Microsoft Windows 8 development is already under way, according to a Jan. 31 blog posting on the Microsoft Developer Network, and will apparently be "something completely different from what folks usually expect of Windows." Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly suggested in the past that Windows 8 is currently under development, although the tech industry's gravitation toward the cloud and the rise of browser-based operating systems such as Google Chrome could potentially have a sizable influence on how the next Windows version operates.
Microsoft's Windows 8, the next form of the company's operating system, may
take a radical turn in its user interface and features, at least according to
an official blog post by a Microsoft employee that was quickly taken down.
In a Jan. 31 blog posting on the Microsoft Developer Network
"What's In Store for the Next Windows," a project manager with
"the Windows update team" suggests that development of Windows 8 is well
under way. That blog posting was subsequently taken down, but the cached
be found here.
Although the poster never mentions his or her name in that posting, nor
the two others linked to it
, the URL for that particular MSDN blog features
the name "Sharad." The social networking site
LinkedIn lists one "Sharad Goel"
as a program manager for
"computer software" at Microsoft, based in the greater Seattle
When asked by eWEEK for confirmation of the blogger's identity, a Microsoft
spokesperson responded with: "Going by LinkedIn isn't conclusive in this
instance, as we also aren't quite sure who this blogger is because there are
multiple people at Microsoft with that name." The spokesperson also
declined comment about any future editions of Windows.
"Folks started asking me what's in Windows 8-and the first thing I have
to say is that I resonate [with] Steven Sinofsky's interview on who said we're
calling it Windows 8?" reads the Jan. 31 blog posting. "So how am I
referring to the next version of Windows without saying that many words-well
here for 10 features that could be in Windows 8.
The next version of Windows, according to the blogger, "will be
something completely different from what folks usually expect of Windows-I am
simply impressed with the process that Steven has set up to listen to our
customers' needs and wants and get a team together that can make it
Further details are not forthcoming, at least not in the Jan. 31 post.
"That's about it for the time being-I know I'm not sharing much at this
point but right now I can't as we work towards finalizing that vision."
Rumors of Windows 8 development have been drifting around online even before
the Oct. 22 launch of Windows 7. In mid-October, a European health care
newsletter quoted Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmer as telling the audience at the U.K.
press launch of Windows 7, "We've
got Windows 8 under development now."
When eWEEK sought to confirm that quote, a Microsoft spokesperson claimed
that no transcript of Ballmer's remarks was available, along with: "We
have nothing to share about Windows 8 at this point as we are super-focused on
delivering Windows 7 and sharing the value it offers to our customers."
Around that time, the rumor mill surrounding Windows 8 also kicked into even
higher gear over
the LinkedIn page for one Robert Morgan
, a senior member of Microsoft's
Research & Development team, who listed his current projects as
"128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9
Microsoft refused to confirm or deny whether Robert Morgan actually exists,
offering eWEEK a "no comment" reply on Nov. 24. That opened the door
to the possibility that the LinkedIn page had been faked.
The increased prevalence of the cloud, and the rise of browser-based
operating systems such as Google's Chrome OS, has the potential to affect the
development of Windows 8. How Microsoft intends to integrate the cloud into
future versions of its flagship product remains to be seen, but leaked
PowerPoint slides purportedly shown by Microsoft during the last Professional
Developers Conference in Los Angeles suggest
that Windows 8 could be released in 2012.