A successor to the Microsoft Windows operating system, while still very much in
the theoretical stage, is expected to better leverage multicore processors, for
starters, a Microsoft official said on Wednesday afternoon.
Speaking at The Venture Forum (http://www.theventureforum.com/) conference,
Microsoft's Bryan Barnett, a program manager for external research programs in
the Microsoft Research group, said multicore architectures are of particular
interest when weighing what to put in future operating systems at the company.
"Taking full advantage of the processing power that those multicore
architectures potentially make available requires operating systems and
development tools that don't exist largely today," Barnett said
Windows currently will run on multicore processors, but is not fully optimized
for them, according to Barnett. "It's not a question of just running on a
multicore architecture. It's a question of what do you do to fully exploit the
capabilities there," he said.
There is no timetable for a Windows successor right now. But early work on this
effort has not yet been organized, with five or six small projects afoot in
various places throughout the company, said Barnett.
Finding a DOS successor in the early 1990s seemed a simpler task, he said.
"Somehow, it was easier when the company was smaller a long time ago," Barnett
"Merely having size and resources isn't necessarily in this instance an
advantage," he said.
For now, Microsoft plans to release its next major version of Windows, Windows
Vista, in 2007.