Windows

Poll: Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

Take the TechRepublic Windows Blog poll of the week: Is there a market for Windows 8 or is Microsoft playing with fire?

For the past couple of weeks I have been strongly suggesting that it is time to drop Windows XP as your organization's official desktop operating system. There is still a very large contingent that is planning to stick with Windows XP for as long as they possibly can.

Well, Microsoft's plans for the future continue to work against them. Various leaks and rumors reveal that Microsoft is working feverishly on Windows 8. Check out Mary Jo Foley's blog post from last month for one of the first bits of leaked information.

I think Windows 7 is a fine operating system, and I have been very satisfied with it. In truth, I have been so satisfied, I cannot think of a single feature that Windows 8 could possibly have that would compel me to, once again, upgrade my operating system. (Well, except for the fact that it is my job.) I find it difficult to believe that Microsoft Windows 8 will be strictly a replacement for Windows 7. There must be more up Microsoft's sleeve than mere desktop operating system.

I will hazard a guess and say that Windows 8 will be all about the mobile-device market. It will be the company's tablet/smartphone flagship OS, combining the best of Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7. The mobile market is the fastest growing market in technology, and it is the market where Microsoft lags the competition by the greatest margin. Microsoft has to make a successful foray into the mobile market or risk sliding into insignificance.

As more information is leaked (or officially released), we will see if my educated guess is correct, but I wonder what the TechRepublic membership thinks. Will Windows 8 be a new desktop operating system, a mobile device OS, or a combination of both? As a company, how important is the success of Windows 8 going to be to Microsoft?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

90 comments
bezerkus
bezerkus

Ever heard that phrase? It was easy back when we had the power and it made us more important and even drove us to major positions. That power is rapidly moving towards the consumer and the cloud services. A large portion of our jobs are moving towards System Admins and end-user devices no matter how we may want to deny it. The winners are those who make it cheaper and easier for business to connect with the consumer and can collaborate the data in the company. Microsoft and Google know this and are already positioned to force the issue with price. It's called making things cheaper and more accessible and Microsoft and Google know it is close with the marrying of collaberation tools in the cloud (Apps for business and 365) whether they are business or social (google +), and integration with Internet Search making it a convenient portal whether for business or pleasure. Prediction, Microsoft finally buys Facebook after investing in it for years because it is easier to marry that to business collaberation than their own research has produced. See this...http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/07/microsoft-lets-slip-a-social-networking-project-social-search-or-something-more.ars Mobile and the cloud will drive this and IT jobs are relegated to administration of cloud apps or the development of them, networking optimized for sharing bandwidth, and end user hardware and security. Conclusion, Windows 8 is big and will be the serious OS of this future transition. It comes at a perfect time in this transition to what people have always been pushing IT for and will never stop...greater collaberation with each other and the customer and tools to do their job for less money. Ironic that I am looking to Microsoft to keep one certain company from taking over everything.

bezerkus
bezerkus

If they get this OS to market very soon, it will succeed. Forget about Windows 7. Mobile will override all of our High-Powered IT workstations in most cases. This will make or break MS and they know it, and anybody else that sees how fast the future is hitting us. End user mobility will drive it, so if there is an OS that balances openess, stability, innovation, security, and mobile at the same time (unlike the current Android vs iPhone extremes), it has already proven it will be the OS of choice going forward for business in this shake-up. The x-factor of course is Google as they own the portal right now to the consumer and they have made some genius moves in the last few years that may only be slowed by the government or Microsoft/Bing.

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their act to gather,.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their act to gather,.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their act to gather,.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their act to gather,.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must I have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and I have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their asc to gather.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must I have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and I have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their asc to gather.Apple here I come?

anodyne1
anodyne1

I do not think we can trust Microsoft with their poor history of security.When they get into the "cloud".I wish they could get a system that worked.I must I have 7 & Xp running so when one goes down I can go to the other. So far I have been lucky and I have not had a simultaneous crash. I really do NOT enjoy the wasted time I spend trying to keep one system working.! I guess when you have made so much money the customer does not matter. I may have to go to Apple but it would be nice if Microsoft could get their asc to gather.Apple here I come?

b.schilling
b.schilling

I can think of innumerable times when I wished I could combine touch screen, mouse and keyboard on my notebook. Windows 8 offers that possibility in spades. I anticipate a slew of new displays for desktops as well as new notebooks, netbooks, and tablets that use this multi-input expansion. From a maintainability perspective, MS has been moving in this direction all along... one OS to maintain, tweak and enhance. Did you notice that SP1 was for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008? If you haven't watched the YouTube video of Windows 8 developer demo, you would find it enlightening. Final thought... could be a good time to start monitoring LCD touch panel manufacturer's stock ;>).

cybershooters
cybershooters

It will all be about the "cloud", I guarantee it, and that's why no-one will bother with it.

Blau67
Blau67

Then I'm gonna build an OS that is secure, allows the User to make to make it do WHAT THEY WANT IT TO DO!! Then I am going to cut the PRICE IN HALF because I don't mind if I am only the 100th richest person in the world and then I'm gonna take a vacation!! I was a Win7 tester for 12 months for good ole Bill and when it was all over & done with he would not even give me a free copy!! Man is he TIGHT!!! So for now, I am going to use my WinXP for as frickin long as I possibly can and then I am going to switch to some distro of Linux that will be right for me in 4 or 5 years!! Power to the Info Freedom Fighters!!!!

anodyne1
anodyne1

You know I am very surprised some attorney has not filed a massive class action law suite against microsoft to recover millions of time $ lost on their defective software. You would think that after spending big $ for their product they would provide some support. What do they offer,check with a friend for help,pay 65.00 for support and then you can always go on the forum where there so called experts often offer such stupid solutions you wonder if microsoft is actually paying these people or if their are not bored volunteers. They are so arrogant they do not realize that 90% of their customers would dump them if their is another option on they way.

gery_eng
gery_eng

Killing Windows XP isn't going to be easy. Don't go to visit to the widow so fast. Veteran IT professionals remember how hard it was for Microsoft to get rid of DOS, Windows 98 and Windows NT Server. Some Windows NT Server machines are still alive and function I've even met lately live 98s still around. The average OS customer of today is more mature and cautious than ever. The average OS customer is also poorer than he/she was 10 or 15 years ago. People don't rush to buy new hardware or new software if they can live with what they have. The economical situation in the major computer marketplace chalks shopping lust. Windows 8 can wind up the way Windows ME finished its short career. I suggest we postpone the funeral.

Krishna66
Krishna66

Many of the arguments make sense. I am OK with 7. And not likely to go for 8. My businessmen friends are still with XP and are going to be so for some more time. Their concern is not OS but the applications. They have spent large sums of money on applications and staff training. I asked and here is their answer ' Majority of the applications we use now are still not available for 7. We cannot risk our business for an Operating System however good it is. At home we have the latest'.

dinotech
dinotech

I have an Acer 6930 Windows 7 64-bit laptop, a Dell M1530 Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise (used for virtualization and has the VT-x), and a Dell XPS 400 with Windows Server 2008 Standard - Web Role. I have had no problems with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. I certainly have had no problems with both server versions. I kept hearing about all of the problems with Vista and I never experienced one of them. Either I'm really good at chosing my hardware, I know what I'm doing, or there are some serious bad hardware components out there. I like the MS operating systems because they are easy to use, easy to fix, and the few times I find myself searching for an answer. I usually find it and I'm able to implement it quickly. I also like the Linux distro from Ubuntu, who have a solid control of the kernel and they are updating their distro more often than Windows. I've installed a Ubuntu Linux distro on VMWare Player with ease under 5 minutes - ready to use. If I want to add features to the distro such as a web server role, I just go to the appropriate area and use the package installer for that. I'm not ready for Linux yet since I'm rooted in Windows and I'm pursuing certifcation and partner competencies in MS products right now. However, I will venture over to Linux and have a Linux network running in my lab. If I were Ballmer, I would have had a MS distro out so fast it would put to bed any issues that MS doesn't know how to play with Linux. Linux doesn't compete with Windows because they are two different core groups and OS paradigms: Windows core is relative ease of use and installation whereas Linux is power and control - people would choose the one they were comfortable with. There are linux drivers for some devices, but not every manufacturer has a dedicated driver set...yet. Some of you have Debian linux and have had no problems running it on harware that might be seven years old - okay, it's current stuff, but 256MB and 8GB HDD is old school! (BTW when I put Windows Server 2003 in VMWare, that is the resource layout it gives me for the recommended. If MS needs to do anything with Windows 8, it is to reduce the footprint). Side Note: I loved the MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 paradigm and I was hoping that MS would have stayed with it. I felt they had so many opportunities for developers to build their own "shell". Each community (business, gaming, web dev, soft dev) could have what they want and not be stuck with what is already there. Alas, I have to come back to the reality that MS OS model is getting an OS out every 2 to 4 years. As a partner and an IT Pro, I have to advise my clients accordingly when a new OS is released. Windows XP is working fine for now and there are ways to secure it. Windows Intune brings the cloud to SMB as an option to upgrade to Windows 7 Enteprise. Cloud computing will change how we deploy new OSes and I can't see Windows 8 being a traditional deployment option. As for the article, it is the practice of TR to bring anything IT to the table and allow the community to discuss it. Mr. Kaelin is doing what he does for a living; post a poll about the next release of Windows OS. So, don't attack him or any other TR person because of what they post; either play or pass on the comments. I'd prefer you'd pass if your not going to post anything of value. @spitfire, I don't think the cloud takes away the control, it gives us control. We subscribe to the services we need so the costs become fixed and sustainable while being flexible to the needs of our business. VDI is here to stay - the majority of the offerings from VMWare for bare bone virtual servers is based on a linux kernel. Lastly, the issue of the MS OS being the bad guy is misleading. As of today, Windows XP runs without error on a Mac with Bootcamp. What does that tell me? 1)The underlying hardware is solid, 2) The drivers installed on XP are happy drivers and 3)Even with emulation software, XP is rock solid. So the issue has never been the MS OS; it's been the lack of quality parts from the hardware industry. I will concede that MS is a beast when dealing with the hardware community. It costs a lot of money to get on the hardware quality lists. However, my machines I stated at the top of this post are working just fine and have been for years. I'm sure there are some savvy builders in here that have build some monster machines and are using XP, Vista, or 7 without fail. I don't think it really matters what MS is doing with the next OS. It will take some time for the business industry to integrate the new OS. I just finished a job where they were using a combination of Vista and XP as the OS. When MS does come out with Windows 8 and it turns out to be a shallow product, people will wait until the SP before investing in it.

compuguy2011
compuguy2011

Perhaps one BIG item for them to take away to the Windows 8 design table, Make it Smaller! You see all these little "apps" on ipods, iphones, blackberries etc... Over the years the OS have become a bloated anchor that we get more features and require more memory to run. This time they should tweak the OS and make it smaller. Nobody uses 512 mb ram anymore, Optimize the OS now, its feature rich but BIG. Take your own slogan "Do more with less"!

info.idre
info.idre

Microsoft should concentrate upon what is the main issue: MS must develop a final OS without IE as a central part, in order to minimize the security flaws. We are tired of all new MS OS versions, that need many security patches every month! Cheers, sweidre

kevsan
kevsan

Here are my thought. Oh for the days of DOS when the operating system was just that. No added junk, no forcing unwanted software down our throats. A PC came with a basic operating system and it was up to the user to buy or use free software to do whatever tasks were required. I don't want IE, I don't want Windows Explorer, I don't want Windows Live anything and I don't want to pay for it. These added on bits are not free, they are included in the overall cost. It is highly likely that PC operating systems as we know it will no longer be necessary and all we will need is something basic maybe built into an upgradable chipset. If that happens MS will lose it's cash cow and their would be few who would use their other software. So maybe Windows 8 will be the beginning of the end for MS.

g-man_863
g-man_863

A primary rule of sales is answering the customer's question of "What's In It For Me?" before asking for the order. Until Microsoft comes up with enough answers to justify the expense of upgrading, the release date of Windows 8 is a moot point. Many home and small business users who don't venture beyond net surfing, e-mail and light office apps are still perfectly happy with XP. Worse yet, there are many business-specific software providers who don't yet support Windows 7. For these customers, it's an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. Based on consumer buzz at the time, even a noob knows that "Vista" is a term that ranks somewhere between "New Coke" and "Chernobyl" (the likely reason why MS passed out Beta, RC and 60-day trial copies of Windows 7 like candy -- the "free sample" worked as an excellent sales closing tool on upgrade versions). Bottom line: If MS expects me to shell out cash for an upgrade to Windows 8, they had better have some d*mn good proof of what makes it worth the cost. Based on the current smart phone market shares, seamless integration had better include Android and iPhone; the Win 7 phone OS doesn't appear to be setting the market on fire. Things that would possibly impress me? Voice to text that rivals Dragon Naturally Speaking in all apps (Office, IE, Media Center, etc.) and a PROVEN hack-proof malware blocker (hey, it doesn't hurt to dream).

dhays
dhays

I see no option to vote for, ergo no vote. If I hang onto XP long enough, I can skip Vista, 7 and proceed directly to 8. (Or if my computer/Harddrive lasts long enough) As for work, they are switching to 7 only on new purchases. We had a blanket change from 2K to XP a few years back, but no blanket change is planned for 7. Not sure what the reasoning is. Not in IT, so can't speak for them. I won't be switching to W mobile anytime soon, so it makes no difference what they do.

wwgorman
wwgorman

Microsoft had a great operating system with Windows XP. Note: They have incorporated XP as a virtual operating system with Windows 7 (Pro and Ultimate versions only) so they obviously know its value. Microsoft should have just tweaked XP with all the security and other features incorporated with Windows Vista and Windows 7 and forgotten about Vista and Windows 7 (particularly about Vista!) and made the upgrades to XP, e.g., XP1, XP2, XP3........XP(aa). Build in the mobile capabilities with each improved XP and you are making it backward compatible.

anodyne1
anodyne1

You know their is a big problem when one of their first solutions for problems is "Get help from a friend" What a pathetic non customer support they provide.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

they go [b]x64 only[/b] OK, 32 is good but it's hit the wall problem is both HW and SW devs are too comfortable in 32 it's true that more and more Hardware ship with x64 drivers now but apps are a whole other game if MS jumps the cue and releases x64 only and in one version only winders desktop (for business workstations to the average home user that know diddly) not multiple iterations of the same but restricted crap - the Home versions are security neutered garbage that must be secured via reg edits Good One MS, the Home user is supposed to know how to use the registry editor? and winders server (one version configurable for specific setups) and drop the CALs garbage it's a server and it should work regardless of whether I have 1 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 workstations connected to it

clockmendergb
clockmendergb

Does anybody think that Microsoft is in fact seeing 2014 as the year that the big players will finally junk Xp and Migrate to a more up to date system. Are they getting win 8 ready as the XP replacement for the Corporate users. That seems a logical move to me . write off vista and win 7 entirely and go straight to 8

Brian Doe
Brian Doe

I voted for waiting for more facts. I agree with the author that Microsoft surely has more up its sleeve than just Yet Another Iteration of their flagship desktop OS. If it turns out that this is all Windows 8 will be, then I agree that MS is playing with fire, and will surely get burned. Part of the reason for there being so many Windows XP holdouts is because people are tired of playing the upgrade game every couple of years, and in today's economic climate, arbitrary OS upgrades are becoming harder to justify. Windows 7 just came out recently, and it still carries that "new OS smell". Releasing a new desktop OS upgrade within the next year or two will likely hit a brick wall. The other part of the reason for the number of XP holdouts is that so many were burned by Vista; but that's another subject for another time. I have to agree with the author that Windows 8 will likely represent a convergence of the desktop and mobile markets. Ubuntu Linux is already about to release such a convergence themselves, as Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" will be based on Unity, which provides that convergence. Microsoft is no doubt going to react to this, and do so quickly. The problem is, if this is what Windows 8 will be, then Microsoft is missing the boat. As I stated earlier, people are sick of the upgrade game. Granted, Ubuntu goes through an upgrade every six months (LTS releases every two years), but at least it's free, and multiple Ubuntu installations can co-exist quite peacefully on the same drive on the same hardware. But Microsoft would do so much better in reaching out to the XP holdouts by implementing their desktop/mobile convergence features as a free Service Pack update to Windows 7, rather than forcing people to pony up for yet another upgrade. But if MS insists on following the old, tired "buy our new OS every couple of years" paradigm, then this may well be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

Cynyster
Cynyster

Everyone is talking about the migration to 7, and how many still haven't migrated from XP. I think M$ has already tipped their hand. M$ Office 2010-64bit does not talk to their own Windows Mobile 7 and M$ has made it quite clear that they are not continuing down the path to allow you to sync your WinMobile with the 64bit offerings. I appears to me that M$ still hasn't quite figured out how to pull all the different pieces together in a unified fashion. OS, Office, & Mobile. M$ certainly is not offering business incentives to migrate do to a newer platform. M$ licensing schemes are as costly, ambiguous, and convoluted as ever.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

First, Microsoft probably has to release Windows 8 by the end of 2013 at the latest as Windows XP support will finally die in April 2014. They need to grab those users by then. that said, businesses won't like an OS upgrade cycle every 3 years. Four years is better or maybe 5 years. Since Microsoft normally gives full support for the first 5 years and then partial support after, they should release a new OS prior to end of the full support. [Excluding servers] This will have them support just two OS desktops [except the brief overlapping] instead what they have now [XP, Vista, Win 7 and a bit of Win 8 at one point]. Also too many learning skiolls upgrade in a short time.

MyrnaT3
MyrnaT3

I just upgraded all of my PC's to Win7. I am not completely opposed to a Win8, but it would have to cost less than an arm or a leg, and it would have to add something worth having. As far as Microsoft's discontinuing support is concerned, I haven't found its support of past OS's to be that much of a factor in decisions to upgrade.

davidibaldwin
davidibaldwin

Microsoft (and other software companies) have the same need as car companies to produce something new to sell. It isn't really based on the customer's need but the company's need to have something to sell. Their challenge is to make it something worth buying. I still have 20 year old software that is making me money. They can't re-sell me that.

captainpj
captainpj

Since windows 7 was such a rip off as it should have been released as a service pack for vista, I'm done with the windows upgrade ride. Windows 7 really did nothing more than fix Vista problems now if that isn't a service pack what is?

azlizird
azlizird

Sigorney Weaver(US),"The Bitch" (MicroSoft)! The Bitch must continually copulate with itself and then run around trying to inject its offspring into US in order to survive and flourish! If it fails it will DIE!!! Or How to take Advantage of the Consumer!!! azlizird

dan.wildcat
dan.wildcat

For the desktop I don't expect to see another real major release until we see a significant technological advancement. Maybe for 128bit processors or multi-core processing like the 100 cores Intel says it can do. As always, desktop enhancements in windows are a delicate balance between pushing the envelope and not moving too far beyond what the customer actually needs and uses. Both Linux and Mac have a long long ways to go before they will have a significant enough market share to really push Microsoft from the command chair. Linux will never get there because it is free and not really commercially marketed. Mac doesn't seem to really want to push to that level and seems content to have it's own little enclave of devoted users. Look at their bank accounts and you see that it works for them. Android, although linux-based, has the commercial backing of Google. This makes it a serious competitor if Google wants it to be. Right now Google is building it on the mobile market and is doing a significant job. Whether a desktop version could really flourish may be a serious thing to look at in the future if Google decides to take it there. So, in the desktop market, I don't see Windows 8 doing anything more than cosmetic changes and a few improvements to what Windows already does and how it does it. The real issue for Windows 8 is the mobile market. I understand the "too little, too late" argument and I've been vocal with my customers about Microsoft's lack of movement in this market. At the same time, when the big elephant in the room starts moving around, everyone takes notice. Microsoft is big enough that anytime they choose to get into the market, it will make a splash; if for no other reason than simple compatibility with desktops and business systems and marketing ability. The big question is: Will Microsoft use Windows 8 to get into the mobile market as suggested by Ballmer last year, or are they working on a different OS, possibly based out of Internet Explorer instead? After all, 2014 is a long time to wait to get into the mobile market. My guess? Windows 8 is just the next release of the desktop OS. I think Microsoft has something else up their sleeve for mobile computing starting with either Internet Explorer or their Windows Phone OS. Or maybe they'll redevelop Windows CE for the mobile market. Either way, there is no way Microsoft stays out of it forever. There's too much money in it. I'm still waiting for an internet tablet that can run a professional version of Windows 7 so it can really be integrated into a business network and run applications that are dependent on that environment. That is still an untapped market in my opinion. There are many small businesses that can't pay for the development of special apps to utilize these devices like they want.

ScarF
ScarF

My company has a 3-year plan for replacing all Windows XP workstations with Windows 7, starting this year. This plan will finish in the fall of 2013, just a little bit before Windows XP will out of support. But, as Mark Kaelin presumes, just when a new OS version will be lunched by MS. Quite annoying. I suppose that we will skip another upgrade, as we skipped Vista, and we'll decide to upgrade again when Windows 9 is available. So, as long as we have a say as customers, I see no reason for Windows 8 in 2013. After we will lick our wonds after the upgrade, we will plan another one for 2015 - should this be the Windows 8 year -, or 2017 if this is when Windows 9 will be on the market.

ahunter6
ahunter6

"M$", really? haven't we gotten beyond that? who doesn't realize microsoft is a corporation with shareholders who demand their stock go up? i don't understand or, indeed, like many of the things they've done, but you're not shocking, educating, or impressing anyone by referring to them as "M$". what you're really doing is setting yourself up as a bitter linux head or MF guy

dschoene
dschoene

Windows 8! ok. Do we really have a choice in the long run. Like so many posts have stated, what will you be able to do in 8 that you can't do with Win 7 and server 2008 R2. MS is smart and has insightfull direction and will get into the mobile game more in the very near future i believe. The way I look at it: Where would we be without MS development. Go ahead - Deploy a 1000 user network with MACs or Tablets or Linux and see where you end up. With a big pain in the tushie. How many fortune 500 companies have Linux or Mac based core infrastructure systems and servers? If you want development capabilities, true power, scalability and handy tools, MS is a necessary evil. Even if you have other systems, inevitability, you will have some kind of MS influence. I agree that Corp IT is not even close to being ready for Win8 - Most are not even ready for Win7 yet. Without upgrades and versions, people just want to use what they are familiar with - hence, the reluctance to migrate from XP etc... MS just has an obligation to keep pushing. Like it or not, they stretch the computing sector of the entire world, have, and probably will for a long time to come.

gwservices
gwservices

I would like to see extended support for SP. Right now many people cannot afford to upgrade to Windows 7 for pure financial reasons. I believe that XP is fine for general use. Sure, 7 might be better, but not necessary. Many of the added fixes in 7 could be or are already incorporated into XP. I like 7 better but have many customers that just cannot upgrade now. Gerry

jgustafson
jgustafson

Many IT folks have not upgraded to windows 7 yet, which leaves windows 8 out of the question in my mind. They need to work on services packs and enhancements for windows 7 for a few more years yet. I think everyone will like windows 7 once they get it figured out and learn the in's and out's. Microsoft has done a good job with windows 7 but need to give us some time to heal from the wounds of VISTA yet. Don't push another OS too quickly!

loidab
loidab

I would recommend a way to take all the emotion and uncertainty out of the Windows operating system with respect to upgrades. The software architecture might decomposed into 3 big modules - user interface, resource management, and hardware interface. Each module could be priced (or given away) as appropriate. The interface boundaries between the 3 modules.would be standardized so that some degree of mix and match would be possible. Those liking the whiz bang new interface could buy it and keep the other two modules. Those needing support for the latest hardware, could buy that module. Basic, intermediate, and advanced resource management modules could be priced differently. In this way, it would not be an all or nothing choice (ex. XP, 7, 8, etc) when deciding to migrate and it could provide a more consistent revenue stream for MS.

Regulus
Regulus

Hey, c'mon guys, open your eyes. Microsoft is really no different than Detroit bringing our a new car every year. With every model, various 'features' are withheld that can be used to garnish the next product. This may be seen as 'employment' security for the corporation. Many others are following in their footsteps, for instance the PDA/cell phone industry, Reader/tablet makers and your cell phone and ISP provider to name but a few. Also, remember, that as IT Pro's, we made a living on MS Dos 4, Win 95, Win ME & Vista. Let's not bite the hand that feeds us to hard.

dinotech
dinotech

I was throwing this out there in another group I subscribe to. I can't see the desktop being relevant in two years; the cloud, while it is still in its early adoption phase will lead to talk about why there would be a need to install an OS locally. VDI can be implemented in a private cloud architecture and Windows 8 could be optimized for that platform. HAL 9000 is correct in stating there isn't a real need for another OS in two years. Windows 7 is working fine and there are a lot of XP computers still in use - I know of one solution provider that has a client with XP based systems. Where is Windows 8 going to fit in IT? Mobility and VDI are the current platforms that are gaining acceptance. Tablet PC's are maturing, and the GDI companies such as Nvidia are making sure they are involved (cf. Toshiba's dual GPU system). "Slowly developing and improving an OS is what M$ should have done from the beginning of merging the Business and Domestic Platforms together and re-badging the OS instead of leaving it with the same name and just different Service Pack Levels." - Hal 9000 Trying to understand Microsoft in the context of business is aking to understanding the current tax law. I take Hal's statement and add this: when Windows 3.11 for Workgroups was released, it had a "best of both worlds" for the IT community. Whatever your opinion was, I felt it worked fine. Everyone loved the Card File program among other utilities. PC Magazine always had some new utility to make life easier or help with technical support. It was a great tandem. I would have liked to see that port over to a linux kernel and then have MS work on the NT platform for business. Whether that would have led to something or not we will never know. Windows 95 and 98 were less than stellar, but it bridge the way to XP which was a decent OS - hacked like crazy, but it had everything a person needed to do the job. Hal is right; they needed to slowly develop and improve an OS without complicating the issue. If I download a linux distro from Ubuntu, both the desktop and the server are the same distro; they just install differently. Why should it be any different with a Windows OS? Also, the distros do update their software (Ubuntu is at version 10 and the older versions are still available and used) so its always available for testing before it goes to production. You can do something similar with Windows update, but it seems to be clunky unless you deploy a WSUS server or use a Windows Intune subscription. Windows 8 better be something other than another desktop. The era of the Midnight Madness is over.

the_wizkid
the_wizkid

Why upgrading now to win7 while win8 is arround the corner? In 3 years there is possibily win 9... I will upgrade to whatever is there the moment win XP is going to the bin... saving the money for Win7, Win8, Hardware upgrades (cheaper and better in a few years), and all the projects for upgrading the Software and traing for always different Software...

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

with features like Windows Live! and all this talk about cloud storage. I fear that everyone is trying to take our power away and sell us Software and Storage as a service so they can protect us from our selves and cloud scan our content for "viruses". If they try to push the desktop too hard in to the cloud we will have to resort to server OS software or Linux.

Brian Doe
Brian Doe

Aren't there fundamental differences between the Windows NT kernel on which Windows NT, 2k, and XP are based, and the Vista kernel on which Vista and 7 are based? It could well be that XP has taken the long-in-the-tooth NT kernel about as far as it could possibly go without a major overhaul. Besides, if I recall correctly, one of the major complaints about XP when it first came out was its gross compatibility issues, particularly for those migrating from the Win9x kernel - a problem that took two service packs to partially resolve. Funny how we forget these things. Vista may have been a bungled mess; but it had far fewer issues with legacy compatibility than its predecessors did.

dan.wildcat
dan.wildcat

At the time of Windows 7's release there was a discussion about just that. Microsoft felt there were enough changes and enhancements to justify a full release rather than just service pack fixes. But this does bring out the primary issue with Windows 8. Are there enough enhancements and changes to justify a full desktop release? We'll see. I think Microsoft is going to release a new version every few years no matter what just to avoid the trouble we're now seeing with Windows XP. We saw it with Windows 98se as well. It's hard to drag people away from the version they are most familiar with and got too integrated into their business model.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

They grow in to them. Typing M$ is much faster than typing MicroSoft and it's generally understood what is meant. I would say we are close to that being an official abbreviation for the company name and I wouldn't be surprised to see internal usage. Did you know that Oxford put "LOL" in the dictionary? http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/03/omg-oxford-english-dictionary/# P.S. If you just typed "MS" people might think you are talking about Multiple Sclerosis.

dinotech
dinotech

The sales cycle has been extended from the standard 18 months to almost 24 to 36 months. A major VAR can court a Fortune 500 company for at least a year and still not get a sale. This is why the cloud model is becoming more attractive; being able to get services from one vendor and being able to control what services are needed at the time (saving money on cap-exp implementations such as SAP/R3). As I said before, Windows 8 should be optimized for VDI, because I don't see CA (CorpAmerica) wasting more money on desktop deployments than they really need to, especially since the tools that are used for deployments are relatively easy to use and can deploy one image to thousands of PC's at once. The next logical step from there is VDI - since storage is relatively inexpensive, a SAN wouldn't be too far from a typical budget expenditure with the cloud offerings from major providers such as EMC. Thoughts?

taskman
taskman

The problem with relying on Cloud computing to deliver an O/S is that not everyone has access to super fast internet, certainly not here in the UK. I suspect that it will be much longer than a couple of years before we are in that situation, sadly.

V.H. Scarpacci
V.H. Scarpacci

Why not skip 1 or 2 versions especially if they are released in quick succession. I was glad that my company did not do the 98 or Millennium upgrades and waited for 2000 and XP. These worked and were much more compatible than with Vista and Win 7.

Brian Doe
Brian Doe

Your argument that people might mistake "MS" for multiple sclerosis might be valid IF we were talking about medical conditions. But when we're talking about computers, operating systems, and Windows, it is simply not reasonable to expect such confusion to exist. I suppose if Microsoft made equipment for diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis, AND this was the topic of discussion, then it's somewhere within the realm of possibility, no matter how remote, for such confusion to exist. But, honestly, referring to Microsoft by substituting S's with dollar signs is juvenile and very "last decade".