Looking Forward: Our Predictions for Windows 9



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I never heard about windows 9 till now !




It seems like Windows 8 will go one of two ways:

1) The final product is like the preview and we see it on tablets and low-powered machines aimed at the casual/entry-level crowd. The non-enthusiasts are divided between thinking it's amazing and thinking that all the Mac enthusiasts are spot-on.

2) They expose more settings to the end user or a very popular tweak relegates the Metro UI to a windowed app, running on the standard desktop everyone's used to. Metro gains acceptance and exposure as a central informational hub with the security of the Start menu blanket.

Every desktop OS seems to have the same shortcoming - apart from whatever icons you have on the desktop and some kind of launch bar or start menu - screen real estate is wasted. Why not make Metro more like an Active Desktop object? There when you want it, providing info in the background when you don't? I'd at least experiment with that version.




MaxPC should finally do that story on StarDock customization utilities haha (:



Windows 8 is essentially Windows 7 with a tablet UI bolted on in a somewhat crude and poor fashion...

Windows 7 was a fixed up, cleaned up version of Windows Vista.

Windows Vista was essentially Windows XP with a shinier UI, new DirectX capabilities and improved security, but done in crude and somewhat poor fashion.

It follows then that Windows 9 will be a fixed up, cleaned up version of Windows 8. :P

Dan O.



Windows 8 is a cross between Chrome OS and Windows 7. There is way less of a footprint on the machine and that's why it boot faster. It more of a cloud OS then a desktop OS.



So successive versions of an operating system are attempts to improve it or fix major flaws or weaknesses of the older versions?

A revolutionary concept.



Fixing major flaws and weaknesses should be a high priority, but a new version of an OS should be more than fixing flaws and weaknesses. There should be added features for starters.

And secondly, there should have never been major flaws or weaknesses in an OS from a developer of this size. Windows Vista shouldn't have arrived 7 years after XP in shape it did. There was more time for development with Vista alone than MS spent on going from 95 to XP, and that includes 95 Plus, 98, 98 SE, and the failure ME.

Also, security improvements aren't exactly something MS can be proud of. Other Operating Systems, from MacOS to Linux, Unix, or even OS/2 Warp! had better security than XP had, and most of them had and have better security than 7 (or 8).

Here's a few things that would really improve Windows that other OS's have had for years...

Virtual Desktops, gaining the ability to arrange application windows on multiple virtual desktops instead of a single desktop is highly advantageous for multitaskers.

A method of keeping track of installed applications that allows for keeping them up to date, much like a package manager on Linux. Far too many security vulnerabilities stem from 3rd party apps that the user fails to update.

An update manger that doesn't need to do each update incrementally. No one should have to do updates, reboot, more updates, reboot, install SP1, reboot, install more updates, reboot, install SP2, reboot, for over 6 hours to keep an OS up-to-date.

I want to be able to update it, and have all the updates installed cumulatively in one update, with minimal amount of time and only 1 reboot, regardless as to how out of date the OS currently is.



...but how do you define a "new version"..? how have there not been added features..?

personnel-wise Microsoft isn't exactly the largest developer in the world compared to RedHat's various open-source projects in aggregate or Oracle or even HP nevermind the likes of Google . . . Vista was RTM'd in late 2006 and made GA by early 2007 whereas XP was RTM'd late 2000 and made GA early 2001 which is 5 years roughly, also there were 3 diferent codebases for the family of OS known as 'XP' although they were functionally equivalent (2000/2001, 2003 and 2005 revisions) across 4-5+ different architectures and Msft's "Kernel and Core Services" OS dev. team (as it was labeled from the end of developement on Win98 until the beginning of developement for Win7) wasn't exactly only working on changes in vista as they released the 2 previously mentioned revised codebases which corresponded to server 2003 and 2003 r2 on the x86 side . . . Windows 4.x aka 9x still relied upon DOS - no 'real' OS work to be done especially by today's standards

Macintosh security isn't exactly first-class, they've just gotten lucky because of their generally younger/less-experienced developer base and lower marketshare combined with their constant change of architectures and closed developement structure and relatively low enterprise adoption rates, so there hasn't been a strong global economic reason to write malware for it as yet. Unix\Linux had a terrible security reputation once upon a time (hence the origin of the term ROOTkit) but since the kernel module and driver model changes in the 2.6.18 kernel and the fedora project / / redhat coroporation's focus on secure coding as well as the NSA's FLASK project which yielded ELinux it has become remarkably secure but not invulnerable just again, low[er] marketshare. Msft's OS' have consistently had equal or greater ratings in security as tested by CCE, Coverity and others . . . the USAF's custom\secure revision of XP even scores EAL4+ alongside RHEL5 and Vista, go figure

although I do long for the day Windows gets true native virtual desktops there are many utilities including ones from Msft's own SysInternals and StarDock that do provide this functionality arguably better than Xwindows allows however I still agree with you here!!

Windows Store, Windows Update and SecuniaPSI (as well as many other security vendors' vulnerability detectors) however with all of the mitigations in modern windows editions proper configuration and effective dual-layer antimalware protection and smart choices for apps for common tasks are the best medicine . . . Win32 backwards compat. is a shame and a 'Yum4Win' project would be nice!!

the only time this would even be a scenario is if you havn't have automatic updates on or simply ignored or hid them . . . Windows 8's changes to update behavior prevents this rom becoming an issue (future Win7 SP2 also) P.S; running as a standard user greatly reduces the need for this as doies proper choosing security software and other deeply-rooted apps

this is the definition of a Service Pack which is the linux equivalent of installing a newer kernel and updating all packages system-wide simultaneously (:



The whole idea that devices as disparate as servers, workstations, laptops, tablets and phones can be run from a single OS is simply nonsense. It is, of course, important that these OSes communicate well with each other but each type of device must have an OS that optimizes it. A general OS would not be optimized for anything and it would be a disaster, as Windows 8 already is. For example, in Win8 which has been architectured for tablets, finding the switch off button is not intuitive or easy. While most people switch off desktops and laptops, tablets and phones are not switched off. So, one has an OS mostly adapted to tablets but it is also offered in the desktop. This is patently ridiculous and not workable.

The whole idea that a touch-base interface can be transformed into a rich computing experience is bizarre, but I give the author kudos for understanding that running Excel for serious work in a touch enabled device would require a 75-inch screen to simply show the information that a non-touch based software will show in a 20-inch monitor. This is a totally laughable. One does not need to have a touch-based interface in desktops and laptops, unless one needs substantial exercise in the upper torso area.

Touch-based UIs and full-screen OSs are appropriate in small screens in devices operated by finges mostly (telephones, tablets). Extending this to desktop and laptops results in the totally bizarre situation in which an OS called "Windows" does not do any windows at all.

I hope that bloggers and hackers start doing some real work with computers before posting nonsense or writing articles that simply portray tremendous ignorance of the world of computing beyond simply emailing.



With different architectures across so many platforms, the "one OS, period" thing is waaaay easier said than done. Just look at Windows 8 and ARM, the limitations are pretty crippling beyond basic tablet functions.



Do not follow the route of the bird (old Zen saying)


Ghost XFX

Maybe it's just me, but I don't like Cloud at all. Why should I trust my vast amount of info to be stored away some place unknown, when I can have an external HD near by to keep it for me? How do I know the government isn't raffling through my data to find out more about me for their own purposes? Worse yet, can I trust that info to be safe from Hackers? I'll trust myself before I trust somebody I've never met...



Encryption. It's your primary and only weapon against the "government" and "Hackers". you encrypt your data, store in in multiplicate in the cloud (amazon S3 gives good rates), then it doesn't matter WHO sees it, if the encryption hasn't been broken, and you're not stupid enough to share your private keys with anyone, you're safe.



"Encryption" in my eyes is another face to the dangers of cloud computing. Who created the encryption? The user certainly did not do it. It's another "trust this because we SAY it is safe" total assumption that it will really be unbreakable. If someone can create a lock, someone else (or even that SAME someone) can open it. I've seen many references to encryption as being "government level". Well, how do we lowly users know that whoever created that encryption for use by the government didn't also give them a universal app to undo the encryption when they see fit? I don't see cloud storage as ever being truly secure, regardless of encryption. And there is always the possibility the cloud server may simply LOSE your files, causing massive headaches to those who work countless hours to create them. Nope, cloud computing is still a very bad idea.



First, I would suggest researching what encryption is, and how it works before you go off the deep end in speculation that makes little sense (encryption is not a key & lock, it's a key & cipher; the mechanisms which control the security of both are very different).

Second, if you are going to play the trust card with regards to the vendor. I'd like to point out that there is an equal, if not greater level of trust, already put into said vendors by you when you buy their firewall, anti-malware, or even OS software.
It's silly.
You already trust them with the access to your desktop and through that your data, but now that they are guarding only your data, you get worried?

Lastly, the odds of you losing your files on your own physical hard-drive are a great deal higher than the odds of a catastrophic failure happening that manages to destroy your data and all the backups of it while under the care of some dedicated personnel. But under such circumstances, the contract you sign when getting a cloud storage service which explain how they will compensate you for damages (essentially, not only is your data more likely to be more secure, it's also insured to some extent).

Cloud computing is not "a very bad idea". Please do not spread misinformation on a subject you seem to know very little about. You only cause more harm than good.



well-stated not-so-terribletoaster

couldn't have said it better or nicer myself!! you read my mind (:



Us Metro UI haters don't hate just because it's change. The UI just feels slapped on top and isn't fluid. It's two OS's slapped together that don't play nice with each other.

Certain tasks actually take more clicks to accomplish the same task in 7. I personally don't want to have to learn short keys.

If you some how think this is implemented very well then you are off the rocker. Sure they will get it right with 9 and the public will love it.

Again it's not just change there are some real problems with the OS.

Also don't like the way it feels like Microsoft is peddling it's services at me. I'm sure the average Joe won't mind but a power user will not like this



A few years ago MS was trying make their phone's OS look and feel more like Desktop cousin, now the Desktop version is trying to become a phone...

Idiocracy at it's finest.



I got halfway through the article before I realized you were talking about win9, and not win8.




mister David Murphy have you read ANY of Micrososft's beta documentation or the building 8 blogs? I thought MaximumPC was one of the few truly journalistic organizations left :(

for example from above you state; "A “buy once, run anywhere” concept could allow a user to authenticate into Windows 9 on any hardware device, and then just as easily download and run apps he or she has previously purchased via the good ol’ Microsoft Store. Given just how app-centric Windows 8’s Metro UI has become, it only makes sense to let users download (or stream) a “Microsoft Office” app, or a partner’s “Adobe Photoshop” app, for example. The world is going digital distribution: Microsoft should, and will, embrace its conveniences for end users."

yet you fail to mention that not only is EACH paid purchase available on any Windows 8 device on which you've used your [future] Microsoft Account to logon (...or simply linked your [former] Windows Live Id "the Windows 7 way" to a local user account without having atually used it as a login) up to a total of FIVE [5] devices and the settings and data for any app can be replicated with the rest of your user profile to the current maximum of 10 devices allowed by Windows Live

...and that patent I can see being used by Windows PE/RE/Update/offline defender/Setup (MinWin) to receive boot-critical drivers and patches or PKI validations for secure boot and kernel hashes and the likes a lot sooner and more practical and more closely fitting with Msft's stated goals (you are trying to cover the facts and give the benefit of the doubt in the absence of evidence instead of using unsubstantiated glittering generalities right?)

"And maybe the company could even let consumers use their Kinect 2 motion-trackers to shift between screens or send their files flying around different devices."
Windows 8's (...and Windows 7 SP2) 'pointer' abstraction alongside "kinect for pc sdk" already make this possible now.

also how is Windows 8 a "hybrid OS"..? the whole [newbie] definition of an operating SYSTEM is basecode [software] that 'manages' resources and 'runs' the hardware which allows running 'higher' code [apps] developed with common tools that abstract details of the hardware itself minimizing the rewriting\expense\complexity\research\testing\servicing\flaws\footprint etc. of said code
myself and many more IT guys or tech. fans including some with MaxPC (including you I believe) have long wished Msft to ditch backward compat. in favor of a more secure and stable and scalable OS
Vista was a testbed for systemic MIC [Mandatory Integrity Control] (as oppossed to SELinux MAC [Mandatory Access Control]) (...and a testbed for KVM *cough* I mean Hyper-V in Server 2008) then we got a completely new kernel with Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 (the first they've written without dealing with historical mistakes from IBM; think DOS and OS/2 *cough* I mean NT) now with Windows 8 we're getting a new runtime platform [WinRT] that combines all of the relevant coding languages not owned by Oracle "under one roof" while simultaneously we're getting what for all intents and purposes is completely rewritten ActiveDirectory in Server 8 not to mention only following a single architecture finally

isn't this exactly for what we asked? furthermore if you really wanted to predict Windows 9 in good faith shouldn't you have started by examining the history, trends and publicly available documentation and stated strategy(ies) by Gates\Ballmer et al. on previous recent-history OS'? also differentiating between the different product segments may help (3+ WindowsOnArm branches [Tegra,SnapDragon&&OMAP], Client, Phone, Server and embedded)

you may as well have stated Microsoft was going to drop Windows in favor of SUSE now that Novell is officially dead; that would have been a lot more plausible since Microsoft and VMware collectively account for greater than 80-90% of enterprise SUSE support licensures sold and last I checked they were the 4th or 3rd ifnot #2 linux distor in terms of marketshare (business accounts not total distro downloads)

also why in an earlier article were you reviewing FREE BETA PREVIEW apps as if there was something wrong with them not including some functionality when we know for a fact we're going to get updates for both the OS and initial apss with more apps to come and an RC on the horizon? Windows 8 could be hitting RTM milestone as early as the last week of May (which would fit with the traditional target RTM date of Server SKUs and their plans for an "accellerated but phased simultaneous launch")

why did you blame Msft in a previous article for not being able to watch youtube videos via HTML5-only 'metro' IE10 when 't's Google's fault for blocking all browsers other than their own from using the html5 version of youtube unless you install their WebM codec? (which doesn't work universally both in terms of specific browsers, videos and hardware) browser plugins\extensions are the #1 security threat and the most common ones are the biggest resource hogs too! again, we asked for this
how is it wrong for them to integrate services that have partnered with them or use the OData protocol and leave it up to their competitors' or incompatible services to develope thir own apps for 8? I mean I don't like having these cloud, social aspects thrust upon me but end users will probably love it (RockMelt or iOS anyone..?)

it makes me wonder if you didn't like complete and integrated (...and free) anti-malware protection via Windows 8 Defender or the mostly-dumb-user-proofed websetup or having an enterprise-class hypervisor integrated without getting gimped or having unified UI across all segments vertically (Ribbon) AND horizontally (metro, even though metro isN'T a GUI by definition just a basis for a UX) or power-user/IT guy/OEM-customizable Refresh\Reset/WinRE or lack of need for UAC in Metro (though I like and actually understand the feature\protection though many don't) or finally eliminating publisher and developers' alike last excuse to not make good PC games AKA a unified service for distribution and multiplayer [XBox Live] or PowerShell 3 scriptability for each and every corner of the whole OS or...

...and how is using the Default Programs\File Associations that have been manageable since Windows 95 or using 'netplwiz' which debuted in select patch-levels for NT5-based OS' and exists out-of-box in every edition of Vista\2008 and higher considered tips for Win8?

P.S; I apologize if this text-only reply devoid of my demeanor and bodily language comes off as rude or disrespectful as it is intended as neither (though some of the sarcasm is probably accurrate) please consider this as a critique by a fan and a set of questions to be addressed either directly or in a future article or magazine and a self-check guide for future usually-excellent journalism with technology

just be fair and let readers/users decide for theirselves as real journalists do and give the BETA PREVIEW of Windows 8 a chance like an objective technician would please

- a loyal subscriber and multiplatform IT guy



Your arguments are not entirely correct.  I'd love to reply, but I really can't parse out a lot of what you're trying to say in this giant wall of text.

In short:

  • The intent of my comment about the Microsoft Store was to say that it would be great to have a Steam-like apparatus for major applications within Windows 8.  E.g. I could buy the full "Microsoft Office" suite to download, or Adobe PhotoShop, or what-have-you -- not just the desktop equivalent of smartphone apps.
  • The "hybrid OS" comment is in relation to running both a full-fledged Windows environment (Classic Desktop) and this slimmed-down, selecting-files-is-a-pain-in-the-butt tablet environment (Metro)
  • My intent is not to discuss enterprise adoption of Windows 8.  That's not really Maximum PC's focus, nor do I think its readers care as much about what goes on their work computers as they do their home desktops.
  • I wasn't reviewing free beta apps.  I was profiling 8 apps you can get from the store right now, with a few key caveats as to missing features or things we'd like to see upon full release.  Hold your horses!
  • Default programs/file associations is a tip for Windows 8.  It's also a tip for Windows 7.  However, I felt it worth mentioning because I think some readers would like to have one app run all their video files, for example, instead of having some go to WMP and some to the Videos app.  We're kind of splitting hairs now with the criticism.




- much clearer! although not what you originally said (: I kid.

- my point was Windows 8 is no 'hybrid' OS... it's a single complete OS; an OS could have no GUI or one-dozen different integrated GUIs but it'll still be an OS...no hybrid attached for lack of better words. if you read their engineering blogs and stepped bakc and thought about it for a minute instead of jumping on the bandwagon of criticism ... both technologically and functionally speaking the "classic desktop" is actually a metro app itself no different from the settings app or the windows store for example ...it just happened to be a portal out of the sandbox into more-privileged operating space, much like what they're doing for FireFox. clunky..? yes. beta..? yes. I do apologize for my difficult-to-parse wall of text but specific points aside your reply on this point was what I was trying to make most of my other points about, please objectively research more the reasons for changes before repeating what half of the other tech. sites in the wild are repeating. that's unlike MaxPC! yal give us custom builds and highly-technically whitepapers with simplified explanations annotated on new specifications on the horizon, please do the same for Win8 for better or for worse!

- I didn't make a single comment about enterprise adoption? only used Suse as an example..?

- all of the apss available via the Windows Store ARE beta Apps as the store itself and the WinRT APIs are in beta; all of the apps currently available in the store are from either Msft Gold Certifiedpartner developers or participated in that contest they held shortly after releasing the Dev. Preview, so with respect, yes, you were indeed reviewing free beta apps (even paid apps' betas are available for free; RC will include payment infrastructure according to Windows Store blog)

- point humbly taken!






How can you put everything in the cloud, with current data speeds and caps? What if you're offline? Yes, I store little random files in dropbox that I might want on my secondary PC (a netbook), but I keep my main ones on my PCs, not in the cloud. (heck, dropbox is still on the local PC too)

Also, there's one HUGE thing you're forgetting - metro is unintuitive and stupid unless you have a tablet. Only one app at once or two in fixed positions (or three)? WTF? Isn't this called "WINDOWS"? I'd like them to come up with a tablet/phone OS that's separate from win7, perhaps with metro, and a slightly better UI. Or just stay out of it altogether. Meanwhile, leave my desktops and laptops alone! Windows 7 just looks better and better the more I see Windows 8 and it's shitty metro UI. Win8 is a downgrade AT BEST. It'll hurt productivity, not be well accepted by the public, and Microsoft will probably be forced to change their minds on it. I won't be at all surprised if Windows 7 downgrades are offered, just like XP downgrades when Vista was the new thing.



Not to mention everyone and their dog is getting DDosed these days. It's a scary thought to entrust the majority of my data/life to "the cloud". Talk about hangin'em out there.



"How can you put everything in the cloud, with current data speeds and caps? What if you're offline?"

My thoughts exactly.  I presume future Windows versions will come in a slimmed-down version (tiny local install for booting + giant cloud access) and a normal version (large local install + cloud access just for files, SkyDrive-style).

Your comment about data speeds and caps holds, however.  Another example of the need for hardware and software to grow tangentially.



An enterprise Windows will always exist as will a workstation Windows. Where it might bifurcate is in the selection of portable appliances such as tablets, superphones (a.k.a. pocket computer appliance) and similar more tightly woven ecosystems. I can definitely see them integrate more media into the OS such as movies, online streaming and music distributions sites. Let's face it, the majority of computer users aren't that savvy. Shrinking hardware and advancement in photonics will surely play a role in the molding of future Windows OS.
Overall, I'd say it will take the mobile, workstation, server and media entertainment routes.
Oh, and Megan Fox plus giant robots all the way!!



you forget about VDI!!

I agree though; there are many tasks that ONLY Windows and ONLY a high-end workstation can do (:

I'll take Megan Fox in that skirt working on her car with the nice geeky guy any day!



Windows, go ahead, make the cloud integral to the operating system. you will lose a place on my pc. Frankly, there are three programs that keep me tied to Windows now and only because I prefer them. Make it so Windows is tied to the cloud inextricably and I will use back up programs to the three I like and switch completely to Linux. If Windows continues down the path they are going, Windows 7 will be the last Windows operating system I use. Metro sucks. Cloud sucks (why would I pay a subscription fee to store data that I can store on a hard drive that I paid one time for?). Oh, and the app integration sucks. Its called Windows for a reason. Because I can have multiple windows open on a screen and size them as I see fit. Please Microsoft, make Windows and its desktop revolutionary again, don't abandon the desktop.

The only thing I truly like from Windows 8 is the hot corners. But, not for what they are currently used for. Make those corner for groups of apps. Say, three for different app grouping (that I define) and one for system utilities (control panel and such). You could even have a hot area on the side or bottom that would show and select running apps (again let me define where this is).

Just my two cents, but Metro is not the answer to the start menu!



There is another possibility, that Win 8 bombs so bad on the desktop that they take Metro out for the desktop. I know, I'm dreaming here, but hey why not.



Paul Thurrott on his site says that the Windows development team has already decided this issue. The Metro screen IS the operating system, the desktop is just one more application. A quote from Paul:

The desktop is not the OS. It's an app. Lost amid all the whining about not being able to boot into the desktop and not having the old Start button there either is a simple fact: The desktop is not the OS. In fact, while this isn't technically true, conceptually, the desktop is just an app. The Windows 8 OS is comprised of Windows Runtime (WinRT), the Start screen shell and its Metro-style environment.



Metro to me might as well be called Dos+ because that is what it is essentially, one programme at a time. Yes, I realize that you can have up to three pinned, hence the +, but that is not productive to me. I regularly have more than three windows open at a time and Metro just doesn't fit.



What's wrong with windows 8?

I think unification would be more like letting metro apps run in a window, and also letting desktop apps run in swipy switchy mode. That way, desktop users can run "fake"(metro) apps in the desktop, while tablet users can run "real" apps with touch-friendly "multitasking."

In the end, desktop users will never let go of their windows. 1 app at a time was the norm in the DOS age, and I don't plan on going back.


Ghost XFX

Absolute customization. It's that simple. At some point, you need to cater to the users needs. The way I use my rig, isn't necessarily the same as some techie, who's been watching this industry for 20+ years and know everything there is to know about PCs...



Windows 9 will have a powered by mac osx emblem. Since microsoft want's windows to look like a mac why not just sell it to apple.




Nuff said.



Explain to me how it looks like a mac? As much as I can see it doesn't look like it at all.

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