Rumor: Windows 8 to have two user interfaces

By on December 10, 2010, 8:00 AM
The latest rumors around Windows 8 have been posted by Windows 8 Italia, which explicitly says that the information is "unofficial and not confirmed" so we're definitely putting this one in the rumor box. Nevertheless, it's fun to look at what Microsoft may be considering for the successor to Windows 7 - remember, even if these rumors are correct, the next release of Windows could still end up being far from what Microsoft is currently planning.

Without further ado, let's see what the latest rumors are saying, and add our own thoughts about each:

  • It will be 32-bit and 64-bit. That is a huge disappointment, we seriously hope this is incorrect.
  • It will have two interfaces. Again, it's possible but we'd hope Microsoft stays away from such features. Unless, of course, it means a single edition of Windows 8 with two interfaces. That we could live with.
  • The first, codenamed Wind, will be the evolution of Aero in Windows 7 and will initially only be supported by high-end notebook and desktop PCs with dedicated video cards. Wind will reportedly require about 170MB of video memory (Microsoft is working on cutting down that number), will only be available on the 64-bit edition, and will be fully 3D but somehow still work with normal monitors.
  • The second interface will not be in 3D and will focus on less powerful computers and will be the only interface available on Windows 8 32-bit. It will be more based on daily activities performed on a computer and the icons will automatically adapt to the user's needs.
  • The interface of Windows NT will be abandoned. Well, this one is a little unclear but if its implications really are as big as they sound, once again we doubt Microsoft would be so drastic.
  • Windows 8 will have a new fast hibernation system: in three to six seconds it will automatically save all open documents and running tasks. Only the data needed to resume the PC will be stored in RAM. This is more believable and frankly isn't much of a stretch from Windows 7 currently offers.
  • Windows 8 will intelligently manage an SSD, improving overall PC performance and minimizing RAM usage. This will increase the longevity of SSDs. We would not rule this one out either.

To add to the excitement, Nvidia recently released its Quadro 265 driver, which specifically references a new kernel with a version number 6.2 (Windows 7 is 6.1), according to WinRumors. Furthermore, it includes references to Windows 8:

; NVIDIA Windows Vista / 7 / 8 (64 bit) Display INF file
DiskID1 = "NVIDIA Windows Vista / 7 / 8 (64 bit) Driver Library Installation Disk 1"

There have been many leaks related to Windows 8, but all we really know for sure is what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said less than two months ago. When asked about the riskiest product bet that the software giant is currently developing, he answered "the next release of Windows" without so much as a second of hesitation.

User Comments: 30

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

eww... I like my NT interface.

The only good news to me that I care about is the last two, since I intend to use SSDs in the very near future, and I hibernate my computer all the time.

Rumors of course, but either way...

Gars Gars said:

2 interfaces = double headaches for the tech support and sys admins

Guest said:

The interface of Windows NT will be abandoned.

Could be going the direction of google chrome.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

Windows 8! Microsoft hasn't even let Windows 7 finish taking root in the market.

Who is going to buy a Windows 8 license, when they just spent $100 to buy a Windows 7 license, less than a year ago?

bugejakurt said:

Nothing so special about this list of leaks. The best one is improved SSD management. What is 2 interfaces? Is it similar to desktop switching in Ubuntu, switching from one desktop to another? or Is it just a simple theme change? I hope Windows 8 would make your life easier, faster and more enjoyable.

Guest said:

I call BS on most of these rumors for the following 3 reasons.

2012 is too soon.

3d interface has no business value right now

microsoft have never forced consumers to make any types of hardware changes


yowanvista yowanvista said:

32-bit should be killed

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Teamwork guy has a point... I'm thankful though that my university has a strategic alliance with MSDN and I get free of charge OS (Only a license... dont dream too much xD) =D

Guest said:

sure glad ive mostly migrated to linux, i sure wont be using windows again other than gaming on xp anytime soon it appears. ill abandon my aging hardware when its dead and/or too slow to be useful on the modern internet, not because microsoft wants me to.

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

It will be 32-bit and 64-bit.
-- I've read differently. I've heard it is to be 64-bit only, but that was said probably a year ago. Maybe plans have changed.

It will have two interfaces.
I gather that the 'two interfaces' are one with 'Wind' and one without -- OR -- one in 3D and one in 2D. Wind might be more than just transparent glass etc.. It might be a novel user experience. I can't help but believe 3D desktops are pure, useless novelty still so I believe this is a distance possibility... They've been technically capable for a very long time but I've yet to see any sort of useful implementation. I doubt that will change with 8

The interface of Windows NT will be abandoned
The birth of a 3D interface could possibly be the death of the NT interface. If you're working 3 dimensions, then things like the start menu, task bar etc.. may be unnecessary.

Windows 8 will have a new fast hibernation system: in three to six seconds it will automatically save all open documents and running tasks.
-- Honestly, this is the LEAST believable. Hibernation works by storing addressed memory onto the hard disk. Maybe I'm not clever enough, I really don't believe there's any way around that especially with things like DEP. There are no big shortcuts here -- you either dump most if not all of your memory to a disk or you don't. What WILL make this possible is just the natural progression of storage media. Really fast SSDs in RAID should already be able to do this. Of course, that has nothing to do with Windows 8.

Windows 8 will intelligently manage an SSD, improving overall PC performance and minimizing RAM usage.
-- I think a new file system would have the capacity to do this and WinFS was supposedly going to achieve this... But reducing wear and tear now is not possible because the firmware controls where data gets written -- NOT the OS. I don't think we're at a point where manufacturers will stop writing wear leveling algorithms because legacy file systems will always require them.

vipor231 said:

im praying linux gains alot more traction,microsoft needs to be taught a lesson

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Let's hope they just stop with their Home/Pro/Ultimate versions non-sense.

treeski treeski said:

I'll delay any of my comments on the rumors, simply because I don't like to criticize too much before seeing an idea in action, but I will comment on anyone arguing the release date.

Aside from the gap between Windows XP and Windows Vista, it is common for new versions of the product to be released at a regular (three or so year) interval.

Release dates of consumer versions of Windows:

1990 - Windows 3.0

1992 - Windows 3.1

1995 - Windows 95

1998 - Windows 98

2000 - Windows Me (yikes!)

2001 - Windows XP (phew...)

2006/2007 - Windows Vista

2009 - Windows 7

*2012* - Windows 8? ... not at all unbelievable.

Cota Cota said:

Why are they still on x86, its time to kill it and force the market to go x64 >_>, bad Microsoft! bad Microsoft! no food for you today.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think a 2 interface option might be fine, if one is optimized for standard desktop use and the other is a true optimized touchscreen UI. It would definitely make it easier to cover the gamut of desktop/laptop/tablet hardware, and give users flexibility options.

But if it's just 2 different interfaces that are similar, but one has bells and whistles, and the other is utilitarian... What's the point? Make it possible to dial up/down features in that kind of situation, so you have some convergence.

Guest said:

Really, Windows 8? ... Bah! ... Bla Bla Bla!

6.2 = 6.1+0.1 = 6.0+0.2


Windows 8 = Windows 7 + 0.1 = Windows Vista + 0.2

That is a fraud!

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

It sounds like it is going to feel heavy on PCs like running Vista was, and won't feel "light" like windows 7.

Guest said:

I believe it is necessary to return Windows XP to the market!

Guest said:

Microsoft change the number of versions, just as soon as Fedora does with its version of Linux.


No other Linux changes so fast!


Guest said:

what happens when they get to version 95.0?

Guest said:

Is that mean the death of Linux once for all and let Microsoft re-control totally so a few will get filthy rich?

Guest said:

i don't need 3D or 64 bit.

blaacksheep blaacksheep said:

^ what he said!

I don't need to be forced into hardware i don't require or bells and whistles bloat. I need my computer to fulfill a set of requirements that don't change on a 2 year cycle. If I need to run linux to do that, it's no sweat off my brow.

You people that want to 'abolish' my computer because it's not 64 bit can just kiss my backside.

actionjksn said:

@vipor231, I have been hearing about Linux gaining traction for so many years now, but still less than 1%. It has it's uses It's a great operating system but, it's not a mainstream OS. The available programs are not ready for prime time. And they never will be. The mainstream user does not want to compile anything, nor do they even know what compile means. Nor do they want to know. The typical PC user is worried and confused when an install wizard pops up. Linux is an operating system for geeks, who don't game. So accept it and move on. As long as you have Linux, and you enjoy it, why do you even care? Something else to consider, if some developer ever dums down Linux enough for the typical PC user, you will really be upset. Because it will no longer be the geeky OS that you know and love.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

You people that want to 'abolish' my computer because it's not 64 bit can just kiss my backside.

I consider myself an 'enthusiast', I know quite a few enthusiasts, I don't know anyone who wants to "abolish" your computer....except a few of the fellas in the black helicopter, but...they're kind of weird...ya know how they are.

maestromasada said:

two interfaces! tha's sort of cool, you'll get to slaps on your face when it crashed, plash! plash!

daniel319 said:

"it will be 32-bit and 64-bit. That is a huge disappointment, we seriously hope this is incorrect."

Why is it a disappointment?

Guest said:

Don't hold your breathe.

Guest said:

Okay, lets consider the 3d desktop idea. If you took something like a gamescape from COD and made it interactive. An ammo magazine would hold all your utility programs for instance. You would left click and drag the magazine into the "hot spot" on the screen. right click and get the program list and then left click again to launch. you would have a "map" screen that shows what is open and running. you could drag and drop into and out of the "map". you could also have status screens for background tasks, system performance etc. That would need a pretty good 3d video card to run well. If that is the kind of 3d concept, where running the computer is more interactive, is what they are after, then I say go for it. Back in the old redhat days I didn't like using a command line interface but I did. I LIKE a computer that looks cool. Fedora is so fine! rather than a black screen with a blinking cursor. If it takes 2/3 of the computer's processing power and video capability just to run the desktop then fine! We are so far ahead of the processing power curve that if you are an "average" user your PC is probably 10 times more than you actually need. Power users, like people who frequent these websites or hardcore gamers, are a low percentage of the computer users worldwide so they can't expect BigM to cater to them. I have Vista Ultimate 64. I hacked and slashed until I got it to work like I wanted it to and it IS the fastest Windows I have ever used. I just have to have a 3+ Ghz multi core processor and lots of ram to make it fast. I also have to have a 3d video card (of low power, HD 4670) to make the Aero work well. I guess my point is that the overhead we pay for will cost less and less as we get faster storage, more efficient multi core processors that run on 50 watts etc WE are heading for the virtual reality PC boys so don't whine too much, this is just a bump in the road...

Guest said:

However, some people may not have 64 bit hardware. Microsoft wouldn't want to cut off 20% of new computers and every pre-2006 (approx) computer.

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