CNET has a very long interview with Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, the guy in charge of the Windows 7 project.
Sinofsky dekes and jukes like the great Walter Payton to provide almost zero details about the next version of Windows, despite an almost 4000 word long article.
Here’s what we know, though.
1. Windows 7 will be available “about three years after the general availability of Windows Vista,” which means sometime around January of 2010.
The timing of it depends a lot on what we wanted to achieve, and you’ve certainly heard us, and we’ve been very clear, and will continue to say that the next release of Windows, Windows 7, is about three years after the general availability of Windows Vista, and we’re committed to that, and we’ve signed up publicly to do that.
2. Windows 7 will be not be built upon a new kernel. It’ll be built on the Windows Server 2008 kernel, which “is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista.”
We’re very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they’ll work the same. We’re going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model. Windows Vista was about improving those things. We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel, and that has all of this work that you’ve been talking about. The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server 08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well.
3. Windows 7 will be available in 32- and 64-bit versions.
Finally, we are going to make sure that the release is available both in 32 bit and 64 bit, which is an additional help for maintaining compatibility, particularly with device drivers. As the 64-bit ecosystem catches up, we expect more and more people, particularly enthusiasts, to be running 64 bit.