back to article Two-year wait for Windows 8, MS blurts

A posting on Microsoft's Dutch site suggests we'll have to wait until 2012 for the next release of Windows. Microsoft declined to comment and the message was rapidly deleted, but was grabbed by Ina Fried at CNet and a host of bloggers. The post, celebrating the first birthday of Windows 7, said that Microsoft was hard at work …


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  1. IT specialist

    This is BlackCombe all over again

    Remember when the successor to Windows XP, codenamed Blackcombe, was supposed to be released "within 2 years".

    How long did it take in the end? Was it 5 years? And when it popped out it was Windows Vista.

    1. frymaster


      the MS OS evolution makes a lot more sense if you posit a "missing" OS between XP and Vista that was eventually abandoned. this explains why vista didn't do half the things they said it would - because it's technically a different OS - and also why it doesn't seem to have 5 years worth of improvements - because they weren't working on it for 5 years. The incremental improvements from XP to Vista to 7 then make sense

    2. Penguin herder
      Gates Horns

      RE: This is BlackCombe all over again

      "Remember when the successor to Windows XP, codenamed Blackcombe, was supposed to be released "within 2 years".

      How long did it take in the end? Was it 5 years? And when it popped out it was Windows Vista."

      I remember Longshot (aka Longhorn). It was going to have all kinds of revolutionary stuff that we can probably be thankful did not materialize, but the real delay was waiting for hardware to catch up with the software bloat.

      On a lighter note, where is the flying chair icon?

    3. Rex Alfie Lee

      Ah Vista, the dog...

      The mongrel hound from hell...

  2. Paul Shirley
    Jobs Horns

    riskiest ever release

    Sure it will be. For the users.

  3. bofh80

    Biggest luddite ever.

    The Times They Are A-changin'

    Biggest risk they've taken so far is actually Vista, and that paid off so well.

    Their idea of a risk was use all the computers memory for the OS.

    All that Gloss.

    Even 7, when you turn off the useless crap, can do 300megs of ram. That aint bad, and if the services and bumf where coded correctly you should not go over 4/5max. 7 is 7 .

    So at least another 6 months until 7 works correctly. Businesses implement test in the mean time, then rollout, then windows 8 comes out.

    Sounds very familar to the nt4 > 2k push. They don't innovate, they just keep forcing the same old manure, and you keep eating it. Funneh.

    1. Rex Alfie Lee

      The ploy: Don't give them everything...

      ..give them a few faults & when we fix them quickly they'll love us for it. Then when they see the next edition they'll know the update will be worth the dollar. Suck 'em in, give 'em bugger all...

  4. Gernant


    Don't think this is going to affect me somehow, we've just made the leap from win 2000 to win 7, if that's anything to go by, the next few revisions of windows are going to pass me by!

  5. Blofeld's Cat


    Well I suppose they could schedule the release date for 24 December 2012.

    That way if the World ends first there will be no problem, and failing that they could market it as a "nice Christmas present".

    On the other hand if the release date was 21-23 December 2012, we could be talking about "cause" rather than "effect".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 years?

    By then I might have just about bothered my arse to ditch xp.

  7. kneedragon

    suggestions list

    Dear Mr Ballmer,

    Could you please:

    1. Make sure that 8 comes with a fully working VM type XP compatibility mode? Including hardware accelerated graphics and cut n paste in and out of the VM? Make really sure it works properly.

    2. Go back to the drawing board and design a modern operating system from the top down. Make a list of all the things that were wrong in Win95 that are STILL wrong, and fix them.

    In this way, you can have support for old software, and finally fix the blundering kludgefest that is windoze.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      @kneedragon (suggestions list)

      For better virtual machine XP mode, just use the (free) VM ware player. Much faster, more stable (crashing it doesn't toast the host OS), and much better integration support. Oh, and it also has copy and paste and hardware accelerated graphics as well.

      It's not 100% perfect - interaction with some, doubtless ropey, USB device drivers, is a little problematic at times - the F3507 mobile broadband device, for example, but it generally works very well.

      1. kneedragon

        Well spotted, young apprentice

        ... and I mostly agree. Last time I looked, VMware was free for 30 days, then worth 1 arm + 0.5 legs. Also, Ubuntu has a perfectly good free VM that does what I want anyway. My point was that in this instance, M$ would do well to repeat their sins with Netscape and include a good VM out of the box, and get it right. Then, we could get a free XP to go in it. If you're going to support old software by way of a VM, then you should supply the VM and the OS free, and keep plugging the holes in them, free, for as long as people want.

        What I really want, is a brand new OS from M$, without all the legacy junk. Do what they did with the original NT project - start from scratch, using an industry standard language like ANSI C, and build a right-by-design OS for the 21st century. Then provide your developer community with all the tools needed to build right-by-design software on it.

        You've got to draw a line under the past somewhere, and start fresh. That's what I want. Doubt that I'll get it though.

        1. John Blagden

          It's been done!


          By Apple!

          Think Microshaft has the cojones?

        2. Ammaross Danan


          VMWare Server is free to use. No cost. Granted, the viewer is launched from their browser-based management console, so gets marked down for that.

          Virtualbox is lightweight and has an application viewer, so feels more natural for Joe User. Kick them into full-screen mode and they don't know the difference.

          When is Xen going to come out with a hosted solution?

  8. Tony S


    I used WinXP for about 6 years without issue - decided not to go with Vista as I couldn't see the value of upgrading (good decision by all accounts). Win7 is pretty stable and I've been using it for a year now - and no real reason to want to upgrade again any time soon.

    I would much rather they made sure that the software was stable and secure and perhaps get some of the bloat out of it before issuing a new version. Most of the "must have benefits" the marketing people tout are really not that much value. I really don't care how shiny it is, does it work?

    Probably won't bother with 8 - wait until 9 comes out when I change the hardware. But then, I am officially a Grumpy Old Fart ®

  9. steve007UK
    Thumb Down

    2 years to soon

    2 years for a new os is to soon, I don't want to have to pay again to upgrade when windows 7 kicks ass

    been using win7 since it came out and i still cant fault it personly.

    No doubt we will have to pay £60 or more to upgrade to win8 and its not on.

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      @steve007UK: Go away then....

      "windows 7 kicks ass".

      " i still cant fault it personly".

      And yet you will still without question upgrade to 8.

      If its so brilliant then you wont need to update, will you? Its only an O.S. after all.

      You sir, are a fanboi.

      Should MS align their update cycle with the wallet replenishment cycles of their poorest fanbois?

  10. Tzael

    2 years? Longer please!

    I don't mind a 2 year wait, in fact my personal belief is that it is better for consumers and small to medium sized businesses if operating systems have something closer to a 5 year release cycle.

    Admittedly we needed something new rather quickly after Windows Vista, however much of what was served up in Windows 7 could have been delivered to Vista customers as a service pack.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry MS take as long as you like ..........

    Having not quite got around to Windows 7, but having got rid of Vista on the house desktop, with any luck soon to be followed by the Laptop.

    The sheer affront of charging me for Vista SP1 (aka Windows 7) has now driven me to desperation and Linux.

    MS can do what they like as far as I am concerned. Windows 7 ... 8 what ever, it's not like most commercial companies are still using XP or anything.

  12. JDX Gold badge

    Good news?

    Isn't it a good thing to get a new OS every few years, not every year? Less upgrading, more time to acclimatize, etc?

    Why would W8 be risky... seriously... is it due to big changes or due to external factors?

    1. Penguin herder

      RE: Good news?

      "Isn't it a good thing to get a new OS every few years, not every year? Less upgrading, more time to acclimatize, etc?"

      The relevant question is "good for whom?" Of course I have no desire to upgrade all that often; there are far more interesting things to do with computers than to them. For the corporate bottom line, they want continuous upgrading :(

      "Why would W8 be risky... seriously... is it due to big changes or due to external factors?"

      At the purely rumor level, I have gotten hints that they are trying to force managed code. That might be the last straw for another chunk of the market.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    OS Lifecycle

    I have only just replaced XP, so it will be 2020 before I look at upgrading again!!!!

  14. S 11

    Productivity Software

    Stop changing the interface all the fucking time. I can't do my fucking job without re-educating myself about WHERE to click. I don't care if hardware architecture dictates you constantly selling new versions of the same product - stop fucking up how it works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Office 2010

      My wife commented the same when I installed Office 2010 on the home PC. She doesn't like the having to click HOME to then click Send and Receive Mail.

      At least its better than Office 2007.

      As for O/S - in corporate we have just got Windows 7 and are fine with that. Don't see the need to upgrade. However agree with posters above that it should be rewritten/redesigned (with code reuse) from the top down. It would be nice to have a Microsoft OS Kernel and then a separate UI built on top - similar to the Linux environments with KDE/Gnome etc.

  15. Jimmy Floyd
    Gates Halo

    "Billy G, is not my lover."

    "Microsoft might still be an expert in making cash but is perceived as failing to innovate, or to cash in on that innovation, compared to a renewed Apple and an ever-expanding Google."

    Spot on, Mr Oates. They really do miss Billy G, don't they?

  16. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Why do we actually need a Windows 8?

    Most copies of Windows are sold with the PC, surely. So why not just stick to improving Windows 7?

    Maybe the need is to remove support for disc file systems that Linux can read and write?

  17. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    How far are Microsoft prepared to go to compete with Google?

    For a start I'm still on XP, but I'm thinking of upgrading. But I can't help shake off the feeling that I await the release of Windows 8 with more a sense of dread than a sense of enthusiasm. My reason is all the increasingly common industry wide moves towards more cloud like computing and server based data (ultimately so they can spy on the server/cloud data), always with a view toward using access to that data for more advertising (to make use of their spying moves), and of course we also have ever more integration of spyware as integral to new applications (to again make use of spying for advertising). Its all leading me to the thought and dread of what do we await from Microsoft, who are so determined to compete with Google?

    All I can say is if they do dare to twist their OS further down this spying/advertising route, then they completely loose me onto Linux.

  18. Rich 30

    too soon

    3 years after Win7, they release 8? Thats too soon. I think most people would agree 5 years would be about right.

    MS are in the difficult position of being THE OS the people understand. So they cant change it too much, in case they scare the people, but at the same time, Windows is still using the same (very much working) formula since Win95. How can they evolve it, without including software (a la Apple) in case they again get sued for monopolizing, whilst keeping it familiar enough for the people to just pick it up an use it. Its tough. I think they will move towards the cloud for a lot of stuff, or at least have a lot of cloud support, but the issue with that is that MS dont have control over internet speeds. My connection for example is far to slow to allow any major cloud based activity.

    BTW i use a Win7 Laptop and a MBP. IMHO WIn7 is the best OS currently. (as subjective as "best" is, its all i have to offer you)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the OS!

      It's not the OS people understand, its the INTERFACE people understand

      There's a difference, try giving the average home user PCLinuxOS and see if they notice

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Doug Glass


    Do you 'spose Windows 8 will be version 7? It will be if they just move to the next higher number. If they call it version 8, then we'll have proof version 6.1 (Windows 7) was truly pay-as-you-go service pack 1 for Vista's version 6.0.

    Ah the possibilities; the intrigue; the idiots.

    1. Pandy06269

      Only if XP was a SP to 2000

      Your logic only works if you believe that XP and Server 2003 were service packs to Server 2000 - which it obviously wasn't, as most businesses are still running XP.

      Server 2000 was NT 5.0 (as a replacement for NT 4.)

      Windows XP was 5.1.

      Server 2003 was 5.2.

      I certainly wouldn't call 2003/XP service packs to 2000.

  21. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Supercallafrajalistic Expialadocious

    XP, works 4 me.

    Wake me up when Windows 10 comes out...

  22. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    2 years, easy to see why

    They need to see what Apple (or linux) are going to do next. After all isn't that their business plan?

  23. Daniel Harris 1


    Windows 7 is the best MS Operating System so far, so I see no need to rush and release a new version.

    Windows 7 does the job, it's quick and runs very well. I've seen it running on a 3.2ghz P4 with 768MB Ram for general browsing, word processing etc and it runs a treat.

    1. Vic


      > Windows 7 does the job, it's quick and runs very well. I've seen

      > it running on a 3.2ghz P4 with 768MB Ram for general browsing,

      > word processing etc

      I've got Fedora 13 running on an 850MHz P3 in 256MB, and that runs just fine as well...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        I've not made up my mind if the original poster was serious or was being sarcastic ;D

  24. George 24

    take your time Ms

    Please, take as long as you want. Make 7 last as long as xp. 7 is a very good os, and with 6+ years support and sp's, I willow be very happy.

  25. xj25vm


    Oh no! I will have to wait a whole two years? Goodness me! I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with that. No new wonderful version of Windows from Microsoft. All those previous releases have filled my life with joy. Have brought wonderful productivity leaps to my working life. Have left me full of optimism. No bugs, no problems. Well built, high quality software, satisfying to work with. And good value too - I would love to pay for the same thing again and again. I can't live another two years without the next amazing iteration of this great OS. Please Microsoft. Hurry up. We can't wait that long!

    Oh wait - has anybody seen my Linux laptop, I need to connect to my Linux servers to find out why is everything working ok and there are no unexplained crashes and constant updates that brake things. That is unacceptable!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 Cycles

    They always seem to have one good OS followed by one rubbish one.

    2000, XP and 7 were fine

    ME and Vista were pants.

    By my maths, we're due another dud to avoid next time round.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alternate duds

      It's Star Trek films all over again.

      I'd suggest XP = Wrath of Khan and 7 = First Contact

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Trekies take note

        That would make Vista = Star Trek The Final Frontier???

        I am not sure there has ever been a film BAD enough to represent Vista!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        think back though

        when it was released XP was viewed as a bit of a pointless upgrade too, it wasn't enough of a change from 2000 to really justify. 3 service packs later, and the differences are clear, but only because 2000 stopped being improved.

        There has to be an actual reason to upgrade versions, rather than an artificially created one, xp to vista technically did have a reason, there was significant rework of the core driver model, and enough other change to justify calling it a new version. It had issues when released but it was being honed. For marketing reasons though, it was polished into 7 rather than just upgraded as a service pack.

        8 may again be a significant enough change to justify being called a new version, but experience says wait until it's actually finished and re-released as 9.

  27. Rogerborg

    Risky would be MacOS X

    Steal a BSD core, spunk your own UI onto its upturned stack, and declare a native binary do-ever.

    While Microsoft would never break backwards compatibility (deliberately anyway), they could use WINE (or steal-and-rewrite it) to run legacy Win32 binaries.

    THAT would be risky.

    However, what I expect we'll see is an "8!" sticker on Windows 7 SP 3, with - at most - the long threatened WinFS file system. Plus, of course, new versions of DevStudio / Outlook / Office with binary format extensions that can't be read by Office 2010. Plus ca change.

  28. blackworx

    Maths fail?

    I know I'm being a nit-picking pedant here, but (almost) November 2010 to (most of) 2012 is not two years.

    1. Newt_Othis


      Pedant? Maybe.

      But when a company says 'It'll be out in 2012' it normally means pretty close to 31st Dec 2012 at 23:59

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        But this is Microsft talking

        So for 2012 please think 2016!!!

        And where is the Paris angle, I need some hottie action to keep me warm on these cold, frosty mornings!!!

  29. pullenuk


    maybe with all the free operating systems coming out would Windows 8 be a special cut down free version of Windows 7 but with ads? Never know!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      even so

      would you trust an OS with built in ads?

      Never know what kind of invasive snooping they'd do in the name of "Behavioral advertising".

      Free as in beer not so good compared to free as in freedom.

  30. Tom 13

    MS can survive 3 years without an OS upgrade, but not 5 -

    regardless of whether or not the OS needs a touch up or refresh at the end of 5 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They don't sell that many "upgrades".

      The vast majority of Windows 7 installations came with the hardware - the number of retail copies of Windows 7 is a very small fraction of the total number of licenses sold. On the Corporate side, companies end up paying for the right to install the current version of Windows whether they take advantage of it or not.

      So except for some small boost in new hardware when a new version of Windows comes out, Microsoft doesn't really benefit that much, sales wise, from bringing out a new version of Windows. The real benefits come from the new functionality that a new operating system unleashes, and how Microsoft can take advantage of that.

  31. C Yates
    Gates Halo

    The only thing that would make me willingly upgrade...

    ... would be if they actually lowered the mimumum spec of the hardware it had to run on.

    If they could make it look good and run fast without needing more than 256MB of RAM (on a P3? :) I'd be willing to give it a go =)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    to be fair

    They can take their sweet time as far as their users care.

    A new release is always met with groans from the Windows community. "Here we go again" they'll sigh as they resign themselves to another huge bill for new licences, hardware and training for their coders and support staff. Not to mention the angry emails they'll get from their customers and staff as they are inevitably forced to drop support for Windows Timbuktu edition version 0.1.

    The hardware manufacturer's will find themselves genuinely disappointed at this news however. No one will buy a new PC they don't need until 2012 when the Marketing Blitzkrieg will commence and some new gimmick that's already been implemented in open source for about the last 6 years will be brought to mainstream attention as the in thing this season.

    What will it be? Place your bets now. I think they're going to animate the icons in Minesweeper.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not determined by development

    Or innovation, or usefulness, or anything worthwhile.

    It is determined by MS's need for revenue.

    Gates probably had a checklist of things to exclude from early versions, so that they could be added and charged for later.

    I wonder how many bugs were included so that they could be removed, and charged for later!

    The time for a new OS is when the hardware demands it or when genuinely new innovations have been made. Not according to the need to milk the public's purse with something that just does the same old stuff with cosmetic differences.

  34. JDX Gold badge

    re: lowered the mimumum spec

    In 2-3 years, 256Mb will be less than your phone (if not already). Making it work faster on current-gen hardware would have the same effect... actually Win7 went that direction from Vista.

    Regarding changing the interface... you were able to have the same interface all the way from Win95 -> WinXP/2003 and I imagine you can do it on W7 too. Hard for a company to evolve and innovate if everyone complains "it's not the same"!

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


      You can knock the appearance back down to Win2k, but many parts of the interface have changed. They seem to have tried to simplify things, which annoys me as it makes a lot of things I used to like to be able to do more difficult or even impossible. They also renamed a bunch of stuff so you can't find what you're looking for and don't know what you're looking at.

      There are certainly improvements to some of the things it does, but they don't outweigh the annoyances IMO.

    Thumb Down

    windows 8

    sorry but ive just upgraded to windows 7 im quite happy thanks i see no need to upgrade to windows 8 at all my programs work fine on 7 and its running fine windows 8 will be just another ripoff price and to many editions like 7 was it was confusing and the fact you have to enter stupid product keys on thease new oses so il pass on windows 8 if microsoft wants to make 8 successful then they need to change how it handles system files get rid of the registry and have a whole new interface not the same old start menu that only gets a little face lift.

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Kelvari

    In case we've all forgotten....

    the 5-year gap between XP and Vista wasn't the norm for Microsoft. It was an exception to the rule. I'd like to point out the following examples: Windows 3.1 (1992), Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows XP (2001). I follow Microsoft's stance that ME never existed, as it never really went mainstream. 3 years between Oses for 4 iterations. Longhorn was initially slated for release in 2004/5, before its developmental reboot. I'm glad to see Microsoft getting their footing again after that SNAFU, but I wonder if the market's ready for it. With everyone having been on XP for so long (there are probably people out there graduating high school this year whose first computer ran XP), nobody bothered to think much about it.

    If W8 does make Microsoft go tits-up, then I wonder what's going to come in to fill the massive vacuum that will leave in the market. Will Linux machines be the new thing? Will Apple take over the world?

  38. serviceWithASmile

    forget a new version

    I'd like a whole new OS.

    i'm not interested in a ctrl-c of win7 with a different colour scheme released and touted at me again before I've even gotten around to changing the desktop background on my current install.

    seems to me that the famed MS business model is much less than sustainable, given that when you consider:

    most are still using (and most of those are still happy with) XP,

    a few have (some are happy with) vista,

    less have (most happy with) win7.

    everyone else has *nix.

    what is the problem that win8 is meant to solve for us all?

    3 years seems like a very short life for what is otherwise not a bad OS

    who is going to buy it?

  39. bigfoot780


    Hope they get rid of UAC and adopt the *nix security model of a administrator password foor software install, hostname change etc.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Eight is my magic number tho

    Well, they cite risky. I hope this means that activation and those pesky DRMs will finally be gone and that I can go back to using my ancient RPC1 drive to play Macrovision-protected DVDs again.

    Of course, they could mean that Win8 now requires a TPM module from M$ and that locks out 99% of motherboards out there...

  41. James Pickett

    ad nauseam

    A new version every 3 years? I make that Windows 37 by the end of the century - but will anyone care, or MS still be in business? I doubt it.

  42. Rex Alfie Lee

    The ploy: Don't give them everything...

    ..give them a few faults & when we fix them quickly they'll love us for it. Then when they see the next edition they'll know the update will be worth the dollar.

    Suck 'em in, give 'em bugger all, the American way...

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