Windows 7 may only be ten months old, but that hasn't stopped PC owners looking towards Microsoft's next operating system, dubbed 'Windows 8' by many. Michael Cherry , research vice president at Directions on Microsoft tells us the six functions and features he'd like to see in the new OS.
Use Roles in Windows 8
When installing Windows Server, the base operating system is installed first and then an administrator can select the 'role' the server will play. For example, an admin can choose the web role, which installs features such as the Internet Information Services (IIS) web server, or the Hyper-V role, which installs Microsoft's hypervisor. Multiple roles can be installed on a server.
The client OS should have roles too, because they make "installation fast and easy and reduce the OS surface area, which can reduce security threats and maintenance such as patching".
Implementing roles into the client OS should be easy given its high-degree of componentisation, Cherry said, adding that possible client OS roles could be email and web browsing, student, business desktop, business mobile and gamer.
"An interesting side effect of adding roles might be faster start-up times," said Cherry. "If a person had a small netbook, and only installed the email and web browsing role, the OS might be able to start faster, because it only has to load the components for that role, and it doesn't have to install other components for features that are not needed."
Integrate Windows Phone 7 UI
The user interface for Windows Phone 7, internally called 'Metro', incorporates capacitive touchscreens and a new feature called 'Tiles' that work as visual shortcuts for an application or its content. Users can pin any Tile they want to the phone's Start page.
Incorporating the 'Metro' Shell into Windows 8 would be extra work for IT (organisations don't want to retrain users for UI changes), but would help tie future versions of Windows Phone 7 and Windows together, according to Cherry. Users could then choose between the Windows Phone 7 'Metro' interface and the classic Windows 8 desktop interface.
The Metro shell would also "begin the process of making the Windows client more viable as a tablet with a UI that can better handle touch rather than relying on a mouse or a stylus for navigation," said Cherry.