Almost all of Microsoft's engineering teams collaborated on "next Windows" internal memo

Officially, no one at Microsoft is talking about the next major version of Windows, although we know that the company is working to add a Start menu back to the desktop for a forthcoming Windows 8.1 update. However, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't working on that project. Indeed, a new Seattle Times story says that the OS will get some input from nearly all of Microsoft's engineering teams.

The story itself is mostly a profile of two of Microsoft's corporate vice-presidents: Joe Belfiore and David Treadwell. Both work in the operating system division, with Belfiore in charge of the user interface for Windows 8.1, Windows RT and Windows Phone, and Treadwell leading the charge on the core OS development, which also includes the software inside the Xbox and Perceptive Pixel hardware.

However, a rather interesting paragraph in the article is found near the end, where it states most of the company's engineering groups got together earlier this year to collaborate on a priority internal memo that describes all of the features Microsoft will put into the next version of Windows. While the memo officially was prepared by the team led by Treadwell, it included input from the Azure, Office, Skype and Bing development teams.

According to Treadwell, this move was made to show Microsoft's divisions could collaborate on one project. He stated:

Before, there was a Windows team, a Windows Phone team, an Xbox team. While there was general agreement of the value of (having a) common core and consistency of design, there were organizational lines that we had to cross to achieve that. There just aren’t these barriers now.

That's an interesting revelation and it might make a difference in giving Windows users the kinds of features they really want in the next version of the OS.

Source: Seattle Times

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32 Comments

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Still don't get peoples issue with Windows 8/8.1 i think the OS's are fantastic. They have been nothing but rock stable for me and remained as quick as the day i installed them. I have honestly not noticed any slow down even on one of the machines with 90% of the HDD now filled with apps, games, pictures, etc etc.

I got used the the no start menu fairly quick and actually don't miss it at all now. Hitting the windows key and typing what i want brings it up in search. Everything that i use regular is pinned to taskbar. So much quicker than the start menu was.

The worst part about windows 8 was shutting down / logging off / restarting but this was solved in 8.1

UXGaurav said,
Cooking up more ways to "simplify" and delete what people love.

"Delete" what, exactly? Is there a reason deprecated features need to remain?

I love Windows 8.1, but i hate the way they constantly try to force me into using Library folders and they also mess up the file dialogs, where i have to click through all that stuff to get to my drive.

Windows 8 all but dropped libraries. They're still there but they're not even shown by default anymore. The only thing that really still uses libraries is File History.

I never really liked the libraries feature.

mrp04 said,
Windows 8 all but dropped libraries. They're still there but they're not even shown by default anymore. The only thing that really still uses libraries is File History.

I never really liked the libraries feature.

Uh, the Xbox Music player still uses libraries. All Office programs still use libraries.

I would love to have more features carried over from WP8.1, Like a uniform tile and UI colour as well as transparent tiles.

Some people view this as Microsoft's biggest weakness. Design by committee.

Apple had a visionary single design command style structure. I think there is something to be said for a single person's vision, rather than a companies vision. I look forward to whatever this brings.

Except with WIndows 8 which was pretty much lorded over by Steve Sinofsky. He had tons and tons of control over the design.

Would you possibly also feel that MS should have listened to the teaming masses who were complaining during development too? Design by committee might not make a great story about a singular personality forging technology into magic, but it still can make great stuff.

As usual itpros will have till RTM to get the real info about the new features (not trivial unimportant ui changes). Really wish Microsoft was more open about this.

TPreston said,
....

If you're an IT pro who only finds out about new features after RTM, you're not looking in the right places.

Take ReFS for instance, there were many blog posts and articles posted all over the place while the client OS was in developer preview stage.

meh vista was fine, 7 was fine 8 was fine, not everyone had bad experiences with the os
maybe ive been lucky with the hardware ive had and the os has run perfect everytime for me

Maybe you had just hardware you bought with the OS. I didn't have problem with my notebook that worked as a Desktop replacement for years on Vista. That was just the major change from 32 to 64 bit and everyone expected the change from XP to Vista on their crappy hardware without problems

DKAngel said,
meh vista was fine, 7 was fine 8 was fine, not everyone had bad experiences with the os
maybe ive been lucky with the hardware ive had and the os has run perfect everytime for me

Vista's biggest problem was setting the minimum and recommended requirements too low. It had a lot of new technology that needed a lot more RAM than Windows XP. You really need at least 2GB RAM to run Vista and later smoothly and 2GB RAM was expensive in 2006. Windows 7 was ever so slightly lighter on RAM yet had higher requirements than Vista but they were realistic. Vista's official minimum/recommended were 512MB/1GB but they should have been set to 1GB/2GB just like Windows 7.

Vista's second biggest problem was that third parties didn't have stable drivers out in time for RTM. The whole new driver model for GPUs caused a lot of instability while NVIDIA and AMD took their time to get their drivers working correctly. Most crashes on Vista were due to GPU drivers.

RAM got cheaper and drivers were stabilized. Windows 7 was just Vista with a new taskbar released 3 years later and everyone loved it.

The next major update should be good. I have faith in these guys. Windows XP, good. Windows Vista, not so good (good to me) Windows 7, great. Windows 8, terrible. Windows 9, beautiful.

JHBrown said,
The next major update should be good. I have faith in these guys. Windows XP, good. Windows Vista, not so good (good to me) Windows 7, great. Windows 8, terrible. Windows 9, beautiful.

Windows 8.1 it's great!!

0sit0 said,
I wouldn't say Windows 8 is terrible... annoying and different maybe, but not terrible.
Maybe I should change the wordage, but it's been over 5 minutes and I can't edit. I would edit out "terrible" and put in "confused", "lost", "jack of all trades, master of none".

Wall-swe said,
"jack of all trades, master of none" <---- This one is the must silly FUD Tech reviewers ever have spread.
Actually I got that from my grandpa back in the late 70's when we use to work on his hot rods.

JHBrown said,
Actually I got that from my grandpa back in the 70's when we use to work on his hot rods.

Hehe, I have seen it mentioned in reviews over at CNET and The Verge.

0sit0 said,
I wouldn't say Windows 8 is terrible... annoying and different maybe, but not terrible.

that's my take on 8/8.1 too. it was 'different', and not in the right way; but a simple comparison to vista, and it starts looking like an oasis in the desert. 8/8.1 has ui/ux issues, but at the core (where, once you get to doing what you want to do), it's solid.

Reverse Engineer said,

that's my take on 8/8.1 too. it was 'different', and not in the right way; but a simple comparison to vista, and it starts looking like an oasis in the desert. 8/8.1 has ui/ux issues, but at the core (where, once you get to doing what you want to do), it's solid.


Windows 8 was different, and that wasn't the reason it failed. Being different wasn't good or bad, however removing the option from users to migrate to the OS's new features as they wanted, rather then how Microsoft wanted was the killer blow for it.

They could have very easily provided an option to disable everything 'metro' from Windows 8 leaving it with a start menu interface like Windows 7. On the other hand they could have also had a way to disable everything from the classic desktop (Something I wanted) so only the 'metro' interface would be used. Or indeed, have the option to use it as a mixed, like it already is.

That option alone would have kept everyone happy, and it would have been another XP for the long term.

Very well said, about Windows-8. Truly, a "master of none," as far as its UI is concerned. Let us hope that Windows-9 fixes that problem.

sagum said,


Windows 8 was different, and that wasn't the reason it failed. Being different wasn't good or bad, however removing the option from users to migrate to the OS's new features as they wanted, rather then how Microsoft wanted was the killer blow for it.

They could have very easily provided an option to disable everything 'metro' from Windows 8 leaving it with a start menu interface like Windows 7. On the other hand they could have also had a way to disable everything from the classic desktop (Something I wanted) so only the 'metro' interface would be used. Or indeed, have the option to use it as a mixed, like it already is. That option alone would have kept everyone happy, and it would have been another XP for the long term.

If you're just going to disable everything, just stick with Windows 7. Not that hard. Windows 8 is the beginning of a new era at Microsoft. You can tell that they're not backing away from it, and nor should they. Windows 9 will introduce new changes that streamline the UX, but it is also rumored to include Metro 2.0, cloud services, and Universal apps. Microsoft needs Metro to continue competing. There is no reason we need separate OSs for separate devices.

Windows RT - Windows Phone - Windows - XBox. All unified with the same UX, and the same applications. That's something no one else has achieved yet.