Vista Follow-Up Expected in 2009

Dennis Faas's picture

It hasn't been more than two weeks since Vista shipped, but already Microsoft is talking about its successor. Ben Fathi, corporate vice president of development with Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division, revealed that the next OS might ship in 2009.

"You can think roughly two, two-and-a-half years is a reasonable time frame that our partners can depend on and can work with," Fathi said at a conference in San Francisco. "That's a good timeframe for refresh." (Source:

Although Vista was shipped about two and a half years after Service Pack 2 for Windows XP was released, the gap between the releases of XP and Vista was large -- over five years. That gap, however, can be attributed to Microsoft dealing with the widespread worm outbreaks in 2003. The outbreaks led Microsoft to shift its focus away from releasing a new OS and towards fixing Windows XP via the release of Service Pack 2. (Source:

"We put Longhorn [Vista] on the back burner for awhile," explained Fathi. "Then when we came back to it, we realized that there were incremental things that we wanted to do, and significant improvements that we wanted to make in Vista that we couldn't deliver in one release." (Source:

Last year, Microsoft said that Vista's follow-up would be code named Vienna. However, Fathi said that the code name could not be disclosed at the present time.

But much more interesting than the name of the new OS are its features. Unfortunately, there is not much information on those either. Fathi explained that the coolest new feature of the OS is still being determined. "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is," he said. "Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers." (Source:

While the ambiguity may be a bit disappointing, Fathi insists that more details will be revealed soon. While he says that it's too early to discuss the project right now, he predicts that "over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more." (Source:

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