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Microsoft leaks details of Windows 8 and Windows 9

Circuit board

By Barry Collins

Posted on 8 Oct 2009 at 08:30

Microsoft is planning to make Windows 8 an 128-bit operating system, according to details leaked from the software giant's Research department.

The discovery came to light after Microsoft Research employee, Robert Morgan, carelessly left details of his work on the social-networking site, LinkedIn.

Research & Development projects including 128-bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan

The senior researcher's profile said he was: "Working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects. Research & Development projects including 128-bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP and IBM."

Morgan's LinkedIn profile has now been pulled down, but a version remains in the Google search cache.

A move to 128-bit support would be a bold move for Microsoft. Many, including PC Pro's own Jon Honeyball, were urging Microsoft to make Windows 7 64-bit only, but the company continues to offer a 32-bit version of the forthcoming OS.

Microsoft has said very little publicly about Windows 8, although on a visit to the UK earlier this week, CEO Steve Ballmer denied rumours that Windows 7 would be the last major client OS the company produced. Ballmer admitted that planning was underway on Windows 8, although it's highly unlikely that the OS will arrive until 2012 at the earliest.

Morgan's talk of planning for Windows 9 supports Ballmer's claim that the company thinks there is plenty of life left in Windows yet.

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User comments

Sounds good

Well its good they are looking forward!
Unfortunately there are still no 128bit processors so I don't think it will make it into Windows 8, maybe 9 but definitely not 8.

By jamieostrich on 8 Oct 2009

Rumours

"Steve Ballmer denied rumours that Windows 7 would be the last major client OS the company produced". Why would anyone think that Microsoft would stop developing the most popular OS on the planet?

By Stiggy on 8 Oct 2009

Ubiquitous isn't the same as popular.

By ProfessorF on 8 Oct 2009

"there is plenty of live left in Windows"

That'll be Windows Live then?

By iwilson on 8 Oct 2009

Why?

"Microsoft is planning to make Windows 8 an 128-bit"

Why? I'm a pretty forward thinking chap but 64Bit should be good enough for a while yet. Even running Windows 10 I fail to see the need for 10Million TB of RAM (-;

By JStairmand on 8 Oct 2009

Typo corrected

Well spotted iwilson. Mistake now rectified.

Barry Collins
Online Editor

By Barry_Collins on 8 Oct 2009

128bit Technology - ish

Am I the only one who can imagine a '128bit ready motherboard' which *still* has an LBA-48bit disc controller?

Manufacturers pull this kind of dishonesty out of their backsides everytime the technology changes, and when magazines like PC Pro drop the ball and fail to point this out (and they usually do fail) then it's the consumers who end up paying the cost.

By ANTIcarr0t on 8 Oct 2009

Rumours

"Steve Ballmer denied rumours that Windows 7 would be the last major client OS the company produced". Why would anyone think that Microsoft would stop developing the most popular OS on the planet?

By Stiggy on 8 Oct 2009

Stiggy, ubiquitous isn't the same as popular.

By ProfessorF on 8 Oct 2009

Get 64 bit working first

I have been trying to use a full 64bit linux system for years but still not all software is written for 64bit so I end up reverting to 32bit on some programs. Can you imagine trying to get your system to work with 128, 64 and 32 bit programs!!! Only M$ could have such a great idea, especially when there is not even the hardware yet! Who owns your Data? Who ever controls access to it. That why I moved to linux, to get away from crazy M$ ideas.

By M_Hamer on 8 Oct 2009

@M_Hamer

I think that Microsoft has made x64 a good option now, I have been using x64 since the day Vista was released, and I am 100% satisfied with it, I would never go back to 32bit. I think that 128bit is not essential yet, but its good to see them working on it now to make sure that its ready when we do need to use 128bit!.

By SmilerOnline on 8 Oct 2009

128 bit ish

128 bit architecture comaptibility with windows 8 kernel does not mean windows 8 is 128bit.

By darkhairedlord on 8 Oct 2009

@ ProfessorF

So which is the most popular? OS X, perhaps?
If so, why is that on less than 10% of desktops?
And of those, it seems more than 8 out of 10 also own a Windows PC

By greemble on 8 Oct 2009

I'm running Win7 x64 at work & at home

BUT I think the next step for Windows is an ARM version, not a 128bit x86 CPU edition.

The problem is Windows is US product and ARM is British. Unless we can trick Microsoft into thinking ARM was a US idea, they just won't adopt it.

By cheysuli on 8 Oct 2009

Why not

Surly the software architecture follows the hardware capabilities. Therefore MS must be expecting 128bit cpu's to be on the market by the time Windows 8/9 are released.

By chapelgarth on 8 Oct 2009

Double, double, double precision maths?

I hate to be that guy but do we actually need 128 bit Windows? Is there a point where, come to think of it, the mathematical capabilities are as precise as you need them to be for Microsoft Word to help you write a letter?

By steviesteveo on 8 Oct 2009

This makes no sense at all...

Seriously, it doesn't, first of all, I'm not sure who is working on a 128-bit CPU right now, but it isn't any company interested in the desktop market. You see, the main reason you need a 64-bit CPU is to be able to address higher amounts of memory. The maximum amount of memory you can theoretically address on a 32-bit CPU is 4GB, and these days that just isn't enough. But on a 64-bit CPU, the limit is 17179869184GB. Current CPU's don't currently support that much in practice, but the architecture is capable of supporting is, as is any OS designed for the architecture. The 64-bit architecture is, for all intents and purposes, future-proof. There is no reason we would even potentially need more memory addressing capability for any known application in the forseeable future. Even if the "128-bit" CPU they reffering to is only 128-bits in terms of certain isolated capabilities, rather than memory addressing, it still makes no sense to call them 128-bit CPUs. In fact, modern processors are allready capable of dealing with more than 128-bits in a single instruction (SSE instructions for instance). If you ask me, this article is either based on a serious missunderstanding, or some serious BS. Did anyone fact check this?

By Xzyx987X on 8 Oct 2009

This makes no sense at all...

Seriously, it doesn't, first of all, I'm not sure who is working on a 128-bit CPU right now, but it isn't any company interested in the desktop market. You see, the main reason you need a 64-bit CPU is to be able to address higher amounts of memory. The maximum amount of memory you can theoretically address on a 32-bit CPU is 4GB, and these days that just isn't enough. But on a 64-bit CPU, the limit is 17179869184GB. Current CPU's don't currently support that much in practice, but the architecture is capable of supporting is, as is any OS designed for the architecture. The 64-bit architecture is, for all intents and purposes, future-proof. There is no reason we would even potentially need more memory addressing capability for any known application in the forseeable future. Even if the "128-bit" CPU they reffering to is only 128-bits in terms of certain isolated capabilities, rather than memory addressing, it still makes no sense to call them 128-bit CPUs. In fact, modern processors are allready capable of dealing with more than 128-bits in a single instruction (SSE instructions for instance). If you ask me, this article is either based on a serious missunderstanding, or some serious BS. Did anyone fact check this?

By Xzyx987X on 8 Oct 2009

Robert Morgan works for marketing

Check it out here: http://www.winfreddekreij.com/index.php?view=artic
le&id=92:re-microsoft-leaks-details-of-128-bit-win
dows-8

By killerdark on 8 Oct 2009

128-bit isn't just about addressable memory

Don't jump to conclusions folks. 128 bit support would likely be Windows 9, which would likely be 8-10 years from now at the rate MS churns out OS's. Also, addressable memory isn't the only reason for double the bits, it's my understand that its also the size of a single CPU instruction set getting doubled as well. That said, this really means nothing is iminent except that MS is preparing for a possible distant future where the thick client still has a place. It's not out of the realm of possibility as the client-server model has proven to be somewhat cyclical albeit in the context of a very different era.

By Parkerthon on 8 Oct 2009

I've just downloaded Beta version of Windows 8,

It still has Minesweeper!

By true_hacker on 9 Oct 2009

I've just downloaded Beta version of Windows 8,

It still has Minesweeper!

By true_hacker on 9 Oct 2009

Vaporware AND even more bloated software

How many know that 64-bit code is actually slower than 32-bit?

64-bit pointers take twice as much memory, and operands take twice as much time.

Proof? Just run the same program under the two flavors under Vista 64-bit and see by yourself.

Of course, one can cook an example that will benefit from 64-bit -but this will not be the case for the real-life applications you are using everyday.

64-bit systems were first dedicated to servers -for a reason: a larger memory space (for a dummy system that does not even allow applications to use more than 2 GB of RAM).

So, a 128-bit system would mean slower boot times, slower applications, and much more expensive hardware (and the obligation to upgrade all your software).

THIS is inline with Microsoft: how to extract more money from consumers.

Time to switch to Linux.

By BugHappy on 9 Oct 2009

@Parkerthon

Being able to address a 128-bit memory space _is_ what makes a processor 128-bit. If it can't do that it's a 128-bit processor in name only. Kind of like when Sega's marketers decided to call the Dreamcast's processor 128-bit, even when it only supported 32-bit memory, and could only simultaneously process 128 bits in very specific situations. The CPU was even marketed as a 32-bit CPU by the company that made it. And instruction size has nothing to do with it either. The CPU in the Dreamcast was a RISC processor that only used 16-bit instructions, but it was still a 32-bit CPU. This 128-bit Windows thing is at best a marketing gimmick, and at worst an outright fabrication. Maybe there will be 128-bit CPUs in the future, but certainly not withing the timespan of the Windows 8 or Windows 9 life-cycle.

By Xzyx987X on 9 Oct 2009

could the 128-bit be aiming at the server market?

and it be about time that the next OS will be only 64 bit

Mark

By mprltd on 9 Oct 2009

@greemble

My point was that just because Windows appears on ~90% or so of the worlds desktop machines, that doesn't make it popular. Popular suggests a fondness, which I don't believe that ~90% of the users have for it.
Hence why I suggested it was merely ubiquitous rather than popular.

By ProfessorF on 9 Oct 2009

@greemble

My point was that just because Windows appears on ~90% or so of the worlds desktop machines, that doesn't make it popular. Popular suggests a fondness, which I don't believe that ~90% of the users have for it.
Hence why I suggested it was merely ubiquitous rather than popular.

By ProfessorF on 9 Oct 2009

@greemble

My point was that just because Windows appears on ~90% or so of the worlds desktop machines, that doesn't make it popular. Popular suggests a fondness, which I don't believe that ~90% of the users have for it.
Hence why I suggested it was merely ubiquitous rather than popular.

By ProfessorF on 9 Oct 2009

@greemble

My point was that just because Windows appears on ~90% or so of the worlds desktop machines, that doesn't make it popular. Popular suggests a fondness, which I don't believe that ~90% of the users have for it.
Hence why I suggested it was merely ubiquitous rather than popular.

By ProfessorF on 9 Oct 2009

______________________________

"Ubiquitous isn't the same as popular."

In terms of Microsoft's income stream, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. Popular or ubiquitous, Microsoft still make the same amount of money.

I'm not sure how else you would define the popularity of an OS, other than by the numbers who CHOOSE to buy it. After all, no one's forcing anyone to buy a PC, they could buy a Mac instead.

But strangely.... they don't.

By Lacrobat on 9 Oct 2009

Sorry Professor F

"Popular suggests a fondness, which I don't believe that ~90% of the users have for it."

Maybe this means that 90% of computer users have a life?

Fondness? For a computer operating system? That's a bit too geeky (and creepy) for me.

Tell me Professor F., have you ever actually, y'know, kissed a woman?

By Lacrobat on 9 Oct 2009

@Lacrobat

People aren't forced into buying an MS OS? Try telling that to your IT department when you request a Linux install, or a Mac instead.

As for your comments about fondness for an OS and your somewhat lame comment on the end there - more effort at grasping the point and less flaming me would serve you well, I feel.

By ProfessorF on 9 Oct 2009

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