Over at ZD-Net they are having a meeting of the minds trying to figure out why Microsoft is being silent about the next version of Windows dubbed 7, as in Windows 7. There is also some discussion that testers and those in the groove are being left out as well. But one could conclude that the silence by Microsoft could mean a variety of different things.

When Vista was under development, Microsoft had provided us with a road map of new features that was going to make us dump XP in a heart beat. One of the features was called  WinFS which was going to sit on top of the NTFS file system and would make grouping attributes such as project, author etc., easier. But WinFS did not make the final product. There were some other features that also did not make it to Vista because they did not work properly. Add to this the famous Jim Allchin memo to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer which stated:

From: Jim Allchin
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 8:38 AM
To: Bill Gates; Steve Ballmer
Subject: losing our way…

This is a rant. I’m sorry.

I am not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers (both business and home) the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems [our] customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that doesn’t translate onto great products.

I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft. If you run the equivalent of VPC on a MAC you get access to basically all Windows application software (although not the hardware). Apple did not lose their way. You must watch this new video below. I know this doesn’t show anything for businesses, but my point is about the philosophy that Apple uses. They think scenario. They think simple. They think fast. I know there is nothing hugely deep in this.

http://www.apple.com/ilife/video/ilife04_32C.html [Note: link no longer works]

I must tell you everything in my soul tells me that we should do what I called plan (b) yesterday We need a simple fast storage system. LH is a pig and I don’t see any solution to this problem. If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux and Apple, we need to start taking the lessons of “scenario, simple, fast” to heart.


Now. Does anyone need to wonder why Microsoft is remaining mum on Windows 7. If they provide  information as they did with Longhorn, they may have other embarrassing moments. But the big reason is that the company is trying to palm off, I mean sell Vista. Telling the masses that Windows 7 will be better than Vista will just make more of us wait for the next Windows to hit the street.

Comments welcome.

PS For those here in the US have a safe Memorial Day holiday. For those of us here in the mid-west may God protect you and your family from the vicious weather that is plaguing the area.