Hot on the heels of news that quad-core processors could be appearing on laptops as early as the year 2008, Ars Technica recently published an article on future versions of Windows.

They interviewed Microsoft executive Ty Carlson, who is the director of technical strategy at Microsoft. According to Carlson, future versions of Windows will be “fundamentally redesigned” to cater to multi-core processors.

Windows Vista, he said, was just “designed to run on 1, 2, maybe 4 processors” compared to Carlson’s envisioning of computers with “excess of 8, 16, 64 and beyond processors” appearing on the market in the near future.

Actually, the NT kernel on 64-bit Windows can already allocate processors and threads to up to a limit of 64 cores. Supporting multiple processors has been built into NT since its first release back in 1993.

As it stands, it is hard to ascertain for sure what “fundamentally different” means here. Will Microsoft try to pull a “BeOS”, in which its designers literally created the term “pervasive multithreading,” or will it be just an evolutionary upgrade in stability and increased efficiencies.

According to the article:

It does seem highly unlikely, however, that Microsoft would make major changes to the GUI model, given that they just rewrote the 20 year-old GDI/GDI+ model for Windows Vista.

So what do you think – when do you reckon that such an enhanced Windows kernel will appear on the market? Join the discussion.


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