After months of near silence, Microsoft is starting to talk publicly about Windows 8. Earlier this week the company started a new "Building Windows 8" blog, and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky provided the first concrete information about the operating system in a post on Wednesday.
The post gives a high-level overview of how Windows 8's development is organized and the different feature areas the teams are working on. Most of these, such as "Kernel Platform," "Networking Core," and "Performance," held no surprises, but a few of the teams are more interesting. One is called "App Store," which confirms the rumor that Windows 8 will include an application store feature—there were slides leaked last year that made mention of a Windows Store. As with any as-yet-unreleased product, nothing is set in stone, but this information makes it all but certain that such a store will be a part of Windows 8.
Also of interest was the "Hyper-V" team. Leaked alpha builds of Windows 8 appear to include the Hyper-V virtualization platform—hitherto found only in server variants of the operating system—and the presence of this team would seem to confirm that Hyper-V virtualization is now a feature of the Windows client operating system too. However, as Sinofsky notes in the post, "some features are built in the core OS but are ultimately only part of the Server product." The possibility remains that Hyper-V will be one of those features.