Usually, at the annual Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conferences (WinHECs), Microsoft provides its system partners with some information about what's coming next on the operating systems front. Even if not a full-fledged roadmap, usually there are a few hints, a handful of futures slides, a couple of thinly-veiled references to general directions.
This year: The future has been ruled off limits, at least on the Windows client front.
Execs are not talking at all about Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 or "Fiji," the Media Center update expected later this year. And don't even think about hearing/seeing anything on Windows Seven, a k a Windows 2009.
I asked Mike Nash, who has returned from sabbatical and is now Corporate Vice President of Windows Product Management, for an update on Fiji and SP1. Like many an exec before him, Nash wouldn't talk about anything beyond Vista.
"We have our family of products. They get serviced by Automatic Update and Windows Software Update Services. Our commitment to servicing Windows hasn't changed," Nash said.
Given that Vista SP1 has been widely rumored to ship around the same time as Windows Server 2008 (later this year), it would seem that Microsoft might be interested in getting its hardware partners on board with its whole "better together" theme.
If anyone at the Los Angeles conference this week hears or sees anything that might be construed as "next-gen," please let us all know....