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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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it's like switching from symbian to android...
By superPC on 10/25/2010 11:45:30 AM , Rating: 1
i might get downrated for this but no matter. as a decade long user of nokia i hope that the revolution microsoft is referring to is like the leap from symbian s60 to android.

like it or not, windows these days is a lot like symbian s60 (or other smartphone OS of that era like the old windows mobile) of days gone by. if you want windows to do something you need to dig deep into the internet and find the right tool for the job. much like if you want the s60 device to do something. during the dark days of my s60, i spend many hours looking for a torrent client (wizbit, SymTorrent), a download manager with resuming capabilities (UCweb, UCthunder, SmartGet), multi format multimedia player (july player), numerous calculator, translator, and more. all that with the risk of ruining my symbian phone OS which necessitate reinstalling it. windows with all the advancement it has is still the same. WMC for example. if you want to better sort and add metadata to WMC (even the latest win 7 version) you need to dig the internet deep. even finding something simple like casual games still need effort. and all with the risk of breaking your precious windows installation (and reinstalling it if you do).

with windows 8 i'm hoping it would be more like android. you can search and add apps easily. update and reinstall can be painless because all your apps can be automatically reinstalled from the store. I hope like android, ms won’t put too many restriction on their next OS.

RE: it's like switching from symbian to android...
By Strunf on 10/25/2010 12:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
I sure hope MS doesn't follow your reasoning, for them to put out a proper Torrent client, a proper download manager and so on they would need to spend a load of money in it, and even so they would be only competitive at most... and someone like me that uses this kind software but from someone else would be paying the bill for something I don't want.
MS should just release a OS that is just a OS, and make it cheaper to reward the people that actually know what they need and how to get it, instead of having me and many others paying someone else idiocy, by idiocy understand "no wish to learn".
WMC and windows 7 target 2 different markets one could very well be crap while the other just rocks.

By superPC on 10/25/2010 1:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
i think you missed my point. what i mean is that in the past you have to work hard to find and install software that you want. not to mention reading numerous forum to make sure that software work and won't cause your system to malfunction. with android and apple ios, that doesn't need to happened. you can just browse an app store and find what you're looking for with a guarantee that it would work as advertised. updates and reinstall is painless because the store remember the apps that you've buy and can update or reinstall them if need be. i hope with the next pc os, ms would do similar thing, while still letting user manually add software like android does.

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