That Microsoft is planning a new version of Windows will come as no surprise to anyone. When it will arrive is anyone's guess. What it will look like is open to speculation. I may as well jump in with my opinion, so here goes ….
First, a Caveat
This is all based on what I read on the more technical websites, in the newspapers and hear and see on television. Take it for what it is worth (Nothing) or leave it.
Some of the material comes from leaks, incidental or intentional but who knows. Other sources probably come from individuals looking to claim the limelight for a few brief seconds and others just trying to damage Microsoft. We will not really know until Win 7 appears in the cold light of the day.
A lot of interest is centered around the GUI (Graphical User Interface) that will control the powerful computers that are now trying to run Vista. Rumor has it the group responsible for the GUI is being developed by the team that designed Microsoft Office 2007. With this in mind, it is likely we will see a few hundred menus and toolbars. It can not be a major departure from what we have today as that would necessitate a major retraining of business users. This would be highly expensive and that would cause a lot of hesitancy for business to convert to a new system. Why not make the GUI with an Off / On switch, similar to the software switch in the XP Control Panel? This switch allows users such as myself to retain the original or classic view. I use this option on all 3 of my machines.
Some of the early builds of Windows 7 contain a feedback button inviting developers with the test builds to comment on what are called the 5 pillars on which Win 7 will be based. Are these pillows made of stone? Probably not at this stage anyway. Each of the pillows is described in brief and purposefully vague terms. A quick description of these terms can be found in the current issue of PC Magazine. There is a complete and complete analysis done by "Bryant" at Aeroxperience ( http://aeroxp.org )
The one thing I feel sure about is that Win 7 or whatever wil; l be a success. Microsoft has to have a success after the fiasco that is Vista. Should Win 7 be another Windows ME or Vista, there will be an exodus of Windows users that will outpace any mass movement since Moses led his people from Egypt into the Sinai. And, Where will they be headed? Since most of them will be clutching an iPhone in their hands, my guess would be Apple.
Some may be switching to Linux but Apple holds the crown appealing in my mind. Apple has log had the reputation of delivering software that works and this in particular will appeal to these refugees. Has there ever been a version of Windows that arrived fully functional? That is probably too much to ask but one can always hope.
My mind drifts back to a time when Microsoft was under contract to deliver an operating system to IBM prior to the introduction of the IBM PC. This package had the very non imaginative name of OS 2 (for operating system.) I very distinctly remember downloading a beta version of OS. Do not remember the version but I think it was OS 2. I downloaded it from a dialup connection (and a slow one at that) since there was no such thing as cable modem or DSL. It took 31 floppy disks to hold the system. After the download, I started installing the system. Several hours later (slowness of the floppies and my PC was an IBM AT, I was ready to try it. devoting enough resources and too much to what was called Windows. I believe OS3 was to be called Windows 3.2, at any rate, years later, people were still using OS instead of Windows for stability reasons.
Time to wrap this up. I apologize for preventing myself to drift back in time. After all, nostalgia is not what it used to be.