Microsoft talks about the path forward for the next release of Windows

At Microsoft's Partner Conference 2014, COO Kevin Turner was his usual self, being energetic and passionate about the future path for Microsoft. One area that he touched on briefly was about the next generation of Windows and about how the scope of the product has been defined.

While Turner didn't give hint at a release date for the next-generation OS, he did say that it will have a strong focus on the enterprise, including some of its new features. Turner also said that the next generation of Windows is being crafted based on worldwide consumer feedback. Finally, there will be API support for TV and PPI displays, which will allow developers to truly write an app once and display it everywhere.

Don't overlook the importance of this development: That's one API for all Microsoft screens; the dream used to be three screens and the cloud, now it is all screens, everywhere.

While Turner kept beating around the bush and would not give any information about when the next generation would be released, to no surprise, he made it clear that the OS is in development and based on these comments, we suspect that they are well past the infancy stages of defining the scope of the project.

While Microsoft would never say that it doesn't love Windows 8, Turner was clear that the company is going to build a quality OS the best way that it knows how. This likely means that they are going back to their Windows roots and focusing on productivity (as CEO Satya Nadella stressed last week) rather than on a hybrid solution.

When you combine this information to that of what Microsoft said at Build, it's quite clear that they want customers to know that the next generation of Windows is coming together quick and that they are moving away from the strict hybrid model that was defined by Windows 8.

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Windows 8 was hybrid by necessity. It was always going to evolve. The biggest mistakes were political and not strategic. Sinofsky's belief that users would just discover the edge / corner UI's and his decision to remove the Start Menu option unnecessarily frustrated and alienated users. It was a transitional operating system that masqueraded as a finished product. In other words, they took the training wheels off too soon.

The next Windows release will actually be two different experiences. One will be pure Metro that runs on phones and tablets. The other will be what Windows 8 should've been with a desktop environment designed to bridge the gap between legacy Windows and Metro. A refreshed Start menu / desktop UI, and the ability to run Metro apps in floating windows.

The big question is where does MS go after that? I have a hard time identifying the next logical step. It seems like they won't be able to make any big changes in the next 7-8 years.

fobbix said,
Microsoft allow 3rd parties to have there own desktop interfaces. Stop f*cking up the PC's OS.

Ugh. No. Windows doesn't need to suffer from that.

So what exactly is the consumer strategy? People just want to do email, photos, music, etc. Giving them multiple ways to do all of this only confuses them. What is the strategy? How do you tell consumers not to download Malware etc. etc. on and on.

Windows as it is today is flat out dangerous for consumers. They have been conditioned by phone, and tablet use to download anything from anywhere. They are totally clueless when it comes to real computers. Is the strategy to just throw the baby into the swimming pool, again?

jimmyfal said,
They have been conditioned by phone, and tablet use to download anything from anywhere.

No they don't. The average user isn't that smart. On Android you have to go into settings to actually let you do that, and on iOS it's not possible unless you Jail break it.

The average user doesn't download anything from anywhere they download them from the app stores.

Now as far as PDF goes, yes in this case that is true. But the only time consumers get in trouble is by downloading poo packs.

I was referring to anywhere as the app store. Consumers can download from what they perceive as anywhere (the apps store), on a tablet or phone, which conditions them to treat the internet and a real computer the same way.

Put them in front of a real computer and they go and download Malware from anywhere and everywhere, rendering real computers as totally useless literally minutes after purchase sometimes.

As you know.... Search for Firefox, download it from http://getfirefoxhereyouidiot.com and seconds later your infected with Malware.

I call any Malicious software Malware. I don't care if the user installed it or not. My definition is different than the standard definition, whatever that is. I guess I live in my own world... :)

"This likely means that they are going back to their Windows roots and focusing on productivity"

About time Microsoft!

The only reason I switched to a Mac was because I got my work done quicker. Just give me a fast, simple os so I can work....not play about and I'm happy

Is this a hint that Windows' UI is going to be aware/sensitive/selectable based on the hardware? If so, that is a very good thing. A "one size (UI) fits all" philosophy never has worked well.

I don't think they are moving away from the hybrid model. The main Microsoft idea of "One Windows to fit all" is here to stay, which is a good thing, Microsoft is able to deliver that and is an advantage for both the company and its costumers. The way I get it, is that the implementation of this idea will adapt differently and adjust uniquely to each form factor and screen size, rather than forces a universal language as it today. This is also a very positive change. I was expected nothing else from Microsoft, this is Windows 8 evolution to the right direction.

Happy with the WIndows 8 Metro UI, and Desktop, I use a combination of Metro/Modern Apps all day long daily, Mail app, Windows 8.1 Games, xbox music, xbox video, weather, Desktop IE 11, and other features. I got no problems with functions or anything, works perfectly for my needs. Cloud backup server with Onedrive is very nice as well, syncs to my Windows phone perfectly all I need on there. So there is people that like Modern/Metro UI, and Desktop mode equally...some days i'm in Metro UI more than Desktop, and some days in Desktop more or 50/50 each

I don't think I going to be happy with Windows 9 is a Windows 8 fix for Windows 7 and for the user to switch to Windows 9 is basically brings back the Start Menu with Metro Titles on it and Program Apps you install and I know you can disable Metro Titles if you choose. Windows 8 and 9 feels Plain still basically looks like Windows 7 with new stuff added. and they didn't do much to change the operating system., I don't agree with cloud services either, instead of improving Windows 9 and have to spend time fixing it with a new start menu, and I know they will be adding new features along but it isn't the point, is basically another Windows 7 with the look instead of coming up with genius ideas how to improve Windows 9 and make it the best OS like Windows 7 with a lot of change and improvement., I agree with the Chinese this isn't the future of Windows 8/9 with cloud stuff and password login that requires it for the Windows Store to buy stuff and all that jazz.

The first thing Microsoft can do is allow people to access the full range of services as a first class citizen by Microsoft licensing free of charge DeltaSync and ActiveSync along with a public API for bookmark and password synchronisation. It is pretty pathetic that OS X can support Google, Yahoo, Facebook and god knows what but doesn't fully support outlook.com and the variety of other services Microsoft have to offer. I have nothing against Microsoft and would be happy to use their services but if they make it an unpleasant experience when compared to iCloud that Apple offers then why should I give them a second chance?

Thank you god.

What they have learned from their Windows 8 experiment, is that people don't want a hybrid UI on the desktop. That is not to say there aren't people who enjoy it, I know there are ... well at least one person for sure, but 95% of the consumers that I work with on a daily basis just want it the way it use to be.

Edited by warwagon, Jul 14 2014, 4:01pm :

Exciting times! Also, it was pretty clear the '3 screens and the cloud' theme has gone a long time ago and it's now it's responsive to EVERY screen all shape and sizes. Can't wait!

Why did they use a MacBook Pro running Lion and not Mavericks? Anyway, back to the meat of the matter, world wide feedback is pretty much saying, Windows 8x is a dud! I think where this release hurt Microsoft most is enterprise adoption, businesses are just not falling for it. Windows 9 will certainly be the new 'Windows 7' based on what I just read (or they at least hoping it will be). I run Windows 8.1 Pro with Update 1 on my work PC and although its much improved, it still does not feel right.

Windows 7 PC at home meets my needs and it will continue to do so for many years to come. That part about Enterprise features coming is very important because at the same time, selling another Windows 7 rebranded as Windows 9 wouldn't do much better for companies already contented with it.

Mr. Dee said,
Why did they use a MacBook Pro running Lion and not Mavericks? Anyway, back to the meat of the matter, world wide feedback is pretty much saying, Windows 8x is a dud! I think where this release hurt Microsoft most is enterprise adoption, businesses are just not falling for it. Windows 9 will certainly be the new 'Windows 7' based on what I just read (or they at least hoping it will be). I run Windows 8.1 Pro with Update 1 on my work PC and although its much improved, it still does not feel right.

Windows 7 PC at home meets my needs and it will continue to do so for many years to come. That part about Enterprise features coming is very important because at the same time, selling another Windows 7 rebranded as Windows 9 wouldn't do much better for companies already contented with it.

Just so you know, most companies were just moving to 7 (the ones you're talking about). They weren't moving to 8 no matter what. I don't understand why people think this is telling.

Almost all companies are 1 version behind, even when migrating to a newer version of WIndows. Nothing new to that, as support for the older OS is always greater, and less hoops to jump through.

Anyone who wokrs/worked in IT will agree to that.

Delusional responses. So what is Windows 8.1? Its not a Service Pack by any definition. Also, your theory is utter BS. Both Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional were pervasively adopted in businesses, not to mention their predecessor Windows NT 4 Workstation. I saw NT 4 for years in businesses and I saw the same with 2000 Professional and obviously we are seeing the same trend with Windows XP Professional and now Windows 7, the only exceptions are Windows Vista and we know why.

Some of you are too young, that's you problem. You don't even look into the fact that Windows 8.1 is heavily focused on enterprise features and more mouse and keyboard friendly, yet it has not been accepted as enterprise ready.

Well..... First of all I'm not as young as you think I am ;-)

Second, in all my years of being in IT, keeping it 'one step back' was a very normal and sane procedure. Especially when dealing with 3rd party applications and appliances, as the are/were the slowest to move along the upgrade path.
Or worse, dropped support when moving over to the latest OS.

That's OK when you administer a small set of users, but quickly becomes a nightmare when dealing with hundreds of people.

I do realise that WIn8 has additional tools for the enterprise, but that's not always the definitive factor when dealing with upgrading your entire computer environment.

Mr. Dee said,
Delusional responses. So what is Windows 8.1? Its not a Service Pack by any definition. Also, your theory is utter BS. Both Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional were pervasively adopted in businesses, not to mention their predecessor Windows NT 4 Workstation. I saw NT 4 for years in businesses and I saw the same with 2000 Professional and obviously we are seeing the same trend with Windows XP Professional and now Windows 7, the only exceptions are Windows Vista and we know why.

Some of you are too young, that's you problem. You don't even look into the fact that Windows 8.1 is heavily focused on enterprise features and more mouse and keyboard friendly, yet it has not been accepted as enterprise ready.

ROFL. Seriously. NT4 -> 2000 was a no brainer. But, it didn't happen overnight either. I actually did that btw. Same with XP, it was broadly adopted because over 8 years what else would happen. Vista wasn't because drivers were horrible. 8.1 isn't a service pack.

In the end, the only surprising thing would have been if everybody had just started rolling out Win8 to their large deployments. I would have been amazed even if everybody thought windows 8 was amazing.

The only person delusional here is you. Not because of your expectations... but because you think you know what you're talking about.

No, but there will be change. Heinous, unimaginable, unworkable, changed bits. It'll likely cause the end of modern civilisation as we know it - engines stop running, the wheat will grow thin, etc. Or we'll adapt to it and continue with our lives and spend an inordinate amount of time witching awout it, or defending it, on Neowin, Bhichever.