Windows 8 starts to come into focus

I get questions periodically about whether Windows 7 marks the end of the Microsoft operating system road. The short answer is no. And there are two new Microsoft job postings for Windows 8 to prove it to the doubters.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

I get questions periodically about whether Windows 7 marks the end of the Microsoft operating system road.

Some users wonder whether will Microsoft's next version of Windows be completely cloud-based? Will it be Midori with the Windows name slapped on it?

No and no. The bottom line: Windows isn't done when Windows 7 is released to manufacturing (most likely in late fall 2009). Windows 8 has been on the drawing board/planning stages for a while now. And as the "Codename Windows" blog recently reported, Microsoft is starting to hire developers specifically for Windows 8.

Codename Windows highlighted last week a Microsoft job posting from April 14, seeking someone to help with the next generation of the Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) storage technology inside the next version of Windows:

"For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices."

There's another Windows 8 job posting from April 16 that focuses on Windows 8 Server (a k a Windows Server 2011 or whatever it ends up being called). It's for another job focused on the Windows file system:

"In Windows Server 2008 R2 release, the Server UX Test team (under the File Server Management organization) is finalizing the MMC [Microsoft Management Console] based User eXperience (UX)/Interfaces for the File Server Role. Currently the team owns DFS [Distributed File System] Management, Share and Storage Management, FSRM [File Server Resource Manager] & Classification UI, Disk Management, SMFS. For Windows 8, the SSD organization is working on the next version of the file server.

"As the team moved to Windows 8, you will have 2 main responsibilities - (i) put on the customer/design critique hat as we plan our next version file server management experience (i) participating in the architectural design, and development and driving automated testing for managing the next generation file server. Our current automation does not meet the multi-machine paradigm requirement and so you will contribute significantly in the development of test automation to validate setup/configuration of the new server, managing configuration changes, performing diagnostics and reporting using Power Shell, Command line, Object Model, UI."

If Microsoft sticks to the kind of schedule to which it has adhered with Windows 7, Windows 8 will be released around 2011 (with Microsoft publicly promising a 2012 delivery target). While it's way too early to speculate what kinds of features will be in it, it definitely is in the works....

Any early requests for features/functionality you're hoping makes it into Windows 8 client and server?

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