Jon Galloway writes The 9 things Microsoft SHOULD be announcing next week at MIX07 (but won’t). It’s now less than a day to the ‘big announcement’ at MIX ’07 and I'd love for a couple of these to become true - I can’t see how Silverlight will be written for without an Express version of Blend for example and I’d never heard of Singularity before but want to know more now - but here’s what else I’d hope to hear.

  1. Microsoft is now a 64-bit only company
    Some of you may already have surmised this from the fact that our release schedule implies this, but we have decided that all Microsoft releases from Windows Longhorn onwards shall be 64-bit only. This includes Visual Studio, Microsoft Office and other desktop applications. All new, modern computers are being built with ever more powerful 64-bit processors in ever cheaper models and the 64-bit platform offers us ways to shore up our somewhat insecure OSs with patchguard and a fairly level playing field with the virus world. The successor to Vista will furthermore not include a 32-bit backwards compatibility layer in the same way that Windows XP expunged 16-bit apps. You'll need to use Virtual PC for those, but as you’ll need a multi-core 4GB machine to run it, this shouldn't be a problem.
  2. We are rewriting Internet Explorer from scratch
    We’re not deaf. The only way for web development to go forward is to invest fully in web standards so that all browsers act in the same manner and for this to happen, we can’t use Internet Explorer. IE7 really will be the last version as it is so swamped with hacks and weirdness to ensure that it behaves in the same way as IE4, 5 & 6 as well as trying to behave better as IE7 that further development in that codebase is untenable. Our IE group manager being part of the HTML5 working group is the first step to proving this investment in web standards. Microsoft "Webslinger" is the second. This will be a completely standalone application that is not tied into the operating system (we learnt our lesson with that) and which will be available for free via Microsoft Update and as many coverdiscs as we can throw it onto. It will also be an open project Microsoft Endorsed Project. Besides, if Netscape folks can do it and come up with Firefox, why can't we do it in half the time and bring up something twice as good. (oh wait, don't answer that).
  3. XBox Blu-ray
    The PS3’s built-in Blu-ray drive has accelerated that disc format’s sales well past those of HD-DVD in just six weeks. To redress the balance we’re announcing that a new external Blu-ray drive and firmware update will become available in June.
  4. Windows Vista, core edition.
    We’ve had such a good response about the core edition of Windows Longhorn, we thought we’d do the same for Windows Vista, offering a stripped down version of the system for those who want their apps to get the CPUs full attention rather than the spangly ClearText anti-aliasing or the system restore service. In this version, you start off with a Powershell command line and nothing more. You have to switch on everything you want running rather than switch it off. GUI, Indexing, network, 32bit compatibility etc.
  5. Microsoft has hired the TiVo UI team
    TiVo is OK, but it’s on the way out. However, of all the PVRs that exist on the market - including Media Centre - TiVo has by far and away the best user experience out of the box. We’re not ashamed to admit this and are happy to announce that part of the TiVo UI team is now happily ensconced in Redmond working on the next version of MCE.
  6. Microsoft Live Search
    In addition to today’s full launch of Microsoft Live, we’ve decided that Google is getting too much of the limelight and are announcing Microsoft Live Applications Search. This is a pure dedicated search service server that you can integrate into your applications to take care of all your search requirements. To demonstrate the power of MLAS, we are proud to announce that myspace.com, which already runs on our .NET platform, switched live to MLAS after several months of trials and is already seeing benefits.
  7. Steve Ballmer is leaving.

To reiterate, this is just a bit of speculation on my part ranging from the probable to the frankly insane given their past announcements, but it’s a bit more fun than everyone already knowing that Apple was going to announce the iPhone.