It seems like not all that long ago we were talking about the launch of Windows 7, but 2012 is right around the corner, and it's bringing Windows 8 with it. To that end, Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky opened the Building Windows 8 blog today. Like the Windows 7 blog before it, "B8" will discuss Windows 8 in-depth as it moves from its current internal development phase to RTM, which is still planned for some point in late 2012.

Sinofsky's opening post gives no new information on the operating system, but it does reiterate a lot of what we already know: it will run on ARM SoCs, it needs to run (and run well) on a wide variety of devices, and our next major look at the software will be at Microsoft's BUILD conference next month. It also appears likely that the road to Windows 8's release will closely mirror Windows 7's, including a public beta period in which "end-users, developers, and information professionals" will get their chance to evaluate the new OS before it is actually released.

Also evident in Sinofsky's blog post is that the company still remembers the lessons learned from Vista. He notes that some have expressed "frustration over how little [Microsoft has] communicated" regarding the new OS (in possible reference to the lack of information about the programming languages Windows 8 will push), but noted that Microsoft has "learned lessons over the years about the perils of talking about features before [they] have a solid understanding of [their] ability to execute," a reference to the many features Longhorn shed over its five-year development cycle. In short: Microsoft is only planning on talking about features that it's pretty confident will be included in the shipping version of the OS.

Sinofsky made no mention of when or how often the blog would update, but said that many members of the Windows team would be writing posts and responding to feedback left on the blog. Windows 8 still has no firm release date, but if it follows Windows 7's precedent, we'll probably see a beta sometime in early 2012, followed by a release candidate in the spring and RTM in the summer before the OS is released to the public in the fall. 

Source: Building Windows 8 Blog

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  • ComputerGuy2006 - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Yes Microsoft did learn its lesson from vista... if you design a bad OS that is more geared towards looks over functionality, then you better spend lots of money marketing it to shape peoples opinion on it.

    The sad fact is, I need third party tools (win 7 task tweaker) and need to alter the regedit for simple UI features that are missing in vista/win7 that have been in windows for ever a decade.

    They also need to include a search tool (the one in XP will work), this way you arent SNAFUD when you need to search an HDD that isnt indexed for whatever reason...

    And do you know what else I hate? When Microsoft downloads an update and remotely reboots my PC... How about an option of "Download and install all critical update, but only remind me when reboot is needed". Sometimes I go months without installing updates because I forget, but I cant have it install it, because it auto reboots my PC sometimes...
  • phatboye - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    I whole-heartily agree with the search option. It is one of my biggest gripes with Win7/Vista and till this day I don't understand why it was removed without a replacement. The new windows search blows chunks for newbies like my parents. The old search was pretty easy and straight forward even though it had that annoying dog animation at least it worked.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    Amen! A command-line equivalent to Unix's "locate" tool would be useful as well. I hate having Windows Search index my whole hard drive, but the fact is you can't actually search your drive (effectively) unless you let it index. I don't care if searches are slow on a non-indexed drive; I just want the ability to do them at all!

    But honestly, if the search feature is the worst thing anyone has to say about Win7, that's pretty mild. Overall, I'm very happy with Windows 7. Okay, I ran Windows Vista on my main PC for about two years without any major complaints, but I'd like to hear precisely what features (beyond search) others feel is missing or needs a third party utility.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    It's called PowerShell. It's very... powerful.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    How is "press Start and start typing your search term" difficult?
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 15, 2011 - link

    What's wrong with either "Download updates but let me choose when to install them" or "Check for updates by let me choose whether to install them" options on the windows update control panel page? Both will start nagging you from the tray (and IIRC the shutdown icon on the start menu) when updates are available.

    With the former option after clicking yes I get a popup dialog that keeps coming back nagging me to reboot; but don't recall if it's specific to that download option or something I set elsewhere.
  • Omoronovo - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I do not understand most peoples compulsion to hate the search built into Windows 7.

    Could you explain what makes it worse than the search built into Windows XP? I can search my drive perfectly by opening the drive and typing the search term in the search box in the top right hand corner. It has the ability to search by metadata, which XP never did. I can search between dates, between file sizes, specific file formats, using wildcards (?, # and *), and even on a non-indexed drive (like the 5TB media array I have), it only takes moments to show results.

    I have a feeling that most people's complaints about Windows 7/Vista search is that they don't know how to use it properly.

    You mention UI features that are missing, but fail to mention what features you're referring to. Could you elaborate?

    And finally, other than one software glitch on Vista, no update will ever restart your machine without your prior approval. You have Windows Update set erroneously - the only option that will do this is "Install Updates Automatically", and even in this situation, you are able to choose when the restart takes place to make it as unobtrusive as possible.

    I hope you don't take my cynicism personally, I'm just genuinely curious.
  • B3an - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    This is problem with 99% of people that have issues with Vista/7.
    The problem is not the OS, it's the user. They're either A) Stuck in there old ways and refuse to adapt, no matter how much better an OS is. Or B) Too thick to use features properly.

    The search is VASTLY improved in Vista/7. And the restarting thing mention is just ridiculous and should not be happening. You're always notified before the machine is restarted.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    After reading all the comments and replying to a few, I've come to the conclusion that there are still quite a few people out there that still think it's cool to criticize Microsoft. Get over it, people. Bashing "Micro$uck" is so 1999.
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    What UI features are missing?

    The search bar in Explorer works for non-indexed drives.

    Microsoft doesn't have remote control of your PC to download updates nor reboot your PC. They're settings on your PC that are easily changed.

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