Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

Summary: A listing of the different teams working on Windows 8 gives us clues as to what we might see in the final OS.


Microsoft's president of the Windows Division, Steven Sinofsky has started talking about Windows 8 on the new Building Windows 8 blog, and already we're learning stuff about the upcoming operating system.

In a post called 'Introducing the team' Sinofsky outlines the teams responsible for the development of Windows 8 ... and it's an interesting list:

  • App Compatibility and Device Compatibility
  • App Store
  • Applications and Media Experience
  • App Experience
  • Core Experience Evolved
  • Device Connectivity
  • Devices & Networking Experience
  • Ecosystem Fundamentals
  • Engineer Desktop
  • Engineering System
  • Enterprise Networking
  • Global Experience
  • Graphics Platform
  • Hardware Developer Experience
  • Human Interaction Platform
  • Hyper-V
  • In Control of Your PC
  • Kernel Platform
  • Licensing and Deployment
  • Media Platform
  • Networking Core
  • Performance
  • Presentation and Composition
  • Reliability, Security, and Privacy
  • Runtime Experience
  • Search, View, and Command
  • Security & Identity
  • Storage & Files Systems
  • Sustained Engineering
  • Telemetry
  • User-Centered Experience
  • Windows Online
  • Windows Update
  • Wireless and Networking services
  • XAML

Some of the teams (which I've highlighted) are interesting:

App Store Mention of a Microsoft App Store was made in leaked Windows 8 plans dating back to June of last year. This inclusion in Sinofsky's list all but conforms that Windows 8 will feature an App Store. Everything needs an App Store these days and Microsoft doesn't want to be left out.

App Experience Separate to the App Store, indicating that the Microsoft app experience will differ from that of the regular applications.

Human Interaction Platform Sounds to me like touch interface or maybe even something like the hands-free Kinect controller.

Hyper-V Those who have been playing with the leaked builds of Windows 8 will have noticed that the client builds contain Hyper-V virtualization capability, a feature previously only found in sever versions. Will the client version of Windows 8 feature Hyper-V? I hope so, but that might not happen. As Sinofsky points out (emphasis added):

I mentioned earlier that Windows contributes code to lots of other products and vice versa, so when you look at this list, keep in mind there are features from other groups (for example, our browser language runtime comes from the development tools group) and some of the work here goes into other products, too. For example, all of our kernel, networking, storage, virtualization, and other fundamental OS work is also part of Windows Server-that's right, one team delivers the full Windows Client OS and much of the foundation for the Windows Server OS. And some features are built in the core OS but are ultimately only part of the Server product.

That said, I don't recall Hyper-V being part in any of the leaked Windows 7 builds I saw.

Runtime Experience This fits in with rumors I've been hearing about how Microsoft is putting effort into the user experience above and beyond performance and reliability. Think aesthetics, workflow and ease of use.

User-Centered Experience Usability? Personalization?

XAML This is an XML-based language used by .NET and Silverlight to create user interfaces.

Those of you with good memories will recall that Sinofsky made a very similar post of the Windows 8 post for Windows 7 exactly three years ago. In that post he outlined that Windows 7 development was being spearheaded by 23 teams, compared to the 35 for Windows 8, and this 35 doesn't include Internet Explorer (which is made up of two teams) and the Windows Live group.

Notice how many times the word 'experience' features in a team description, a whopping eight times, compared to only once back when Sinofsky talked about Windows 7. A clear indication of how things have changed at Redmond.

In comparing the Windows 8 team list with the list for Windows 7, two omissions stand out:

  • Applets and Gadgets is gone ... not surprised in the least, these were a total and utter flop
  • No dedicated Media Center team ... again, hardly surprising

So, are you seeing what you'd like to see from the glimpse into the Windows 8 development process?
See also:

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Being led by your nose?

    It's really too bad Windows doesn't offer transparency of open source.<br><br>All your questions would be answered and any internals 'arcana' is there for consumption on any GPL Linux Distro.<br><br>Sadly, Microsoft, so far at least, doesn't see that profit can be made in a subscription model (i.e., RedHat) with open source.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • You're right

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      Microsoft doesn't want to follow the business model of a far less successful competitor. What is wrong with them?
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

        @LiquidLearner App store is a copy of Apple, and Android is a Linux os.
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

        @silverphish Oh wow Apple invented ECommerce... Anyway let's not forget that Microsoft makes more money from Android than Google does and Android isn't truly open-source as the code is only released to the public succeeding a development cycle.
        General C#
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

        @silverphish The Sidekick had an App Store loooooooong before the iPhone. Apple DID NOT invent it. Revisionist history always makes me giggle. Apple-aholics always think Apple invents everything, trust me, life outside your walled in garden is really quite lovely.

        P.S. Microsoft now owns Danger, so I guess they had an app store before Apple. :P
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

        xbox had app store much before iPhone, so not sure why it is Apple invention
    • How does one benefit from Open Source

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate Seriously, unless you're actually going to jump into the code, there is no benefit. To me, access to source code makes not difference and frankly proprietary software provides better APIs + documentation making development much easier.

      I'd never want to see Microsoft go open source with Windows. I really really tried to like Linux. I used it for a solid six months, but it was the worst 6 months ever, because Linux sucks for so many reasons.
      General C#
    • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      you know if Microsoft went with a subscription model not a lot of people would pay for that can you imagine a regular customer doing that?
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

        @Knix96 Microsoft does have a subscription model. For many years in fact.
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines


        i know that but i mean for regular consumer versions of windows
    • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      and last thing why are you posting about Linsucks on a windows thread again?
    • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate If you dont have anything to say related to the topic at hand please do not post. You have been told a numerous times not to hijack discussion threads. Given your age I would have hoped that you would understand. How shameless can you be ?
    • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate
      After selling over 400million copies, you think it make sense to go open source and earn meagre revenue like Redhat. The model is different and it works, so why change directions
  • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

    What is Microsoft doing for the millions and millions of ordinary run-of-the-mill computer users who are just trying to get their work done as simply and reliability as possible using a solid OS and applications? It appears to be zero to very little. While a lot of smoke-mirrors-laserlights sounds good and may sell to a select few, as an old Wendy's commercial said "Where's the beef?"
    • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

      @TsarNikky Well the OS is the platform that enables you to do whatever you want. So it depends on what you want to do? Whatever you want, there's an app for that!
      General C#
    • With Windows 8, it sounds like you'll get all the meats and all

      the vegetables and all the fruits and all the desserts and all the snacks and all the drinks, that anyone can think of.<br><br>And, just like in any restaurant, the more you want, the more you'll pay, but you don't have to pay for whatever you don't want. <br><br>So, the "where's the beef" question is being outdated and replaced by Windows 8.<br><br>BTW, have you tried it yet? If not, why the question about "the beef"?
  • I do not get this article

    What of it? Microsoft is putting together an Agile team for the next release of their product and it will be feature rich? What is surprising?
    Your Non Advocate
  • Hyper-V likely on the list because...

    ...the client and server OSes use a lot of similar apps within the overall OS now. Remember, both Vista and W7 have had the ability to run a virtual machine within the OS. The inclusion of Hyper-V team into W8 means that they are looking at doing the same thing that they had done before, just making the virtual machine functions of W8 come more inline with Hyper-V as Microsoft is working on Server 2012 at the same time they are working on W8.
  • Hyper-V likely on the list because...

    We all hope the new OS model does revolve around an hypervisor that supervises applications buckets dedicated to distinct app models and associated security restrictions.

    Answers to follow next month.
  • RE: Windows 8 - Reading between the lines

    I don't know about applets, but gadgets were a flop? I use the clock and calendar gadgets all the time (on Vista, BTW, which is still the most stable version of Windows I've ever used--I'll get Win 7 when I build a new computer ... soon).