Microsoft's next version of Windows could include a ribbon interface, a backup utility named History Vault and tablet optimization, according to new reports.
a prime question following a series of leaks by bloggers Rafael Rivera and Paul
Thurrott, who have spent the past few days merrily posting screen-captures from
what they claim is an early build of the next version of Windows, often
referred to, if only for brevity's sake, as "Windows 8."
the postings on Rivera's Within Windows
blog, Windows 8 (at least in its
early build) will integrate an Office-style ribbon interface into Windows
Explorer, complete with tools for viewing libraries, manipulating images and
managing drive assets. The two bloggers also included a screenshot of an early
unlock window, which features the "Metro" design style already present in
Windows Phone 7.
current pre-release builds we've seen, the Ribbon is a serious work in progress
and is quite unattractive," they added. "It's unclear whether Microsoft intends
to move forward with this UI as-is, or whether it will appear only in certain
made it clear for months that the next version of the operating system will
support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems
from partners such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments. In turn, that
would give Microsoft increased leverage for porting Windows onto tablets and
more mobile form factors, currently the prime market for ARM offerings. It
would also open the door to a tablet-specific version of Windows 8 in addition
to a more traditional desktop-and-laptop one.
Windows blog has also documented, in the early builds, a built-in PDF reader
and an "immersive" user interface
that embraces that
same Metro aesthetic, complete with Windows Phone-style tiles. According to the
bloggers, the latter would serve "as an alternative to the more mainstream Aero
and Aero Lite (formerly Aero Basic) UIs."
Over the past
year, other Websites and bloggers have suggested Windows 8 will feature
everything from increased cloud-services integration to enhanced biometric
security, sometimes backing their assertions with slide decks supposedly leaked
from inside Microsoft.
2010, a Website called Microsoft Journal
posted what it
described as a slide deck leaked from within Microsoft, describing possible
Windows 8 features. Among them: a "Microsoft Store" for downloading desktop applications,
ultra-fast boot times and fuller integration with cloud features-including the
ability to carry individual settings or preferences between
the blog Winrumors
reported that Microsoft would introduce
a backup utility for Windows 8 named "History Vault," reminiscent of Apple's
Mac OS X Time Machine: "According to one person familiar with the company's
plans, the backup feature will include the ability to restore to a specific
time or date on the system. Users will be able to select files and restore them
to different time stamps."
Microsoft has stayed adamantly tight-lipped about a possible release date for the
next version of Windows, the online chatter suggests it could make an
appearance sometime in late 2012. As such, any OS elements picked apart by the
blogosphere could undergo radical changes in the interim.