Engineering Windows 7

Welcome to our blog dedicated to the engineering of Microsoft Windows 7

Welcome to Engineering Windows 7

Welcome to Engineering Windows 7

Welcome to our first post on a new blog from Microsoft—the Engineering Windows 7 blog, or E7 for short. E7 is hosted by the two senior engineering managers for the Windows 7 product, Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky. Jon and Steven, along with members of the engineering team will post, comment, and participate in this blog.

Beginning with this post together we are going to start looking forward towards the “Windows 7” project. We know there are tons of questions about the specifics of the project and strong desire to know what’s in store for the next major release of Windows. Believe us, we are just as excited to start talking about the release. Over the past 18 months since Windows Vista’s broad availability, the team has been hard at work creating the next Windows product.

The audience of enthusiasts, bloggers, and those that are the most passionate about Windows represent the folks we are dedicating this blog to. With this blog we’re opening up a two-way discussion about how we are making Windows 7. Windows has all the challenges of every large scale software project—picking features, designing them, developing them, and delivering them with high quality. Windows has an added challenge of doing so for an extraordinarily diverse set of customers. As a team and as individuals on the team we continue to be humbled by this responsibility.

We strongly believe that success for Windows 7 includes an open and honest, and two-way, discussion about how we balance all of these interests and deliver software on the scale of Windows. We promise and will deliver such a dialog with this blog.

Planning a product like Windows involves systematic learning from customers of all types. In terms of planning the release we’ve been working with a wide variety of customers and partners (PC makers, hardware developers, enterprise customers, developers, and more) since the start of the project. We also continue our broad consumer learning through telemetry (Customer Experience Improvement Program), usability studies, and more. One area this blog will soon explore is all the different ways we learn from customers and the marketplace that inform the release.

We have two significant events for developers and the overall ecosystem around Windows this fall. The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) on October 27 and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) the following week both represent the first venues where we will provide in-depth technical information about Windows 7. This blog will provide context over the next 2+ months with regular posts about the behind the scenes development of the release and continue through the release of the product.

In leading up to this blog we have seen a lot of discussion in blogs about what Microsoft might be trying to accomplish by maintaining a little bit more control over the communication around Windows 7 (some might say that this is a significant understatement). We, as a team, definitely learned some lessons about “disclosure” and how we can all too easily get ahead of ourselves in talking about features before our understanding of them is solid. Our intent with Windows 7 and the pre-release communication is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about when we do talk. Again, top of mind for us is the responsibility we feel to make sure we are not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of partners and customers who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows.

Related to disclosure is the idea of how we make sure not to set expectations around the release that end up disappointing you—features that don’t make it, claims that don’t stick, or support we don’t provide. Starting from the first days of developing Windows 7, we have committed as a team to “promise and deliver”. That’s our goal—share with you what we’re going to get done, why we’re doing it, and deliver it with high quality and on time.

We’re excited about this blog. As active bloggers on Microsoft’s intranet we are both looking forward to turning our attention and blogging energies towards the community outside Microsoft. We know the ins and outs of blogging and expect to have fun, provide great information, and also make a few mistakes. We know we’ll misspeak or what we say will be heard differently than we intended. We’re not worried. All we ask is that we have a dialog based on mutual respect and the shared goal of making a great release of Windows 7.

Our intent is to post “regularly”. We’ll watch the comments and we will definitely participate both in comments and potentially in follow-up posts as required. We will make sure that members of the Windows 7 development team represent themselves as such as well. While we want to keep the dialog out in the open, please feel free to use email to should you wish to. In particular, email is a good way to suggest topics we might have a chance to discuss on the blog.

With that, we conclude our welcome post and ask you to stay tuned and join us in this dialog about the engineering of Windows 7.

Steven and Jon

Please note the availability of this blog in several other languages via the links on the nav pane. These posts are also created by members of our development team and we welcome dialog on these sites as well. We will continue to expand the list in other languages based on feedback.


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  • Good to know that the Windows team and management are planning to listen to the community, although I think we all know development is probably a bit too far ahead by now to warrant REAL changes being made on the basis of commentary on this post.

    I'm carefully optimistic - good luck with this :)

  • Awesome! I'm looking forward to some great posts on this blog.

  • I have heard from some very inside sources that Windows 7 is more of the same.  How about starting with updating core components like making the system what it was supposed to be in Vista.  WinFS, WCF, WPF all at the core.

    We're stuck with windows 3.1 under the covers still.  Would love to see it trimmed down and revamped.  Apple reinvented itself with OS X and Microsoft better do the same here soon.

  • Kosher, you are wrong, Vista (and XP and W2k and all of the NT line) are NOT based on Windows 3.1 or DOS, please get your facts correct before telling someone else how to do their job.  Second, the NT line is the reinvention of Windows that OS X is to Mac OS classic.  Just because MS did it 7 years before Apple and did it without having to emulate the lesser OS doesn't make it not so.

    Anyways, I'm happy this blog is up and expect to have lots of fun here.  I trust it will be very educational, even to those who don't wish to be educated.

  • This is great however as a blog you really need rss enabled if you want people to subscribe and keep up to date with this blog.

  • Yes, an RSS feed would be welcome

    Apple's approach with virtualizing Mac OS 9 wasn't a bad idea.  The hardware is certainly powerful enough to handle it, and it'll give you an opportunity to "clean up" the Windows API.

  • I believe an RSS feed is on the way. There's a note on the right side of the page that states: "Syndication coming soon. Sorry for the delay."

  • Any chance this will be a microkernal type approach?

    Windows is getting big, and there is no reason for things such picture viewer and ie to be so closely tired to the operating system.

  • Great to see Microsoft officially joining the Windows 7 blogosphere.

    I do still watch over Shipping Seven (blogspot) in the hope of some juicy insider information on the next major client release...

  • Great news :)

    Now, can we know if Shipping Seven is a fake or not???

  • Hope this blog is as informative as your internal blog Steven.

  • THX  to Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky

    I look forward to the PDC. Thank you for all your efforts and your infinite work.

    THANKS to you and to Microsoft.

  • Ebscer: NT (including XP and Vista) is a hybrid microkernel OS.  For what it's worth, there are very few true microkernel systems out there (due to the poor performance of that approach).

    I think what you're referring to is a highly modular OS, not a microkernel OS.  A great deal of work went into Vista/W2k8 to make them much more modularized than their predecessors.  Expect that trend to continue.

  • Really great to hear about Windows 7. This is now the only reliable information source about the next Windows release. If there will be or will not be  RSS channel, I will looking up this blog really often.

  • Hey, great to hear your working on interacting more with us.

    one idea I have is for later down the road during windows 7 development. (beta 1 + ) This is to get general feedback from us while not really being a beta tester.

    Create a website with a promote, demote and neutral votes. People can post a suggestion or comment about what they would like to see in windows. Others can either vote up or vote down or vote neutral. This will let you guys know what we want by seeing how many like the ideas each other post.

    You guys can get in the fun too by posting your concepts and we can vote up or down.

    Many of us cant and will not ever be beta testers, even in the pubic betas. and a simple e-mail forum wont cut it. This is a lot more interactive and you can see how many agree or disagree with other ideas.You can then build windows on top of this. May come to the surprise to you but a lot of us "non testers" are very  smart when it comes to computing and we wish there were better ways to interact with out computer.

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