Microsoft Might Rush Its Windows 8 Sequel Out By Next Year

Windows 8 is coming. But the next version of Windows might not be far behind. According to the super well respected Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft could release the next version of its OS within the next year — a turnaround time that would be pretty much unprecedented for Redmond:

I've heard the next version of Windows is not going to be Windows 9. Instead, I've heard from a couple of my contacts that some kind of an update is coming next year. The Windows release codenamed "Blue" — mentioned by Win8China last week — is likely the codename of this interim release, my contacts claim.

A quick release for the next-next Windows could mean a lot of things, and frankly, we have no idea at this point what will come of it. But Windows has traditionally been on a very long development cycle — much longer than Apple's every year approach. Microsoft has been aggressive on keeping the price of Windows 8 down, so this could be moving over to the tick-tock style of OS X.

Snow Leopard for Windows, maybe. Or it could be that Microsoft feels the Windows 8 it's shipping is incomplete, and will need an upgrade in short order. Or something else entirely. Again, it's early, but if this is true, it will be interesting to see why Microsoft decided to speed up its development. [ZDNet via TNW]



    Don't MS usually release a Service Pack after roughly a year or so? Perhaps this just means they've already started work on it, but maybe this time they'll throw in some UI enhancements and call it a 'new version'.

      Windows XP came out something like 9 months after ME hit.

      WIndows Vista was around what, 13 months before 7 hit?

      If 8 bombs, I imagine they have a disaster plan in place, they always do. To quote the Joker, 'its all part of the plan'.

        Vista was 2007, Win7 was 2009. XP did come out shortly after ME, but ME was only ever a stop-gap and XP was the true successor. The gap between XP and Vista was unusual - most Windows versions generally followed 2 years or thereabouts their direct successor. But even this announcement is incredibly short.

          January 30, 2007 was the official customer release date for Vista, November 2006 was the business one, June/July 2009 was Windows 7. I think its actually ever 3 - 4 years for a new OS. Every 2 or so the new one is announced, with the fourth year or so it being released, which is about right. Even then, the short lifespans of ME and Vista were due to their crap nature (granted Vista was ok once it received all its service packs tbh). XP still stands as the best product they released up until Windows 7, which is a mammoth of a program in its flexibility, it's a pity they're so keen to progress past it given how well its doing.

        Corrections to the above list:

        Windows 98 was released 1998/06/25
        Windows 98 SE was released 1999/05/05
        Windows 2000 2000/ 09/14

      Why are people comparing ME and XP? They had next to nothing to do with one another.

      ME was the last of the DOS-based Windows line. i.e.:

      Windows 1.0 1985/11/20
      Windows 2.0 1987/12/09
      Windows 3.0 1990/05/22
      Windows 3.1 1992/04/06
      Windows for Workgroups 3.1 1992/10/27
      Windows 95 1995/08/24
      Windows 95A 1992/02/14
      Windows 95B 1996/08/24
      Windows 95C 1997/11/26
      Windows 98 1998/25/06
      Windows 98 SE 1998/06/25
      Windows ME 1999/04/26

      Windows was an NT kernel product, i,e.

      Windows NT 3.1 1993/07/27
      Windows NT 3.5 1994/09/21
      Windows NT 3.5.1 1995/05/30
      Windows NT 4.0 1996/08/24 (Windows 95 Style Interface)
      Windows 2000 [NT 5.0} 2000/02/17 (***)
      Windows XP [NT 5.1] 2001/10/25
      Windows Vista [NT 6.0] 2006/11/08
      Windows 7 [NT 6.1] 2009/07/22

      What is evident from the above list of major releases is that it is not at all unusual for Microsoft to bring out new releases every year or so.

      What has changes is that since NT 4.0 the interim service packs have generally taken the place of full blown new releases, and incorporated less visible changes to the user experience.

      Windows 2000 to XP was an exception, but apart from incorporating USB drivers the most visible change to the user experience was the introduction of product activation. In any event, XP was only a point release over Windows 2000, just as Windows 7 is only a point release over Vista, and its not hard to think of WP7 as Vista SP3.

    "I’ve heard the next version of Windows is not going to be Windows 9. Instead, I’ve heard from a couple of my contacts that some kind of an update is coming next year"

    Oh, like Service Pack 1?

      Goddamn people are quick to jump on the "OMG MS THINKS WIN8 IS GONNA BE SHIT" bandwagon.

    sounds like Windows Me and they already figuered it out

    As long as they don't become like Mozilla, releasing an update every three months. I remember waiting years for Firefox 4, and it had some big changes. But now I can't tell the difference between Firefox 4 and Firefox 14!

      I can tell you the difference, 1 worked and 1 doesnt.

      I'm back with IE 9 and 10, much, much better experience.

        I don't' know about a better experience but I've been back on IE 10 for a few weeks now and it is at least bearable. I don't like the fact that it always defaults to the "Libraries" to save files, which forces me to navigate to where I want to save things. In fact, Firefox's downloading experience via Download StatusBar is much, much better.

          I use IE 9 for desktop browsing, and IE 10 for tablet based TEST browsing - this means that i do things like run movies over a LTE network in Australia through HTML 5 in the browser to see how it works. Then i go on 9GAG and see how quickly things load up etc.

          From that point of view i love it, but then again, i don't use it for every day stuff as my normal browser yet, so who knows.

    I have absolutely no interest in Windows 8. That "metro" UI will just get in the way, I don't care about their apps or internet explorer, I just want to get to my desktop. But after watching many hands on videos it appears that the metro interface is almost half the navigation experience causing the user to be rerouted to that stupid screen.

    I hope WIndows 8 fails because Microsoft has had their reign of power for too long. It's time for a change that will lead us to a better computer experience for years to come.

      What planet do you live on? MS haven't been dominating for years, they're the underdogs. Steven Hawkings my ass. You don't even have 1/100th of his mental capacity.

      Some people are afraid of change.

      it is OK Steven, Mummy and Daddy Apple will be there to comfort you, to tell you not to worry about the big bad 'Metro'. Get in the walled garden, he cant get you in there!


      Get in the way of what? The desktop is where it has always been and works as it does in Win7. You don't have to deal with 'that "metro" UI' any more often than you currently deal with Win7's hopeless, awful Start Menu.

      Windows won't fail because it is so much better in every way than any previous version of Windows. It follows on from, and builds upon, the best received version of Windows ever - I'm the only person I know who doesn't like Win7 -so it's hard to imagine it failing. And as the fist touch-friendly full OS, it is not going to have any competition in a market segment it will be redefining at just eh time when hardware technology is ready to make it work, just as Apple managed with iPhone. I'm sure sheeple will be hesitant at first but once they've actually used the OS, attitudes will change. Mind you, I would have thought the same of Vista but it took some sleight of hand from MS, in the form of the point upgrade that is Win7, to convince most of them.

        Yeah it has competition! Android!!!!!

        Oh okay, seriously I couldn't say that with a straight face lol!!!!!

      What are you going on about? That "metro" UI will not get in the way because you have the option to use the normal Windows 7 type interface in Windows 8 as well.

      I find it hillarious that you are complaining that they changed things.

      And then call for change in dominate OSs.

    Calling Service Packs new releases, so they can charge update fees... I wouldn't put it past them.

      What... like Apple and OSX 10.whatever?

        Careful mate, smart comments don't go down well with Apple users.

          That's because the truth hurts, and most apple users aren't much past the "I know you are so what am I" stage of mental development.

            Lol, so true, so true!

    She says it is an update to Win8, maybe like WinPho 7.5 was. This makes sense to be honest because M$ has pretty much always released Service Pack 1 after about 6 to 12 months of release to fix bugs and add on features.

      That sounds fairly reasonable, Barry. It'd be interesting if they rebranded the Service Packs though with a view to start selling them on the Marketplace, Apple-style.

        I hope they don't, but I expect SP1 to advertise features which effect users more and possibly give a bit of a UI refresh to encourage upgrade.

    Yey!! Now I won't need to buy this POS yet and have a reason to wait and see if things get better.

      Because you had to buy it before......

      You don't need to buy anything. If you are happy on Windows for Workgroups 3.11, then stick with it.

    Seeing as they're getting into the tablet space, Android and iOS have yearly updates, so it'll look bad to consumers if they don't too.

    So, I'm thinking this is more likely to be an update to WinRT than Windows 8, seeing as it's competing with Android and iOS, which both have (roughly) yearly updates.

    I just hope they solve the problem I'm experiencing with MS Word...drawing huge maps in MS Word - the documents save as 500KB but they take twenty minutes to load like they are falling over dead from RAM abuse.

      You can always have Task Manager open while Word opens the document and see what's going on.

      Sounds like you might be using the wrong tool for the job, kinda like saving a movie as an animated GIF.

    I dont know if they will call it service pack but I think they will move to a yearly update cycle as that seems to be flavour of the month with most OS's these days. They might call it windows 8.1 or something.

    Just hope they dont start charging for these minor updates. I honestly feel a bit ripped off by mountain lion, havent actually found any use for any of the new features in it yet.

      They don't charge for the yearly UI and feature updates on Xbox.

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