Radio Reg A funny thing can happen to tech and business people on their holidays. Faced with the prospect of spending hours of free time with their families they find excuses to fire up the PC or get online, to make a head start on that project or to finally sort through their emails.
Well, Microsoft lovers, you don't have to fake it this summer.
In the latest episode of MicroBite, The Register's software editor Gavin Clarke and All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley look at how Microsoft will be screwing up the dynamics of multiple families for the rest of the year.
From May onwards, Microsoft is going to be dishing up enough preview code for testing that you won't need to find a reason to put a screen between you and your loved ones. That is if the loved ones in your life are the family and not the zeroes and ones coming out of Redmond.
Getting in your sunscreen this year: Visual Studio 2010 beta one, the Office 2010 community technology preview, SharePoint 2010, and early releases not just of the next SQL Server, but also the big-iron appliance edition called Madison. Testing might be about as close as you come to Madison, though: Before Microsoft bought the technology it needed for Madison with the DATAllegro acquisition last year, a DataAllegro appliance cost $1.1m for 15TB of storage, and required dual-socket and fibre-channel computing power. Maybe Office 2010 is more up your alley, even though it is running late and Microsoft can't possibly add anything more to Office. Can it?
When you're done with that, and with the summer a memory, let your thoughts turn to the falling leaves of autumn and long nights of winter. Windows 7 is now coming later this year, Microsoft has admitted, although the company looks like it'll lose another generation to Apple thanks to timing. Unless Microsoft plans to shake up the usual cycle and go for a Windows-Vista-style phased introduction that puts netbooks into the hands of the kids this September instead of October.
Further out, post 2010, Microsoft's already talking about the next version of embedded Windows. This version, called Chelan, was demonstrated under heavy NDA this month at TechEd in Los Angeles.