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Looking Beyond Vista To Fiji and Vienna 600

Vinit wrote in with an article that describes Microsoft's strategy for future versions of Windows. It begins: "As we all know that Microsoft Vista was originally scheduled to be released in 2003, after two years of Windows XP, but it got delayed by over five years due to various reasons. Definitely, Vista is very very improved OS over the previous versions, but the delayed in the launch has cost Microsoft, billions of dollars. Now the question at the moment is, what exactly after Vista? Microsoft can't afford to wait another five years for an operating system. People are becoming more aware of the choices they have, and Linux is no longer a hobbyist OS, and that day isn't far away when it becomes simple enough to be a viable alternative to Windows. The competition is fierce. That is why, to stay at the top, Microsoft has planned a 'Vista R2', codenamed 'Fiji' which will be released some time in 2008. And after Fiji, there will be Windows 'Vienna'. Windows Fiji, will not be a totally different OS from Vista; but it will be an add-on. Whereas Vienna will be totally different from Vista."

GoogleOS Scenarios 224

ReadWriteWeb writes "Read/WriteWeb offers 3 scenarios for a GoogleOS and suggests it could be less than 6 months away. They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS. They predict that once Microsoft's Vista rolls out, it will present a direct threat to Google's Web properties and so therefore Google will start a more punchy strategy — pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS in order to nullify Vista's potential impact."

Microsoft Hoping for Vista in January 424

WebHostingGuy writes "Bill Gates said Tuesday there was an 80 percent chance the company's next-generation operating system, Vista, would be ready in January. He is also hopeful that the next version of Office will ship in December. The holdup, he says, is due to constant revisions due to beta tester feedback." From the article: "'We've got to get this absolutely right,' Gates said. 'If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it.' He said Microsoft was investing $8 billion to $9 billion in developing Vista and the company's next version of Office, its key cash-generator. He said the company's software partners, in developing and adapting their own products for the two launches, would invest 20 times as much as Microsoft."

WinFS' Demise Not a Bang Or a Whimper 264

Shadowruni writes "The Seattle-PI confirms with Mircosoft what MS bloggers and pundits have been saying all along. WinFS simply isn't going to happen. Some of its features have been 'merged' with other projects." From the article: "WinFS was dropped from Vista in what company executives described at the time as a trade-off to get the operating system completed in a timely manner. The release of Vista has since been delayed again and is now scheduled for November for large customers and January 2007 for the general public, though some observers say it may be out even later." Final confirmation of a story from last month.

Is Simplified Spelling Worth Reform? 1183

digitalhermit writes "I guess many folks are of very little brain, and big words bother them... There's a push for simpler spelling. Instead of 'weigh' it would be 'way.' 'Dictionary' would be 'dikshunery' and so forth. Dunno if it's a joke, but it seems in earnest. Mark Twain must be spinning around somewhere." Twain is often credited with the satirical call for spelling reform called "A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling," though according to Wikipedia, Twain was "actually a supporter of reform," and the piece may have been written by M.J. Shields. Benjamin Franklin was another champion of spelling reform, and even came up with a phonetic alphabet to implement such reform.

Nanotube Lube Replenishment for Massive Drives 144

PetManimal writes "Techworld reports that Seagate has just patented something called 'Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording,' which features nanotechnology and could lead to a 1.46TB 2.5-in. drive. The article says 'Storing data properly in extremely small areas requires the magnetic material to be heated during the writing phase, but this causes the lubricant film deposited on top of the magnetized recording layer to evaporate. Seagate's patent resolves this problem by having a reservoir inside the disk casing that contains nanotube-based lubricant. Some of this is periodically pumped out as a vapor and deposited on the surface of the disk, replenishing the evaporated lubricant.'"

Microsoft Ponders Windows Successor 320

InfoWorldMike writes "Before Vista is even out of the gates, a Microsoft exec was talking Wednesday about Windows' replacement at a VC conference. Speaking at The Venture Forum conference, Microsoft's Bryan Barnett, a program manager for external research programs in the Microsoft Research group, said multicore architectures are of particular interest when weighing what to put in future operating systems at the company. "Taking full advantage of the processing power that those multicore architectures potentially make available requires operating systems and development tools that don't exist largely today," Barnett said. Well, with Vista in the pipeline as long as it has been, you must admit it is not surprising Microsoft is taking the long-term view. And it won't be built overnight: There is no timetable for a Windows successor right now. But early work on this effort has not yet been organized, with five or six small projects afoot in various places throughout the company, Barnett said."

12.8 Petabytes, You Say? 205

MadUndergrad writes "Dr. Jonathan Spanier from Drexel University has come up with a novel way to greatly increase data storage density: water. Specifically, they propose using hydroxyl ions to stabilize minute ferroelectric wires. These wires could be many times smaller than what is possible today, enabling data densities in the neighborhood of 12-13 PB per cubic centimeter. While there are still many problems to be resolved before drives using these can be manufactured this technology does seem promising. For one thing, it would be non-volatile, but could apparently be made to act as RAM. The fact that this is coming out of a university gives me hope that this technology won't turn out to be just so much vapor."

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