Just in case you were wondering if the Windows client has a future after Windows 7 (it does), several Internet news sites are reporting that a Microsoft employee accidentally leaked details of his work on future Windows versions on his LinkedIn profile. According to Gizmodo, Microsoft Research employee Robert Morgan carelessly left the following details in full public view:
“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.”
It’s no secret that there will be a Windows 8 – Microsoft has already publicly committed to a new release in 3 years’ time; however anyone working in a “high security” role would be unwise to leave details of their work on a social networking site!
For what it’s worth (I know nothing at this time… but when I do, I’m sure it will be under NDA so I should write it down now!), I would expect 64-bit computing to be mainstream on the client in the Windows 8 timeframe (and if you’re not considering it for Windows 7, then you should), and would only expect 128-bit to be relevant for high-end server versions (note that the quote above refers to IA-64 and IA-128 – so that’s Itanium rather than some new “x128” desktop hardware). I’d also expect tighter integration with the cloud, and further developments in the area of boot from VHD, to further decouple the operating system from the hardware.
Of course, all of this is pure speculation on my part.