Has hell indeed frozen-over? Quite possibly because Microsoft is giving itself a serious overhaul — get this — in response to market forces.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently announced that the Windows overhaul going on is mere foreshadowing of big changes to come from Microsoft as the companies aims to optimize all their software for new hardware form factors and cloud computing.
The large-scale makeover for Microsoft is beginning with their new Windows 8 user face, a drastic break from the traditional Windows theme and from the previous version, Windows 7. For windows 8 Microsoft will be going with the Metro UI interface currently found on Windows Phone instead of the Aero interface from Windows 7. This new change in the interface is Microsoft bending to market forces of tablets and phone hardware form figures, a significant change to the large-screened home PCs of yore. “If Windows 8 is Windows re-imagined, we’re also in the process, and Windows 8 is an important step of that, of remaining Microsoft,” Ballmer proclaimed in a keynote address at the BUILD developer conference.
Windows Server 8, currently available in developer preview, is in for a like-minded makeover as Microsoft primes their server offering to prepare for the shift from local resources to the cloud — all the while integrating better with Windows Azure. Windows Azure, according to Windows Server President Satya Nadella, is a core element of the Windows platform and it will provide unbeatable scalability for Windows Server.
In addition to Windows and Azure, there are several others programs that will be receiving ‘extreme software makeover: Microsoft edition’ makeovers: Windows, Phone, Xbox, Azure, Office, Bing and Dynamics — with each program moving to a cloud-based “fundamental business model”.
Visual Studio 11 released their developer preview to MDSN subscribers along with the Windows Server 8 preview — pitching it as the OS to-be for cloud computing. As a part of the Windows Server 8 release Microsoft will be upgrading their Hyper-V virtualization platform to include better live migration abilities — meaning moving forward users will be able to move virtual hard disks between storage devices with no downtime.