Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Oct 2010 22:23 UTC
Windows "Windows 7 might be a massive commercial success and an undeniably rock solid piece of software, but Microsoft is apparently unwilling to rest on those soft and cozy laurels. Asked about the riskiest product bet the Redmond crew is currently developing, its fearless leader Steve Ballmer took no time in answering 'the next release of Windows'." Also of note in this same video interview thing: Ballmer states that Silverlight is now pretty much strictly a client, non-cross platform thing, while explicitly stating that when it comes to doing something universal, "the world's gone HTML5".
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sun 24th Oct 2010 00:46 UTC
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It's great to see Steve in a more casual setting joking around with people - god knows people have turned business into an institution where fun is the forbidden word.

As for the future, Windows 8 will be a big gamble from the point of view that it will include new features but many of those features will be reliant on the cloud. It will be a challenge therefore for Microsoft to sell Windows 8 if selling the idea of cloud computing doesn't catch on. With that being said I do think it is an over statement to claim that it is a really big gamble given the worse case scenario is they'll still have a very good OS even without linking into the cloud.

As for Silverlight, I think the dice was already rolled a while ago when they allowed access to native code a while back. My guess is that Silverlight is being setup as the replacement to Visual Basic and other languages used for quick 'n dirty applications - the attempt to create a 'Flash competitor' has given way to supporting HTML5. Silverlight has a place and for everything else there is HTML5.

What has frustrated me most about HTML5 is the length of time it is taking to get things moving along - we have to wait till 2020 before it is finalised? why not do a piecemeal standardisation rather than trying to do it all at once in a single monolithic standard? Given the work Microsoft is doing with hardware acceleration, Apple is working on bringing QuartzGL to Webkit, Google adding it to Chrome, and Firefox with OpenGL accelerated layers (Direct2D/DirectWrite on Windows) the claim of superiority that Flash once had will wane pretty quickly.

It is good to see a re-invigorated Microsoft because competition ultimately results in a better experience for all users. I have to admit given the lackluster Lion presentation that showed off pointless gimicky crap, Windows is becoming a more viable alternative each day. Within a single presentation Steve Jobs has done a fine job convincing at least one person (me) that Mac OS X doesn't have a future in his grand plans. In the case of Windows, at least Microsoft can chew chewing gun and walk at the same time - launch a top notch mobile operating system whilst taking care of its core customer base.

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