The Windows team has never been particularly fussy about interface consistency, though. That didn't change with Win7 and since the people in charge are the same I don't expect it'll change with Win8 either. I do expect they'll update the desktop theme a bit more though, but probably not drastically.
@W3bbo: I'd imagine the benefit of US-only features is that they can launch the feature earlier without having to clear all the linguistic, legal, operational and whatever else hurdles in every country. Though maybe they should try to spread the wealth/pain around a bit by having some features/products be Europe-first or Asia-first instead - maybe open more R&D offices in those regions so they're better positioned to design more products suited to European or Asian tastes.
@cbae: I couldn't really figure out if the difficulty he was having was a problem with the UI or just the angle he was using the touchpad from, or something. I did think the scrolling animations on pgup/pgdn were pointlessly kind of slow, though.
My take based on the leaks + general knowledge:
Windows 8 will have a new version of the CLR - the System Language Runtime - which is developed
under the Windows division, forked from DevDiv's own CLR code. This will be aimed at solving the
performance problems that WinDiv sees with the mainsteam CLR, as well as solving their other
major problem with the CLR which is of course that they didn't write it. :P
Together with this it will have a new UI framework, DirectUI (no relation to the previous internal-only
DirectUI), which is loosely based on Silverlight and XAML, but will have a native API together with a
managed (SLR) API. Basically, this will be their third try at the Avalon concept after WPF or Silverlight.
Take 1: CLR + WPF
Take 2: CoreCLR + Silverlight
Take 3: SLR + DirectUI
This will be the supported way to write "immersive" Win8 apps in managed code
This will be good for .NET developers because:
- They'll get to write immersive apps after all
- They'll have a version of .NET with much-improved performance (esp. startup time), and a UI framework with better hardware accelerated graphics
- They'll finally be able to write Explorer and IE extensions in managed code
This will be bad for .NET developers because:
- It will be yet another not-quite compatible framework, after WPF and Silverlight
- Because they are starting over again, and with more stringent performance standards, it will probably be less capable/full-featured than current Silverlight/.NET, like going back to Silverlight 3
- Since it's being developed by the Windows team as part of Windows, they'll probably apply the more stringent "run the memory allocator in a different mode so SimCity will work" Windows approach to maintaining backwards compatibility as well, which means even in the future it will probably evolve more slowly than mainline CLR (plus, of course, Windows is on a slower release cadence).
You could probably develop immersive apps in Silverlight or WPF if you really wanted, but the
Windows team wouldn't recommend it as performance wouldn't be to their standards and you'd
probably have to go through a bunch of interop hoops to use the DirectUI widgets etc.
Anyway, this would explain why they vaguely hint at there being some kind of .NET story,
but refuse to say anything - if the answer was a straight yes or no, it'd be easy enough,
but the answer is "it's complicated", so before saying anything they have to figure out how to spin it
Leaks, and findings in the leaked alpha builds, strongly suggest that together with the new app store Win8 will add a new sandboxing system to isolate apps and control which resources/capabilities they can access, similar to the iOS/WP7 setup. How they will reconcile that with the need to run existing software I have no idea.
@Ray7: The chain of command goes CEO -> President -> Senior Vice President -> Corporate Vice President. For example when Scott Guthrie (CVP) was in charge of the .net Platform, he reported to S. Somasegar (SVP, Developer Division), who reported to Bob Muglia (President, Server & Tools Division) (later replaced by Satya Nadella) who reported to Ballmer (CEO). So an SVP isn't the same as a President, it's a different (lower) level in the hierarchy.
Speculation has it this was prompted by the recent Microsoft buyout, others (on Slashdot, of all places) argue that Skype (within Microsoft) operates as a largely independent business unit
Skype isn't within Microsoft at all, as the deal hasn't actually gone through yet.
@ScanIAm: I'm not sure if this is bad, but the first time I remove or replace some significant code I usually do just comment it out, because there's a good chance I'll soon want to restore some of it or at least use it as a reference while writing/debugging/modifying the new version, and it's a pain to have to drag it out of source control. After some code has been commented out for a few weeks or so I'll probably delete it as part of a cleanup cycle.