Is two years too long to wait for Windows 8?

Summary:Microsoft is working on Windows 8, which is no surprise to us all. What is interesting is that it will probably take another two years for it to surface: in or around of 2012. Is this too long to wait?

Microsoft is working on Windows 8, which is no surprise to us all. What is interesting, according to Ina Fried at CNET is that it will probably take another two years for it to surface.

From a Microsoft blog in the Netherlands, the post roughly translates to:

Dutch: "Verder werkt Microsoft uiteraard an de volgende versie van Windows. Maar het zal nog zo'n twee haar duren "Windows 8" op de markt komt."

English: "Also, Microsoft is on course for the next version of Windows. But it will take another two years to get 'Windows 8' on the market."

It was only last week on the first birthday Windows 7's release when Mary Jo Foley reported that new computers from OEM's would not be supplied with the ageing operating system, Windows XP.

We have already seen a few of the expected new features in Microsoft's next generation operating system, such as a universal application store, simpler system recovery, and user account portability across the cloud. But will we end up waiting too long for services we are already seeing elsewhere?

Just before the weekend, I argued that while Microsoft takes its time in releasing major updates to its continuing stream of operating systems, Apple adds little by little, building up features in a shorter timeline to keep customers engaged and interested.

Yet this causes problems for the enterprise; the campus, if you will. The very vast majority of universities will heavily plug their study spaces and computer rooms with Windows machines, leaving the Apple devices for the students to buy of their own fruition.

But the semi-regular upgrades and the disproportionate price of licensing throws many public funded colleges and universities into choosing Windows. It also gives universities the chance to keep the existing hardware; arguably the more expensive element to a networked infrastructure.

Yet at the other end of the scale, consumers seem happy with Windows 7 with nearly 250 million licenses sold in the first year alone. In comparison, its predecessor Windows Vista left many home and student customers angry at the sluggishness, the bugs and the rapid change in aesthetics from the previous benchmark of XP. Windows 7 picked up its pace and redeemed itself at least somewhat for Vista's misgivings.

But as Steve Ballmer says, the next operating system release will be risky. With the company's ventures into the cloud and branching out to more specific demographics of business and education, many will hope that Microsoft will keep Windows as a high priority.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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