A supposed wish list of features for Windows "7" has been brought to light. I can neihter confirm nor deny the list, but I do think it's worth sharing. The key features in this list I'm interested in are the multi-monitor taskbar, virtual desktop, and CD/DVD image support, reopen closed tabs in IE, and integrated IE instances.
I'm not sure how much can be done to improve the taskbar for multiple monitors besides having the option to span both, which I don't like, but it'd be interesting to see. On the other hand, there are rumors that "7" (or maybe "7"+1, whether that be 7.1 or 8.0) will include a new UI, which doesn't include the start menu or taskbar. This is what I'd truly like to see; and, given the potential removal of the taskbar, the question of multi-monitor improvements comes up once again. Of course, this new UI might be built around that concept, so maybe it won't be an issue. With any major UI change, however, there are some supportability challenges Microsoft will face. Look at Office 2007 and how much ruckus came with that. Luckily, the change was well-accepted in the end. This is a gamble, tho.
A virtual desktop would be absolutely awesome. I just hope it's better than Microsoft's last foray into the virtual desktop space -- a power toy for XP, which was simply horrible. My current virtual desktop app has been commercialized, so it'd be nice to see something built into the OS.
Having the ability to mount a CD/DVD image will be nice. Microsoft had a Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel application (mentioned here), but it wasn't as integrated as I'd have liked. Oh, and it only works in Windows XP. If you're interested in this functionality in Windows Vista, check out MagicDisc.
There are a number of IE features in the list, too, like reopening closed tabs, which I currently have with IE7Pro; and, allowing you to drag tabs from one browser instance to another. I'm somewhat concerned with/interested in how session state will be managed in this scenario, since new tabs in the same IE instance are currently working with the same server session. I don't think I'd group these into the Windows "7" wishlist, tho, because I expect IE8 to be released before Windows "7." I'm expecting us to start hearing about betas in 2008 with an early 2009 release. Granted, I have no basis for that timeline, but a 2008 release date seems a bit too soon, given the lack of information we've seen. Either way, IE8 will be an exciting release. I'm expecting some game-changing features.
There were also a few features for Windows Mail and Calendar mentioned. I wonder how much Microsoft will be putting into these products. Currently, Microsoft has four actively supported desktop mail/calendar clients: Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail/Calendar, and Windows Live Mail. Obviously, Outlook Express has been deprecated. I have a feeling Windows Mail will be deprecated, as well. The only thing stopping that, in my mind, is potential legal problems. I see Windows Mail and Calendar as apps necessary for the Windows Vista release. With the Windows Live suite, there's no reason to keep them around.