Bill Gates Talks Windows 10 Years from Now, but No Windows 7

Just three days before the one year anniversary of Windows vista, counting from the moment the operating system hit the shelves, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates was in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, attending the Government Leaders Forum Arabia 2008 "Accelerating Arab Competitiveness."

While Windows Vista was not on the menu, the future of the Windows platform was. Gates had to address a question about his perspective over the future of the Windows operating system in the context of the increased focus placed on Software as a Service. Despite the fact that more and more software is migrating online and is being offered as a service to end users, Gates still sees Windows firmly where it is today in 10 years.

"Well, in terms of Windows you'll have software running in the devices, and software running in your servers that you have, and then software running in servers other people have, and let's call those services. Microsoft will be one of the many people offering services, like we do with Hotmail or Virtual Earth today. There will always be a balance. In the device itself the new things like speech recognition, visual recognition, that's stuff that you need great responsiveness, and needs to work even when you leave the connection, when you're on a plane flight or somewhere where the Internet is unavailable or too expensive, that's in the device," Gates stated.

But one subject that Gates failed to mention was of course Windows 7. Microsoft is not saying anything much about the next iteration of the Windows platform. It is in fact almost completely ignoring the leaked details, screenshots and videos that have accompanied the release of Windows 7 Milestone 1. The Redmond company is reportedly cooking Windows 7 M2 for April/May 2008 and M3 for the third quarter. In this context, Windows 7 Beta could very well ship at the beginning of 2009. Gates' failure to mention Windows 7 in the context of Software as Service carries some relevance due to the fact that Windows 7, more than Windows Vista, will be a key component behind the company's foray into Software plus Services, via the bundling with Windows Live.

"Now, a lot of your storage will be copied up to a server or a service so that even if you switch devices, it's all still there. So, this storage will just be a cached storage, but running software there is the way it's very fast for you. The chips to do that are very inexpensive. So, there will be more in the Internet than before. So, instead of being half on the PC and half in the server, it will be a third in the Internet, a third in the servers, a third in the PCs. Actually if anything might get below there, it's that server level, because these Internet servers are growing very fast," Gates added.


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