Print 93 comment(s) - last by SlyNine.. on Oct 28 at 5:55 PM

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 jebo on 10/25/2010 1:54:31 PM , Rating: 3
I agree that UEFI would ripple the waters. So much so, in fact, that I doubt Microsoft will follow through with the requirement. I bet that requirement gets dumped before release.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Silver2k7 on 10/25/2010 2:16:52 PM , Rating: 3
UEFI requirement would perhaps be interpreted as risky.. 64-bit not so much, since more or less every CPU these days are 64-bit.

But still UEFI will force 64-bit to become the standard (since there are no 32-bit UEFI), wich right now becomes a neccesity either way, so its a good thing if this happends.

With 4GB memory modules finally starting to fall in price, 8GB could very well be the standard in 2012.. then 32-bit would not be useful any longer, also rember that any larger than 2.2GB harddrive will also need 64-bit.. so 32-bit is limping along on its last legs right about now..

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Silver2k7 on 10/25/2010 2:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
thats larger 2.2TB harddrives that will need 64-bit.

also right now there are workstation video cards with 6GB VRAM.. so I would not be surprised to see 2-3GB gaming cards in 2012.. then you have atleast 10GB of memory RAM+VRAM and have surpassed the 32-bit 4GB limit by far.

Getting rid of the 20years+ old BIOS and replacing it with UEFI wich will also make the computers boot faster, I don't know why anyone would not like that.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Silver2k7 on 10/25/2010 2:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
ps. you don't need to buy Win8 to get an OS for your UEFI motherboard, it also works with Vista SP1 and Win7. ds.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2010 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
I've already got 10GB of memory + VRAM. :)

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By sorry dog on 10/25/2010 8:54:38 PM , Rating: 3
My Honda Civic has 550 whp and can beat a ZR1 on a roll :)

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Silver2k7 on 10/26/2010 4:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
good for you, I just meant that it will likly be the standard in 2012, and there will be no place at all for 32-bit in new systems.. so UEFI isn't really as risky as it might sound by then.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By Lugaidster on 10/27/2010 11:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
You should really try to understand what you are writing before you do.

First, CPU's don't address VRAM directly, so to handle a 6GiB VRAM card, a 64-bit CPU is not needed.

Also, the 2TiB restriction on HDDs is completely unrelated. You can't boot from a partition larger than that because of BIOS and LBA addressing limitations. But to fix that you just need a motherboard controller with 64-bit addressing, a partition table that supports 64-bit addressing and something like UEFI to be able to read that partition table. You can have a non-bootable 3TiB filled with information and it would still be accessible in a 32-bit OS.

Neither problem requires a 64-bit CPU to be solved (directly at least, UEFI might require them but UEFI isn't the only way to solve those issues), otherwise the move would've been made a long time ago.

The only real restriction a 32-bit OS has is in RAM addressing. Programs in a 32-bit OS can't use more than 4GiB even if it has PAE activated. Given that today more and more systems are shipping with at least that kind of memory, the transition makes sense. Specially with more and more demanding apps and games appearing.

Please, don't spread FUD.

RE: Windows 8 "Risky"
By SlyNine on 10/28/2010 5:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
All he was saying was 10GiB of ram will become standard, so there is no need for 32bit CPUs. Also without a 64bit CPU how are you going to run UEFI, which is needed to boot to larger then 2.2TB HDD's

In fact you have suggested that there is a solution to the problem, but then contradicted yourself by saying UEFI is needed. If 64bit CPUs are needed for UEIF, and UEIF is what solves the problem, then 64bit CPUs are still a requirment.

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