back to article Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella opened day one of the company's Build 2021 conference, virtual again this year, with a pitch to be the platform for platform creators. "As computing becomes embedded in every aspect of our lives, there will no longer be such a thing as the tech sector," he said. "Every organization will not only …

  1. vtcodger Silver badge

    next generation?

    the next generation Windows

    My God. They're letting the damn thing breed?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: next generation?

      Life will find a way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: next generation?

        Windows is not "life" -- it is a curse.

        1. ITMA Silver badge

          Re: next generation?

          And Norton *IS* a virus....

    2. Warm Braw

      Re: next generation?

      I’ve been self-hosting it

      It sounds like it's not so much breeding as replicating in his body. Maybe those vaccine stories need more careful examination.

      1. eswan

        Re: next generation?

        I'm visualizing the cafeteria scene from Alien.

        "Windows 11. It wasn't released, it escaped."

        1. Erix

          Re: next generation?

          So that's what Nadella meant by "self-hosting" it!

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: next generation?

      It could be: NeXT Generation, in which case it might be a case of back to the future...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...Our promise to you is this: we will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications.

    This looks pretty much like a walled garden to me.

    For me I'll just have Linux only, no Windows, thank you very much.

    1. 9Rune5

      Where are the walls?

      Microsoft has added a lot of tooling over the recent years. Much of it is geared towards supporting multiple platforms, since most developers share your concerns.

      My latest project at work will most likely run exclusively on Windows boxes, but its CI tests are run using docker and linux. That is despite using a package called "Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting.WindowsServices", which as you guessed is very Windows-centric. There is still no #ifdef involved or "if (runningInWindows)" in my code. It just works, regardless of platform.

      In the end I can deliver something that fits my customers' environments, both now and in the future. I believe many of them will adopt containers (and Linux) hand over fist in the coming years, so that is where my projects are moving as well.

      So please be specific which walls you're seeing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @9Rune5 - Re: Where are the walls?

        Erm, let's say monetizing ? How do you properly monetize if you don't corral your customers ? You are doing this aren't you ?

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Where are the walls?

        To be honest I've sort of lost track of what Microsoft is doing on the UI front.

        First there was Win32, Winforms, then WPF, then UWP, then MAUI and now WinUI. In addition there's Xamarin Forms which is related to MAUI but not WinUI.

        Seriously, I'll just stick to web development. That alone is hairy enough.

      3. Doug 3

        Re: Where are the walls?

        so Microsoft will not add MS-chocolate_bar for WSL and make sure every user of WSL knows it's there and really tasty? Oh and BTW, MS-chocolate_bar for WSL only runs within WSL.

        Nah, Microsoft would never do that, they have never done anything like that before. LOL

        ignorance is bliss, enjoy it while you can.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: monetize applications.

      That is a big Red Flag to me. Microsoft, while happily slagging off Apple in court (Epic trial), it does seem to have a lot of Apple envy at the moment.

      I'm very happy that I got off the Microsoft Windows rollercoaster in 2016. After 20+ years of developing for the platform, I'd had more than enough of their crapfest.

      I said to my family back then that I was done helping them with their PC problems. I still am done and I ain't going back besides, MS has probably changed so much in that 4+ years that I'd probably do more damage than good if I did relent.

      1. Wade Burchette

        Re: monetize applications.

        Microsoft has always envied other companies ideas. MS-DOS, not their idea because they bought it from someone else while being a little dishonest. Windows GUI, not their idea because they copied Apple (who bought it from Xerox). Microsoft Office, not their idea because they copied Wordperfect. Internet Explorer, not their idea because they copied Netscape.

        Are you seeing a pattern here? Microsoft has always envied other companies because they have very few original ideas. And when they come up with an original idea -- such as the "ribbon" interface and the Windows 8 start screen -- it tends to be absolute garbage.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: monetize applications.

          That's a little short sighted. You've omitted Active Directory which, although it was preceded by things like NT4, NIS and Netware, was a very significant improvement on all of them and nothing else has come close since. The fact that they used some open tech to build it too makes it more significant, which the *nix world has embraced in the shape of Samba.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: monetize applications.

        I, too, got tired of helping my tech-less brother with his Windows machine.

        I converted him to Linux. First, Ubuntu, and when that got all tile-y, to Mint. Now, I visit him only when I want to, not because Windows screwed up again.

        // ...and wasn't Win10 supposed to be the be-all and end-all of Windows?

        // seems like we just got over adjusting to 10, now we get to do it all over again with 11? What fun!

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: monetize applications.

          My wife's Windows PC broke, and I installed Linux for her to try as a stopgap measure while I ordered some Windows media (this was a while ago, when you still had to have EXACTLY the right OEM disc or your product key wouldn't work...)

          Anyway, when the disc finally arrived, I asked if she wanted to go back to Windows. And nope. The DVD has been languiishing, unused and unloved, in the drawer ever since. Fear the power of Windows 8...

      3. N2

        Re: monetize applications.

        Yes, I too got off the 'freeloader support model:

        1. I think that will take about 4 hours at - substitute large hourly rate

        2. Look Its Saturday, so thats double time

        3. Add 20% to above for bank holidays

        4. If that dosnt work give it the Land Rover treatment - reversing over it fixes most defects.

        Soon get the idea,

      4. AceGrace

        Re: monetize applications.

        Can I ask what platform you moved to for development from windows?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: monetize applications.

          I retired.

          I do a little development (using Lazarus) on macOS and Fedora. Don't regret calling time on MS development although I still get the odd 'what are you doing for the next 6-9 months?' enquiries.

          Most of my time is spent writing. I now have six novels on Kindle but it isn't for the money but the enjoyment of creating devilish plot twisters.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Most of my time is spent writing.

            Yes, for me also, 35 years of Windows support & programming replaced by writing novels. Thirty-two since 2014.

            1. Joe Drunk

              Re: Most of my time is spent writing.

              You guys are lucky. Most of my spare time is spent fixing things around the house!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most significant upgrade in a decade

    So, is Satya turning Windows up to 11?

    1. Sammy Smalls

      Re: Most significant upgrade in a decade

      I shall be shamelessly stealing this, with no attribution. Muchos gracias.

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Most significant upgrade in a decade

      In a decade, so Windows 20.

    3. gerryg

      xkcd, as ever, provides the perfect analogy

      1. Aussie Doc

        Re: xkcd, as ever, provides the perfect analogy

        Well found. Have one on the house.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most significant upgrade in a decade

      Looks like it:

  4. martinusher Silver badge

    Running Linux GUI applications under Windows?

    My home computer is set up for dual boot. It runs Windows 10 and Mint. Although its not a particularly slow or small system I'm used to waiting for Windows to boot up, its not particularly slow since the system got a SSD but it still takes a bit of time for it to finish downloading stuff, indexing the disk and generally sorting itself out. It does have some idiosyncrasies, it doesn't seem to recognize some less common USB dongles I have (like the software defined radio and a JTAG debugger) but I'm confident that one day it will sort itself out -- it has done before.

    The system also boots Linux -- Mint. It comes right up, its snappy from the moment it starts, it recognizes those USB things that Windows can't seem to figure out. Since I started using it regularly -- I've been looking at GnuRadio -- I've realized that working with a Windows desktop is mainly a habit, something we've always had to do because we do it at work, its a corporate holdover. I can't imagine why I'd want to try running WSL since I'm pretty sure that the important stuff isn't going to work.

    I'm no stranger to using a Windows desktop for Linux development. I first started doing this in the 2000s using a Windows X-Server. Its true that I was just using the Windows system as an X-terminal but generally speaking that's all it was fit for anyway -- computers are cheap enough that its not worth the effort to try to shoehorn two systems in one box (which is why I've experimented with virtual machines but don't bother with them). (Since a lot of Linux work seems to involve me accessing multiple remote machines -- for one project they were literally scattered around the globe -- there's really no point in trying to do everything on your desktop anyway.)

    Then there's always Cygwin....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: dual boot.

      I've got three laptops in the house that dual or triple boot, each with a windows partition. As is happens, the windows installs never get used, except every now and again every month or so when I fire them up to do the upgrade/patch thing, just so if they are ever needed they are ready. But why does it - not infrequently - take so long?! Are the downloads that enormous? Or the servers that throttled? Why do some system updates seem to get blocked by the virus/malware checker? Why does the checker then decide to sneakily turn itself on again in the background at mysterious intervals, holding everything up (again)? &etc.

      I'm genuinely baffled.

      At least I have learnt - I hope - never to again think: I'll just set that update running before I do $THING, as I only did it last week, it can't possibly take over an hour... or three.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: dual boot.

        Just look at all the jobs in Task Scheduler that are triggered by boot or initial logon. Windows does an insane amount of stuff when it first comes up. Whether most or any of it is desirable is another question. (I disable most of what Microsoft crams into Task Scheduler whenever I get a new work machine.)

        Then, of course, there are all those oh-so-necessary services that start up at boot. Why, you wouldn't want your attack surface to be missing UPnP, would you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: dual boot.

          Citrix make a tool call Citrix Optimizer that will disable a lot of cruft. Aimed at RDS/VDI but also useful just for desktop PCs. You can review everything it disables and roll it back if needed. You will need a Citrix account to download it.

  5. Andy 73 Silver badge

    Poor Show, The Register

    Satya does a whole presentation with a ZX80 sitting on the shelf behind him, and you didn't notice?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Poor Show, The Register

      What did the ZX80 do to deserve that fate?

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Poor Show, The Register

        Could you imagine if Clive Sinclair was running Microsoft? They'd be touting all sorts of good things, all of which would be delayed, overpriced, wouldn't work properly or if they did, wouldn't work for long...

        ah yeah, that does sound a bit familiar now I come to think about it.

      2. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: Poor Show, The Register

        It was betrayed by the ZX81

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Poor Show, The Register

        > What did the ZX80 do to deserve that fate?

        Poor bugger. Perhaps it was selected to be the standard benchmark machine that all versions of Windows are compared against? If so then I'm pleased to say that Windows is several times faster.

      4. Werner Heisenberg

        Re: Poor Show, The Register

        There was also a boxed copy of Visual Basic (I believe v1). Later on, in the "Into Focus" section, another bookshelf had Visual Studio 97, Visual InterDev 6.0 and (I think?) C#.Net 1.0...

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Poor Show, The Register

      There were also a couple of balls in the background there as well - probably there to match the complete bollocks Satya was spouting.

  6. Tim 11

    "unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators"

    I presume that just means more adverts?

    every time I go back to Windows, I wonder at the fact that a paid-for operating system is forever pushing adverts in your face when the free alternative is blissfully free of them.

    1. Boothy

      Re: "unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators"

      What adverts?

      Genuinely curios, I've been using Win 10 on and off since the pre-release versions, either for gaming (Home edition), or on work provided laptops (Pro or Enterprise), and I've never seen any adverts!

      Only thing I've seen close to that, was annoying things like some games and applications being pre-installed, especially on the Home edition (Candy Crush etc), and those you could remove once you'd logged in. (There really should be an option to not install 3rd part 'apps' during Win 10 install, like not ticking Games on an old XP install!).

      1. Kubla Cant

        Re: "unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators"

        If your gaming included Microsoft Solitaire Collection then you'd see plenty of adverts.

        1. Boothy

          Re: "unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators"

          Ah, so ads in the actual pre-installed apps/games! That explains things.

          All my Win 10 systems, the ones I've installed, have all been from fresh USB installs, from the image directly downloaded from MS (I have no OEM version of Win 10, all home built systems).

          I always install without a network, so that I can easily create a local account, (so no MS account), and then once booted up, I let the inevitable updates and patching happen, then after the reboots, go through and remove everything from the installation that isn't nailed down, including games and other unwanted 'apps' etc. So no Solitaire for me.

          I then run O&O Shutup 10, and accept the recommended changes (telemetry etc), and also disable things like Cortana (no mic, so pointless for me), the search bar, the Bing integration etc.

          I think the only time I tried the 'new' Solitaire was in the early days of Win 10, when I stuck it in a VM just to have a play (I stuck with Win 7 for quite a while before switching to 10).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Wiindows 10 Adverts

            They've tried adverts on the lock screen image a few times, but probably noticed the massive spike of people disabling that feature immediately afterwards.

        2. DJV Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft Solitaire Collection

          And that's why I am still running the old (and far superior) versions of Solitaire and Spider that came with XP...

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I've been traditionally tied to Windows because of some CAD suites. This tether is being gnawed at by the following:

    Whilst Autodesk Fusion 360 was ported to Intel OSX, Solidworks never was. Interestingly, the Solidworks engine *is* used in an iPad Pro native CAD application. Hell, the thing has a laser 3D scanner built into the back of it, it could be a better tool for workshop-based CAD workflows than a Windows workstation.

    There are also browser-based CAD suites, which appear to work well, but I've not personally played with.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      My (fuzzy) point being that 'Will I be tied to Windows in the future? I don't know, but I'm excited by developments in consumer-grade* 3D scanning, VR, and the power-efficient silicon/software stack required to make it cheap and ubiquitous enough to change how I interact with it."

      I once used a Windows PC to email a photograph. Take photo, walk to computer, turn on computer, make a coffee, remove disk or card from camera, insert in PC, navigate to .jpg on card, drag to email, send. Today it's clear a smartphone is a superior tool for the same operation. I suspect that devices other than mouse and keyboard computers may be superior for many design and craft workflows.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      The things trying us to windows now is just the CAD/CAM software, and office.

      And someone complained to the CAD/CAM suppliers a couple of years ago about putting out a linux version..(hides his e.mails)

      If we had office on linux, windows would very smartly leave the building as we've all had enough of the nonsense put out by m$ claiming to be an operating system

      Oh and for the record, I have a win10 pc for playing games, and a dual boot win10/linux mint pc that spends 99.99% of its time in linux mode

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Satya Nadella.........Steve..........Bill.......Same old, same old.............



    Evangelism is War.


    Ah.......not much has changed!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: Satya Nadella.........Steve..........Bill.......Same old, same old.............

      For your down-voters I would like to add this nugget:

      If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry - you just pull the trigger. Angry discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.

      Jim Allchin

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: to the downvoters

        just remember...

        "The day's not done until Notes won't run"

        The mantra that showed IMHO, the true colours of Microsoft. Still as true today as then. How long before they close off Windows to 'non monetized' apps. Naturally, 30% will be filling the MS coffers.

  9. johnnyblaze

    Cloudy future

    Here it comes - Windows 10 Cloud Edition. A version of Windows 10 so completely and utterly tied to Azure (and a nice monthly sub), you can't use it without it. Azure is SatNad's baby, and he'll drag you kicking and screaming into it until his last breath (then lock the door and throw away the key).

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Cloudy future

      it already has the strong-armed "Microsoft Logon" in the cloud, a failed idea since "Passport" when ".Not" first hit the scene during the "dot bomb" bubble of the early 2000's...

      We can expect a "new, shiny" version of same. Except, cloud. And slower. And a MUCH higher bandwidth requirement. And more tracking to go with it. And you MUST be online to use it. And so on.

      It's a bit like what they originally wanted [but could not manage to convince customers so they walked it back] for the XBox One, remember?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Cloudy future

        And it will all be WinForms underneath, except for bits of the control panel you actually need which will be reassuringly NT4

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next generation Windows

    I wonder how long it is going to be before Windows is just a Windows GUI and the Win32 APIs running on top of Linux?

  11. Mage Silver badge

    running Linux graphic user interface (GUI) apps atop the Windows

    We had that 22 years ago with MS SFU and 3rd party X-Servers.

    So they swapped bought in Services For Unix with free Linux. Meanwhile 22 years later it's SO easy to run Linux Mint, legacy win32 that won't work on Win7-64 or Win10-64 on 32 bit WINE on 64 bit Linux, and Windows on a VM if you need to.

    Didn't they trot this out last year?

    Also what is with installing AUTOMATICALLY MS Edge (Google's Chromium) on Win7 last week? I had to reset Waterfox as the Browser.

    They also warned me there was no support and popped up an update box for "MS Wireless Keyboard-Mouse 850" which loaded an advert (in Waterfox) on MS Site to sell me "MS Wireless Keyboard-Mouse 850"

    When you look for the PDF export plug-in for old MS-Word, you get adverts for Office 365.

    I thought Win10 was the last, with it's stupid rolling updates and integrated Cloud. The next Gen Windows is Azure Subscription, running on "MS Cloud" servers running Linux?

    At the time of the infamous Halloween Papers in 1990s and "Linux is a Cancer", Linux was about 6% of web servers. Now over 80%?

    All my important computers only boot Linux since 2017. The Win7 box is a sort of budget XBox, though the last Win7 Steam Game I bought runs on Steam on Linux.

    I have serious Deja Vu with this PR. Are they recycling it every 3 months?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and I’m incredibly excited

    developers developers developers. A clown after clown after clown

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: and I’m incredibly excited

      Let's be fair. Wouldn't any amount of excitement about an upcoming Windows release be incredible? It needn't be a lot of excitement.

      1. deadlockvictim

        Re: and I’m incredibly excited

        It will lower your TCO as well.

      2. Korev Silver badge

        Re: and I’m incredibly excited

        I don't get excited about OS updates any more, I tend to fear them...

  13. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    there will no longer be such a thing as the tech sector

    Yes, everyone will be running their own back-office insurance-adjustment applications under their personal copy of IMS. No tech sector at all.

    Honestly, why do we pay C-level execs who insist on spouting such obvious rubbish?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: there will no longer be such a thing as the tech sector

      We are all human, so there is no such thing as a Health sector.

      Most of us have or use motorised vehicles, so there is no such thing as the Motor sector.

      Every country has an army, so there is no such thing as a Defen{s|c}e sector.

      Very large numbers of us have mobile phones, so there is no such thing as the Tech sector. Oh wait, that's not something MS want to crow about.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: there will no longer be such a thing as the tech sector

        Every country has an army, so there is no such thing as a Defen{s|c}e sector.

        Iceland doesn't have an army (nor a navy nor an airforce).

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    New Windows systems are very helpful!

    I love the Windows 10 ... because now my Windows 7 system doesn't get buggy updates all the time, I can just turn it on and get everything done. I thought that Windows 7 was sucky when it came out and kept using XP and Vista. I started using Windows 7 when Windows 8 was released - the problem was that there were continual updates that occasionally caused issues - but now that Windows 10 is the prime system, I find Windows 7 to be very reliable.

  15. pardo_bsso

    Who's the tool now

    I say this as a very stubborn freetard but some of their development tools are incredible great.

    However I foresee that Windows 10.3.87 will come with Gnome and then all hell is on us.

  16. deadlockvictim

    You can see what is coming

    SatNad» That's Nadella's vision for the world of 2030, for better or worse. In the near term, he promised "the next generation of Windows," without getting into the specifics of what that means.

    Office 365, Exchange Online, Azure... I'm sure that you can see where this is heading. My guess is that the new Windows will be a simple [1] thin client that allows you to access your Windows VM. You will never have to install updates again for they will be automatically done for you. You will always have the latest and greatest version of Windows. And it will only cost $10 per month (or £10 if you are in the UK).

    [1] It will, however, require at least 16GB RAM, 4 cores and 64GB SSD space.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can see what is coming

      Count on it.

      Note the self-hosting comment. They're going to try to turn the @#$!@#$! operating system into a "service" hosted on somebody else's computer (aka the cloud).

  17. DrSunshine0104

    I am more of a Linux fan myself so I am a bit biased but my biggest complaint about Window 10 is how damn in-the-way it is when I am just trying to work. The 'integration' is more of an annoyance. I just want my OS to make it easy to access my programs, it doesn't need a 'virtual assistant', tell me fun facts, add irremovable programs targeted at 5 end users, advertise to me their other products, or spy on me. It just needs to make it easy to start programs, manage files and the network.

    Despite being a lover of VIM, Studio Code is actually kind of good and I kind of like it.

    But Windows will never be my preferred OS for development unless I just start to hate myself.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gotta keep copying Apple.

    They thought they could keep using 10 forever, because Apple wasn't ever going to release macOS 11.

    Oops. Gotta play catch-up again.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like