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Although Microsoft has now sold more than 150 million Windows 7 licenses, the company’s still mum about plans about its future operating system. However, a set of slides designed for Microsoft’s PC partners have been leaked to the internet and it looks like Microsoft is looking into taking some ideas from how Apple’s running its business. Please note that these are things that Microsoft is looking into adding and, by no means, are set in stone to appear in the future iteration of Windows. Key features? A Windows Store, a faster startup and improved power-saving features.

If you look at the slide at the top, you can’t help but be amused of how Microsoft’s looking into following Apple: “Apple brand is known for high quality, uncomplicated, ‘It just works’ ” and “This is something people will pay for!”

Another slide says “We care about all PCs. From low end to high end systems, there is a Windows offering for everyone.”

Well for me, these quotes, coming from Microsoft, seem to contradict themselves. You’ll never have a product that “just works” and that’s available “from low end to high end systems”. There are just too much variables, an impossible amount of testing to be done for the hardware configurations available throughout old and modern PCs. Apple does not care about all PCs. Hell, it doesn’t even care about its old products after releasing the latest, couple of features added, version. Plus, Apple also controls both the hardware and the software for their gadgets, therefore assuring the products “just work”.

Now back to the features. The Windows Store should be some sort of cross between the App Store and Steam, where only applications that meet a certain level of quality are present. It’s also described as a “revenue neutral” for Windows, meaning that Microsoft won’t take a cut out of every piece of software sold on it. Somehow, I don’t know why, I can’t see this making it into the final product in this form.

A faster startup doesn’t necessarily mean waiting less when you first turn on the PC. Microsoft’s looking at improving things with a combination of logging off and hibernating, making a full restart useless since it would take longer.

Other things worth mentioning are plans for bringing Windows 8 to more mobile devices and multi touch and Kinect (hitting the X-Box 360 this November) functionality. The slides also mention Internet Explorer 9 and a time frame for the browser’s beta set around August.

Things left out? No plans for a tablet operating system, putting the rumors of Microsoft taking on the iPad to rest. Also, not that I was expecting this but, still, no game related plans as Microsoft continues to push the X-Box 360 as it’s premier gaming platform. And, considering that the next version of Windows will be a major release ( like Windows XP and Vista and unlike Windows 7) there’s a general lack of new and/or exciting features that would push us into making the jump to this when it presumably hits in 2012.


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