Microsoft is already discussing Windows 8 internally, according to an alleged internal slide deck leaked online, with ideas bandied about that include a "Microsoft Store" for downloading apps, ultra-fast booting, a display that automatically adjusts to ambient light, and fuller cloud integration. The slides, if real, hint that Microsoft is studying rivals Apple and Google for potential strategy points. Rumors of Windows 8 have leaked ever since the release of Windows 7.
Microsoft is already deep into discussions about Windows 8,
according to an alleged internal slide deck leaked online in the past few days.
While the company has refused to confirm whether the slides in question are
real, they detail potential ideas for a next-generation operating system that
include ultra-fast booting, a "Microsoft Store" for downloading apps, and
fuller cloud integration.
On June 26, a Website called Microsoft Journal
posted what it described as a leaked slide deck, dated April 2010, which
described internal discussions about Windows 8 as already well underway; the
slides detailed features such as a display that adapts to ambient light for
maximum visibility, ultra-fast boot times, and the use of facial recognition
for logins. Also mentioned were USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0.
By June 29, Microsoft Journal had disappeared from its
Windows Live Spaces host site, replaced by this
However, those wishing to take a look at the Windows 8 deck
can navigate over to the blog Microsoft
, which on June 28 also posted the slides along with commentary; the
blog's administrators suggest the leaked data came courtesy of an Italian
Windows-enthusiast site called "Windowsette." In addition to reiterating the
Microsoft Journal's slides' discussion of features such as facial recognition
login, the Microsoft Kitchen slides delve into more interesting details.
Chief among these may be the image of a "Windows 8 Prototype
Machine," whose minimalist curves bear a strong resemblance to something
created by Apple; the
listed features include a touch-screen, infrared proximity sensors, and DirectX
. Other slides note an "explosion of form factors," and suggest that
slates could be a preferred form-factor for Windows 8.
cloud is also a prime consideration
. "Windows accounts could be connected
to the cloud," reads one of the slides, following that up with a bullet point:
"Roaming settings and preferences associated with a user between PCs and
devices." In conjunction with another slide's bullet point that "Connectivity
is assumed" and "Content experience is personal," one can assume that
Microsoft-if this information is authentic-is designing its next-generation
operating system with an eye towards potential competition from cloud-based
browsers such as the upcoming Google Chrome OS.
According to Microsoft Kitchen's June 28 blog posting that
accompanies the slide deck, "Microsoft appears to be planning functionality for
a reset button that will essentially reinstall Windows while maintaining all of
your personal files, applications, settings, etc. without the need for the user
to back all of that stuff up." Users would be able to access an online "Windows
Store" to download-and re-download-applications to their machine.
Another slide details the upcoming collision between
"enterprise and personal worlds." In addition to slates, target devices will
include laptops and all-in-ones.
A Microsoft spokesperson indicated that there would probably
be no comment from the company regarding the Windows 8 slides.
Rumors about Windows 8 have been swirling since around the
release of Windows 7. In November 2009, Microsoft Kitchen published a leaked
deck of slides, supposedly shown by Microsoft during that year's Professional
Developers Conference in Los Angeles, which
suggested the next Windows Server and Windows 8 would be released in 2012.
Around the same time, a number of blogs and
Microsoft-centric Websites dredged up the LinkedIn page of Robert Morgan,
"senior member of Microsoft's Research & Development team," which stated
that his current projects included "128-bit architecture compatibility with the
Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan." Nearly as soon as that page came
to light, however, it disappeared from the Web; when reached for comment by
eWEEK, Microsoft refused to confirm whether Robert Morgan even existed.