and other "minor" updates/add-ons.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by x-caiver (458687)
                When you typed "also called 'Vista RC2' by some people", that may have been a typo, but I'll clarify here for others.

                Microsoft tries to use 'RC' the same way many other development companies do - 'release candidate [wikipedia.org]' for a particular product. (some teams have a little trouble realizing that an RC is not just 'an extra beta' it seems). RC2 would be the 2nd such release candidate. In my opinion having a few (less than 4) is fine, and having two is perfectly reasonable. You release your release candidate, th
          • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:5, Informative)

            by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gmailSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:28AM (#17962466)

            That said, a slightly more useful filesystem (is WinFS still due with Vista SP1 later this year?) would be lovely.

            FFS. How many times has this been said ?

            WinFS is not a filesystem, it's a database.

            • by ElephanTS (624421) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:47AM (#17962960)
              FFS. How many times has this been said ?

              WinFS is not a filesystem, it's a database.


              What about FFS? Maybe it's the new file system MS are working on?
            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:45AM (#17963366)

              WinFS is not a filesystem, it's a database.
              Right. It's WinDB that's the new filesystem.
            • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @12:59PM (#17963928) Homepage

              WinFS is not a filesystem, it's a database.


              A file system IS a database. Of course the issue is moot since WinFS will be released on the 43rd day of Lovermber in the year Two thousand and flibbity quard.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by x-caiver (458687)

              WinFS is not a filesystem, it's a database.

              Man, it is about time someone said that.

              A file system is a way for a computer to organize a bunch of data in a manner that makes that data easy to find and access after it is stored. It has methods for reading / writing (updating) existing data, a way to store meta data about the data, and ways to make different pieces of data be related to others (folders, links, streams, etc).

              That is -completely- different from a database! A database is a way for a computer to organize a bunch of data in a manner tha

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by rbanffy (584143)
              WinFS is neither a database, nor a filesystem. It's vaporware designed to create the perception Microsoft has some technology the others can't have.

              It's been promised since NT 4.
        • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:5, Informative)

          by ocbwilg (259828) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @08:55AM (#17962244)
          The new interface/interaction paradigm might be cool, but that should come out of Microsoft Research so they can do proper user experience testing (and not just test like 13 MS employees like they did with the ribbon (this was mentioned on the Office development blog)... The ribbon looks cool, but I find myself digging around for items that I used to just have a small toolbox pop up for or were just on the main toolbar--plus there doesn't appear to be a way to reorganize the ribbon...)

          It was more than just 13 people at Microsoft. It was based on feedback from a lot of customers as well, not to mention multiple rounds of testing. The philosophy behind it was to make the menus more context sensitive, to reduce the number of clicks necessary to get something done. I've been at some demos where they discussed the number of clicks it takes to complete various tasks in Office 2003 versus Office 2007, and in many cases they've seen a 50-60% reduction in clicks (for example, the number of clicks it takes to insert a picture into a Word document). I agree that the ribbon takes some getting used to, but after using it for a few months I find that it is actually much easier and faster to use than navigating the old menus. The biggest problem is the learning curve for people who were used to the old way of doing things.

          A well-cited example from the usability tests that they did while Office 2007 was in development: The testing team brought in two groups of people, one a group who had little to no MS-Office skills, and the other a group who used Office extensively. They sat them both down in front of PCs with Office 2003 loaded and assigned them a list of tasks to complete within a specified timeframe. Most of the "Office Experts" completed all of the tasks, and none of the "Office Newbies" completed all of the tasks. Then they sat them down in front of PCs with Office 2007 loaded and the same list of tasks. In this case, most of the "experts" completed most of the tasks, though it took them a little longer to do it. But most of the "newbies" also completed most of the tasks as well. This relatively simple test underlines to me just how much of an improvement the ribbon interface is (not to mention my personal experiences with it). If you take the time to use it you will undoubtedly find it faster over time.

          Of course, the kicker to the experiment that MS did was that they offered the participants a free copy of MS Office for doing the test. They could have their choice of a full version of Office 2003, or a beta copy of Office 2007 and a free copy of the gold version when it was released. Most of the "experts" took 2003, while the "newbies" took 2007. Just goes to show you how entrenched some people get.
          • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by mikeisme77 (938209) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:16AM (#17962380) Homepage Journal
            I do like the ribbon interface to a degree, I just think it should have gone through MS Research where they could have done more extensive testing and perhaps delayed the ribbon until the next version--right now you not only have the learning curve for the ribbons but the inconsistency of interface throughout the Office suite (Publisher and Visio use the old interface) plus the fact that XP and Vista are both entrenched in the old interface. If you're going to push a new paradigm then you should do so consistently... Plus, most Office users are the already entrenched users...
    • Re:Fundamentals. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:36AM (#17961880)
      Something that sells.

      The store I work in is a fairly large one, and has only one competitor within the town and its outlying neighbours. Since Vista launched on the 30th, we've sold all of two copies. A lot of the people that are coming in to look at new PC's or Laptops are deliberately avoiding the ones pre-loaded with vista because of all the horror stories they've heard, and of the two copies of Vista that we've sold, one has come back as unusable (it was the upgrade version of home premium. The owners laptop was running XP Pro. The Home premium upgrade refuses to install over an XP pro installation, and the user doesn't want to upgrade to the business version, and ultimate was delayed, therefore not an immediate option. Why the hell are microsoft turning away sales like that?), and the other user is considering returning it as he can't even get on the net with it, despite have drivers for all of his hardware.

      As far as launches go, this one has been pretty pathetic. So far, it seems to have cost us more than it's actually earned.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I always wonder why Microsoft cannot afford to (or just will not) put more manpower on the job.
    A company like this should be able to look at security in XP and develop Vista in different teams at the same time, shouldn't it?
    • by omicronish (750174) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:47AM (#17961650)

      I always wonder why Microsoft cannot afford to (or just will not) put more manpower on the job. A company like this should be able to look at security in XP and develop Vista in different teams at the same time, shouldn't it?

      They do [directions...rosoft.com]. After Windows is finished, the dev team proceeds to work on the next version, while a team called Windows Sustained Engineering takes over the released version. From the link:

      Security fixes are not WSE's only concern. In fact, once a version of Windows is released to manufacturing--or declared "golden"--the product team that developed it transfers the source code to the group. WSE then has primary responsibility for any further work over the next seven years (the supported life of the product), including hotfixes, security patches, updates (critical and noncritical), security rollups, feature packs, and service packs.
    • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:54AM (#17961676) Journal
      There is no shortage of manpower at Microsoft. There is a severe shortage of vision, and managerial competence.

      -jcr

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @08:01AM (#17961986) Journal
        Most likely because dispite Microsoft's reality vortex they still at least have the balls to admit to themselves that software still has not been realized as an engineering discipline. It would be nice if a large software project could be broken out into little modules with clear specifications that any coder could go off and make but it usually can't. Lots of development is very iterative, which means everything is changing. Lots of time stuff just has to be built to see how workable or unworkable it really is in practice; but when I change my interface it breaks your module. Maybe that is a minor problem easy to fix or maybe its a show stopper, how can I know.

        Most large projects seem to work best with a few core team people who know basically how everything works at least at some level and can then farm out small clearly defined tasks to others. Their total bandwidth is bound to be limited though and so more 'others' does not always help. Growing the core team won't help much either because communication between them has to be total and constant, that is going to take longer the more specialed and nemerous those guys become.

        Look at the Linux kernel for instance. You have Linus and pretty small core team that has different specialties. I know all those core team guys have some familiarity with the entire thing and Linus absoultly does. You can tell that from reading LKN. Maybe Jens is a block layer wizard but he know s how the network and VM layers work. He has to know inorder to mange block layer development well. He then has lots of other people submitting smallish patches and fixes to what is primarily his project.

        I think we can reasonably assume that the Linux kernel and core GNU stuffs, includeing things like Gnome, have more developers.[qualified] contributing then M$ can put on windows even if they wanted. While those projects do seem to progress more rapidly then Windows its not by any means in an earth shattering way.

           
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JohnFluxx (413620)
        I've never understood why basic apps like the calculator and the character selector etc apps don't receive any love.

        They seem like great places were a couple of developers could just be given the job to fix them up. Yet they never seem to improve.
    • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:20AM (#17961810)
      There's a diminishing return on manpower. There's only so much the operating system can be fragmented, and each group can only be so large. That was part of Vista's problem - too many people having a say.
      • by aussie_a (778472)
        Yes but surely Vista and XP can be completely fragmented, in that you shouldn't need to have people assigned to Vista pulled from it to work on XP if you're willing to simply hire more people. So either they did throw non-Vista people at XP and the summary is bullshit, or they're not willing to put enough people into their operating systems (which is simply mind boggling).
        • 10 reasons

          1. Don't forget that the vast majority of people working for Microsoft don't code.

          2. Also, that their corporate culture has been known to be sucky for almost 2 decades (hint: nobody likes being shuted at).

          3. And that you can make as much or more money elsewhere (Microsoft stock options are no longer a real incentive)

          4. You can enjoy more autonomy at almost any other company

          5. People want to have a life outside of work (follow-up to #2)

          6. Its more fun being a larger part of a small project than a faceless cog in a large project (follow-up to #4)

          7. A lot of the interesting stuff just isn't being done by Microsoft

          8. Clueless VPs spouting bullshit:

            Corporate Vice President of Development Ben Fathi is already discussing features for the next OS: "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is ... Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers. It's too early for me to talk about it ... But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."

            A perfect example of someone who should be kept locked away from the media until they have something concrete to say.

          9. Windows and Microsoft aren't seen as being cool any more, and haven't been for a decade.

          10. Who wants to be associated with crap products that are responsible for most of the zombies/worms/viruses?

          I mean, really ... Ben Fathi [microsoft.com] is supposed to be the guy overseeing everything, and he says "I don't know what it is" about what's next, and this is news????

          Ben Fathi serves as corporate vice president of development for the Windows Core Operating System Division (COSD) at Microsoft Corp. He oversees the development of core components of Microsoft Windows, including the kernel, and technologies associated with security, networking, virtualization, setup and deployment.

          Fathi previously served as corporate vice president of the Security Technology Unit (STU), where he was responsible for delivery of all core security technologies, including the authentication, authorization and audit capabilities (AAA) of Microsoft products; Windows Rights Management Services (RMS); BitLocker drive encryption; and anti-virus, anti-spyware and network security protocols. Fathi also managed the Security Engineering and Communications team, the Security Response Center and the Security Outreach team, all of which focus on helping protect customers from online security threats.

          So, he says he doesn't know what the next big thing in Windows is going to be ... here's a suggestion - new graphics and artwork to make it look more like OSX, a new startup sound that cost a billion instead of a few measly million to "enhance the user experience some more", a Duke Nukem Forever interactive screen-saver, and ribbons with dropdowns with flyouts with popups with menus, so that the user has at least 10 different ways to get to any particular option. And not one, not 2, but FOUR new programming languages - D minus (to replace C sharp), DOT NOT (a .net replacement that is ultra secure by refusing to do ANYTHING), J-Script/XML+J-Script/CSS for those who want to continue to build non-standard web sites, as well as Internet Explorer 9 - will only allow you to visit microsoft-signed sites, and a revamped cmd.exe and windows kernel that will only allow access to 640k of ram per process so that no application can ever be a resource hog. This last spec will be known as "Microsoft Dynacode Operating System 1", or MS-DOS 1.0. Plans call for an optional text interface sometime by 2012, and the removal of mouse support by 2015, because they can sell ms keyboards for more than mice.

          Oh, and their engineering slogan will be "Windows ain't done until Wine won't run."

    • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:37AM (#17961882)
      The more people you put on a project the more managers you require, the more meetings, the more decisions, more designs etc...

      Larger code base means more bugs, more test time, more bug fixing teams etc..

      You can't put twice as many people at a project and expect twice the work to result from it.
      • microsoft reps often cited WinXP problems as reasons why vista was delayed.

        What the poster is wondering is why not get more poeple to fix WinXP and more people to work on Vista?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Movi (1005625)
      Ah, because the problem is not putting more manpower on the job, but putting less. Right now there's a overpopulation on the project. Notice how many people work on Vista and how many on Mac OS X (ignoring for a moment the BSD userspace tools). More manpower != better results.
  • Subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:42AM (#17961622) Homepage
    "It's too early for me to talk about it"

    Translation: "We haven't figured out who we're going to rip off yet. Probably Apple."
    • by lewiz (33370)
      Nah, I think that'd be too obvious. They need to rip-off different companies in some sort of random order.

      New user paradigm... I'm not sure Apple's user paradigm is still new.

      The hypervisor comment is interesting. Lots of people are doing virtualisation: there's VMware, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Xen... the list goes on! But you can be sure that whatever it is, it won't be compatible with any other others.
    • by gathas (588371)
      Simpsons, Talking about new Duff Beer Products at the Brewery: Guide: What does the future hold for us? Heh. Let's just say we have a few ideas up our sleeve. Homer: Like what? Guide: Um, I'd rather not get into it right now. Homer: Why not? Guide: All right, we don't have any ideas for the future. We got nothing. Happy? Homer: [whiny] No. -- So much for innovation, "Duffless"
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by catchblue22 (1004569)

      Vienna really isn't that far away from Cairo.

    • "Just don't switch to something else. Longh^H^H^H^H^H Vienna is going to blow you away, seriously."
  • by Funkcikle (630170) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:46AM (#17961636)
    I am not too impressed by the name of "Vienna", especially since I happen to like the place.

    I think something along the lines of Windows Hindenburg would be more appropriate. Or does anyone have a better name?
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:53AM (#17961668) Homepage Journal
    Another Windows in two years, why bother upgrading?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That doesn't really apply to Windows, for two reasons:

      1) Every consumer "needs" to replace their computer every 2-3 years. They won't delay a computer purchase more than 6 months in order to get the next OS.
      2) Corporate sales often involve site licenses with a guaranteed free update. So if you buy a 5 year plan now, you pay $ X per year, and you can run XP, Vista, or the new OS when it's out. So an upcoming new release is essentially a bonus for those companies. The usual Microsoft strategy involves
      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:33AM (#17962868)

        1) Every consumer "needs" to replace their computer every 2-3 years. They won't delay a computer purchase more than 6 months in order to get the next OS.

        I don't think this is true. 5+ years ago, I would have agreed. But now I'm content with the same computer for at least 4 years, maybe more. Maybe I've changed, maybe the market has:
        • Now that I'm married with kids, I don't have as much time for computer gaming any more. Realistically, Firefox, OpenOffice.org, YouTube, RealPlayer, getting images off the digital camera, etc. just don't need a hardware upgrade. The only piece of software that lots of people use and that taxes modern hardware is Vista, and Vista is on almost no one's "must have" list.

        • Another consequence of getting older and having kids is that you have more demanding things for your money: saving for retirement, college, mortgage, etc. So even on days when I'm jonesing for a new computer, I just learn to suck it up a little bit and accept the current one.

        • After 10+ years of playing the twitchy, graphics-intensive games like FPS's, I'm bored. The only games that keep my interest are things like Civilization and Astral Masters, which have fairly low-end requirements.

        • 5+ years ago, there was a very discernible improvement in performance every two years. Now? Not so much unless you're using things like FPS games which really tax the computer. In fact, I'd probably say that as the years go by, the fraction of apps that people want to use and that really tax the CPU is going down.

        • You made excellent points and it shows in your +5 rating. I'm in much the same position as you are and I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. This 4+ year old computer is still doing everything that it needs to do, so why spend the $$$ on buying a new one?
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:53AM (#17961672)
    "Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is ... Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers. It's too early for me to talk about it "

    "we got nothing, someone think something up quick so we can steal it."

  • by l3v1 (787564) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:54AM (#17961678)
    you're going to start hearing more and more

    And you'd better going to start forgetting pretty fast too, since what you'll hear probably ain't going to be what you'll get. Or maybe it will. Or not. Well, after the last few years of windows feature hypes, it's hard to believe anything. That is, if you care to even bother.

    • by aussie_a (778472)
      I think people can hope for the features they advertised in Longhorn to appear in the next Windows. They can at least hope.
  • Why announce now? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GBC (981160) * on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:54AM (#17961680)
    I have used Windows as my main OS for around 13 or 14 years, ever since boxing up my old Amiga (*sniff*). I am now pretty happy with XP, like I imagine most Windows customers are. I really like the look of Office 2007 and will probably end up buying it, but I don't need to upgrade to Vista to use it.

    I just don't understand why they are announcing this new version so soon after the release of Vista. The reviews I have been reading about Vista already make me think twice about wanting to upgrade; now that I know they are bringing in another OS in a few years' time what is the incentive for a typical MS customer like me to upgrade? Surely it is better to wait and see what they come up with next.

    For those that do want to upgrade there is already a built-in lag before doing so anyway (at least for the sensible ones), either because they need to buy new hardware or because they will not install a new OS without some of the early bugs being ironed out and a service pack being released.

    If we assume that MS actually delivers this new OS on time (which is a big if) there is not that long a wait between the time after lag for people to upgrade to Vista and the time this is released. Won't this reduce uptake on Vista? After all, if we are already happy with XP, why not wait?

    Anyone already using Vista care to comment?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032)
      I just don't understand why they are announcing this new version so soon after the release of Vista.

      Mainly because everyone knows what a disappointment Vista turned out to be, and to retain customers they have to pretend that something better is less than five years away.

      2007 will be remembered as the peak of Microsoft. They have nothing but a long decline ahead of them.

      -jcr

    • I just don't understand why they are announcing this new version so soon after the release of Vista.

      What do you expect the developers to do in the meantime? Just sit around and wait until customers start demanding a new version before working on it? Whether they announce it or not, they're going to work on the next version. It'd be silly to just sit still.

    • Re:Why announce now? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @08:39AM (#17962178)
      I've been "using Vista" for 2 years via Tiger and Ubuntu, and I participated in the RC1 testing.

      The simple answer is that Windows buyers fall into 4 groups:
      1) Upgrade whenever IT feels like it.
      2) Early adopters, bought Vista already.
      3) Slow upgraders - will buy Vista in a year or so (when SP1 or whatever comes out)
      4) Gets Vista with the regularly scheduled new computer.

      Groups 1 and 4 are unaffected by Windows scheduling - they'll buy based on non-MS factors. Group 2 will likely buy any version of Windows early (either because they have to for their job [like developers], or because they're enthusiasts). By 2009, Group 3 will largely be on Vista anyways. Unless you bought a computer in Q2 2006 or later, the way processors are moving now, you'll be obsolete in 2009*. Not to mention that groups 2 and 3 are utterly dwarfed in size by groups 1 & 4. Therefore, 90% of MS sales are independent of how often they release their software.

      * = note that this is accelerated by Vista. If everyone must have very high requirements to run Vista, then developers can soon start targeting more powerful computers.
    • by ocbwilg (259828)
      If we assume that MS actually delivers this new OS on time (which is a big if) there is not that long a wait between the time after lag for people to upgrade to Vista and the time this is released. Won't this reduce uptake on Vista? After all, if we are already happy with XP, why not wait?

      This isn't an announcement. Someone just mentioned that yes, they have already started work on their next big OS upgrade project. But they can't even tell you what the new feature set is likely to include, so it's pre
  • This just in... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zouden (232738) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:59AM (#17961708)
    Company developing new product!

    Is anyone surprised by this? I bet people at Apple are already working on the successor to Leopard, which isn't even out yet. This is the way things are done.
  • Do Windows users have to pay for the upgrade to the 'new windows' by that time?

    Just curious.
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      People still have to pay? Wow, I thought Microsoft stopped doing that back in 1998. At least, that's the last time -I- paid.
  • New think (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GreatDrok (684119) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:11AM (#17961772) Journal
    Hmmm, abject failure to deliver on Longhorn and the fact that two years in they had to dump it because it wasn't going to work and do a simple retread of Windows 2003 with a bit of flashy OS X ripped off graphics is how I remember it. Blaming XP SP2 is simply trying to change history. They made all these great claims about how wonderful Longhorn was going to be and now they are claiming that Apple has copied all their great ideas and delivered them in a working OS while they have dropped most of them because they couldn't make it work. But Apple could. And Apple is the one doing to copying.

    How about this for a prediction. The next version of Windows will be late, more of the same, still insecure and a desperate copy of whatever Apple was shipping in 2007.
  • Huge Mistake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogie (31020) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:12AM (#17961776) Journal
    To be talking about this now. If this story gains traction then it will just hurt business adoption. Two years is nothing to wait out Vista and XP still works fine. Many small businesses I've personally heard from have not heard great things about Vista, this will scare them off even more. To take a page from Huggy Bear word on the street is...Vista is OK, nothing special and not worth upgrading to. News of Vista's early replacement certainly isn't the method I'd use to try and win people over.
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      News of Vista's early replacement certainly isn't the method I'd use to try and win people over.


            No no! You don't understand! See, the sooner they can get the next OS out, the faster they can drop support for XP because after all, it's 2 versions behind and "obsolete". Now you're forced to upgrade. See? ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)
      I doubt anything at MS happens by chance. So this leak isn't and while it might hurt Vista adoption a little, it's probably just enough in the future to not change decisions about today and this year. However, it just might keep people on the windos platform, because they have something besides the trainwreck Vista to look forward to now.

      I say this is a marketing move to prevent people looking at Vista with disgust and deciding to jump ship to something else entirely (OSX, Linux, Solaris, whatever).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by orin (113079)
      Why is a comment from someone who hasn't even used the operating system themselves marked insightful? He's basically said "I've heard that a bunch of dudes that haven't used Vista haven't heard great things about it". Perhaps insightful of the bunch of dudes had trialled Vista. But I heard from someone that heard isn't really all that insightful is it?
  • by Arimus (198136) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:29AM (#17961852)
    WTF is this a story? Company launches product and starts work on next product. No shit sherlock.... I would suspect that while the new OS moves from the blue-sky phase to getting actual code cut the R&D dept will be work on its replacement....
  • "But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."

    Yeah. More vaporware for the sheep to salivate over.

    My guess: To be released 2014.
  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot.stango@org> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:54AM (#17961948) Homepage Journal
    They've probably been fleshing out the feature list for Vista's successor since the first day a developer copy of OS X 10.5 reached the grubby mitts of a Microsoft employee. Don't expect the real work to start until spring, though, when it's released with its 'top secret' features.

    Go ahead and mod me down, bitches, but after this tasty tidbit [itnews.com.au] you know I'm probably right. And they did the same thing to Go Corp, BTW.

    ~Philly
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @07:57AM (#17961962)

    "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is ... Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers. It's too early for me to talk about it ... But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."
    Oh come on, with a name like Vienna we all know the only major upgrade will be more DRM.
    MS and Hollywood want to lock us all up in a tiny little can of DRM control, just like a bunch of Vienna sausages.
  • We are waiting for Apple to ship Leopard, iLife/iWork 07 and show off the top secret features. 2.5 years should give us enough time to come up with a half baked version of Leopard.

    "It's too early for me to talk about it," he added. "But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."

    Of course you will start hearing more and more after Steve shows his hand ;-)
  • Until Microsoft gets off their "stupid" backwards compatibility hang up Windows will always be bloated and "swiss cheese" (no offense intended against the Swiss). Why would someone wish to run an 8 or 16 bit program from 17 years ago on a machine and OS that did not exist at that time is beyond me... I have stated this before and drew flame for it... Some lamer complained that they could not "afford" another computer to have a second OS to run old stuff on. I have more than 15 computers out of those I only
  • It's too early for me to talk about it ... But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more

    In different words: we have nothing to talk about, but our PR machinery just isn't gonna shut up anyway. Or: business as usual.
  • They should call the next version of Windows "Apology" and make it actually worth the money.

  • by Tom (822)
    One, this is 100% vaporware, if even the MS insiders have no clue about the central changes.

    Two, any bets that over the next months, especially around the launch of OSX Leopard, we'll be hearing "leaked" info about all the really cool and advanced stuff that's going to be in Longhorn SP2, err... "Vienna" ? Then, of course, when it ships in 20012, none of them will actually be there. History repeats itself...
  • Hypervisors! (Score:5, Informative)

    by SiliconEntity (448450) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @01:15PM (#17964056)
    Hypervisors are the way to go for the OS of the future. Microsoft has had this vision for years. It was the foundation of their Next Generation Secure Computing Base, NGSCB, aka (ominous music here) Palladium.

    Palladium got embroiled in the whole DRM controversy but there are good reasons to go this way independent of DRM. The idea is that you have a regular OS running, a Vista type OS, and then you launch your hypervisor. The hypervisor digs its way under the OS, takes control, and the OS is then packaged up and is running in a virtual machine. This is what they call "Late Launch" and is the key to one aspect of the technology I will explain below.

    Now, here is the big win. You can create a new class of software, "applets" (maybe "virtlets" would be a better name) which interface directly to the hypervisor instead of the big legacy OS. These run in separate VMs so are immune to corruption of the big OS. They are simple and use a minimal API from the hypervisor so the chances of getting the code right and bug free are much greater. You can now use these for security oriented features you'd never dare to dream of on a monolithic OS. Think of Internet voting as a good example of what kind of security we are talking about. A more prosaic example is ecommerce - in a future world where people get their credit card numbers stolen all the time by malware there will be a real need for a secure way to shop online. Hypervisors and virtlets give developers a chance to start with a clean sheet of paper on the security front, while still maintaining full legacy backwards compatibility.

    Then there's the kicker. Part of the goal of Late Launch is to use the TPM chip to measure (hash) the hypervisor and each VM separately. It means that each VM has an identity that it can securely attest to using a certified key embedded in the TPM chip. That Internet voting app? It can connect to the voting server and the server can verify that it is running in a clean state. Any corruption would be detected and show up in a bad hash report from the TPM chip. Malware can't fake that report because nobody can fake it, not even the user (meaning, he can't be fooled into faking it either - this is the flaw in EFF's "owner override" proposal, but that's another story).

    This is all happening, folks. Intel's Lagrande Technology, now called TXT or Trusted Execution Technology, is rolling out as we write. This was the gating factor for all this technology and is probably the real reason it didn't appear in Vista - the hardware wasn't ready. But it's going to be there and it will be ubiquitous in a couple of years (at least, as ubiquitous as Vista-ready PCs are today). The next OS will take advantage of these features (and analogous ones on AMD, code-named Presidio) and will provide a whole new paradigm for security. This will leap beyond anything Apple can do and they will be playing catch-up, unless of course they start heading in this direction themselves.

    To me as a security person, this is the obvious, inevitable path of OS development and is the only plausible thing Microsoft could be talking about. It should be very exciting to see these ideas brought to market in real systems.
  • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @06:29PM (#17966908)
    I suspect that Microsoft are announcing shiny new software for some future date is that they're worried about Leopard.

    Reviewers are already pitting Vista against OS X 10.4 and finding them neck-and-neck, with Vista coming out ahead on some features and OS X coming out ahead on others.

    A lot of people are expecting the upcoming OS X 10.5 to blow Vista's features out of the water. Microsoft don't want Vista to look like a lame (but profitable) duck for a few years, so they're going to pump up the next big thing. To paraphrase their past vapourware strategies - "don't buy from them, stay with us and you'll get all their features anyway, soon, soon..."

    "We put Longhorn on the back burner for awhile," Fathi said. "Then when we came back to it, we realized that there were incremental things that we wanted to do, and significant improvements that we wanted to make in Vista that we couldn't deliver in one release."

    Is that just a complete lie, a total re-writing of history? I've never heard anything other than the story of years of painful work going nowhere, resetting to Win2K3, jettisoning features and finally making progress. I've never heard this bit about slacking off for a couple of years, not really trying and then picking things back up later on.

    So what will be the coolest new feature in Vienna?

    According to Fathi, that's still being worked out. "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is," he said. "Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers."

    "It's too early for me to talk about it," he added. "But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."


    This comment reveals that Vienna is truly vapourware - they've not even reached the whiteboard to block out the big features.

    How can Microsoft let executives like this go out and give an interview with no spiel? A quick elevator speech is all that's required. Just something about "new filesystem database to revolutionise files" or "rich media" or even "exceedingly wealthy media born with a silver spoon." Anything is better than this sort of "well, gee, I dunno, didn't think you'd ask me that, hmm... nope, nothing's come to mind."

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