Windows honcho Steven Sinofsky just launched a blog dedicated to discussing the engineering that's going into Windows 8.
Called Building Windows 8, Sinofsky says the blog "allows us to have a two-way dialog with you about design choices, real-world data and usage, and new opportunities that are part of Windows 8. Together, we will start the unique adventure of bringing a major product to market. We're genuinely excited to talk about the development of Windows 8 and to engage thoughtfully with the community of passionate end-users, developers, and information professionals."
If it seems like deja vu, well, it is. Sinofsky's Engineering Windows 7 blog started three years ago this week and broke new ground in communication. For the first time, anyone who was interested in what was going on inside Windows could get a definitive and authoritative view. Windows 7's developers explained what they did and why, with incisive articles about dozens of pieces of the operating system. Compared to the muddled and conflicting information flowing out of all earlier Windows efforts, it was like a breath of fresh air.
Hope for more of the same. Although in Sinofsky's inimitable style -- I swear he's a frustrated novelist -- this initial blog entry sets the stage for future posts but gives away exactly nothing about the nature of Windows 8 in its 1,247 words.
Sinofsky also didn't say anything about the often-rumored developer preview of Windows 8, widely expected to appear at the Build conference in Anaheim, Calif., Sept. 12 to 16.
For those of us who spend unconscionable amounts of time reading Windows tea leaves, there's been almost no reliable information about Windows 8 since Julie Larson-Green's demo at the All Things Digital D9 conference in May.
The so-called Milestone 3 build of Windows 8, which leaked in June, contains few hints about the nature of the beast, although there was a tantalizing appearance of Hyper-V -- Microsoft's bare-metal hypervisor -- in one of the option boxes. Peter Bruzzese wrote about the importance of a Hyper-V option based on that build. Eric Knorr and Doug Dineley predicted that Hyper-V may end up being a Windows 8 client hypervisor, which would have enormous impact on managing Windows 8 machines.
Sometimes I wonder if Sinofsky himself leaked Milestone 3.
Mostly what we're seeing is speculation. Based on Milestone 3, MinWin -- the Windows mini-kernel -- seems to take on a more prominent role than in Windows 7. It's possible that all "legacy" Windows 7 programs might run in a virtual box, based on a year-old interview with a technical security director at Microsoft France. I bumped into a blog post that mentions a joint Microsoft-Citrix project that blends Hyper-V and XenDesktop. Personally, I think we're going to see Hyper-V take center stage with Windows 8 -- but I have absolutely no details and no proof. It's all unsubstantiated conjecture.
Apart from hypervisors, there's been hardly any news at all. Dolby has revealed that it won't be providing DVD support for Windows 8. There are rumors about Kinect support built-in to Windows 8, but nothing definitive.
By and large, other than Larson-Green's presentation and the videos associated with it, we don't know much at all about Windows 8. Sinofsky did an excellent job of keeping the muzzle on the Windows 7 development team. He's doing an even better job, so far, with Win8.
Where's it all headed? Looks like we'll have to wait for Build. Keep your eyes on the Building Windows 8 blog, and if you're on Twitter, follow @BuildWindows8.
This article, "New official blog gives away nothing about Windows 8," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.