There are rumours/speculations about “8”. I suspect they are mostly what’s in the works from M$. Nothing else could compete with what’s happening in the real world with ARM+GNU/Linux+Android/Linux. M$ will have to sell licences to a distributed OS with services in the cloud. “8” will be essentially a thin client + terminal services system. The only question is how they integrate with hardware platforms. They could supply a “quickstart” client for each, perhaps in place of the BIOS but more likely it will be a minimal OS that installs on each platform. We shall see. see “The State of”

This looks like a major re-jigging of the OS and they probably started even before “7” was out the door back when Ballmer said they were “all-in” for the cloud. Cloudy efforts to date have been feeble. Putting “8” in the cloud will be very flexible and still allow them to tax clients. M$ will begin charging for service, by the year, month, unit of work. No doubt there will be a thousand options so that an industry will spring up selling to customers.

One thing that is certain is that such a major shift will take M$ a lot of time. They will have to “educate” all their partners, forge new alliances with hardware, and write code for the cloud and several platforms, desktops, notebooks, tablets, TVs, smart thingies and smart phones. We would know if that were far along so it is probably two years more in the pipe. Rumours are 2012. It must be late in 2012 or early 2013.

The bottom line is that such changes are inevitable for M$ and the world of IT will not wait for M$ to get its act together. No one is going to invest a ton of money in “7” when it will all go “poof” in 2013. The world can see that what M$ is doing is imitating the wide-open world of Free Software, running on any platform, any way the user likes. If you are going to change to such a system, why wait? Shift those old XP machines into thin clients of terminal servers and clouds. Buy thin clients. Buy netbooks and smart thingies. You don’t need M$ to drag you through another rat hole into the unknown. You can have it all now.

Check out a proper networked OS at http://www.debian.org or DistroWatch. or


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5 Responses to “8”

  1. Dann says:

    Windows has a third-party cube program.
    But it has lag since it has to constantly redraw a complete desktop for every switch.

    I guess that’s what happens when you arrive to market 20 years too late.

    Keep on Cube’n.

  2. Richard Chapman says:

    I have KDE 4.5.4 (soon to be 4.6). The spinning cube and all that other stuff is built in. Buying a roof rack for your car at Walmart doesn’t give it the functionality of a pickup truck. Tacking on yet another Registry-choking, separate-update-blinking piece of software to a Windows system may make it sort of look like GNU/Linux, but it doesn’t even come close to working like it. My GNU/Linux is a unified system. Everything comes from the same place. It’s all designed to work together. But for me, it’s most important attribute is that it’s quite. It doesn’t pester me. It doesn’t surprise me with problems. It just lets me do what I want to do.

  3. ChrisTX says:

    “It does show the flexibility and configurability of GNU/Linux however.”

    That so? Let’s see your options for Windows:


    No cube:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881 (official, by Microsoft)

    Also congratulations at getting KDE 4.4 now finally. Decent distros are on KDE 4.6 already, but I suppose software from two years ago is simply more stable…

  4. I did spin the cube once. It seemed totally pointless to me. I can have as many virtual desktops as I want without the cube. It does show the flexibility and configurability of GNU/Linux however. It does appeal to some people.

  5. DJ McKay says:

    Spin that cube brotha!

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