During his last public speech for Microsoft as Chairman of the company, at TechEd 2008, Bill Gates made some interesting announcements regarding Internet Explorer 8 and Silverlight 2.0. In the meantime, Windows XP made the headline news at CompuTex.Let’s start off with Windows XP. The 7 year old operating system is getting its lifespan extended by two years not only for budget laptops, but also for ULPCs. According to the company, people demand the familiarity of Windows XP on these devices, but cut all the marketing speak out of there, and you realise that Microsoft simply has no choice: Vista doesn’t run on those types of devices – Linux does. Microsoft has to counter Linux not with its flagship operating system, but with the operating system it launched 7 years ago. And that’s too painful a fact to admit without covering it up in marketing speak.
Moving to TechEd, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced that the second beta release of Silverlight 2.0, Microsoft’s Flash competitor, will go live by the end of the week. Microsoft will serve 3000 hours of Olympic content using Silverlight 2.0 beta 2, to prove it is ready for production work.
To top it off, it was announced that the beta release of Internet Explorer 8.0 will actually come sooner than originally planned. Instead of October 2008, it will now make its appearance somewhere in Augut, Gates said. “You’re going to see the beta of this coming out in August of this year – that’s Beta 2.” Jokingly, he added, about the name: “A very creative name that we’ve come up with.”