Microsoft: Don't ask about next OS, we don't tell

Microsoft tightlipped after Fathi's comments about Vista's 2009 successor

Microsoft wants everyone to focus on Vista and forget about whatever may come down the operating system pike.

In a tightly-worded statement issued late yesterday and attributed to Kevin Kutz, the director of the Windows client group, the company said it "is focused on the value Windows Vista will bring to people today. We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that we're working on it."

Kutz was replying to speculation that the next version of Windows -- with codenames ranging from "Vienna" to "Windows 7," depending on the pundit -- would be out before the end of 2009. The chatter was fuelled by Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of development in Microsoft's Windows core operating system division, who spoke to reporters last week at the RSA conference.

At the time, Fathi said the follow-on to Vista would likely show up in 2009. "You can think roughly two, two and a half years is a reasonable time frame that our partners can depend on and can work with," he said. "That's a good time frame for refresh."

Yesterday's move was a clear effort by Microsoft to distance itself from Fathi's comments, said Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner. But it was hardly unexpected.

"This is their pattern. They don't want to talk about what's coming, they want to talk about Vista," said Silver.

The last thing Microsoft wants, said Silver, is for users to hear that a new operating system will show up in a couple of years, then decide that they can wait it out, then simply skip Vista. "Vista is what they have to sell now."

In any case, Silver questioned the relatively short cycle that Fathi proposed. "I don't think enterprises can absorb [a new operating system] every two years."

Consumers, on the other hand, want a new and shiny operating system more frequently. "Maybe Microsoft should think about separating operating systems, one release for consumers, one for enterprises that just adds on capabilities."

In Silver's view, Microsoft has been forced to talk more about the post-Vista world because of the five years it took the company to create that just-released operating system. As early as last July, for example, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told financial analysts that "we will never repeat our experience with Windows Vista, we will never have a five-year gap between major releases of flagship products."

"Actually, they'd like to talk about [the next OS] as little as possible," said Silver.

Said Kutz: "When we are ready, we will provide updates."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?