Windows Episode VII, "A New Hope"
Yes, it’s seems early to be talking about the next version of Windows when many of us haven’t even made the jump to Windows Vista. As a developer it’s never too early to look towards the next version of Windows. When it launches I need to make sure everything continues to work.
For those of you who haven’t embraced Vista, Microsoft doesn’t want you switch to the Mac or Linux. It’s pushing news about Windows 7 out like a carrot to keep us all interested and hopeful.
A super-enthused Bill Gates said "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version." I would estimate the “or so” as 3 years. Most of the schedules I believe point to 2010 for the next big release.
Originally code named Vienna, the new official code name “Windows 7” has been confirmed for the next big release of Microsoft Windows. Personally, I think “7” is in honor of Star Treks Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan (Resistance is futile).
My pick for a new name is “Windows ZP” or Windows Zippy.
The screen shots look a lot like Vista but you can expect that to change. Early rumors talked about a stripped down modular “minWin” version of Windows that could run on a variety of devices. minWin is an internal term which refers to an effort to trim down what is classified as the Windows kernel. Windows has always been modular and you can expect your applications to still require many modules to run.
What I see ahead is an OS designed to host virtual machines running via a thin hypervisor code level. This would make Windows the key OS that every thing else can run on top of. It also allows Microsoft developers to create exciting new functions but continue to keep backward/legacy capability. Bottom line, Microsoft still wants to be the gatekeeper to everything especially network based applications.
The new Windows Desktop will be separate from the core Windows kernel and include a new Explorer. If you like the ribbon based interface found in Office 2007 you may like the new Explorer interface. Microsoft is still determined to resolve one of the oldest user problems, “Where did I put that file?”. This change hasn’t been reflected in the current screen shots which show what I consider an awkward file finder.
So if you haven’t converted to Windows Vista, just hang in there. Our friends in Redmond haven’t given up on you yet.