Windows 8, Windows Server 8, and Office 15: Tons of new information straight from Microsoft and its employees!

Interested in the future of Windows and Office? Here's the very latest straight from the people who work on Windows 8 and Office 15 directly!
Written by Stephen Chapman, Contributor

In addition to my passion for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I'm an investigative researcher/blogger with a penchant for finding confidential information on the cutting edge of topics I'm passionate about. Without fail, the one product I chase the most is Microsoft Windows. Ever since the days of Whistler (Windows XP's code name), I've used the power of Google and other sources to flesh out undisclosed information to digest and make available to the masses.

Today, I continue that tradition by bringing you a post consisting of a culmination of Windows 8, Windows Server 8 and even Office 15 information I've discovered over the course of the past month or so. The information that follows is all directly sourced for your convenience and I've copied everything as it resides where it resides -- grammatical errors and all. While some of the specifics on this list are certainly more significant than others, I've listed all that I have in the interest of leaving no stone unturned and so as to appeal to the unique interests of each individual who reads this.

Additionally, I close the article with sources to much more Windows 8 and Office 15 information that will continue to whet your appetite should you find the contents of this article particularly piquant. Lastly, I'd like to go ahead and mention our resident Microsoft bloggers here on ZDNet: Mary-Jo Foley and Ed Bott. Between the two of them, the Microsoft coverage here on ZDNet is quite extensive, so please check them out and say hello sometime. And now, in no particular order of importance or significance, here is Windows 8 and Office 15 information-galore!

Windows 8 Client and Windows 8 Server


John Michener

Windows Reliability, Security and Privacy Microsoft * Provide cryptographic guidance and review to Windows 8 feature teams * Provide guidance concerning ACL's and permissions for Windows 8 feature teams * Conduct security reviews and threat model analysis to reveal vulnerabilities and then provide guidance concerning fixes and mitigations. * Driving planning and specifications for telemetry enhancements for Windows 8. * Driving planning and specifications for self-host reporting for Windows 8. * Driving planning and specifications for ecosystem security reporting and analysis for Windows 8.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Worked on test tools/automation development for various core storage features of Windows 7 and Windows 8, including MPIO and storage CDB fuzzer. Contributed to the beta, RC and RTM releases of Windows 7. Contributed to M1/M2 of Windows 8. Influenced all Windows 7/Windows 8 Server SKU products.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Developed the functional specifications for the FQTSV3 version of the tool suite using customer requirements and feedback that will be available as part of the Windows 8 OPK/WAIK kits.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Lead cross-product design efforts for Microsoft’s “cloud” services on Windows Live. Drive key design conversation on all “major bet” features for the World’s largest online mail service/cloud computing platform. Collaborate closely with Principal/partner level program management to elucidate a long term product vision for Hotmail and associate services as well as the relationship between cloud services and Windows 7/Windows 8 devices.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Created prototype around role extensibility which is used as a proof of concept for the Win8 version of Server Manager.

Xi Chen

PM owner of differentiator features for Win8 CHS IME.

David Burg

I currently work as an individual contributor to the user interface team for Windows ".next" [and] I lead a team of software engineers part of the Windows ".next" user interface team for file management.

Wes To

Windows 7 sustained engineering team. I test hardware compatibility on Windows 7 and Windows 8 builds.

Fabien Royer

Xbox LIVE File System for Xbox Kinect: designed and shipped a distributed storage system built on Windows Azure for customer data collection world-wide, resulting in improved acoustic models and skeletal tracking algorithms for Kinect and Windows 8 speech recognition.

Quyen Ho

•Work with printing Imaging team on Windows SE and Windows 8 •Test varieties of printers and scanners on Windows 7 and Windows 8

John Dix

Software Development Engineer on contract to Microsoft. Working on Windows 8 Terminal Services.

Ikrima Elhassan

Currently working on Windows 8 components using WPF & Silverlight

Christine Fiore

Assessed, identified and documented a Sensors platform implementation plan for Windows 8 performance with prototype performance markers in Windows kernel code (C++).

Katie Corner

LOCATION: Redmond, WA TEAM: Windows 8 Experience (WEX) – Accessibility, Automation, & Application (AAA) PATENT FILED: Automated UI High-Contrast Text Verification

[Name Redacted by Request]

Since shipping Multitouch for Windows 7 I have moved on to other modes of input, landing on the "Advanced Input" team for Windows 8. I'm greatly looking forward to releasing what I truly believe will be the most important Windows ever shipped, and I'm anxious to see the reaction people will have to the ideas we've decided to pursue.

Did you catch that last sentence? Pretty big statement! And because this comes from someone's personal LinkedIn profile instead of from a pro-Microsoft blog or something of that nature, it makes it a much more genuine sentiment. I love seeing things like this. :) Now, head on over to page 2 and let the good times continue rolling!

Andy SU

Develop some new features for windows 7 and windows 8. - (win7)Improve the quality of ADO by adding SAL annotation. For example, - (win7)Improve User Experience by adding trace to ADO - (win8)Develop new feature for ODBC DM.

Sam D'Amico

I worked within the CIMOM feature team implementing remote interfaces for Windows Management Instrumentation. Implemented an end-to-end prototype of a feature that may be included in Windows 8 or Windows 9. Asked to return next summer.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Development of the desktop search for Windows 8.

Sam Wachspress

Intern for the Devices and Networking Experience group on the Connect and Manage team. Developed a feature for the Windows 8 out-of-box experience and provided design input for later stage implementation.

Phani Talluri

App development framework for Windows 8 (Latest)

David Harding

Developing automation and Tests for Webservice and SQL backend components for new Windows 8 features

Adrián Terán

I work at the Modern User Authenticator team for Windows 8 at Microsoft. My work is focused at strong authentication including: smart cards, cryptographic providers, key storage providers and credential providers.

Nishant Gupta

Part of Windows 8, Hyper-V Team.

Ji Yan

Working on various system diagnostic tools that include Taskmanager for Windows 8

Shooting Shi

Design and implement Windows 8 IME touch experience.

John Michener

Program Management lead conducting security reviews, threat models, code reviews, and penetration testing for Windows 8 features dealing with: Authentication Authorization Cryptographic usage, key management, and PKI Driving planning and specifications for telemetry enhancements for Windows 8. Driving planning and specifications for self-host reporting for Windows 8. Driving planning and specifications for ecosystem security reporting and analysis for Windows 8.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Drive the verification of H264 and MPEG2 video encoders on Windows 8 platform, including but not limited to implementing Bitstream analyzers and quality-performance measurement tools.

[Name Redacted by Request]

* Windows 8 Remote Desktop transport improvements for WAN scenarios - Own feature for bandwidth and latency optimization under varying network conditions - Design protocol and interface changes with requirement to maintain backwards compatibility - Requirement to scale to hundreds of simultaneously connected sessions while maintaining performance standards - Work closely with three other engineers - Design, document, and unit test, working in conjunction with program manager and test team - Lead security/design reviews, status meetings, and team sync-ups - Review the design, code, and security of other features - Triage, investigate, and fix incoming bugs in my feature and related feature areas

Chris Hacking

Security tester doing design revews and penetration testing for UX features in Windows 8.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Developer in IIS core team in Windows 8 helping on performance and many core.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Group: Microsoft PlayReady • Technical project lead for PlayReady integration into Silverlight 4.0, Silverlight 5.0 and Windows 8

Mark Benedikt

PM for Windows Logo Kit technologies for Win 8. PM for Win 8 Sensors and Location advancements for the client platform.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Windows User Experience SDE (Nov 2009 - Today): Investigating, evaluating and proposing new features and prototypes (using C# and C++) for the Windows User Experience team as part of the Windows 8 planning phase. Currently I am in charge of the full design and develop (using Direct UI and C++) of a new Windows 8 control panel tool. Windows International SDE (Jun 2008 – Nov 2009): Use of C++ to fix bugs and refactoring of the Windows 7 font management system library (fms.dll) used on the fonts control panel and on the system font chooser. Use of C# to build a prototype to provide access to fms library from C# code. Use of C++ to build a Windows 8 prototype for fms that saved 50% ram memory and improved the performance on 20%

Shocklin Lewis Jr.

Manual/ automated; Video Driver Compatibility Testing and reporting in WTT for WinSE and Win8

Partho P. Das

I now work on Windows Server 8 Hyper-V and Virtualization Group.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Development Lead for backup solution for Windows server 8.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Currently working on several exciting, classified Windows 8 Touch functionality, collaborating extensively with the Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office suite, and Windows 7 Phone Mobile team. We are providing the official Windows 8 solution, which our partner teams will adopt. Shipped Windows 7 Multitouch Logo program to be consumed by Multitouch digitizer manufacturers. Among the major consumers were Dell, HP, Wacom, and IBM. The qualification program consisted of over 50 multitouch tests to be successfully completed in order to qualify a device as a Windows 7 Logo approved device. Architected and implemented a Touch injection tool to simulate Multitouch input. Worked on Windows 8 Speech Recognition, and have shipped Windows 7 Speech Recognition.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Driving client and server security and platform attestation based on the Trusted Platform Module for Windows 8 in the Platform Integrity Organization of the Microsoft Core OS Business Unit, Redmond, USA. - Extensive research with the TPM 1.2 and strong ties to TPM manufacturers, OEMs and the TCG - Significant contributions to the TPM v.next specification in the TCG - Architected, designed and wrote extended the TPM support in Windows 8 - Contributed to DRTM launched hypervisor prototype - Close relations to Intel’s UEFI group around authenticated boot - Several cross group and organizational incubation projects that allow other features and products to leverage strong platform crypto and attestation - Filed 8 patents around TPM Data Protection, Secure Hyper Visor Launch and Platform Attestation - Several Windows 8 platform crypto and integrity features that cannot be disclosed at this time Result: Windows 8 will change the game in terms of platform security and platform trust.

How about THAT final sentence above? If employees are genuinely as excited as it seems they are, as a total Windows fan, I can't help but wonder what's in store for us and what we'll see by the time it reaches RTM status!

[Name Redacted by Request]

Managing the Windows 8 device compatibility project. Goal: Make sure devices that worked with Vista and Windows 7 also work with Windows 8.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Improve device ecosystem by analyzing disparate user and market data (NPD, RAC, OCA, etc.) to develop device test lists for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

[Name Redacted by Request]

EFI developer for Windows 8 on ARM.

For more about EFI, click here. Private LinkedIn Profile

Running IOstress on Windows 8 for FSF, FSM, and DFS builds. Converted the old IOstress automation to use WTT.

Gordon Rielly

Lead the company to a new product generation of virtual computer personality with the release of Adaptive Persona v1 in Sept 2008. Virtualized personality or user state has been designated a key technology feature of Windows 8 by Microsoft.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Leading a team of program managers to develop and deliver innovative user experiences for printers, cameras, and entertainment devices for windows.next.

Steve Jackson

Currently at Microsoft Corporation, in the Windows.next engineering organization, responsible for engaging with large Windows OEM partners to facilitate and create amazing Windows.next hardware+software+services experiences. In a highly visible position, Steve manages the HP partnership for the Windows.next organization. This partnership spans the planning phase, software/hardware development phase, and ecosystem readiness phase. The primary objective of this role is to represent the voice of Windows to the various businesses of HP, the voice of HP within the various organizations of Microsoft, and supply leadership and partnership to successfully ship stunning examples of new HP+Windows.next product. This is a senior, self-directed and "do what it takes" type of role that involves operating at both the high-level stragegic and low-level technical extremes. Scope of initiatives include: • Multi-phase ecosystem engagement planning • Optimizing Windows.next and HP product roadmaps • Massively cross-group/organizational and/or matrixed organization communications and initiatives • Windows and HP executive communications • Stragegic business and technical engagement • Tactical business and technical engagement • Envisioning, facilitating and delivering to market stunning examples of HP+Windows.next hardware+software+services experiences.

Microsoft Partner Site White Paper

FUTURE OUTLOOK IDC believes that Windows 7 will become the Windows XP of the next decade. Regardless of how feature rich the so-called "Windows Next" product might be (expected by IDC to possibly arrive as soon as 2012), once momentum ramps up for Windows 7, it will be unstoppable and will propagate through the billion-plus installed base of Windows PCs.

You can read more about the IDC (International Data Corporation) here. Microsoft Research Document

In Windows 7, the Windows Experience group (WEX) centralized security testing in a lab with hundreds of machines. For Windows 8, all Windows fuzz testing will take place in a central fuzzing lab. This model shields the rest of the Windows organization from the details of fuzzing and enables compliance with the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle without needing dedicated security professionals in every Windows team.

Microsoft Research

Energy-Aware VMs and Cloud Computing Virtual machines (VMs) become key platform components for data centers and Microsoft products such as Win8, System Center, and Azure.

Microsoft Research (Video)

So while I was here, in the three months we completely improved the scalability of STORM by maybe an order of magnitude. We also check in addition to the completion property we check spinlock properties as well. Because of all that, we managed to push more way more drivers through STORM. So we have more examples in WinDDK plus a number of drivers from Win8 enlistment.

Microsoft Job Post

Identity is a key pillar of Windows Next and is strategic to the future of all software at Microsoft.

Microsoft Job Post

We’ll be working closely with the biggest bets in the company including Windows Next and Windows Azure to deliver compelling debugging experiences for each, as well as advancing the state of the art in debugging.

[Name Redacted by Request]

The next version of Windows Server Our design and research work for the next version of Windows Server has really been about the fundamentals. We think we have identified the core needs of IT management and ways to address those needs. While I cannot talk about the specifics of the solution proposals, the process page may provide some insight to the kind of activities we have gone through to get a solid design direction.

[Name Redacted by Request]

Microsoft Windows Server 8 | Server Manager + The Management Administration eXperience (MAX) team is tasked with creating an application to accompany it's latest version of the Windows Server product. I was added to the team to help with designing the basic UI for this new application based on stakeholder feedback from the teams user research. Problem: Based on the brand pillars and application goals pick a UI type and patterns to create a fresh new application. Be flexible in the design so that when Windows 8 is released that those styles can be applied to this new UI without having seen them before. Action: As a part of the UI/UX team I helped in the process of picking the current UI to be released. I added elements to the UI to support the different features and scenarios based on the best possible UX experience for our users within our v1 product restraints. Result: I was able to contribute in the creation of a brand new desktop/server application that should be used by IT professionals along side of Microsoft's System Center product line.

Office 15


Private LinkedIn Profile

Internship in a Microsoft Office team. During my internship I developed a graphic effect for Microsoft Visio that may be released for Office 15.

Private LinkedIn Profile

Working on OneNote @ Office 15 Planning, coordinating and executing manual and scripted tests Driving world readiness testing

Official Office Blog

Access 15 Developer Kitchen: Call for Participation We are holding the Access sessions of the Office 15 Developer Kitchen on March 28-31 and are looking for Access developers to share their early experiences with us. * Opportunity for you to get an advance preview of the Access and Office 15 story * Chance to spend face time with the product team and build hands-on solutions * Identify any major gaps prior to release * Provide input for Office 15 and Office 16

To note, Mary-Jo Foley previously covered the information above in more detail in her Office 16 post back in January. Microsoft Job Post

One of our key focus areas for the Office 15 is enabling great mobile to cloud scenarios that allow people to transition seamlessly from desktop, laptop, and mobile devices as well as with a wide range of cloud services.

Microsoft Job Post

We are the Office Mobile Shared Services Team (OMSS). We are bringing ready-to-use Information worker solutions (that include the Office suite of apps) across billions of mobile devices as part of the Office 15 Wave. We are a team that drives the charter and thinking around mobility across MBD (the division that builds Microsoft Office), to enable mobile-aware Office applications on several leading-edge mobile platforms. The software will enhance the productivity and satisfaction of mobile information workers and support a myriad of local device services (audio, video, GPS, crypto, sync, and more) as well as a rich set of cloud-based services.

Microsoft Job Post

We are just putting the last touches on Office Mobile 2010 on Windows Phone 7 which will be a very competitive device and a breakthrough for Microsoft in the Mobile Market. With Office 15 and Windows Phone 8 planning phase just getting under way, now is also the perfect time to join us and help shape the future of Office Mobile 15 on Windows Phone 8 as we plan to create the next wave of innovation that will lead our product to even greater heights. Very exciting…

We get mentions of not only Office 15, but Office Mobile 15 and Windows Phone 8 from this job listing! "Very exciting," indeed... Microsoft Job Post

Outlook is currently in the process of planning for Office 15. Right now is an excellent time to join and have an impact on what Outlook does for the next release.

Microsoft Job Posting

The SharePoint Developer team is chartered to grow SharePoint customer and partner developer ecosystem as it transitions to the cloud in Office 15 release.

Microsoft Job Posting

In this position, you will be a part of the product development team to define the feature and scope of these products and work cross-company to integrate the mobile experience with desktop, server and services for Office 15 wave.

And for much more information about Office 15, be sure to take a look at the following Office 15 blog post which contains the most known information to date on the product. Lastly, if you're interested in seeing the first images of Office 15 in the wild, be sure to check out this post. As for additional Windows 8 information, you can start by viewing the telling Windows 8 documentation leaked from HP in mid-2010. Likewise, you can view even more of the types of resumes and job ads scattered throughout this post here, here, and here. Lastly, you can keep up with ZDNet's coverage of Windows 8 blow-by-blow by referencing this Google query.


As you can see, Microsoft employees just love to keep their resumes up-to-date equally as much as Microsoft enjoys erring on the side of descriptiveness rather than non-disclosure where external job postings are concerned. When brought to light by the right search queries and methods of investigation, those two factors allow us to glean sometimes telling insight into the feature sets and progress of unreleased -- and sometimes undisclosed -- products.

With that said, what are some of your favorite features you've seen listed as coming down the pike for Windows 8 and/or Office 15 per this list? Do you think the gamble Microsoft is taking on Windows 8 will pay off or do you think it will flop? Please weigh in with your opinions, questions, feedback, and/or concerns in the comments section below!

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