A Neowin article seems to indicate that Windows 8 has got a tentative release date of July 2011 which would mean just under 2 years between releases if this was true. Certainly this seems to be a LOT quicker release schedule than we are accustom. However Microsoft did reduce the 6 year gap of Windows XP to Windows Vista down to 3 years with Windows Vista to Windows 7. So maybe a 2 year gap between Windows 7 and 8 is not going to be that unreasonable. This could mean Microsoft is going for a more incremental upgrade approach rather than the big leap approach like with Windows Vista that I am sure Microsoft does not want to repeat.
If this is the case we could well expect to see the beta of Windows 8 by the end of the year which seems more likely as screenshots have now started to leaked of a post Windows 7 build. These screenshots appears to show that this latest version was only compiled on the 22nd January 2010 at 7pm. .
The screenshots donâ€™t indicate any new features and it is still sporting Internet Explorer 8 and not Internet Explorer 9 that Microsoft is has already previewed.
The really major news with this new build is that the Beta Fish is back as the default background image.
A recent blog post from the product manager of the Windows Update team might have given us some incite into what to expect in the next versions of Windows. In his blog post (that has now been withdrawn) he makes some interesting comments.
"next version will be something completly different from what folks usually expect"
The article also goes on to say that internally at Microsoft they are NOT referring to the next version of windows as Windows 8 but instead they call it
This could be the best indication so far that the next version of Windows will be based on the Midori OS project that Microsoft have been working on since 2003. Midori has a completely re-written kernel from the ground up that is suppose to be a written almost entirely in managed code.
While this should not mean much to end users it means that Microsoft will be able to make a complete break from the legacy code that has been in Windows for the past 2 decades. The importance for this break with legacy code recently became highlighted when Microsoft recently released a patch to fix a security issue that was 17 years old.
Previously such a big change to the OS was not possible but with the release of XP Mode and other virtualisation technologies with Windows 7 backwards compatibility may no longer be an issue.
What ever the new version of Windows will be like it is unlikely that we will get any official confirmation until Microsoft are really sure they can deliver what they promise.
According to the recent discovery by ITWorld’s Sando Villinger, the next generation of Windows would contain a new file system codenamed as “Protogon”
Here is the extract from IT World article-
“I’ve also dug up traces of some underlying file system changes that I couldn’t quite make sense of, such as an entirely new file system driver called “NT Protogon FS driver”, which looks like a kernel mode driver for some sort of (yet unknown) file system called Protogon. It’s unclear, whether this is a major new file system or just some minor subsystem.”
It would be eager to know whether Protogon would be replacing the NTFS file system in Windows 8 or not.
According to more information available the Disk Management is able to detect “Protogon” file system, while the Command Prompt chkdsk is unable to detect, so it clearly states that Protogon is in early stages of development.
WinRumors wrote:Windows 8: Microsoft confirms Ribbon UI in explorer
Microsoft has confirmed it will bring the Office Ribbon to Windows explorer.
The software giant demonstrated explorer’s new touch friendly look during a Windows 8 user interface preview on Wednesday. The refreshed explorer interface takes the well known Ribbon, originally introduced in Office 2007, and builds it straight into the Windows shell. The Ribbon elements are collapsed by default and appear to include increased spacing on the standard home, share and view buttons.
The first hints of a Ribbon UI inside Windows 8 were originally discovered by Rafael Rivera in early April. Rivera unlocked a number of features in an early leaked copy of Windows 8. Microsoft’s early work on the Ribbon explorer user interface made a number of WinRumors readers question the company’s motives. “Looks too cluttered, hopefully will improve,” said one reader. “Ribbons are a total step backward in usability,” said another. One suggested that the ribbons should be expandable “over mouse hover” and it appears that this is the way Microsoft is implementing the Ribbon UI.
Looks like quite an interesting number of changes that I will keep track of. Putting the Office ribbon in Windows explorer would look interesting.....(and I use that loosely, but will have to see how it looks in future builds)