References to the Xbox 360 found in the kernel of Windows 8

Several weeks ago rumors surfaced that Windows 8 would have some sort of integration with the Xbox 360. The particular rumor stated that it would allow for Xbox 360 games to be played in Windows 8 utilizing the Games for Windows Marketplace.

That previous rumor was not suggesting that you could place a game in the DVD drive and play but would have to re-download the game from Microsoft for a nominal monthly fee. This rumor was largely dismissed because the power needed to emulate the Xbox 360 could possibly be greater than what is available to the consumer at this time.

But, not wanting to let a rumor die off as being nothing more than speculative garbage, Win8Italia has found evidence within the Windows 8 Kernel to the Xbox 360. Specifically, they found the following strings, "XBOX_360_SYSTEM_CRASH" and "XBOX_360_SYSTEM_CRASH_RESERVED”. Does this mean that the previous rumor is true, while we don’t know that answer we can take a few educated guesses.

While it is possible that the platform could support Xbox 360 games, the strings could also be references to a link between a Windows 8 based device and the Xbox 360. If this is the case, the strings in mention would be used if the Xbox crashes and the link between the two devices is broken.

It could also be nothing more than a feature that Microsoft wanted to implement but later canceled. At this time, there is little to go on until Microsoft provides an official statement on the feature. Until then, we can only hope that one day we will be able to play all the Xbox 360 favorites with a keyboard and mouse.

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Or, just maybe, they share the same kernel codebase as they do with the developer xbox 360 machines, like how the original xbox kernel was sourced from windows 2000 source code. And for people that disagree with the original xbox part, get an xbox alpha I or alpha II machine and see how it boots into xbox emulation mode with windows 2000 on it.

From what I see, since someone found error messages relating to the 360 inside ntoskrnl, I predict windows 8 will sell on machines with separate certifications, one for actually being able to run 8 and one that means that it's capable of providing the substantial hardware provision to provide playable emulation. The fact that these strings are stored in this PE means the layer of emulation is correct to be at the kernel level. As with with all PC titles, there are always those who can put up with slight performance hits, and so with this in mind, this platform integration would be considered loosely practical, like PC gaming itself. As for the technical details, current emulation technologies like binary translation has already proven to be promising. You could, from what I can come up, use differential ISA binary translation + wide database of patches for specific titles that perform hacks or unconventional performance tweaks + consumer reliance on a xbox certification badge for PCs and hardware; are all tricks Microsoft could use to enable this integrative platform. But that's just hopeful thinking.

Microsoft could create Xbox 360 PCI-Express addon card which could use CPU, GPU, DVD of PC and cover differences specific to XBOX360 console.

Emulating a 360 might be an issue, but what about the original Xbox. That thing is nothing more than a plain old Intel PC with an Nvidia graphics chip, a Windows 8 computer could run those games with ease. They probably wouldn't bother since it's a long discontinued console but it would be nice.

Why are there no Xbox emulators by the way? Seems like it would be easy.

There is a good chance that with the new focus on consistency and going back to the portability of NT, there could be and XBox 360 update in the works that replaces its pre-Vista NT kernel with the latest Win 8 NT kernel.

This would explain a lot of the code references, also the ease of integration, as it will be a single platform again. It doesn't mean MS will let people run Windows Apps on the XBox, but the base applications can be available as Microsoft needs/wants.

thenetavenger said,
There is a good chance that with the new focus on consistency and going back to the portability of NT, there could be and XBox 360 update in the works that replaces its pre-Vista NT kernel with the latest Win 8 NT kernel.

This would explain a lot of the code references, also the ease of integration, as it will be a single platform again. It doesn't mean MS will let people run Windows Apps on the XBox, but the base applications can be available as Microsoft needs/wants.


+1 to this.
I can see them revamping the 360 with a win 8 styled experience. Considering they have win 8 on ARM is it that much of a stretch to imagine it on PPC. I don't think it is. It makes sense and *might* even break some mod chips..

Doesn't sound like anything but code merging of parts of the NT codebase - the X360 runs on a kernel that's still pretty similar to NT.

Panda X said,
The title in the highlights bar is very misleading.

I said that three posts up over an hour ago

Neowin wants to progress to false journalism now. Simple unprofessional journalism is getting a little old now I guess ;-)

lol. They are not only taking code from GPL but from the xbox?!. Something that I have to say but xbox and NO ONE cant deny, it has THE BEST hardware outthere. 6 (six) YEARS later and still kicking ASS!. Its even better than any i5 or even an i7. 3 cores at 3.2GHz for SIX YEARS!. Try to run any of any nowaday games in a computer with a 6 years computer and I will laugh at your face. With 512MB and is ****ing you in the face. Cant wait for the next generation console.

ThePitt said,
lol. They are not only taking code from GPL but from the xbox?!. Something that I have to say but xbox and NO ONE cant deny, it has THE BEST hardware outthere. 6 (six) YEARS later and still kicking ASS!. Its even better than any i5 or even an i7. 3 cores at 3.2GHz for SIX YEARS!. Try to run any of any nowaday games in a computer with a 6 years computer and I will laugh at your face. With 512MB and is ****ing you in the face. Cant wait for the next generation console.

*rage*

Ci7 said,
why emulation is hard? the hardware is ****** obsolete/old

Hardly. The Xbox 360 has a tri-core 3.2Ghz processor... many, if not most, computers out there today don't compare to that. I'd go out on a limb and say the majority of computers in the home market are dual core. Those that are quad core, most are not 3.2ghz.. Also the act of emulation itself takes processing power away from the game, in addition PC processors and hardware are not solely optimised to run Xbox 360 code, so you'll lose more there too.

Could somebody please fix the "Xbox 360 to be a part of Windows 8" image at the top of the site. This is plain false until further information comes to light, all we've seen so far is a reference to Xbox 360 is a bit of code. Hardly conclusive, in fact about as far from conclusive as you can get.

article said,
This rumor was largely dismissed because the power needed to emulate the Xbox 360 could possibly be greater than what is available to the consumer at this time.

Really? Considering the power in today's gpus and the amount of memory available and intel's processors, I'm pretty sure, that it is possible to emulate xbox games with a good desktop (you can put together a core i7 2600k (315) + 8 GB of RAM (60) + asrock extreme4 mobo (160) + radeon 6850 (175) + 2TB HD + PSU + Case for less than a $1000 at Newegg).

sviola said,

Really? Considering the power in today's gpus and the amount of memory available and intel's processors, I'm pretty sure, that it is possible to emulate xbox games with a good desktop (you can put together a core i7 2600k (315) + 8 GB of RAM (60) + asrock extreme4 mobo (160) + radeon 6850 (175) + 2TB HD + PSU + Case for less than a $1000 at Newegg).

+1
plus, knowing the (secret) technical specification then, things are way different and easiest to emulate.

The article is talking about emulation which would require significantly more horsepower than what's in a 360, since everything would have to be translated from native xbox360 to x86 on the fly. However, I thought the 360 instructions were close enough to directx that it wouldn't require full emulation, just some sort of compatibility layer, in which case today's hardware should be more than sufficient.

sviola said,

Really? Considering the power in today's gpus and the amount of memory available and intel's processors, I'm pretty sure, that it is possible to emulate xbox games with a good desktop (you can put together a core i7 2600k (315) + 8 GB of RAM (60) + asrock extreme4 mobo (160) + radeon 6850 (175) + 2TB HD + PSU + Case for less than a $1000 at Newegg).

I'm sorry to burst your bubble. The architectural differences between PowerPC and x86 is too great for the latest and greatest Intel i7 to be able to emulate it at acceptable speeds.
Just because it uses the same libraries doesn't mean that it can be emulated, there are lots of underlaying machine code that does a lot of the work that needs to be done. The libraries are the least of the problems.

giantpotato said,
The article is talking about emulation which would require significantly more horsepower than what's in a 360, since everything would have to be translated from native xbox360 to x86 on the fly. However, I thought the 360 instructions were close enough to directx that it wouldn't require full emulation, just some sort of compatibility layer, in which case today's hardware should be more than sufficient.

I don't think it'd be full emulation either, the only difference is the CPU (PPC to x86) but the graphics are DX9.0C (or was it 9.0L?) some custom version of DX9 anyways. A compatibility layer might be possible but I don't think this is what's going down. We'll just have to wait and see.

GP007 said,

I don't think it'd be full emulation either, the only difference is the CPU (PPC to x86) but the graphics are DX9.0C (or was it 9.0L?) some custom version of DX9 anyways. A compatibility layer might be possible but I don't think this is what's going down. We'll just have to wait and see.

GPU is technically somewhere between DX10 and DX11. The original DX10 specifications were based on the Xenos capabilities, but NVidia fought Microsoft as their planned 8xxx series would not meet the original DX10 specifications, thus the reduction in DX10 features, with DX11 being the first version to fully support what the XBox 360 DirectX spin off was capable of doing, like tensellation, etc.

There is more difference than just the CPU, as the CPU also defines shifts in architecture that go beyond the CPU itself.

However, this is why NT is good at portability as it is not only portable code, like Linux, but it uses a more advanced set of technologies for cross architecture work. For example, NT uses a HAL layer that the NT kernel itself works as the architecture/platform target, thus the HAL then address the differences between the hardware and what NT itself expects in very tight code that also does translation to meet the differences.

This way NT's code doesn't have to be 'optimized' to the architecture, as it only has to be able to talk to the HAL efficiently, and the HAL does the rest.

So on the XBox 360, the key is the HAL being well written to provide the expectation of NT, which are not even true x86 expecations, as even on X86, NT uses a HAL to bridge the expectations of the NT kernel and what the platform/architecture provides.

As for emulating the XBox 360 on a PC, this is more than possible, especially if Microsoft is doing a bit of magic in silicon, as they have talked about.

They already did translation from x86 to PPC for the XBox 360 to run original XBox titles, and this was a very basic implementation that runs totally in software, that is on a CPU that isn't traditionally faster than the one it is doing the translation for to work effectively for gaming, yet it worked.

I can see them providing XBox 360 emulation on Windows 8; as it is not a technical constraint. It would be more of 'what they want' to do, as a simple translation chip could make even older PC hardware capable of doing what the XBox 360 does, if they can get access to a fast enough bus or have another trick to put the chip in use.

I would bet that they might has some ambition to offer easier porting between the XBox 360 and Windows 8 for apps and games, but this will be a duality, and again, only as they 'want' it to happen.

I imagine they are planning on updating the XBox 360 kernel to the Win8 kernel. Right now the XBox 360 kernel is a hybrid between the Windows 2003 kernel and Vista kernel. As it has a few of the features of the Vista kernel, like GPU virtualization, and the newer audio and network stacks, but in a very early form, that don't have all the features or optimizations that Win7 now has.

If Win8 also does focus on native translation operation modes, it will make app and game porting to the XBox (as Microsoft wants) easier for developers, especially the App/Indie developers. In theory, they could release the XBox 360, with a Win8 chip in it, and it would be a full Win8 desktop system, running X86 compiled applications on the aged PPC CPU, but I don't think they want to do this, as they didn't want to put a browser on the XBox 360 originally either, due to exploits and pirating.

FMH said,
Wouldn't this badly hurt Xbox sales?

But it would increase xbox game sales, which is where Microsoft most most of it's money I assume. I know I would pick up all 360 Halo games if I could play them on PC.

If Microsoft want to get into the lounge then a good way would be to have a 360 (and/or its replacement) that can run Windows 8 and it's marketplace apps, throw in a wireless keyboard and mouse and you're good to go. With ARM devices they've shown that they are prepared to lose backwards compatibility to capitalise on new markets and get "Windows everywhere" - a Windows compatible console could get them closer to this.

I believe this could be referencing XNA games that use the Xbox 360 for deployment. XNA Games do crash and they have to send data back.

Zedox said,
I believe this could be referencing XNA games that use the Xbox 360 for deployment. XNA Games do crash and they have to send data back.

If that's the case why are the references in the Windows 8 kernel?

I feel like this is a bad idea. Shouldnt mix console gaming so heavily with something like this. Maybe some addons would be nice but I am not interested and dont want it to be so heavily tied into the OS.

ManMountain said,
With Microsofts focus on the cloud, I wonder if 360 cloud gaming for PC gaming is going to be implemented.

This should be possible, looking at Win8 already we see that you can link your install to a Live ID, every Xbox Live login is a Live ID already, so with Xbox Live APIs being inside Win8 (which they already said is going to happen for sure) then being able to have your PC game saves synced online to your Live ID makes sense to me.

Hype is building all around the web about this, it has nothing to do with playing Xbox 360 games, much like the Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 will probably have Xbox Live instead of Games for Windows Live and will have the ability to play Xbox Live Arcade Games.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Hype is building all around the web about this, it has nothing to do with playing Xbox 360 games, much like the Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 will probably have Xbox Live instead of Games for Windows Live and will have the ability to play Xbox Live Arcade Games.
Source? Since you are stating a fact, not an opinion at the start.

Xerax said,
Source? Since you are stating a fact, not an opinion at the start.

You're being willfully naive if you think Xbox 360 games will be played on Windows 8 PCs. As for the Xbox Live comment, Microsoft's already stated as much. Google it.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Hype is building all around the web about this, it has nothing to do with playing Xbox 360 games, much like the Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 will probably have Xbox Live instead of Games for Windows Live and will have the ability to play Xbox Live Arcade Games.

Well that's a bit obvious since GFWL is being rebranded into xbox

I think the base of next xbox and windows 8 will be same. It may not be that you can play xbox games on Windows, but actually have all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox 720, since the OS is the same..

mukati said,
I think the base of next xbox and windows 8 will be same. It may not be that you can play xbox games on Windows, but actually have all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox 720, since the OS is the same..

This might make more sense, but then again if they're going to let devs make apps they'd probably end up being Silverlight apps just like on WP7 right now. Those can run more or less regardless of the OS as long as the framework is there.

bushbrother said,
Might this not just be the link between the 360 and Windows Media Player for sharing media?

Just like i said in the article "the strings could also be references to a link between a Windows 8 based device and the Xbox 360"?

bushbrother said,
Might this not just be the link between the 360 and Windows Media Player for sharing media?

Maybe, but I have to ask, why would a task like media sharing/linking need to have specific kernel references? The ability to share media should be a user level job, not in the kernel where something like trying to load a bad MP3 or AVI file could crash your whole system.

I just don't see why, also, if we're talking network linking wouldn't that also just be part of the networking core, which is also not in the kernel space?

If it is right in the actual kernel itself then it could possibly be Microsoft is getting ready to use the WinMin Windows core as the basis for XBox360 and future developments of Windows Phone 7 - there has already been talk about having a single core on which all the products at Microsoft are based upon. I think the ultimate aim is to have a single set of API's that span from the desktop to the xbox360 where cross platform is encouraged so that both the xbox360 and traditional PC gaming are given equal attention.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
If it is right in the actual kernel itself then it could possibly be Microsoft is getting ready to use the WinMin Windows core as the basis for XBox360 and future developments of Windows Phone 7 - there has already been talk about having a single core on which all the products at Microsoft are based upon. I think the ultimate aim is to have a single set of API's that span from the desktop to the xbox360 where cross platform is encouraged so that both the xbox360 and traditional PC gaming are given equal attention.
So they are going to turn the 360 into a PC? That's no fun!

MS Lose32 said,
So they are going to turn the 360 into a PC? That's no fun!

I never said that - I only said that they'll use Windows NT Core stripped of all the unneeded stuff and having portability between the two platforms.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I never said that - I only said that they'll use Windows NT Core stripped of all the unneeded stuff and having portability between the two platforms.

I was joking

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I never said that - I only said that they'll use Windows NT Core stripped of all the unneeded stuff and having portability between the two platforms.

Maybe I'm wrong here, but the Xbox already uses a custom NT kernel for it's OS.

Mr Nom Nom's said,
If it is right in the actual kernel itself then it could possibly be Microsoft is getting ready to use the WinMin Windows core as the basis for XBox360 and future developments of Windows Phone 7 - there has already been talk about having a single core on which all the products at Microsoft are based upon. I think the ultimate aim is to have a single set of API's that span from the desktop to the xbox360 where cross platform is encouraged so that both the xbox360 and traditional PC gaming are given equal attention.

Why do people always get this wrong about 'MinWin'? MinWin is a design concept that Microsoft has used to go back to kernel and strip/improve the code of a kernel aka Streamlining. People thought it was a new kernel or something. The Kernel is the 'NT' kernel. There are different versions to each release. The Kernel doesn't need replacing or anything stupid like that. WinMin just improves the NT kernel during each release. That is all.

MS Lose32 said,
So they are going to turn the 360 into a PC? That's no fun!

The XBox 360 is already running an inbetween version of Windows 2003 Server and Windows Vista. (This is how the XBox 360 uses a memory model that shifts between system and VRAM, just like Vista's WDDM/WDM does GPU virtualization and priority based RAM sharing with GPUs.

Did you seriously not realize this? What OS do you think Microsoft would put on the XBox? Windows NT (close to the Win2k released version) was the OS on the original XBox as well.

Tony. said,

Why do people always get this wrong about 'MinWin'? MinWin is a design concept that Microsoft has used to go back to kernel and strip/improve the code of a kernel aka Streamlining. People thought it was a new kernel or something. The Kernel is the 'NT' kernel. There are different versions to each release. The Kernel doesn't need replacing or anything stupid like that. WinMin just improves the NT kernel during each release. That is all.

Not so much between each release, as the Win2k/XP NT kernel had lost some of its inherent layering independence, and the MinWin/WinMin was when Microsoft separated back the layers as NT was designed to be. This allows for easier modifications, as there is no longer any cross layer code, and everything goes back to using the object based communication processes in the kernel between layers.

The MinWin demostration was just a core NT kernel running an HTTP server as its base client/server user interaction system. Which is nothing but a demonstration of what NT was always supposed to be, very layered, and very extendible, even into smaller footprints as needed.

GP007 said,

Maybe I'm wrong here, but the Xbox already uses a custom NT kernel for it's OS.

Remove the word 'custom' and you have it.

The XBox 360 is using a version of NT forked inbetween Windows 2003 Server and Vista, and is a full and true Windows NT OS. They just didn't put the traditional Win32 subsysytem in place, and instead use a modified version that is designed just for what the XBox needs.

NT is a kenel technology that uses OS subsystems, this is why Win32 and what we see as Windows is essentially an upper layer OS, with a Win32 kernel that talks to the NT layers and kernel.

Exciting stuff but....
im kinda disappointed that we might not see a new UI over the windows 7 UI. I was really excited to see a new interface over the Aero we have going on right now.

The Win 8 GUI is geared towards a more tablet centric that desktop.. anyways.. .

dimithrak said,
Exciting stuff but....
im kinda disappointed that we might not see a new UI over the windows 7 UI. I was really excited to see a new interface over the Aero we have going on right now.

The Win 8 GUI is geared towards a more tablet centric that desktop.. anyways.. .

Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

MS Lose32 said,
Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

You seem to be missing the point that they are not switching. They are building upon something else. You can still go to desktop mode and see your fancy Windows 7 taskbar.

I'm sure this new interface will be great. They wouldn't abandon millions of users. They know what they are doing. And the team is lead by Sinofsky, the same team that made Windows 7! I have confidence in him and his team.

Who knows - there may even be a setting to just directly go into desktop mode if that's needed.

If you don't know what I am referring to with "Desktop mode", see the 30 minute Computex video on Windows 8.

ffMathy said,

You seem to be missing the point that they are not switching. They are building upon something else. You can still go to desktop mode and see your fancy Windows 7 taskbar.

I'm sure this new interface will be great. They wouldn't abandon millions of users. They know what they are doing. And the team is lead by Sinofsky, the same team that made Windows 7! I have confidence in him and his team.

Who knows - there may even be a setting to just directly go into desktop mode if that's needed.

If you don't know what I am referring to with "Desktop mode", see the 30 minute Computex video on Windows 8.

I know they aren't making any major changes to the non-tablet portion of the Windows UI. I was just saying that I don't think MS needs to either.

MS Lose32 said,
Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

Dude when had Windows changed UI in between versions? The major transition happened only in Windows 7 with the introduction of Superbar....other than that Windows 7 performs almost in identical fashion as Windows Vista which itself performs almost in same fashion as the previous version such as Windows XP, 200, NT, ....and even 98 and 95....... (there were lot of changes in the UI in those versions among themselves, but nothing which can bother an end customer much and they were easily visible, understandable and usable).......

What Windows 8 intends to do is to introduce a new Start Menu, which I agree is a major change in UI....and which can be compared to the revolution of UI which happened in Windows 95 (and which has been same for almost 16 years now in taking one form or another!)

MS Lose32 said,
Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

I think it is of value to realize that what was good 10 years ago, may not be good now. We learn new things, new ways users view and change data and the UI needs to reflect that as we learn. So sticking with UI may not be the best way to go.

MS Lose32 said,
Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

Stop being a cranky old fart and embrace change.

Mohitster said,

Dude when had Windows changed UI in between versions? The major transition happened only in Windows 7 with the introduction of Superbar....other than that Windows 7 performs almost in identical fashion as Windows Vista which itself performs almost in same fashion as the previous version such as Windows XP, 200, NT, ....and even 98 and 95....... (there were lot of changes in the UI in those versions among themselves, but nothing which can bother an end customer much and they were easily visible, understandable and usable).......

What Windows 8 intends to do is to introduce a new Start Menu, which I agree is a major change in UI....and which can be compared to the revolution of UI which happened in Windows 95 (and which has been same for almost 16 years now in taking one form or another!)

I was talking about cosmetic changes. They went from Classic (95, 98) to Luna (XP) and then to Aero (Vista, 7). In 11 years they went through 3 major UI changes! I wish they'd pick one (a good one) and slowly evolve it over time, sort of like what Apple does. In Mac OS, you don't get a jarring change from one version to the next.

James Rose said,

I think it is of value to realize that what was good 10 years ago, may not be good now. We learn new things, new ways users view and change data and the UI needs to reflect that as we learn. So sticking with UI may not be the best way to go.
I don't see how the changes between Classic, Luna, and Aero help us view and manipulate data any better. Change for change's sake might not be good change at all!

MS Lose32 said,
I don't see how the changes between Classic, Luna, and Aero help us view and manipulate data any better. Change for change's sake might not be good change at all!

Then you do not know of all the handy little things that Aero can do

/Like Snap
//Or Peak

Sraf said,

Then you do not know of all the handy little things that Aero can do

/Like Snap
//Or Peak

If you use desktop gadgets then peak is great, I use it often winkey+space ftw!

MS Lose32 said,
Am I the only one that gets kind of annoyed that MS switches up UIs every version or two? Make a good one and stick with it!

I understand what you're saying, but the basic Desktop, Start menu, etc hasn't really changed that much going back to Windows 95. What we've seen from Windows 8 so far would be really the first BIG change since Windows 95, at least when it comes to the Start menu/screen. Granted, the "Welcome" or Login screen has changed a bit more starting with Windows XP. Of course, even in that case, you could turn the new "Welcome"/Login screen off and use the old Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 type Login screen.

Sraf said,

Then you do not know of all the handy little things that Aero can do

/Like Snap
//Or Peak

True. But I don't see how that couldn't have been added to Classic or Luna.

MS Lose32 said,
True. But I don't see how that couldn't have been added to Classic or Luna.

Because they run in GDI+, Areo is more than just a shiny UI, it's a replacement for the ageing GDI+. While some features would work, others wouldn't

Also Classic is butt ugly, and Luna feels dated

/Could go for a little less chrome in Aero

MS Lose32 said,
I know they aren't making any major changes to the non-tablet portion of the Windows UI. I was just saying that I don't think MS needs to either.

well you dont work at microsoft (or you do?)nor we, so we dont know if they are going to change it or not and how that change is going to be, just because they didn't show much change when they showed metro UI. or do you think they make UI changes first than core stuff? i just will wait for beta to comment on that UI because with microsoft you dont know what and how their teams are working. i hope it changes, since i like changes. but it will be ok if it doesn't change much

MS Lose32 said,
In 11 years they went through 3 major UI changes! ... I wish they'd pick one (a good one) and slowly evolve it over time, sort of like what Apple does.
11 years ago, Apple had OS 9. They also release more often, so the changes are smaller.

MS Lose32 said,
True. But I don't see how that couldn't have been added to Classic or Luna.

Not only the change from GDI to a GPU accelerated DWM (window manager), but also because trying to sell a laptop with classic right next to a laptop running OS X would be nearly impossible. Classic is still there if you must have it, for everyone else we like that our computers are a bit more human. And 1995 to 2011 is 15 years, not 11, pretty good for keeping the UI convention. I take it you haven't used facebook which can't keep a UI convention for 6 months.

MS Lose32 said,
I was talking about cosmetic changes. They went from Classic (95, 98) to Luna (XP) and then to Aero (Vista, 7). In 11 years they went through 3 major UI changes! I wish they'd pick one (a good one) and slowly evolve it over time, sort of like what Apple does. In Mac OS, you don't get a jarring change from one version to the next.

Which is why people that study usability and interaction technology make fun of the Macintosh.

There is a quote that goes something like, "If a Mac user was frozen in 1984, they would still know how to use a Mac today, sadly with the same aged UI designs in place then."

It is really a bit disappointing that with all the technology at hand, using a computer isn't more like Star Trek and less like 1984.

Microsoft internally would like to shove people ahead another 20 year leap beyond Windows 7 of today, but people fear change and it is an evolution, not a revolution, but at least Microsoft keeps moving forward to where things should be, as their research, testing, and studies have shown what works better for the human brain to machine interface than what we are limited to today.

dimithrak said,
Exciting stuff but....
im kinda disappointed that we might not see a new UI over the windows 7 UI. I was really excited to see a new interface over the Aero we have going on right now.

The Win 8 GUI is geared towards a more tablet centric that desktop.. anyways.. .


You will see a new UI.