We are just a couple weeks out from the Microsoft BUILD conference where Microsoft’s own Steven Sinofsky will present Microsoft’s next operating system which is geared for Tablets, Desktop and who knows what else. I wanted to take a moment to put in my predictions on what will be announced and provide some evidence that leans towards that.
Many of these predictions are simply just what I would like to see in Windows 8 so I will put as many guess and hopes out there that I can.
MinWin has been talked about for a while in the Microsoft community as the solution to getting rid of the bloat for Windows. For a detailed overview of MinWin, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MinWin.
The premise of MinWin is to simplify the kernel, make it lighter, faster and more secure while simplifying cross dependencies to the kernel and other layers of the OS. I believe there has been a lot of talk about MinWin for years but could Windows 8 be the opportunity for it to come out of hiding?
I think the evidence for MinWin comes in a couple different ways, the first and most obvious reason to introduce MinWin at this point is the porting of Windows to ARM. This port makes perfect sense to build the kernel that is lighter weight to run on ARM so that Windows can target multiple devices. When they announced the port to ARM, Microsoft also said there would be no automatic backwards compatibility. So if they were to do no backwards compatibility, then wouldn’t make sense to put in the kernel that you started back in 2003 that is faster and more reliable?
Prediction: VM for legacy apps
After many of the rumors that are floating around on the internet for Windows 8, I think this is the least likely of all my predictions to be true. I think we could see the possibility that legacy applications will run in a Virtual Environment of sorts.
Evidence: VM for legacy apps
Take what we have learned about MinWin & the port of Windows to ARM, yet in the Building “Windows 8” video, we see them reference legacy/classic applications, as seen in the screen below:
What I find interesting is just how the “classic” windows is presented in this screen, could it be that classic windows is just a VM?
Then just today, our buddy Steve released this http://win8.ms/metro-aero blog post. If you start to read between the lines, the possibility for this type of setup is not out of question.
Prediction: One OS/Kernel for all Devices (including Xbox)
Building on the earlier predictions, this would also lead to the complete possibility of having one kernel for all Microsoft platforms including Tablets, PCs, Phones and Xbox. Microsoft has been talking about 3 screens and a cloud for a while, but could they just simplify it so that essentially there is one Kernel for everything?
Evidence: One OS/Kernel for all Devices
Some of the evidence to this is the rumor of WP8 running the same Windows 8 kernel, and why not? The hardware is getting better, if the kernel is light enough, it might just work, right?
To add to the theory, there are rumors of Windows 8 to play Xbox games. These types of rumors start to blur what is a pc? what is a tablet?
Prediction: XAML to HTML5 engine
After the Silverlight world began to think their world was coming to an end, Microsoft has gone on record stating that XAML is not dead. Yet, they are saying HTML5/JS is going to be a big part of Windows. Microsoft has created an amazing thing with XAML, built a community of WPF & Silverlight developers but have fought an uphill battle with consumption of Silverlight plugin. Throw in new devices like iPad & Android tablets, developers want a better cross platform solution.
Evidence: XAML to HTML5 engine
The amount of evidence on this is pretty much non-existent, maybe just more of a nice feature Silverlight developers like myself would love to see because we love the tools Microsoft has created with Visual Studio & Expression Blend. In the HTML5 world there is nothing like it.
Prediction: Silverlight(XAML/Jupiter) on Xbox
This isn’t a far stretch because we have been hearing rumor and seen screen shots that Silverlight will come to the Xbox.
Evidence: Silverlight (XAML/Jupiter) on Xbox
Check out these articles: http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/20103/Microsoft-to-Bring-Silverlight-to-Xbox-Live/
I have tried to get on the msdn blog to give you more details, but seems to be down
Prediction: Faster Release Date
I believe with the amount of work that Microsoft is putting behind Windows 8 with the level of secrecy, they may release Windows 8 faster than expect for this large of a release. I believe Microsoft is feeling the iPad pressure.
Evidence: Faster Release Date
I think with the recent change in leadership at Apple, Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, Google’s purchase of Motorola and many other factors, the time is now! The stars are aligning for Microsoft to no longer be the sleeping giant.
I believe some of these predictions are a pretty far stretch, but I wanted to go one record for my predictions incase any of them come true. I would love to hear your predictions and I am looking forward to seeing what will be announced!