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Windows 8, Microsoft's upcoming successor to Windows 7, will launch in 2012 according to a leak from Microsoft Netherlands.  (Source: Oxenti)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer insists that Windows 8 is his company's riskiest product, riskier even that its smart phone efforts. He would not say why, though.  (Source: Associated Press)
Microsoft tries to follow up its fastest selling operating system of all time

Windows 7 still has a ways to become the world's best selling operating system of all time, but it has already earned the distinction of being the fastest selling operating system ever.  That's a tough act to follow for Microsoft which is looking forward to its next operating system, even as it works on new Windows 7 updates and finishes phasing out Windows XP (which coincidentally was the best-selling OS of all time).

Some news has leaked out about the new operating system, which is rumored to be dubbed "Windows 8".  The first piece of news comes courtesy of Microsoft Netherlands, which posted the following announcement (translated using Google):

The phasing out of Windows XP, Microsoft is nearing completion. In July 2010, the support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 stops. Today Microsoft will stop selling Windows XP to PC manufacturers and the aftermarket sales of Windows Vista. For Windows 7, Microsoft Service Pack 1. This service pack is still in the testing phase and is expected in the first half of next year available.The first update of Windows 7 is the new version of Windows Live Essentials (explore.live.com) became available in mid-June.  Furthermore, Microsoft is of course the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before "Windows 8 on the market. The latest news about Windows is available at www.windows.nl / blog 

The bolded sentence, according to Microsoft blog Windows 8 Beta, was in the article.  Microsoft appears to have swiftly removed it, and visiting the article on Monday, that sentence was no longer there.

A launch two years from now would place Windows 8 as launching in 2012.  Previously it was rumored that the operating system could launch as early as next year (2011).  It is still possible that Microsoft might get to testing the upcoming OS during next year.  And it's also possible that unintentional release of information was inaccurate.

More reliable, but more puzzling were comments by Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Windows 8.  Speaking to reporters at the Gartner Symposium, the outspoken executive reportedly called the upcoming OS the "riskiest" upcoming product from his company.  He failed to elaborate on what he meant by that.

It's pretty hard to believe that the upcoming OS could be riskier than Windows Phone 7, which follows up a poor showing in recent years by Windows Mobile 6/6.5.

One possibility could be a switch to a cloud-based operating system.  Microsoft has dabbled in cloud OS's with its Azure OS.  And Google's first personal computer operating system, Chrome OS, set to debut late this year or early next is a cloud-based OS as well.  Another possibility is perhaps an effort to consolidate software viability via a Windows Software Store (or something of that nature).  Apple made a similar move with its announcement that the App Store would soon vend Mac apps.



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RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By UnWeave on 10/25/2010 10:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't be entirely surprised by the 64-bit move, although I don't know that it's entirely necessary. But, and I may be wrong on this, I thought WinFS had been completely canned?

Guess they might still be working on it, but if they basically had to start from scratch again... I mean, a decent FS takes a long time to develop.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Homerboy on 10/25/2010 10:50:59 AM , Rating: 2
There will be a strong emphasis on an AppsStore too.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Souka on 10/25/2010 12:29:13 PM , Rating: 2

I hope they don't release it in 2012! Didn't they see he movie!


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Belard on 10/25/2010 12:52:45 PM , Rating: 4
HUH?!

*IF* It doesn't come out, it means 2012 happens and we all die.

If it does come out, MS makes money and we all live.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Ammohunt on 10/25/2010 3:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why i am going to get my copy early so i can enjoy it as long as possible during that year.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Donkeyshins on 10/25/2010 1:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
Evidently 2012 Mayan Calendar researchers were not able to count:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/mayan-calendars-2...


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Farfignewton on 10/25/2010 3:31:55 PM , Rating: 5
So the Mayan calender ends in 2012. Big. Deal.

Many people throw out a calender from a far more advanced civilization every January 1st.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By B3an on 10/25/2010 3:24:40 PM , Rating: 4
It's funny, people want WinFS, but they dont even know why. And they dont realise that even Vista can do many of things WinFS was meant to.
It was never meant to replace NTFS either, as many believe.
WinFS was buggy as **** and going nowhere, MS realised this and done the right thin in cancelling it.

I suggest anyone who actually still thinks WinFS was a good idea should read this:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/why-do-you-want-win...


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By ekv on 10/25/2010 8:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
cool link.

WinFS was designed as a fancy-shmancy overlay for NTFS. Using SQL. There are several good links from Bott's article. WinFS was "reorganized", and appears to be part of Microsoft Sync Framework, which, in conjunction with SQL Azure sync, will introduce the "personal cloud." [Side note: Microsoft Groove, Ray Ozzie's brainchild, is part of this scene].

Interesting. But I still get the feeling that MSFT is playing catch-up. Like they're developing stuff and are trying to figure out their market after the s/w is developed?

Meanwhile, you have products like ZFS, developed by Sun (now a part of Oracle), which actually has a huge performance-based reason for existing. Why not license ZFS, tweak it, create a dozen server SKU's and push it out the door?

But then MSFT cancels minWin? strange.


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