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Microsoft leaks details of Windows 8 and Windows 9

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8:22 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft leaks details of Windows 8 and Windows 9 [pcpro.co.uk]

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.

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."


Hat-tip Slashdot
12:48 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I guess he will need to update it to say he "worked on..."

Poor guy.

1:46 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Why do people always assume that someone is going to get fired over a mistake like this?

If they're forming partnerships with Intel, AMD, HP and IBM, I doubt this is a state secret. Furthermore, anyone who suspects that Intel and AMD are working on 128-bit processors [pctechguide.com], should assume that Microsoft is getting ready to accomodate them.

The news is that they are preparing to do this for Windows 8, and

1. There's no release date AFAIK
2. They planned to give up on NTFS for Vista and come up with an entirely new searchable file system, which was supposed to be the flagship upgrade for Vista. It turned out to be harder to achieve than expected, so it's not in Vista or 7. If 128-compatibility proves hard, it won't be in Windows 8.

I'm sure the guy is getting a lot of ribbing, but unless the managers are idiots or the guy is already a marginal employee, why would the fire a solid engineer over something like this.

Also, it could be 128-bit SSE compatibility which... let's see if I can get this right, works on vector graphics for dual-core 64-bit processors, but only has 64-bits of addressable memeory. Not sure what the native Windows support is. In other words, today's processors already allow for 128-bit processing of a sort and it could be to improve compatibility in those areas. So it's a little hard based on that one-line resume item to know what he's talking about anyway.

2:15 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Q: Why would any of us need a 128-bit OS (or processor) any time in the next decade? I can't see it becoming necessary because of limits inherent to 64-bit architecture...

Wikipedia: The emergence of the 64-bit architecture effectively increases the memory ceiling to 264 addresses, equivalent to approximately 17.2 billion gigabytes, 16.8 million terabytes, or 16 exabytes of RAM. To put this in perspective, in the days when 4 MB of main memory was commonplace, the maximum memory ceiling of 232 addresses was about 1,000 times larger than typical memory configurations. Today, when over 2 GB of main memory is common, the ceiling of 264 addresses is about ten trillion times larger, i.e., ten billion times more headroom than the 232 case.

Windows 7 64-bit has much lower physical memory limits [msdn.microsoft.com], but the only reason for those particular limits is Microsoft's marketing department.

2:24 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm gonna write a 512 bit OS, so there!

Maybe they think that the Open source community won't be able to develop a 128 bit version of Linux and so then presumably won't run on what will be standard hardware.

Gotta love these "accidental leaks". Cheaper and better than a press release.

If they come through on some of the stuff like the searchable file system et al that were originally touted for vista, that would be an accomlishment in and of itself.

4:08 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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128bit would be great for virtualization (providing hundreds of hosts on a single computer) as well as file serving & distributed processing systems where you may have a single hybrid cluster file system with 10s of billions of files in which a 64bit os wouldn't be able to handle.

Personally, i'm not sure the job/person is real and not a trojan horse to get people to talk about stuff and make light of it.

5:21 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It may well be in the interests of MS to realy push at the software and hardware level. It keeps things away from the cloud as Google would like.

Mack.

6:03 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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...file serving & distributed processing systems where you may have a single hybrid cluster file system with 10s of billions of files in which a 64bit os wouldn't be able to handle

Err... ever heard of ZFS [sun.com]?

It's a 128-bit file system.

It's been part of OpenSolaris since 2006.

ZFS also appears to be a great demonstration that you don't *require* a 128-bit processor OR operating system to run a 128-bit file system :-)

6:34 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Err... ever heard of ZFS?

It's a 128-bit file system.

It's been part of OpenSolaris since 2006.

ZFS also appears to be a great demonstration that you don't *require* a 128-bit processor OR operating system to run a 128-bit file system :-)

Hey, i don't think the position is legit, said that at the bottom of my post and i mearly just mentioned some things that could use 128bit addressing. Whether or not that means a "128 bit os" or just 128bit extensions to the os is remained to be seen. I think its all hearsay at this point in time.

7:49 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just heard that Windows 40 will be 1,099,511,627,775 bit and be released in the year 2141! :p
10:19 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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128 bits! That's as powerful as a Playstation 2!
11:17 pm on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>Windows 40

Wow! Okay, scratch the Windows 7 upgrade. I'm waiting to upgrade for the 1,099,511,627,775. Thanks for the tip. Did this also come off some random guy's LinkedIn profile or did it come from a suspect, unverified source without a lot of details?

Anyway, as I said before and as webdoctor says, how is it that "128-bit architecture compatibility" necessarily implies an OS to run a 128-bit general CPU?

Storm in a teacup.

7:29 am on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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According to Paul Thurrott [windowsitpro.com] we've all been had:
Writers at PC World, Ars Technica, Slashdot, and many other publications fell for an obviously faked LinkedIn profile from a supposed Microsoft researcher who claimed he was working on a 128-bit kernel for Windows 8. There's just one problem: This guy doesn't exist. No one with his name has ever worked at Microsoft Research. His job title is fake. Microsoft isn't working on a 128-bit kernel for Windows 8. And, best of all, the guy's listed university is an "online supplier of academic degrees," according to Wikipedia. OK, that's five problems—or four more than those geniuses on the web should have needed to figure out that this rumor was fake.
3:13 pm on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Make a note people, of the publications that reported this to you, and never trust the useless dimwits again.