Windows 8 prospects

Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is now in widespread use and more than a year old. Microsoft has already started work on its successor – Windows 8.

The new Windows 8 operating system is expected to be released in late 2012 according to recent reports. One report in particular, from the Dutch arm of Microsoft, suggests that October 2012 could be the target date for a Windows 8 launch.

Although that is still a good couple of years off, the Microsoft developers are already working hard on the new operating system and slowly hints of what users can expect are emerging. Among those are:

– Clustering: One of the focus areas for Windows 8 could well be on cluster support for building high-end server systems using multiple PCs.

– Replication: Microsoft has already talked about this a fair amount and Windows 8 can be expected to include a number of tools to replicate data across enterprise networks which will be able to synchronise large folders.

– Better remote and branch features: This is currently known as BranchCache and is likely to make it easier for remote offices to cache data locally for its users when pulling it from core servers.

– 128-bit support: This could well be a key feature of Windows 8. There are multiple references across the Windows 8 leak sites suggesting that a 128-bit OS is on the cards.

– Voice interaction: Voice-activated and text-to-voice is a logical progression for Windows 8. With portable devices such as tablet PCs and netbooks in strong demand, new input methods are on the agenda of all OS makers.

– Faster boot times: This is a long-running quest for all OS makers and with the release of Windows 8 users should, by all rights, be expecting to see almost instant-on bootups. At the least these will be well under the 10 second barrier.

– Better logins: One thing that can be expected in Windows 8 is an improved login process. This will in all likelihood include facial recognition if there is a webcam installed on the PC.

– Cloud storage: This is pretty much guaranteed. Already many OS makers are shifting document storage online and by 2012 storing data locally will be considered a legacy process.

No official details on Windows 8 have been made available yet so much of what is known of Windows 7’s successor is speculative.

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Windows 8 prospects