Microsoft says good morning Vienna

With Vista barely a couple of months old, it seems that we won't have to wait five years until Microsoft unveils the new OS's replacement.

Ben Fathi, a corporate VP in Microsoft's Windows Core Operating System Division, said in a media interview that the software company is drawing up plans to usurp the software with a follow-up codenamed "Vienna".

Fathi said that work on Vista was delayed as the company got to grips with sorting out a number of security flaws in XP that prompted it to release Service Pack 2 in August 2004.

This work led to a significant number of features in the new operating system being dropped, such as a new filing system called WinFS. It is hoped the first service pack touted for Vista will add features, such as HD-DVD playback and Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), formerly known as Palladium. The service pack will also include bug fixes already reported in the software.

Fathi said that Longhorn (Vista's codename) was put on the "back burner for a while" as developers fixed problems.

"Then when we came back to it, we realised that there were incremental things that we wanted to do, and significant improvements that we wanted to make in Vista that we couldn't deliver in one release," Fathi told PC World magazine.

He said that Vista had been delivered two and a half years after XP Service Pack 2 and expected the new OS to be ready in the same time frame, around 2009.

He said that one of the new features that might show up in Vienna was "Hypervisors", adding virtualisation code into the OS itself. He added that the next few months would reveal more about the nascent OS.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.