What comes after Windows?

What comes after Windows?

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 ( 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.

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