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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 ( 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 / 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 Luticus on 10/25/2010 11:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
Depending on the features i'd upgrade pretty easily. I'm looking to build a new machine with in the next couple of years anyway so an upgrade for me would go hand-in-hand

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Suntan on 10/25/2010 11:35:02 AM , Rating: 4
Depending on the features i'd upgrade pretty easily. I'm looking to build a new machine with in the next couple of years anyway so an upgrade for me would go hand-in-hand

Well, if you are building a *new* computer, then you aren’t really “upgrading” the OS.

The issue with Vista was that few people saw the need to “upgrade” the XP OS on an existing computer. (Which I happen to think will be an issue for whatever OS comes out in the next couple of years too.)

Also, just FYI, a person that builds a new computer every 2-3 years... That’s not normal. Most people don’t need a new computer every other year to run Quicken and check Facebook.


RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Boze on 10/25/2010 12:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
Dunno why you got rated down for this... you couldn't be more correct.

I, for one, am holding off on building a new machine until UEFI is available for both Intel and AMD motherboards. Its time that BIOS was retired; a 30 year run is nothing to be ashamed of in the computing world.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By AlexWade on 10/26/2010 7:44:13 AM , Rating: 2
People are probably right about UEFI support in Windows 8. Microsoft has already stated they want a faster boot in Windows 8. Neither BIOS or EFI can offer that. The reason why EFI never took off was because it had no real world advantages over BIOS but was more complex. UEFI does have real world advantages over BIOS, so it will gain support.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Luticus on 10/25/2010 2:07:38 PM , Rating: 4
FYI, i'm not building a new computer everyone 1 - 2 years (well main computer anyway). If i build my new machine in 2012 that will make my main system about 5 years old (plenty old enough to warrant an upgrade/rebuild)

because i have windows 7 now and i'd be going to windows "8" i'd consider it an upgrade for myself... just because it's on a new machine doesn't mean i'm not using a new os. And, FYI i'd put every system i have at my house on 8 if the feature set is good enough to make me want to.

I realize and understand that i can be an exception to the rule sometimes because my computer habits aren't what one would consider "typical" but i don't think my comment was out of line and i certainly think that a good number of people will be taking a similar approach.

computer equipment keeps getting less and less expensive all the time, i think that a rebuild isn't a stretch… and who says a rebuild won't involve recycled parts from my old machine anyway? It usually does...

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Silver2k7 on 10/26/2010 4:20:38 AM , Rating: 3
When I bought Vista SP1 I really wanted an UEFI motherboard to go with that build.. but they where not avalible..

the next upgrade I won't settle for a BIOS board..
so bring on the UEFI boards ^^

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