My guess at a Windows 8 release date

So more information has come out regarding Windows 8.

There are three main points of interest that came from Mary Jo Foleys update today..

Based on new speculation:

Ourghanlian described the utopian Windows 8 situation: One where users would install a master of Windows on their PCs, plus possibly an antivirus program, but nothing else. All other applications would run virtually, via a combination of Hyper-V V3 (the next version of Microsoft’s hypervisor technology, which would no longer be a server-only thing), App-V application virtualization technology and MED-V desktop virtualization functionality. Some of these applications would run in virtual machines that would combine applications and operating systems, i.e., an application running on Windows Vista or an application running on a particular flavor of Linux.

So virtualization seems to be a priority like I talked about in a previous post.

Next, a discussion about the potential of Minwin.

MinWin will allow Microsoft to decouple many subsystems from the core of Windows — including Internet Explorer, Ourghanlian confirmed. The underlying core that will be left will be the NT kernel.
From the interview:
“Completion of MinWin is the possibility to make two fundamental things: you can disengage IE completely and be fully able to disengage the Shell, are things that are not yet feasible because these two elements are still too nested in Windows kernel. The goal with MinWin, when it comes with Windows 8 if everything goes well, it is to completely disconnect these features that is to ensure that potentially they are not present at all. At this time, this will allow to have, for the desktop, the equivalent of a Windows Server Core… in the case of Hyper-V V3 on the workstation is the smallest possible, both in terms of potential attack surface in terms of memory footprint and rack space disk.”

And lastly:

Another area where Microsoft’s next-generation virtualization technology will come into play with Windows 8 is in the Windows update space, as explains in its latest blog post. Managing all the virtual machines enabled on the desktop via Hyper-V 3 will be of great importance with Windows 8. Updating virtual machines while they’re turned off, as well as updating third party applications, will need to be managed via new Windows Update mechanisms…

Here’s my take on all these “developments” – Windows 8 is (obviously) in the very early stages of conceptualization talk less of development. Windows 7 is successful and Microsoft will spend the next 18 months getting businesses on to Windows 7.

In the next 18 months, as more businesses move to Windows 7, the business gaps will be uncovered in the integration between Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. As businesses and tech professionals start to discover these gaps, they will give feedback to Microsoft.

Microsoft will attempt to remediate these gaps in the form of Servic Packs but will use some of these new issues as the basis for a new operating system.

To me (and this is just me speaking), this will move the realistic launch date of Windows 8 to 2013/2014.

Anything sooner would be too early and will risk alienating businesses who only just moved (after 10 years) from Windows XP. Just a guess at this point but that timeline makes sense to me based on the maturity of the concepts floating around today.

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