Windows 8

One of my personal hobbies that I have the most fun with is keeping up with the future of Windows. Typically, whenever I run across a roadmap or some part in a presentation that makes me feel all warm and tingly, I post it here. Well, putting my nose to the grindstone and digging for Windows 8 information today (since it seems to be poppingupalloverrecently), I actually ran across a mention of Windows 9. Now, I’m certainly no stranger to running into mentions of future versions of Windows:

November 2007: http://uxevangelist.blogspot.com/2007/11/windows-7-and-windows-8-wealth-of.html
July 2008: http://uxevangelist.blogspot.com/2008/07/windows-8-confirmed.html
August 2008: http://uxevangelist.blogspot.com/2008/08/windows-server-7-and-8-oh-and-9-too-yep.html

(Shameless self-pat-on-the-back there, hehehe)

Aside from that roadmap, the only mention I’ve heard of Windows 9 out of Microsoft was from an interview Mark Russinovich gave last year when he said, “…what are the important things Windows should be addressing in the next five years…and…so, looking further out past Windows 7 into Windows 8, Windows 9…” You can hear it here (@ 2:42). (And though I ran across this myself, Marius Oiaga of Softpedia apparently did a write-up about it back in September 2008, so I want to be fair and mention it)

Well, now I’ve run across a semi-dated presentation given March 11, 2009 by Dave Probert, Architect, Windows Kernel Group. It’s a short ‘n sweet mention, but he lists, “working on Windows 8 and Windows 9, including manycore, services, and core facilities” as his day job. No mention of Windows 7 there, so we can assume these guys must be well on their way developing for Windows 8… well, since March 11, at least.

That oh-so-casual mentioning of Windows 8 and Windows 9 has my noodle turning a bit more than is probably necessary. First, since he mentioned both Windows 8 AND Windows 9, does this mean they’re working on technology that will go into Windows 8 and – thus – into Windows 9, or does it mean they’re working on technologies for BOTH Windows 8 and Windows 9, respectively? If the latter, it makes me question if Windows 9 is going to be the introduction to everything that’s going into Midori or if it’s still going to be NT-based. Likewise, I wonder if Microsoft is going to keep the Windows name when they switch the underlying technology to whatever’s going into Midori – much like they did when dumping 9X and making NT the kernel for both their client and server operating systems – or if Windows will indeed be retired in lieu of a new name (heck, I wonder if THEY even know yet… My brain’s just wandering here, so nevermind me. lol).

Either way, Windows 8 and Windows 9 had might as well leave room for us to assume there to eventually be a Windows 10, 11, 12 et al, but I don’t like to assume these things… especially in light of such a small detail that leaves a lot to be read into (isn’t that part of the fun in all of this, though?). What do you think? Oh, and please can the, “oh, wow, it’s Windows 8; who would’ve ever guessed” comments. If you don’t care, then don’t waste your time and ours by letting us know; because we don’t care that you don’t care. lol.

Lastly, some of you may have missed a conversation back in February where Mark Russinovich set the record straight about the version number of Windows 7 and how they’re going to go forward with versioning. This pretty much sums it up right here:

Mark Russinovich: “And one comment about the version number, the version number change is actually one of the biggest impacts on application compatibility. When we moved to Windows Vista from XP going from a version number of 5.1 to 6, actually breaks lots of apps that check for the major version number. So a lot of people look at the version number and try to read something into it. Like, .1, well that’s now a major upgrade or rev over what we had previously, and actually it’s totally meaningless from that perspective. It’s just simply saying, this is a different version of the OS, and we are actually going to just rev the minor version number so that we don’t break those apps that are checking the major version number. If you follow that logic you can figure out the version number for Windows 8. Right, Mark?”

Mark Minasi: “So version 18 will be 6.1.1.1.1.1…”

Mark Russinovich: “Exactly.”

A little bit of comedy for you at the end there, but at least we can gauge more accurately the meaning of the version number from here forward (although I don’t know if Windows 8 is going to be 6.1.1 or 6.2, lol). Anyway, that’s it for now! More on Windows 8 and Windows 9 when I dig it up!

Resources:

Dave Probert’s Presentation: Download Here (Page 2 is the mention of Windows 8 and Windows 9)
Mark Russinovich’s Conversation: Download Here (Page 6 is where I’m referencing)

-Stephen

3 Comments

  1. I believe that Windows 8 will actually have its internal major version set to 8 instead of 6 or 7.

    Here are the major/minor versions of NT-based Windows (with the internal major/minor versions for Windows 2000 and later in parentheses):
    - NT 3.1
    - NT 3.5
    - NT 3.51
    - NT 4.0
    - Windows 2000 (5.0)
    - Windows XP (5.1)
    - Windows Server 2003 / XP Professional x64 (5.2)
    - Windows Vista / Windows Server 2008 (6.0)
    - Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 (6.1)
    - Windows 8 (8.0)
    - Windows 9 (9.0)

    Notice that the GetVersionEx() call for Windows 8 will return 8 as its major version (and not 6 or 7). Microsoft actually skipped major versions in Microsoft Office at least twice. Office 95, which was the 32-bit successor to Office 4.2 and 4.3, was Office 7.0. Office 2010, which is the upcoming release of Office, is Office 14, while Office 2007 was Office 12.

    Programs that carry the Windows logo are required to accept higher major versions of Windows. In addition, accepting higher major versions of Windows was required for programs to run correctly on NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista.

    Given that applications have been required to accept higher major versions in the past, and the limitations of the GetVersionEx() call, Microsoft will actually increase the internal major version, or the major version that would be returned by the GetVersionEx() call. Programmers should expect the GetVersionEx() call to set the major version to 8 on Windows 8, and 6 on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Programmers should also be prepared to accept higher major version numbers, as they did in the past (even though version checking was done incorrectly).

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