There is an odd air of mystery around the next-generation operating system from Microsoft. Windows 8 was dubbed by Steve Ballmer, CEO, as the "riskiest product bet" to date.
Simply put, it will be if it turns up in the stores and we don't want or need half of the features in there.
But unlike with previous releases like 'Longhorn' (Vista) and Windows 7, there has been only the tinest of trickles of reliable information and news out of Redmond. At this stage, we know of only a few features, like an in-built PDF reader and roaming user profiles; though only suggested by an ominous looking icon in the taskbar.
I suggested last month one of the reasons this may be the case, with mysterious wallpapers on internal Windows 8 machines, suggests that screenshots could be traced back to the employee or vendor who leaks them.
With a lack of screenshots or leaks comes a lack of knowledge, understanding and features in the upcoming operating system. Instead of asking why the leaks are thin and slow -- Mary Jo Foley covered that already, it would be interesting to see what people want and need in their next-generation Windows.
So, to test the field and gain a sense of who wants what and why, with you as the litmus paper, it will be interesting to see what part-enterprise and part-consumer who have a foot in both camps want to see in the next version of Windows.
I am yet to find a killer 'academic' feature for the upcoming release, as logistically a new user interface will not help the learning process. Kinect support may, but it's looking likely that the cloud will hold the answers. That is, if the Patriot Act doesn't get in the way.