I just checked my inbox and saw this interesting e-mail that I thought I would share with the rest of the web my thoughts on future Windows releases. Although everything noted is speculation and has been predicted and rumored for a long time, it does spark the curiosity about what is coming next. Operating Systems from Apples Mac OS to Linux have caused a frenzy when it comes to regular releases.
"Face it, Windows Vista is just so played these days. With that preliminary biz release under its belt, we’re ready for bigger and better things, and luckily a certain "jameskyton" drive-by-blogger has the low-down for us on Vista’s successors, Fiji and Vienna. James calls Fiji a sort of "Vista R2," which should include most of those fancy features Microsoft had to cut out of Vista to get it released this century. Highlights include the reappearance of WinFS, which will sit on top of the NTFS file system; a more full-featured sidebar app; tight Windows Live integration, especially when it comes to media; built-in playback of HD-DVD; Next-Generation Secure Computing Base; and possibly even a Garage Band clone called Monaco. There will also be the usual interface and other minor enhancements you can expect from such an update, but Fiji has nothing on Vienna, which is purported to feature a complete overhaul of the OS, including a break in compatibility with "all applications," though hopefully Microsoft will have some Apple-esque transition schemes in place before that time comes. The fresh beginning will give Microsoft more OS-building freedom than it has had in a long time, but right now it sounds like they’re a bit too excited about this: Vienna will supposedly do away with the Start Menu, toolbars and menus in favor of some sort of pie-menu interface, WinFS-t-the-core and search, potentially leaving long time users stranded with a brand new interface to learn from the ground up. The OS will also feature beefy speech support, along with a sandbox mode for running non-managed code without risking your security. Much of this is hearsay so far, and we’re really hoping Microsoft doesn’t go off the deep end with Vienna, but we’re still curious to see what they have up their sleeves after being cooped up so long ironing out Vista bugs."
Again, nothings really a surprise, and just as I noted in my ActiveWin: Vista review, DVD burning capabilities is just a logical step, and will be the same case for the new HD-DVD format if Fiji (Vista R2) does exist. As for Monaco, the rumored to be iLife Garage Band killer, Mary Jo Foley reported about this a long time ago and we have not heard anything since. WinFS is something I will just leave in the ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ category, the last I heard of it, it was now a SQL Server technology with pieces of it moving into the next release of the Company’s database Server.
Vienna should be another interesting topic as it nears development, but the Pie Face theory is a bit too far fetched. A lot of radacalism was orginally planned for Vista codenamed Longhorn at the time as evidenced by the PDC 2003 demos by Hillel Cooperman, a former Microsoft employee. The move to a new codebase will probably be a necessity to better take advantage of the latest hardware such a better multi core support. Changes the UI will be decided by what Microsoft has researched based on user studies. Speech in Vista right now is also beefy, I love the improved recognition and training tools which makes using it more encouraging. Vista has brought a refresed interface, but not as drastic as many enthusiast had wanted it to be. Still, my anticipation for these next releases is at about 2%, I am more pre-occupied with the interim, Windows Vista, Ultimate Extras, Windows Live Services, Vista SP1 and a little bit of Longhorn Server, hopefully those can keep me satisfied for the next 2 to 3 years.