Guess Microsoft really wants to make sure the next version of Windows doesn't take another five years.
The day after releasing the final Windows Vista bits to volume-licensing business customers. Microsoft issued a call to testers asking for input on the next version of Windows.
"Many customer have expressed the desire to have an impact on future releases of Windows. We have often heard from customers that they want the opportunity to make suggestions about the way Windows works," according to a copy of a note Microsoft sent to Windows testers, published on the ActiveWin.com Web site.
"The purpose of this program is to gather that early feedback from Windows customers and use it to make the next version of Windows the best release yet. Who Can Participate Initially this program will be open to participants of the Windows Vista Technical Beta Community. At a future date after general Windows Vista consumer availability it will be opened up to all registered Microsoft Connect users," the note said.
(It's a little unclear whether Microsoft considers "the next version of Windows" to be Windows Vista Service Pack 1, or the next full-fledged Windows client update. It's also not clear to me whether SP1 or Windows Vista R2 is the product that is code-named Windows "Fiji." Guess that will become clearer some time soon.)
The Windows team also is conducting a private beta test of some of the Windows Ultimate Extra add-ons that Microsoft is expected to roll out alongside Windows Vista at the January 30 consumer launch of the product.
According to a note to testers that was posted on ActiveWin a week ago (but now seems to have been pulled), "(W)e're creating a limited-enrollment testing program, and I encourage you to apply. Secrecy Details To apply, you must complete a survey. This survey is not open to everyone, so do not share the survey URL. You may not discuss the survey's contents, and whether you are accepted into the program or not, you are not free to discuss any aspect of the program. If you are accepted, we will communicate additional guidance as we get closer to release. For now, treat anything you know about Ultimate Extras as secret."