Microsoft mulling 128-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 9
By Emil Protalinski | Last updated October 7, 2009 1:55 PM
Believe it or not, Windows 7's successor(s) have been in the planning and early development stages for a while now. We haven't posted anything about any of them yet, but we've been watching closely to see if anything really interesting turned up. Exactly two weeks ago, it did. A LinkedIn profile, which has already been taken down, for a Robert Morgan, Senior Research & Development at Microsoft, has shone a sliver of light on the possibility of 128-bit support coming to Windows 8. According to the LinkedIn page, which has been removed since, Morgan has been with the software giant since January 2002, but we're more intrigued with what his profile (first paragraph) and his status (second paragraph) before they disappeared:
Working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects. Research & Development projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP, and IBM.
Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and definitely Windows 9.
Windows 8 News found Morgan's profile first and immediately started trying to get in contact with him over LinkedIn. When we saw this, we leaned back and waited to see if they could get a response from him. They did. The site claims it has managed to get an exclusive interview with Morgan and is letting its readers to ask questions. The deadline is October 11, 2009 so head on over and post your queries.
This news is interesting because we always thought Windows 7 would be the last release that had 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This was brought on by the fact that Windows Server 2008 R2, the server version of Windows 7, was the first Windows Server release to be 64-bit only. The next client version of Windows should therefore follow suit, but apparently Microsoft is going to prepare it for 128-bit as well. We're not saying Windows 8 will definitely come in 64-bit and 128-bit flavors, but Microsoft is moving down that path, and at the very least, Windows 9 just might.
While this little tidbit is news on its own, we feel it's necessary to look at what we've heard about Windows 8 so far. In April 2009, Codename Windows spotted a Microsoft job posting for a Lead Software Development Engineer in Test with this interesting description:
DFSR is Microsoft's premier file replication engine and is an integral part of our branch office strategy and File Server role. It can scale to thousands of servers and replicate hundreds of terabytes of data. We have shipped the technology that powers file sharing in Windows Live Messenger, Windows Meeting Spaces (Vista) and Branch Office replication in Windows Server 2008 which has strong customer deployment. DFSR technology saves MS-IT and our customers more than 80% WAN bandwidth by using advanced On-The-Wire differential compression.
For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices.
That same month, ZDNet found another job posting that also described some interesting details:
In Windows Server 2008 R2 release, the Server UX Test team (under the File Server Management organization) is finalizing the MMC [Microsoft Management Console] based User eXperience (UX)/Interfaces for the File Server Role. Currently the team owns DFS [Distributed File System] Management, Share and Storage Management, FSRM [File Server Resource Manager] & Classification UI, Disk Management, SMFS. For Windows 8, the SSD organization is working on the next version of the file server.
As the team moved to Windows 8, you will have 2 main responsibilities - (i) put on the customer/design critique hat as we plan our next version file server management experience (i) participating in the architectural design, and development and driving automated testing for managing the next generation file server. Our current automation does not meet the multi-machine paradigm requirement and so you will contribute significantly in the development of test automation to validate setup/configuration of the new server, managing configuration changes, performing diagnostics and reporting using Power Shell, Command line, Object Model, UI.
In September 2009, msftkitchen found a couple of résumés for Microsoft employees that reference possible features for Windows 8. Bo Qin:
Researched new algorithms and programming methods to build Hibernate/Resume Integration API that can integrate and utilize the new TLZ file compression engine for the Hibernate/Resume component of new Windows 8 Operating System.
Using C and C++ programming languages in SourceInsight, developed a 100% functional C wrapper for C++ functions and the Hibernate/Resume Integration API, which will be used in Windows 8 replacing Windows Vista's Xpress compression engine. Maryrita Steinhour:
Led working group to make a recommendation on a PatchGuard follow-on. Wrote a summary white paper and presented the results of the working group to the executive team. Recommendation of tabling the function until Windows 8 was accepted and it is now a Windows 8 feature candidate. Ramaswamy Ranganathan
Working on feature development, enhancements and bug fixing activities for Win7 and Win8's Remote Desktop client. Involved in bug fixes and improvements for Remote Application and Server Tools as well.
The following descriptions on LinkedIn pages were also found by msftkitchen but have since been removed:
Hold multiple patents related to SAN infrastructure, hard drive technology, and security aspects within the datacenter space one which one of which is already generating royalties and another is slated for inclusion in Windows8. Integrate well into standards organizations such as the FCIA, T10, T10, SNIA, and T13.
Authored DA setup guide, a complete guide for setting up DA that was used by several customers and other teams internal to Microsoft for configuring their DA environments. This guide was also the foundation for the DA test automation that will be created for Windows 8, and provided the foundation for the publicly available DA setup guide.
Working Group - For Win 8 download experience, researched security user mental models to inform design.
Managing and Improving software usability for over 10 years, designing, researching, and developing multi-tier distributed applications for Windows 8 focusing on customers using ecommerce, general consumers, and banking companies.
Remember that all this talk is very early in the game. We won't see Windows 8 released until 2011 at the earliest, and 2012 is more likely. What do you want to see in Windows 7's and Windows Server 2008 R2's successors?
Source: ars technica