At the All Things Digital Conference, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer shared some memories from old times and predictions for later times. Important among them were the clues to what comes next in the Windows saga – Windows 7.
Microsoft knows how to run a hype machine. The strategy has paid off well in getting the real major stuff sold out fast and getting the mediocre stuff widely adopted. The same strategy has not paid off that well with Vista. For one, there were complaints about the time it took from concept to shelf ( a whole 6 years), then the issues with the use of bloated requirements and finally the absence of sufficient drivers. Fundamental mistakes that you would believe Microsoft was best in position not to commit.
But there are several other things that have not played to their advantage. The rise of Internet’s role in our computing lives is one main reason. The role of the OS as the center of user experience has been relegated to the background. All we care about now a days is to have a browser with the latest patches installed , that render videos and active content. Media rules literally.
An excerpt from Beta News:
Touch is quickly becoming a common way of directly interacting with software and devices,” wrote Windows product manager Chris Flores in a blog post timed to coincide with the D demo. “Touch-enabled surfaces are popping up everywhere including laptop touch pads, cell phones, remote controls, GPS devices, and more. What becomes even more compelling is when this experience is delivered to the PC — on a wide variety of Windows notebooks, in all-in-one PC’s, as well as in external monitors.
Thus, the recent announcements from Microsoft are about making the waves that they have it all figured out in terms of capturing the imagination of the users. But some facts to be also considered are that Windows 7 will be based on the Vista Kernel, unlike having a dressed down one (such as a MinWin). Also, you can expect to see a lot of integration with Microsoft Live Services ( a kind of connection that Microsoft would love to make so that users find it redundant to access any other service with similar functionality).
An excerpt from OS News:
The long-term architectural investments we introduced in Windows Vista and then refined for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 will carry forward in Windows 7. Windows Vista established a very solid foundation, particularly on subsystems such as graphics, audio, and storage. Windows Server 2008 was built on that foundation and Windows 7 will be as well. Contrary to some speculation, Microsoft is not creating a new kernel for Windows 7. Rather, we are refining the kernel architecture and componentization model introduced in Windows Vista.
While all this news may well mean that Microsoft is at the cutting edge of eye candy technology, perhaps they are also wary of Apple doing something that makes waves by the time Windows Seven comes around. You never really know.