In early April 2010, Microsoft held a architecture summit in London, where it gave the audience a peek at the successor to Windows 7 which is called Windows 8 (or Windows Next as shown in the slides).
While very little is known about the OS, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called it a risky endeavor. But why did he make such a statement? He did so because Microsoft is taking the Windows 8 into the world of OS virtualization. It is a risky endeavor because very few consumers have even a small clue about virtualization and may have trouble letting go of traditional OS offerings.
According to the slides that appeared, Microsoft says “Customers today see application compatibility issues, they see DLL hell, they see an inability to manage efficiently, they see high costs associated with maintenance and upgrades, they see a relatively short lifespan…..This cannot continue. Customers are increasingly refusing to let this continue.”
Microsoft has decided to change that by deploying a VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) in which user apps and data will be “treated as cached entities and synchronized with an appstore and 'user state store”. This approach does have its advantages; it will allow Microsoft to solve various compatibility issues, fight malware and viruses and even protect the user from data loss.
This new virtualization technology is based on Microsoft’s pre-existing virtualization portfolio called Virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI. It will also make use of application virtualization (App-V, MED-V, Remote Apps, Terminal Server); OS virtualization (Remote Desktop, Terminal Services, VDI); data virtualization (folder redirection and synch); hardware virtualization (Hyper-V); and various System Center management offerings.
With an expected launch window of 2012, Microsoft will no doubt have betas for the OS; they should be expected somewhere in 2011. Many experts believe the Microsoft will partially back off fully virtualizing all its commercial Windows 8 offerings.So if you want a taste of Windows 8, keep an eye out for the beta and as always we will keep you updated as the more news comes in.