Monday, May 25, 2009

Forget Windows 7 Microsoft already working on Windows 8

We’re still all eagerly awaiting the release of Windows 7, yet Microsoft is officially already working on Windows 8. Two recent job postings indicate the next operating system will be much-improved in many areas and due for release in 2012. Are you excited yet?

It feels like we’ve been waiting for Windows 7 for ages now. We haven’t, it’s only been two-and-a-half years since Vista arrived. Maybe that’s why it feels like a lifetime, because Vista was so damn disappointing and many people haven’t given it the credit it now deserves.

It looks as though Windows 7 is finally finished though. The Release Candidate has already leaked on torrent sites, and the official version is due around May 5. So let’s forget it and focus on the next-but-one Microsoft OS, Windows 8. It’s coming, and probably sooner than most people would expect.

According to ZDNet, Microsoft is already hiring developers specifically to work on Windows 8, despite Windows 7 not yet being out the door. Job postings from April 14 and April 16 seek people for “cluster support and support for one-way replication,” and “the next version of [File Server Management].”

Job postings mentioning Windows 8 have been spotted as far back as 2007 but these are the first which actually mention specific roles and define what element of the future OS an applicant would be working on.

Windows 8 could be with us as early as 2011 although Microsoft is officially claiming 2012 as more likely. As with Vista to Windows 7, this 3-year development plan will likely change depending on how the preceding product is received and how well it ages.

With the increase in use of cloud computing, there has been speculation that Windows 7 will be the last major traditional OS Microsoft releases. But it seems not. Despite looking like having a complete overhaul of the filing system, little is known about what form Windows 8 will ultimately take. It could be just an extension of Windows 7, a leap forward in operating systems, or something straddling the cloud computing service role.

What do you think? What would you like to see in Windows 8? Do you really not care right now, at least until Windows 7 is released and installed on your PC?