You might not have received Windows 7, but Microsoft already has big plans for the upcoming OS for 2012 – Windows 8.
Let’s discuss each of the possible improvements, based on proofs from confirmed sources.
Windows 7 would be the last 32-bit OS from Microsoft. Microsoft has already accelerated development of Windows 8 with support for 128 bit platform, and exclusive support by Windows 9.
As per Microsoft:
Working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects. Research & Development projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP, and IBM.
Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and definitely Windows 9.
User Interface (UI)
UI would go through another overhaul, to something that could make Windows 8 more powerful than today’s Snow Leopard. But you never know the kind of improvement Apple might be coming up with.
Taskbar will be more of the Dock-style, and graphics will be more intuitive. There is a video that demonstrates what Windows 8 could feature:
Read more about them here: Windows 8 “Copenhagen” concepts [Novice]
Clive Longbottom, analyst with Quocirca, predicts virtualization will feature more efficiently and prominently with Windows 8. He said:
“With Citrix, VMware and Microsoft all looking at how to give the ultimate experience to the user, expect to see virtualization within the OS providing enhanced support for virtual desktops, for streaming applications, for access to applications when untethered and unconnected to the internet and so on.”
As per Ballmer‘s comments, voice recognition will be a more-developed feature of Windows 8.
There is the chance that Windows 8 could mark the end of the line for the pure packaged OS as the technology world moves irrevocably away from packaged software towards online platforms with Cloud computing oriented environments.
Microsoft is likely to integrate its work around the Azure cloud platform into the desktop environment.
Aditya Malhotra, a Program Manager at Microsoft has written the following responsibilities in his profile:
I am working in the Networking group. My responsibilities include:
• Evaluating and collating technical and business requirements for developing new networking features in Windows 8
• Designing features, functional specification and prototype for Windows 8
HomeGroup is one of the most important networking feature in Windows 7 , and MS would make Home Networking more easier and feature-full in Windows 8.
Core and Performance Improvements:
Microsoft recently revealed in a job opening post for the Lead Software Development Engineer position that it will soon begin working on major improvements on Windows 8:
For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices
The following innovative features are some of the many features that we could be seeing in Windows 8:
- Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) service: A multi-master replication engine set up for folder synchronization across multiple servers. This may be something we will be seeing in Windows 8 Server.
- Major improvements in BranchCache: BranchCache was a new feature developed in Windows 7. Basically when data from an intranet website or file server is accessed, it caches those files locally so the next user can access them more quickly. Major improvements can be expected for BranchCache.
These were some of Microsoft’s comments on the upcoming features:
DFSR is Microsoft’s premier file replication engine and is an integral part of our branch office strategy and File Server role. It can scale to thousands of servers and replicate hundreds of terabytes of data. We have shipped the technology that powers file sharing in Windows Live Messenger, Windows Meeting Spaces (Vista) and Branch Office replication in Windows Server 2008 which has strong customer deployment. DFSR technology saves MS-IT and our customers more than 80% WAN bandwidth by using advanced On-The-Wire differential compression,” the software giant adds in the job posting.