Let’s put my job in jeopardy

I’m not usually one to rock the boat, but I’m getting tired of having to hold this in.

Yesterday at my Denver MSDN Event, an attendee asked me if there were any plans to update Notepad for future versions of Windows.

I fed her a bunch of stuff about how I had “heard” that there might be some changes coming along and how, next to Avalon, WinFS, and Indigo, this is one of Microsoft’s top priorities.

I lied to her.

I didn’t give her the whole story. I didn’t even give her part of it, and now I feel like a scumbucket.

The truth is that I do have some inside information, and I’ll tell you this: For those of you who regularly read the Notepad team’s blog, you were going to be treated to a preview of the future sometime in the next three months, but I’m going to scoop them today. There’s a lot of internal competition between the IE and Notepad teams as they’re both vying for their products to become the information platforms of the future, and now that the IE team has announced IE 7, the Notepad team was prepping a Community Tech Preview of Notepad V.Next.

I realize that this is a crazy move, but something tells me this might be the right thing to do and that, if everything works out in the end, I might wind up being the next Mary Jo Foley. This is, like, the scoop of the century.

So here’s what I know:

– There is a new version of Notepad coming out

– It’s coming out in the Longhorn timeframe, but it’s going to be available for Windows 2000/XP/2003

– It’s going to revolutionize the way we view text files

I’ve been playing with a recent build that was leaked to me by a “friend on the inside.” I can’t reveal anything about my contact – not a name, a team, or even her gender, but I assure you that this is what’s coming down from Redmond.

I took some screenshots today of Notepad.Now and Notepad.Next running side by side. The shots were taken with the same text – just a little something I’ve been working on in my spare time.

See if you can spot what’s different between the two versions:





That’s right!

The observant among you will see that the next version of Notepad has a new icon with a substantial drop-shadow!

Here’s the new icon close-up:



This thing is currently in the early stages of an Alpha release. I might really be asking for it here, but I heard a report that some testers, when confronted with the new icon, immediately threw-up and went into convulsions. Not sure, but this might be a major setback for the team, which is unfortunate given how much work has gone into this.

For some perspective on the sweat, blood, and tears that have led us to this major change, this release will bring with it Notepad’s fifth compilationsince 1994. That’s not something to be scoffed at.

And now, my friends…

Now I pray that I have not said too much.