Bill Gates: Windows Vista is not the end of the line

Another major version of Windows within 2 to 4 years

Monday, January 08, 2007 by Frogboy | Discussion: CES 2007

Never let it be said that Bill Gates doesn't know his stuff.  Today at CES I had the opportunity to speak to him on a variety of issues.  His technical knowledge impressed the onlookers as he expertly detailed the transition from 32-bit computing to 64-bit computing and made the distinction between the bit-ness of the computing and the number of bits in addressing.

As some may recall, last year I talked about how users were quickly coming up against the 4 gigabyte limit in Windows XP (really 2 gigabytes as a practical matter).  This has to do with the 32-bit address space in today's 32-bit CPUs. Bill Gates said that is why 64-bit Windows is going to be so important going forward -- 64-bit addressing lets users access a lot more memory "and it'll be awhile before we hit that limit" said Mr. Gates.

Three points Mr. Gates brought up that I found of particular interest were:

  1. He "guarantees"  that there will be a major new release of Windows in the next 2 to 4 years. This runs contrary to some of the analysts who have said that Windows Vista will be the last major release of Windows. 
     
  2. Windows Vista has helped bring hardware and software together.  Microsoft has made a great effort to work with hardware vendors to make sure Windows Vista and new hardware devices work seamlessly together.  Historically, Microsoft had been at a disadvantage compared to Apple because Microsoft only controls half the platform.  But with Windows Vista, it has teamed up with hardware vendors to create a more seamless experience.
     
  3. Microsoft made sure to get ahead of the memory limit curve this time. 32-bit Pentiums were 32-bit in addressing as well. It started the work during the XP time frame and even now, servers are moving to 64-bit platforms (WinCustomize.com runs 64-bit MS SQL Server on an AMD64 box).  The challenge of 64-bit computing right now is getting the driver support. And "Windows Vista is our way of pushing the hardware vendors to strengthen 64-bit support now rather than later."

One other interesting note, besides Mr. Gates being clearly familiar with the in-depth technical aspects of Windows Vista, his switch-over to foundation work in 2008 won't be the end of his involvement at Microsoft.  Mr. Gates explained that after 2008, he will be as involved in Microsoft post-2008 as he is involved with the Foundation today.

Dr Guy
Reply #1 Monday, January 08, 2007 7:25 PM

I am glad Bill Gates agrees with me!

I have already stated elsewhere that what will drive 64bit computing is not the apps, but the memory!

Damn!  Am I becoming Bill Gates?

And for Microsoft (whoever said Vista would be the last is a fool!), they have to innovate, copy or just get out a new version!  Companies do not exist to stay in place.  They have to offer more and more (whether we need it or not is another issue).

Thanks for keeping us plebians up on this!  And for telling me that I finally had the same thought as Bill gates.  Even if it was only one.

bakerstreet
Reply #2 Monday, January 08, 2007 8:31 PM
I had already decided to wait for "Fiji" or whatever they're calling it. I dunno what kind of business decision it is, really, to announce another release so soon. Probably not a big deal, honestly, since most people get their OS when they buy a new PC, instead of buying the box like I do.

It does make me much less apt to go out now and upgrade from XP. Any idea if we'll get a new file system then, or if we'll have to wait for the next full OS revamp, Vienna or whatever?


Bash2cool
Reply #3 Monday, January 08, 2007 9:08 PM
I had already decided to wait for "Fiji" or whatever they're calling it. I dunno what kind of business decision it is, really, to announce another release so soon. Probably not a big deal, honestly, since most people get their OS when they buy a new PC, instead of buying the box like I do.


wasn't it called Blackcomb?

And for Microsoft (whoever said Vista would be the last is a fool!), they have to innovate, copy or just get out a new version! Companies do not exist to stay in place. They have to offer more and more (whether we need it or not is another issue).


i thought that there will never stop be a major release. Wasn't every single windows a major release? (probably except windows ME). I thought that Microsoft will make new versions of windows no matter how long they take making them.


He "guarantees" that there will be a major new release of Windows in the next 2 to 4 years.


2 - 4 years!!!!!!!!!!!!! tell me if i'm wrong but if a new windows is coming out in 2 years............then shouldn't we wait for the next one? Because i personaly like it when a new windows doesn't come out until years many later. It was very bad for me (mostly my dad) when he bought a Windows me computer in the beginnning of 2001 and then later relealized that Windows xp would come out in October of that year. then in 2002 we bought windows XP and it is still with me until now (i am currently using the computer as i am writing this). Now that many years have past by since i had this computer......now i can by a new PC with a new operating system.
Dr Guy
Reply #4 Monday, January 08, 2007 9:33 PM
(probably except windows ME).


Well, 2 steps back and then 2 stps back!
thatoneguyinslc
Reply #5 Monday, January 08, 2007 10:52 PM
Hey Brad...I'm working the Control4 partner pavillion over in the South Hall. I'm doing the Denon demos this year. I'll be in town until tomorrow afternoon. If you get a chance, stop by!
George Rogers Jr
Reply #6 Monday, January 08, 2007 10:54 PM
Dr. Guy,

Well, 2 steps back and then 2 stps back!


Gideon MacLeish
Reply #7 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 3:28 AM
Hey Brad...I'm working the Control4 partner pavillion over in the South Hall. I'm doing the Denon demos this year. I'll be in town until tomorrow afternoon. If you get a chance, stop by!


You luck devil, you!
starkers
Reply #8 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:01 AM
# He "guarantees" that there will be a major new release of Windows in the next 2 to 4 years. This runs contrary to some of the analysts who have said that Windows Vista will be the last major release of Windows.


I recall reading an article in which a top MS exec (I think Steve Ballmer) had stated categorically that Vista will not the last PC based OS...that development had already begun on the next Windows edition....

It would seem rather silly for MS to simply abandon PC based OSes when there have been so many advances in hardware/software development, particularly with the advent of Vista's new GUI and security technologies, and I can not see MS resting on its laurels there. Microsoft, of course, will pursue its 'Live' technologies to compete against Google & etc for a market share in web based apps, but will still continue to develop PC based OSes/apps for users who'd much prefer to have everything at their fingertips but still on-board.
bakerstreet
Reply #9 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:31 AM
I don't think that connectivity is nearly close to the point that we can really talk about the end of PC based OS. When you see the average connection sitting at 6 megs or so in most of the developed world, and a wire run to 99% of homes, then maybe you'll see the last one.

If you look in, Brad, I'd like to know if he said anything about the new file system coming in the next release. Supposedly it was mothballed, but I can't imagine they'll go very many more without a significant change.
Dr Guy
Reply #10 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 10:13 AM
If you look in, Brad, I'd like to know if he said anything about the new file system coming in the next release. Supposedly it was mothballed, but I can't imagine they'll go very many more without a significant change.


The 2gb limit IS becoming an issue.
caseagainstfaith
Reply #11 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 2:08 PM
In regards to Gartner's prediction that Vista would be the last "major version of Windows", what they predict is that MS will move towards a modular OS model instead of a monolithic OS model, and that therefore what would come next wouldn't be "Windows" per se. But I found the prediction not very likely myself. Windows is one of MS's major cash-cows. I can't see them making a fundamental change like that until the market demands it.
caseagainstfaith
Reply #12 Tuesday, January 09, 2007 2:13 PM
As far as the new file system, WinFS, last I heard, it was not "mothballed", just delayed yet again. That was supposed to be a part of "Cairo" which was originally supposed to be NT 5. Then they said that various parts of "Cairo" would be rolled out in later Windows releases--with WinFS being one ballyhooed piece that keeps getting postponed. But, at least last I heard, it was expected to be released in a service pack to Vista, and maybe even in a WinXP service pack, in 2007 or 2008. But I suspect it will be delayed yet again, until "Blackcomb" or ...
XX
Reply #13 Thursday, January 11, 2007 12:36 AM
"ME"? It was 2 steps back and half a step foward. That's why it always crashes.

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