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 1 and type the answer here:
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  • also you must care about general performance and minimize boot time

  • My wish list for the next Microsoft Operating System:

    (1)     Built in application virtualization so that applications "think" they are running on the correct version of Windows and do not die.

    (2)     A "sudo" method of allowing "some" users to run applications with administrative rights without having to know "THE" administrator password.

    (3)     It would be nice if the OS was not so resource hungry

    (4)     When patches fail, it would be nice if we could figure out what was the problem (like a bad registry entry)

    (5)     I think too much time was spent on DRM and not enough time was spent on stability (Why do you assume that your users are all pirates?)

    (6)     It would be nice if your Windows Update site was open to other "trusted" vendors so that when an update for Java, Flash, etc. became available we had a one stop shopping place, "windows update", to get all our patches instead of having to check with every vendor.

    Raymond M. A. Erdey

  • In my opinion, because Windows is the best os for gaming, you should confirm its value by adding the possibility to boot the system with limited features, in order to fully satisfy games' high demand in resources. This would (optionally) happen when an installed game's cd is inside the drive; otherwise, it could be ordered also from a normal session.

  • My wishlist (for a while now):

    (1) Second vote for built-in vitrualization for older/incompatible applications mentioned by Raymond's post above

    (2) Password-protected folders (Optionally with encryption would be a great boost to this feature as well)

    (3) No DRM.  It makes Microsoft look like it's building an operating system according to the demands of an industry instead of it's individual customers.  It also has the nasty side-effects of degrading performance and potentially insulting your customers (treating them like pirates by default).

    (4) Allowed startup program manager - This feature would be killer.  It would essentially allow the user to say which programs have their explicit permission to automatically run on system startup.  Programs can run on startup from way too many places right now for the average user to manage (Startup folder, registry folders, boot files, etc) - we need a way to manage them in one central window.  Once a program has been added to the user's "blocked" list (blocked from running on startup), it would never be allowed to run on startup for that user again - it would essentially be on a blacklist for disallowed startup programs.  This would be an ENORMOUS help for defeating spyware, adware, and other malicious programs that take up system resources and would lead to faster boot times and increased system performance for all.

    (5) Show a clock on the login screen. Seriously.  How many times have you nudged your computer mouse just to check the time?  I know I have done this a LOT, and then needed to login, then needed to wait until the desktop loads back, etc.  Just put a simple clock on the login screen and the problem is solved.  Seriously.

  • I would like to see that Microsoft will concentrate on the basics of an operating system, not too demanding for system requirements (RAM, processor, etc). The main task of an operating system is to run software!

    The less an OS requires system resource the better it leaves more resources for applications. A little bit of nice design is fine but please please do not exaggerate with these kind of stuff!!!

  • It would be truly great to see most of those comments being finally realized in Windows 7.

    As most of the others I simply want a lean and fast OS that keeps as much resources free as possible. I simply don't have any need for an OS that uses more RAM than the actual software I am using.

    In respect to this I would be really glad to see Internet Explorer and Media Player removed from the standard installation or at least giving an option to let those apps never land on the hard drive. This goes for all apps Microsoft has ever invented for Windows. Give the power users all options to modularize to their will. Remove the clutter, go back to the basics.

    I don't think that this is possible but for the future it would be amazing to see a truly object oriented OS. Imagine the possibilities.

    You have the core OS in the center with all files necessary to run it as one "object". This is the forbidden ground no one can enter without notice. And nothing gets changed much in it.

    Now, when you want to install something you simply copy the files to ONE directory on the hard drive with ALL options and settings placed inside of it. This is another object. To install it you simply connect this object with the core. This way, anything can happen to the app. It can crash, become corrupted or anything else. It won't matter because the only thing that gets blasted is the connection. No more registry hacks, no more installations that copy files into a Windows directory. No more viruses because nothing can be copied into the core directories. You have to manually connect each new app to Windows. This would be an amazing OS which would be though out from the ground.

    Ok, I don't think that you will be able to realize very soon. Hence, at least do something about those nasty installations. Keep everything of a software in one place only. Do no let it copy anything inside the Windows directory. And do not let it copy files to ten different locations even if you tell it to move everything to a certain directory.

    For the rest, see the other comments, which are great!

  • Drivers!

    It would be nice if windows 7 moved from Host controller driver, and used a chip instead, still uses the USBD and IRPS but on a chip would save a lot of problems!

  • Please make the Windows RUN dialog width resizable! I often have very long command lines and it is VERY ANNOYING not being able to see the whole command line at once! (And copying and pasting the command line from a text editor is also very annoying!)

  • Esteemed Sirs:

    Let me start expressing my utmost respect both for Windows as well as Microsoft, being an avid computer aficionado since the old days of the Atari 600XL, and having gone through DOS on an 8086.  I understand the term "legacy", and even though I'm not a computer "über-expert", I'm quite comfortable hacking the registry and windows services...

    As has been utterly demonstrated in many aspects of human experience, change comes in two flavors: Evolutionary and Revolutionary.

    The improvements from DOS 2.2 all the way to 5.2 we're all evolutionary, same as from Windows 2.0 to Vista.  That is, improve upon the same concept, keeping what's good, removing some problems, and generally making better something already good.  In the process, you do make compromises to earlier decisions that - with the experience time gives - might not have been the best looking back...

    HOWEVER, there comes a time when the pressure - be it social, economic or in this case technological - forces a quantum leap or revolutionary change, that will make and brake the landscape, in this case the personal computer industry.

    My personal feeling is we've reached said point, where we're tying down further development out of fear of letting go of the past, breaking free and the intrinsic fear of jumping off the cliff.

    PEOPLE!... Time to think like a young man back in the early 80's and the beginning of the PC revolution!: A NEW WINDOWS...

    A new Windows that states no legacy support, but designed from the ground-up to:

    1) Boot-up (at least the core part of the OS) from rewritable solid state devices embedded in motherboards.  Remember how fast the Commodore and Atari machines were able to get you up and running (seconds) !...

    2) Truly multi-core, multi-threaded OS, where you require at least 4 concurrent threads separated into 1x OS, 1x HW, 2x Applications.  From the design.

    3) Lightweight: No loading absurd amounts of services just to make sure you can run old software.  A light, clean and ultrafast OS.

    4) Support for SELECTED hardware at the most 3 years old.

    5) Concurrently - port Office to the new OS with same philosophy.

    6) EXTREMELY Gamer friendly, keeping the compatibility software layer philosophy (read DirectX streamlined with same philosophy).

    7) STOP trying to be everything to everyone - STOP trying to make it vanilla simple.

    8) Two GUI interfaces: One plain vanilla, non-configurable for business side, and another "expert" fully tweakable for home use.

    9) With so much computing power available, include as an add on system tools emulators - either for XP, NT, Win98, and even DOS.  Hardware now enables us to run faster on an emulator than the original stuff did directly to hardware!...

    In short, make it a fast, light OS that complies with 50% of users, and can expand according to needs with small programs and emulators for the 20% of the rest.  The other 30% - they will migrate!...

    See, most users like upgrading to something that feels faster, newer and more reliable - that is in fact NEW!... Problem is, Windows has gone through the it's product curve...

    People, we're using a legacy OS (Windows Vista) on top of a completely new generation of hardware stuck by the requirements of an OS, itself stuck by the perceived need of absolute backwards compatibility!...

    Think anew!... Think blank paper!...

    Think like Bill Gates back in 198X when creating the original Windows!...

  • As a Microsoft user since the advent of DOS, I have been apart of the experience of using every version of Windows up to the latest, Vista SP1. I have been a beta tester for several versions beginning with Windows 95. I have trialed other competitors operating platforms and find myself always brought back to Windows. Why? Is it the dominance of the platform and the wide expanse of software that was available? Was it the desire to be at the cutting edge in my field of IT? Whatever the reason, there has been one constant with Windows, a continuing and sometimes painful desire to bring a global community a platform that will adapt to a world-wide user base. Vista, in my opinion, has only been a continuing aspect of this evolution. Have I been happy and pleased with all aspects, no. Have I continued to remain though in the realm, yes. I have seen great advances and mediocre as well. And now, it's time for the development of the next version.

    Many would like to scrap the entire system and start over. I think that would be a mistake. There are definite advantages that have kept up with the other advancing technologies and seamless integration. I think the aspect of separating the home user from professional was a good decision as the two needs are quite different. I will continue to look forward to provide input when possible, be willing to experiment, and continue to support the Windows community. While other operating platforms have been able to make strides in the market, users, both corporate and home, continue to remain in the Windows platform. There is nothing, other than maybe the market place, that users will say have prevented them from moving to other systems, I disagree. They still have a choice, limited as it might be, it's still a matter of choice.

    I wish the best to the team in their conquest. I'm pleased that they have started out with this blog to invite comments from the community. Obviously, not everyone's ideas will obviously be incorporated but more importantly, that they continue to advance the technology to meet tomorrows needs that haven't even been imagined yet.

  • I think most of the posts above got everything that I would complain about.  One thing that bugged me from the get go for Vista was the fact that there were 5 different versions.  Needless to say this probably added more complexity to an OS that really needed to sell itself on simplicity and user friendliness.  How user friendly is it when folks first need to do research on which version to get???    With XP it was Home or Pro which made sense, so for future sake go back to this model or better yet one install version with the choice of doing either.  This way folks won't feel like they're being short changed.

  • Great to hear that Windows 7 Team is going to hear from the customers and share some internal developments going on.

    I myself being a software engineer in India's top most IT companies know how an application (or should I say a system application) is developed. I would do all my very best to help you guys and give suggestions.

    All the best to the entire Windows 7 team.

  • leaked promo video of windows 7

  • Windows 7 should get rid of the registry. Maintain compatibility with existing applications using a virtual machine. Simplify and speed up Windows and log on users without administrator privileges by default. Require the administrator password for each administrator level action.

  • Windows 7 should definitely be a 64 bit operating system. The hardware has been there for some time now. 32 bit compatibility can be provided in a virtual machine. A major effort is needed to work with third party hardware vendors to develop a comprehensive set of drivers.

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