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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  • Please add 1 and 4 and type the answer here:
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  • Hi,

    could we have the next version of windows something like this pls ----

    watch it from 1:05 onwards.

    Windows sure wouldnt lose sales to Macs then..

  • @Anoop Parwani

    I love animation in this video

    but  GUI and Fonts  Vista is more beautiful!

  • The animation is what exactly im talking about. @ Windows Developers - Can we not have something like that in the next Windows version?

  • ohh btw the UI is awesome in the video too.. if we could have something like that as well pls..

  • How about giving me something like Expose on Windows 7?  No, I'm not talking about Flip 3D.

  • Great, welcome (back) to the blogosphere!  Of course we are going to be following this blog with great interest, especially as it relates to the juxtaposition of Windows and Windows Live.  While we want to hear from you what is coming, it's our understanding that Windows Live will play a much more significant role in Windows (or perhaps more precisely, that Windows will defer to Windows Live in offering many of the services now embedded in Windows.  Bill Gates has already mentioned Windows Live Movie Maker as one example).  Would love to hear your comments on the engineering challenges in separating services from the OS.  And what part do you see in the "engineering" aspects of getting teams that have done things a certain way for a long time to now take a new approach?

    Looking forward to an open and honest discussion around Windows, and Windows Live :)

  • Hey Jon, I'm a Microsoft Beta Tester and I met you at the 'Winstock' tour.  It was great to listen to your session and to listen to some of the challenges of Windows, application compatibilty/legacy support.  At the time, afterwards I encouraged you to get out to the community and really show you wanted to listen.  Is taken a while, but now is the time to show that you can listen and will work with the community - it certainly is a challenge but one I feel you have done well to accept.  I have no idea if I influenced you in any way, but I'm really glad to see that now we will see how passionate, and sincere you are about Windows, and hopefully others will also realise that, but also appreciate you do also have a product to sell, and deadlines to meet.  Good luck!

  • If I understand the goal here, we're going to be able to see some of the reasoning behind how Windows 7 was engineered--although not necessarily the what part. Could be interesting in itself, particularly if you can share details.

    I hope you also set the stage with what the main goals of Windows 7 are. As I read through the comments on this first post I can already see people advocating this or that redesign. It would be good from the outset if we better understood what the intent of Windows 7 is.

    Along these lines, I'd also like to see how Windows 7 is being designed to better handle the hardware changes we're seeing in the marketplace: to notebooks (where there's little notion of swapping components to get something to work) or small notebooks with limited resources (like the Eee PC) or with webcams (many notebooks now include webcams) or managing connectivity (where there's a radio beyond WIFI), or multi-cores, or multi-touch, and so on.

    Anyway, looking forward to future posts.

  • Engineer is more beautifully like this video is all i say :-)

  • Good deal. Looking forward to all that you guys have to offer.

  • The people wonts Eye candy eye candy and eye candy.

    even the most complex functions of an operating system are often not well appreciated if missing eye candy.

  • This is definitely a good idea. Two way communication is always best.

    Since everyone is throwing their ideas into the suggestions box already, here are my thoughts.

    More customization of the UI. Vista looks pretty, yes, but the inability to really change colors and fonts and transparency of the taskbar and such is frustrating (as someone who uses multiple OSes). Sure there are third party applications for this, but they (in my experience) are buggy and cause system instability.

    Less dependence on the registry. For someone who provides tech support the registry is a nightmare. Always. Applications not showing up as installed, applications not showing up as un-installed, sloppy installation programs causing system instability due to a deleted registry key. I currently have a computer sitting in this room that will not let me install any programs because an uninstaller decided to be overzealous in it's editing of the registry and deleted a key needed for apps like the InstallShield Wizard.

    Those are my ideas. Take them or leave them.

    Thanks for opening up a little.

    -Donnie Gearhart/limefan913

  • the URL for syndication seems to be the same syntax as all other MSDN blogs so not sure why is says "syndication is coming"

  • Hello everyone,

    I am new to blogging please forgive any mistakes. I would like to make three suggestions for Windows 7. First, I love the speach recognition in Vista; however, I would like to be able to use a bluetooth head set like the one I use with my cell phone when using speach recognition. This would allow me some mobility when working. Second, as a parent concerned about their kids Internet experience, I would like to have parental control email me a report of the website my children are visting. I would like to be able to set the interval to daily, weekly or monthly. Finaly and I don't know if this is possible but I would also like the ability to monitor instant messaging as part of parental control. Its not that I don't trust my kids, I just think I need to gard them from a potential bad experinece. I am not sure if this is the type of information you were looking to recieve from users.

  • VistaLover:  You do realize that Active Directory, NTFS, DNS, DHCP, THE REGISTRY, are all based on flat file databases that were all developed back in 93-95?

    Did you know that Microsoft developed WPF, WCF, and .NET and isn't even using it in Vista?

    All that I am saying is that Vista was envisioned to be much more and it ended up be XP with a minor update to the UI.  They've added nice features to 2008 and server core is pretty sweet but when you get down to the components that have always been there, like DNS, Active Directory, etc, it's the same PITA it was before.

    Try developing with some of these technologies and you'll find that many of the things date way back and have just been covered up with wrapper classes.

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