Mary Jo Foley is a prominent journalist in the world of tech – her All About Microsoft blog on ZDNet.com has thousands of readers. She appeared this evening at a meeting of the Microsoft user group that I’m a member of – the Vancouver Technology User Group (VANTUG) – for a question and answer session.
Some of the things she said this evening, in no particular order: she believes there will be a Windows 9 and probably a Windows 10 and 11. It’s a major cash generator and Software Assurance licences are a major motivator to keep Windows development continuing.
WinFS is a file system that supposedly indexes files on a computer like a database and has been promised to consumers with about every other version of Window since Windows 95. MJ doesn’t think WinFS is in Windows 8 – but there is something new in Windows 8 called Protogon which may be a file system.
She said that WinRunTime (WinRT) is a new runtime in Windows 8 that may replace Win32 and is the most interesting part of Windows 8. Windows 8 tablets with ARM processors will use WinRT only (not Win32).
Microsoft is late to the tablet market (yes, I know about WinXP Tablet Edition and have repaired them – I think she meant the iPad/Playbook etc. tablet market) – and feels that 2012 will be make or break for Microsoft there.
Companies that will be selling Windows 8 tablets will be Samsung, Dell, and HP. ASUS accidentally posted a PowerPoint slide deck on its site that stated they would have two Windows 8 tablets selling in Q3 of 2012. The VANTUG president mentioned that an unnamed friend of his is currently running Windows 8 Developer’s Preview on an ARM powered Foxconn tablet.
She believes Silverlight 5 will be the last version of Silverlight.
Microsoft has become more closed (secretive) since Steven Sinofsky became President of the Windows division – this was only at that division at first but is now spreading to other parts of Microsoft. She believes that Steve Ballmer will be CEO as long as he wants to be and Bill Gates is Chairman of the Board.
She thinks that HP made a mistake saying that it was considering leaving the PC business and that was a major reason for Leo Apotheker’s depature from HP – and HP has now corrected the mistake.
She’s not a hardware geek – she lives in a small space and has one phone, one computer running Windows 7, and an iPad. She’s worried about professional journalism – the internet has made it more difficult for journalists to make a living. As an example she mentioned a story that an editor wanted to pay her $20 for that she spent five days researching and writing.
It was a very interesting session and I’d like to thank her for taking the time to talk to us.