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Win 7, I'm Confused: Can PDC Help?

There's a lot of talk these days about Windows 7. Users are interested because many are trying to figure out if they're going to go with Vista, skip it for Windows 7 or go in an entirely different direction. And Microsoft isn't entirely shy about it, either, as it hopes to keep the world excited about Windows.

I became instantly less excited about Windows 7 when Microsoft seemed to say it would be based on Vista. That means a big client using an old kernel. Recent rumors (fueled at least in part by Microsoft itself) point to a new, much smaller kernel based on something called Midori, which may or may not be based on Singularity (a new kernel coming out of Microsoft Research).

Microsoft should end this confusion. The underlying architecture of Windows 7 is critically important for IT planning. Another big issue: If Windows 7 has an all-new kernel, no matter how small, it could dramatically lengthen the wait for this OS.

Of course, the big question is: For how long will PC operating systems be a cause of excitement? Here, there are two countervailing trends. One, client OSes are getting richer. With media extensions and add-ins, we can actually spend more and more time using what comes already installed on our machines.

On the other hand, more processing is moving to the Web, the cloud, Software as a Service and all the other terms we use for big-time remote computing. Here, all we need is a browser and enough local CPU to drive our displays and networks.

Next week, Microsoft is hosting its Professional Developers Conference and will give attendees some pre-release Windows 7 code. Maybe then we'll have our answer!

Posted by Doug Barney on October 23, 2008 at 11:52 AM