According to PCWorld
, Microsoft has been talking about the next versions of Windows at the RSA conference.
Ben Fathi is a senior VP at Microsoft, and he has let on that the next major release of Windows, codenamed Vienna, should ship to consumers in 2009 - a swift move on from Vista, which took more than 5 years to get out the door.
Fathi said that there were "Significant improvements that we wanted to make in Vista that we couldn't deliver in one release," which has led to the aggressive scheduling of the new version.
Full-blown virtualisation could be on the cards, enabling ultra-secure operation and possibly making viruses a thing of the past. Running Windows itself within an virtualised environment could prevent low-level access to key hardware and software, making it harder for malicious software to embed itself in the OS.
Fathi also noted that "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is. Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers." So, as well as hypervisor-style virtualisation, perhaps we'll see a new spin on the interface that has dominated the world since 1995. There is also speculation that WinFS could finally debut in Vienna.
Fiji is the codename for Vista SP1, and we are still expecting to see that before the year is out.
What do you expect from the next version of Windows? Let us know over in the forums.