Microsoft’s Windows chief, Steve Sinofsky, is known for his “cone of silence” around upcoming products — even the Windows team used to have trouble getting information about Office when he led that group.But it looks like he’s finally ready to spill on Windows 8.
Today, he kicked off a new blog all about building Windows 8, which will inform partners and developers about what Microsoft is thinking and give them a chance to offer feedback.
So far, Microsoft has said only a very little bit about the next version of its flagship product — in January the company announced it would run on non-Intel chips, and in May, Sinofsky and his lieutenant Julie Larson-Green demonstrated the Windows 8 tablet interface at the D9 conference hosted by AllThingsD.
Now, look for that to change.
As Sinofsky put it:
We know people who care a lot about networking want to know our plans there. We know people who are invested heavily in storage want to know what is new in that area. Many want to know about performance and fundamentals. We know developers, IT pros, and gamers all want to know what’s new for them….So in the next weeks we will just start talking specifics of features, since there is no obvious place to start given the varying perspectives. From fundamentals, to user interface, to hardware support, and more, if something is important to you, we promise we’ll get to it in some form or another.
Sinofsky also admits that Microsoft has heard “some people express frustration about how little we’ve communicated about Windows 8 so far.”
He’s right on at least one front: developers have been confused about how (and whether) current Microsoft development platforms like Silverlight will apply to the new Windows 8 interface.
Look for some answers to start appearing soon — Microsoft’s BUILD conference for developers kicks off September 13.