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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  • Regarding the elimination of the Registry:

    For power users, this is a good idea, but you'd have to know the language that the config files are written into, say, XML. You'd also have to know what is safe to finagle, and what to stay away from. Should the system core config itself be written transparently, and if so, where is the security? Self-healing config files (then you'd have to monitor them).

    For people who want a toaster to get stuff done, it probably wouldn't be such a good idea. OS X has the better idea in this regard - hide everything.

    Perhaps a better Registry tool could be developed that would interpret what you are trying to change, and what links to the entry in question - up and down line. I'm thinking of a tweaker's IDE. Thay way, you'd know if a user's program was writing where it shouldn't (like LOCAL MACHINE), when it should be writing to CURRENT USER.

    Enforcing complete removal of Registry entries upon de-installation would solve a LOT of problems. But, then you'd have to monitor that, too. Using "System Volume Information" is a good idea, and one could have that engine monitor Registry installations, but wouldn't it be better to put that information along with the swap file into a primary partition that doesn't have a drive letter, like my system recovery partition on my Toshiba laptop? That way, one wouldn't care if it didn't defragment, nor be unmovable within the system's file system, like it is now.

    I also like the idea of a optionally mandatory sandbox for testing out new programs - it's a shame Home Premium won't run VirtualPC. Perhaps you could remove the enterprise-level functionality from VPC to create a simpler 'VPC for Home Premium' to run just on one computer or local home network??

  • Can we get a 3d desktop? Or at least the ability to stack documents like a real desk? I think it can be implemented better than OSX.

  • Instead of a number of flavours of OS, can we have one OS.

    Can that one OS be configurable as Basic, Intermediate & Power.

    In each configuration, can we have the ability to install those modules that are required by the user, so less space is taken up.

  • Some wise choices ( I think )

    Visual styles should understand when computer is on heavy workload and when it's unneeded because opening programs and doing other things quickly make you feel you don't need to have animation when Maximizing, Minimizing or opening many applications.

    Office image editing should be instead of normal paint because paint has too few options and not so easy to crop image.

    Idea of having contact list imported and exported to sidebar what can interact with integrated MSN Live Messenger , Windows Live Outlook and import and export contacts info and images from Facebook or MSN Spaces would be a leap ahead.

    Having notification when pagefile ,MFT or other components need bootime defragment would be leap ahead.

    Instead of many warning and notifications everything should be in one place so it would be easily to manage by the user.

    Removing more junk and backup files made by programs and updates really need to be able to clean up with the integrated JunkCleaner.

    So perhaps during installation or first usage of the new OS the users should option how the OS reacts and how auto should work for the user needs based on the experience of computer usage or something like default( BASIC ) or advanced user setup.

    Hope the best for the development!

    ( English is not my native language :S )

  • I'd like to see couple of things improved in Windows file management:

    1. When copying/moving across a number of files, in addition of "Yes", "Yes to all", "No", I'd like to see an option "No to all".  This has been driving me round the bend for years now! (Anyone else feeling frustrated about not having this option?)

    2. File renaming - I'd like to be able to add a string of characters in front of the current file name - e.g. If I have image1.jpg, image2.jpg, image3.jpg I'd like to be able to rename them on one go to "Conference 2008 pix - image1.jpg", "Conference 2008 pix - image2.jpg" and "Conference 2008 pix - image3.jpg" rather than having to rename them one by one! (Takes ages I tell you!!)

    Basic things, I know..

    Also - I'd like to see registry cleaner as part of the standard maintenance options in Windows..especially an option for "remove all keys with text [XYZ]"!!

  • I have read most of this posts and for developers and sysadmins the most important thing is a good terminal.

    Microsoft could really learn a lot from the *nix systems out there.

    The Xp and Vista command line is quite good if you have GNU Minimal system, MSys installed.

    Its still quite slow, though. And cygwin is not good enough dealing with Windows.

    So please include a good, fast, *nix like terminal.

    One more thing that could really help us developers work with Windows instead of *nix systems is to include Openssh with the Windows installation.

    It is a pain to start an Openssh daemon on Windows and it isnt that stable.

    If those features are included with the next Windows release, Microsoft would "win back" many developers who has escaped the Windows platform

  • now I'm a mac user (before Windows XP) and os x has become my development environment too.

    But I'd like to see a new and powerful Windows. Maybe someone finds this interesting or useful - this is what I like to see.

    - Powerfull shell

    - a redesigned kernel without Win32

    - Win32 virtualization layer, to use all the old software and drivers

    - Nice and clean UI (not too much color, resolution independend of course, maybe license display-ps or display-pdf?)

    - Layered registry (if it is still there, it could be a solution for registry problems if every program gets its own registry layer that can be removed - I can tell you more about this idea)

    - standard conform browser as basic html kit

    - not too much of new microsoft standards

    - powerful file system

    - libraries for writing/reading pdf, doc, xls, odf, ooxml ...

    The weirdest software design of the world ? Here it is

    Use open-source, whereever it is possible and concentrate on things that gives you the possibility to produce a stunning new OS. Wanna

    get all Linux users to switch to Windows 7?

    - Write a great Win32 virtualization layer (integrated in the system)

    - Add a stunning UI

    - Use a Linux kernel as basel (or at least parts of it)

      (I heard MS has a nice microkernel too...)

    - Add a delepoment environment like Visual Studio

    - Think of using LLVM as a possible base for applications

    - os should be optimized to run on multiple cores

    sell it, good luck

  • Will you take the opportunity to simplify the connection to the printers servers in heterogeneous network ?

    I manage the network of a small company, we have Linux, Mac OS X and Windows XP. We have a print server with Linux and Cups ( The print server manages three laser printers connected by USB.

    With Linux and Mac OS X, it's simple, the print server and its three printers are automatically detected, there are no drivers to install. It works alone, SIMPLE !!!

    With Windows XP it's hell, Windows does not detect the print server, drivers want a local printer. For Windows, you must set up a local printer and configure a remote port, an aberration.

    Since an update, the last page of documents is never printed, printing PDF crashed a printer. Yes, printing a PDF using the driver of a manufacturer crashed the printer of that manufacturer. Hell !!!

    The CUPS print server uses the IPP protocol. I asked the Microsoft support, they told me that the IIS service must install, yes, install IIS service !!! Soon to use Word, you need to install SQL server.

    Why this is not as simple as Linux or Mac OS X, why make the use of non-Microsoft product also complicate?

  • Hello all,

    better interoperability with Linux and other os like Macos whould be great.

  • Hi,

    First, such a very good idea give us a chance to talk  with the windows core team :)

    As a small software freelance i (and my cocompetitors) find it a lot more complicated to configure the instalation of our software at clients runing under Vista.

    We understand that the UAC and Programfile/ProgramData rep. are the "new secure way" of dealing but I that noticed Noone among small dev. was even able to configure a fully Vista-way instalation procedure. (not to talk of a dif. windows vers.)

    I frequently read on forums that all them came out to use an akward way to complish this. Working with Vista but not fully Vista ready (how do you even prepare it for that ?) so they all keep using created directories directly on C:\ to avoid the "Vista headache"

    not to say that many would agree a software is just easier to develop if one can use a single configuration profile for all Windows versions !

    (or let say at least starting from the XP vers.)

    Our nigtmare now is to dicrover that Windows 7 will come out with it's own NEW instalation flavor and more specific directorie's configurations.

    Can't you guys found out a simpliest way to simplify instalations ?

    Isn't making computing simpler a key feature in our XXI c. ?

    Thanks for all efforts in this way :)

  • The new OS must be able to configure itself to dual boot with Win2K or XP and not trash either of these. I want to maintain my previous OS intact to be productive until I lean the new one. Go to 64-bit and drop backward compatibility and all the baggage that goes with with.

  • Just make windows 7, 50% faster than windows vista and ill be happy.

  • Make direct x 11 work with 32bit games on 64bit OS and make it work with older DX enabled graphic cards  because when they are forced to run games on low detail with good hardware and 6gigs of memory won't make people happy for their 64bit systems with 32bit games!!!

    ( if that's not easy to implement then asking companies to make updates would be good also )

  • Direct x 11 should work on older graphic cards and 32bit games should work in 64bit environment with high detail not that you are forced to use low detail games on your quad core and 6gig memory computer!!!

  • Less animations and fluff please.

    Vista business is anything but. It takes an age to disable all the unneccesary rubbish to get you back to a decent speed business tool.

    PLease, make a business version of Windows 7 that takes into account what you need in a business. No games, no animations, no extra pop-ups (like UAC), no nice backgrounds, no themes, no sidebar. Think minimalist.

    Put all the extra garbage in the home versions.

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