For the second time in five weeks, information about a key upcoming Microsoft product has come to light because of a presentation placed on the company's Web site by an employee in Denmark.
According to a PowerPoint presentation download PDF created by a technical staffer at Microsoft Denmark, the software vendor plans to invest in four major areas in the next client version of Windows after Vista. Microsoft has already begun working on its next OS, and one executive indicated last month that the company hopes to ship the follow-on during 2009 -- although Microsoft later issued a statement saying that it is "not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows."
The PowerPoint presentation, which is dated January 31 and can be accessed via Microsoft's download.microsoft.com site, was publicised on Aeroxperience, an independent blog aimed at Windows Vista developers.
The Aeroxperience posting says that two slides in the presentation contain information that "more than likely applies to 'Windows Seven,'" the codename that Microsoft is said to be using internally for the successor to Vista.
According to the slides, planned areas of investment for end users in Windows Seven include making it easier to find information and improving mobile connectivity. For example, a detailed list of future Windows features includes converged local, network and internet search capabilities and improved wireless connectivity, management and security.
For IT professionals, the presentation indicates, planned improvements include added security measures, such as extending data protection and management capabilities to peripheral devices and expanding usage monitoring capabilities for compliance purposes. Cutting PC operating costs will also be a priority, via new features such as simplified provisioning and upgrading of systems, according to the slides.
Last month, Aeroxperience was the first to report that Microsoft planned to spend US$1 billion per year on development of the next version of Office, which is referred to by Microsoft employees as Office 14 and is expected to be ready for release in the first half of 2009.
In the Office-related posting, Aeroxperience cited a different PowerPoint presentation apparently created by another Microsoft Denmark employee that was also hosted on the download.microsoft.com site. That presentation has since been taken down by Microsoft, although Aeroxperience still has copies of some of the slides on its web site.
Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the various blog postings related to Windows Seven.