Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

Summary: Following a post on Microsoft's Dutch website hinting that Windows 8 is some two years away (post has now been edited, but you can find the relevant quote on Zack Whittaker's iGeneration blog), there has been a LOT of chat about what this new OS should bring to the table.

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Following a post on Microsoft's Dutch website hinting that Windows 8 is some two years away (post has now been edited, but you can find the relevant quote on Zack Whittaker's iGeneration blog), there has been a LOT of chat about what this new OS should bring to the table.

The original post, which ironically was supposed to draw attention to Windows 7's first birthday, said that Microsoft was busy working on Windows 8 but that this next release was about two years away.

OK, first off, the idea that Windows 8 (or whatever it ends up being called - for the sake of argument lets call it Windows 8) would land in 2012 is hardly news. A release every three years or so is to be expected, especially since Microsoft never wants an OS to stick around and gain as much user traction as Windows XP did.

[poll id="564"]

As you can imagine, we don't know an awful lot about Windows 8 at this point. There has been some leaked slides which suggest that Microsoft is happy to crib off pay homage to Apple's model. These leaked slides also hint at tighter integration with OEMs to get integrated cameras onto systems as a standard. Also mentioned were faster startup times and even an app store (!).

When Microsoft CEO spoke at the Gartner Symposium last week, he was asked what was the riskiest product bet for Microsoft. Ballmer said it was the next version of Windows. Not slates. Not Windows Phone 7. Now, perhaps he chose the next version of Windows as an answer because it's far enough away for this comment to be forgotten (after all, calling slates or Windows Phone 7 risky might have set off alarm bells). In fact, it's hard to see much in the leaked slide deck (fast startup, face recognition, app store and so on) as being "risky." Maybe banking on OEMs to integrate things like cameras into new systems will take work (and likely push prices up), but none of this is really risky. Kin was risky (too risky). Zune was risky. Xbox was risky. Bing was risky. I find it had to see Windows as a risky move. As badly received as Vista was, there was little risk for Microsoft since customers fell back to buying XP instead. Given the popularity of Windows 7, even if Windows 8 sucked whole lemons, I still find it hard to label it risky.

[poll id="563"]

The question I'm more interested in is this - should Windows 8 be evolutionary or revolutionary? In other words, should the next incarnation of Windows be a follow-on much like Windows 7 followed on from Vista, or will it be a radical shift in direction, like Windows 95 was compared to Windows 3.1?

Personally, I think that everything currently points to Windows 8 being evolutionary. Everything points to that at present. And anyway, it's the least risky move.

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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103 comments
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  • At this point.... Evolutionary

    Windows 7 changed the game. At this point they should focus on evolving the product, not revolutionizing it. Let that go for Windows 9. They'll be fighting a battle to get users off of Windows 7, so let the big changes go till later, when a majority will be upgrading off 7.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • I have an idea

      @Cylon Centurion 0005
      If you want to see the future of Windows, look at Zune 4.7. Think organic backgrounds. Think Metro UI throughout the OS. Everything is going to be WPF based. Windows will not be looking to Apple, but itself.
      General C#
      • That would be pretty nice actually

        @General C#

        I would love to see if they could pull something like that off.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @General C#
        your Crazy, the success of windows has always been about Apple MAC OS. it was always the tail end, and i really doubt that ms is ahead of apple, because frankly till windows 7, MAC OS has always been 5 years ahead of Windows, shoot even Windows 7 is 2 years back, and MAC Os hasn't has substantial updates to environment, sense 0s 9 how many years ago?

        Windows/Microsoft, needs to stick with Windows 7 Formula till the Web cam and Standardized integrated of hardwares are matured, yes past WebCams, heading more towards optical drives, chipsets, and Video. They could set the standard back 2-3 years to in most cases when it comes to OEM PC's! most of these OEM PC's die in 4 years if they are lucky to last that long! after this point, then revolutionizing windows is a great idea. They need to market the Plan, and get people ready to move with it though, not just drop the buckets like they did on Vista! Windows 7 has proved itself throughout the whole beta process, and improved as it hit retail. Why Should MS corrupt this? Yes we all know MS isn't the smartest piece of work, but come on, they are not that stupid, or are they?
        Ez_Customs
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @General C#
        Um, seeing as how MS looked to Apple (with Dashboard, Expos? and the Dock, among other things) for the Zune UI, I hardly see MS looking to themselves.
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @General C#,
        I wonder if WPF is going to go away, and everything will be SilverLight based.
        bmonsterman
        • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

          @Ez_Customs,<br><br>How is Windows 7 2 years in back of Mac OS? What does Mac OS have that Windows 7 does not?<br><br>"Windows/Microsoft, needs to stick with Windows 7 Formula till the Web cam and Standardized integrated of hardwares are matured, yes past WebCams, heading more towards optical drives, chipsets, and Video."<br><br>Standardization of hardware integration? Like Apple? Sure if Microsoft developed their OS to suit a limited selection of hardware. Clearly not in their interest if they want to keep marketshare. "More towards optical drives, chipsets and video"...I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.
          bmonsterman
    • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

      @Cylon Centurion 0005

      Windows 7 didn't change the game. The game is called a monopoly and Windows has it. Windows 7 is successful simply because it's the first decent version of Windows in 10 years and everybody has been dying to update to *something*. Windows 7 wins by default.

      Also cracks me up when Adrian says: "especially since Microsoft never wants an OS to stick around and gain as much user traction as Windows XP did."
      Oh brother! Windows XP got traction because it was significantly better than Windows 95 and there was nothing else to compete with it (Apple had already killed the Mac)... Then there was nothing worth replacing XP with until now. (Actually I'm still not convinced...)

      Can someone tell me how many Windows 7 OS's were sold from the shelf - i.e. not via a preinstalled PC or via an Enterprise agreement? I would be interested in that.
      rossdav
      • Why are you interested in that?

        @rossdav@...
        [i]Can someone tell me how many Windows 7 OS's were sold from the shelf - i.e. not via a preinstalled PC or via an Enterprise agreement?[/i]

        Suddenly licenses sold to OEMs and enterprises don't count as "real"?
        NonZealot
      • So how can they have a monopoly :-)

        @NonZealot: [i]Suddenly licenses sold to OEMs and enterprises don't count as "real"?[/i]
        ye
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @rossdav@...
        Can someone tell me how many Windows 7 OS's were sold from the shelf - i.e. not via a preinstalled PC or via an Enterprise agreement?

        Suddenly licenses sold to OEMs and enterprises don't count as "real"?

        No, they don't count as a choice.
        jackson.brian.c@...
      • Why not?

        @rossdav@...: [i]No, they don't count as a choice.[/i]
        ye
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        jackson.brian.c@...

        Of course they count as a choice - if someone buys a new PC to replace their old one running XP - it's a choice - they could have picked a Mac or a PC with Linux, but they didn't
        archangel9999
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        [i]Of course they count as a choice - if someone buys a new PC to replace their old one running XP - it's a choice - they could have picked a Mac or a PC with Linux, but they didn't [/i]

        No, there no choice when you buy a PC off the shelves. It's windoze or nothing. Capice?
        LTV10
      • Ignoring for the moment you can buy a Mac off the shelf I'll respond with:

        @rossdav@...: [i]No, there no choice when you buy a PC off the shelves. It's windoze or nothing. Capice?[/i]

        You don't have to buy one off the shelf.
        ye
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @rossdav@...

        [i]"Can someone tell me how many Windows 7 OS's were sold from the shelf - i.e. not via a preinstalled PC or via an Enterprise agreement? I would be interested in that. "[/i]

        More copies than any MacOS upgrade or Linux install even when you combine every version they have made at least in the last 5 - 10 years.

        And why does purchasing a computer with Windows pre-installed or a organization using an enterprise agreeement not count. I mean all copies of MacOS are preinstalled on Apple Branded hardware and they do not give you any other choice but MacOS. Some OEMs will at least offer some models in their desktop and server lines with other OSes like Linux and in some cases OS free. It is limited because not very many people want a computer that way. You are just another troll that can't get over the fact that people do in fact [b]CHOOSE[/b] Windows when they purchase a computer or if the choose to upgrade/replace their operating system. Heck there are way more people that use Windows on their Macs and other Apple Branded Hardware than linux is used on any platform. But I am sure you feel all those people were forced to use Windows by some Microsoft Army. Get a life.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @LTV10
        [i]"No, there no choice when you buy a PC off the shelves. It's windoze or nothing. Capice?"[/i]

        Who says you have to buy one off the shelf? You can buy one from OEM direct to which some offer models with linux or FreeDOS. You can build one yourself or have one built and in some cases doing that comes in cheaper especially if you can follow the pretty simple color coded instructions to put it together. There are plenty of choices despite what false propaganda you are trying to spread. When you go to buy another product like a car and you don't like what Chevy offers you go to Ford, Toyota, or Honda right? The computers on the shelf offer what the consumer demand is. There is little to no demand for computers without Windows so therefore they do not sell them and the very very few that want a computer that way has to find a outlet that sells it that way even if it means a little inconvenience.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @rossdav@...
        It does not matter! Microsoft is only interested in it selling. Me, the customer, don't care. I'm enjoying this magnificent piece of hardware and the best and most used software in the world, to do what I want to do. But, if it gives any insight, I bought four copies copies off of the self.
        eargasm
      • Er.. Will you just listen to yourself for a sec..?

        @LTV10
        [b]No, there no choice when you buy a PC off the shelves. It's windoze or nothing. Capice? [/b]

        Right. So if I were to bop on down to the local Apple store or Best Buy and purchase a Mac - I'm stuck with getting Windows preloaded on it? Funny... They all claim to have OSX of some flavor installed on them.

        Or if I went over to Wal-Mart and got a box that said there was a computer with Linux preinstalled on the hard drive, it would be lying like the proverbial sack of fertilizer because Windows was somehow preinstalled on the thing.

        Do yourself and the rest of the world a favor: Put the crack pipe down. fool.
        Wolfie2K3
      • RE: Windows 8 - Should it be evolutionary or revolutionary?

        @rossdav@... Millions of people can go to an Apple Store and buy an iPhone. Why do you think people don't go to Apple Store and buy a Mac, and buys PCs with Windows instead? Simple - they WANT Windows.
        adli89@...