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 3 and 4 and type the answer here:
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  • Yes I hope too that it would have a real Proffesional version without games, MSN,Outlook Express,  themes whynot because users likes have a beautifull display (as at home) if it's not decrease the speed of Windows.

    That will be cool too is an tools for Administrator to allow user to install or not (USB  or other)device by an console like

    Parental authorization in Live Messenger.

    Very important also that the upgrade and service pack does make it unusable a comptuter that that there a 3 years ago works well with the basic version

  • Check out this multiclipboard idea that I developed:

    I think it is interesting to include some app like this in your new windows 7.

  • Given all the comments in the numerous threads of this blog, I have a question. When are we going to see draft specifications on what is going into 7?

    Then we can see if engineering is going in the right direction!

  • Some posts have mentioned keyboard shortcuts; as a trainer, I cannot overstate the importance of giving XP users a simple transition to the new GUI.  It would be very helpful to leave all the shortcuts and methods performing repetitive tasks exactly intact from XP to 7 (such as WindowsKey D, CTRL+A, et al).  This would be different than what happened with Office '03 to '07 (very disorienting.)

    To go one step further - have a user selectable option for alternative and more intuitive logic for shortcuts that will give 7 a leg up to Apple's OS.  Ex: CTRL+P = Paste NOT CTRL+V  You could use the methodology  to make working with a Windows based computer with shortcuts that are easier to remember.

    It's becoming more "user driven" world everyday - by making Windows 7 based computers easier to work for the daily "business" (non IT) users I think you can upgrade users in DROVES.

  • I hope there will finally be a more efficient Open/Save dialog!! Millions of users for years have been begging to have a PERSISTENT view mode (details, list, etc.) in the Open/Save dialog - please listen to these millions of users!!!

    Please also add this trick: When closing the SAVE dialog with OK while holding the Ctrl key opens a Windows Explorer window with the folder where the file was saved. Millions of users will praise you for this!!!

    The API for the Open/Save dialog is still not documented - please disclose it, so third party developers could easily modify or replace it without having to use exotic/dangerous tricks!!!

    P L E A S E !!!!!!

  • Working at Geek Squad, I have had patience telling people to give Windows Vista a shot, and they will see that it does a good job.  There are a few things that I would like to see though in the Windows 7 release

    In response to GetTurnerTime, the keyboard shortcut keys are actually a very weak selling strategy.  The only people that use these shortcut keys are geeky types.  And the CTRL+V for paste is actually a standard... Mac, Linux, UNIX, BSD, and Windows distributions all use the CTRL+V and other shortcuts.  I would be ticked if Windows Dev team switched that!

    Eye candy is great, but the functionality has to be there as well.  When Vista was first released, the Aero would keep crashing.  It was cool eyecandy, but had no functionality.  Updates later fixed it though :)

    Linux kicked the crap out of Aero (sorry, I like Windows, but youtube the Beryl Project).  Windows should see what Linux and the Beryl Project are doing.  To be able to have four workspaces, and switch between workspaces with a 3D floating cube, and have the windows do ripple effects on the desktop, without a third party software.  That was what I was expecting in Vista, and unfortunatly, it didn't happen :(

    I applauded Windows when they went to the UNIX file structure look, but they left the Windows XP file structure all hidden and locked down, which seemed odd.  The only way I could see keeping it around was for program compatibility, but since Windows is ending support for XP in October, could the old file structure shortcuts be taken out??

    Lastly, when Windows gets messed up, it's a pain to fix.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but most of the headache comes from the Registry, and also the way that Windows depends on certain files to run.  Using explorer.exe will never go away, but I had an issue one day with WinLogon.exe doing the traditional logon-logoff bug.  And when the registry hives become corrupted, one has to search for a PE to "roll back" the registry.  Is there any way to become less dependent on a registry?  UNIX backbones don't even have a registry, and they are typically pretty stable machines software wise.

    I'm excited to see what Windows 7 will bring to the OS world.  With new computers coming out every day, I say go for graphical goodness, with an airtight interface.  Computers are coming with 6GB of ram!!! You all have Mac beat out...

    LOL-I ejected a cd from Mac, and iTunes was using it.  It not only locked iTunes, but it wouldn't let me force quit the app, and also held the CD until I rebooted.  Pish posh to Mac.

  • Hi,

    I had been thinking about this a few days ago. What if Windows was an Open-Source Project? Microsoft has the most number of users than any other Operating System in the world. Lots of people know about Windows, how it works, how it's programmed and how to make software for it.

    There are numerous security updates every time a new Windows version is launched. Simply because the knowledgeable folk learn about the new version launch their attacks against it.

    Many of those people and others would come around would love to program for Windows if it were an open-source project. The one thing an open-source project needs is a "huge user base" which you guys already have.

    Think about it, the whole programming world, working and building Windows Project. It's going to be awesome.

    How are you going to make money then? I am sure you can think of dozen other ways to make money. Even by giving away Windows for free.

  • I am glad to see MS taking input from it's customer and support base prior to the release of W7. I just hope that MS is sincere and isn't just doing this to give people a place to vent and no action. That said...

    I have been in IT support for over 14 years. During that time I have supported and used every flavor of Windows since 3.11. I currently support XP (all SPs), Vista (all SPs), and Server 2003 (all SPs). I really enjoyed using XP once SP2 was released. I also enjoyed supporting it since the release of SP2. I was very apprehensive about moving to Vista as I had allowed myself to loose my objectivity and listened to all the bad press. I started using Vista SP1 about 3 months ago and don't think it is any "worse" than XP SP2. What I mean by that is I haven't seen the issues that everyone has been complaining about. At the same time, I build all my own PCs and when I build one it is as high end as I can assemble at the time. I do get the feeling that if I were to install Vista on a slower system I would not be as accepting or understanding. I am also an avid PC gamer and my systems are mainly built for just that purpose. I wouldn't say that I am disappointed with MS and the choices it made with XP and Vista but to say I was happy or excited would not be true. This is what I would like to see from a company the caliber of MS and from W7...

    1. No more than 2 FRUs (consumer and enterprise), preferably just 1 FRU.

    2. Since I don't buy boutique systems and install Win myself I would like for the install to be as small as possible. Mainly just a kernel. During the installation I would like to be presented with a list of items or "packages" (exp: Internet Bundle includes Messenger, Outlook Express, and IE) to add on top of the kernel. When I say kernel I don't mean with IE built into it. I think the OS should be independent of any of it's features or apps. If I decide I want any further MS features on top of the OS I can just pop in the disc or go out to MS's website and download them. You could even include something in the setup that offers a few different configs (Kernel only, Most common, Business/Enterprise, Gamer, Completely Custom).

    3. I would like to see mature drivers for all certified hardware at the launch of the OS not at the launch of the OS's first SP.

    4. I would also like to see that it is only 64 bit also.

    5. Lastly, I know MS is in the business of... well... doing business. I understand that MS has to make money. But I feel that $300 - $500 for an OS is just wrong. Especially since the end-user or a technician has to constantly maintain it buy installing updates and SPs. I would like to see W7 released at a more reasonable investment of say $100 - $150. You would still make a killing considering that size of your customer base. Also, you make most of you profits from OEM deals that are typically less than $90 a license. So pass some of that love to those of use that prefer a more "personal" experience with their PCs.

    Thanks for listening...

  • Hi,

    I must agree with jeverson's post. A single product with all features available to install as options would remove confusion at point of sale for retail and corporate customers alike.

    Having a single product at a single price point in the sub $100 range would not only ease and speed the transition to a new OS for many people, it would also reduce the desire of some people to try and obtain less than legitimate copies of the software.

    I have maintained for years that if software producers didn't put such crazy premiums on their products that many more people would buy a legal version. I believe that it would actually come as a surprise to the major software producers, just how many more licences they would sell if the products were pitched at mass market prices - unfortunately many of these producers still believe that a low price tag devalues the perception of a product.

    Today, checking on Amazon, if I wanted Windows Vista Ultimate, Office Ultimate and Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended which are the main items that I need - it would cost me just under $2000. It isn't going to happen - I will stick to an earlier version or hold on to what I have got.

    Which is what software developers don't want - as they have to then support multiple versions for an extended period because a large swathe of their customer base isn't using they product they they have shed blood and tears to get to market and are so proud of.

    More and more people & businesses tend to skip one, two or even three versions of a product until the price point reaches the realistic level.

    If Windows 7 was released with a stable driver base in a single edition at a sub $100 price, I believe that it would be widely and quickly adopted - once the Vista Experience was removed from peoples minds.

    The benefits of having a single product with user configurable install choices would allow the more experienced user to tweak their setup to be exactly what they want.

    There could be built in install options i.e.

    Minimal - Just the kernel, no apps

    Basic - Kernel, basic apps - would happily run on lesser performance machines.

    Standard - Kernel, apps and some bells & whistles.

    Complete - everything that the W7 team have been working on in its full 3D, transparent, floating glory.

    Custom - Kernel plus anything and everything you want.

    But, hey I am just one user that has been using PC's and Microsoft software for the last 22 years letting you guys know my thoughts.

    I believe that the current system of Retail. Oem, Corporate, Student, Basic, Standard, Ultimate, Extended editions of not just Windows, but Office as well, is making unnecessary work for the development teams, distributors and retailers but that it also becoming confusing for the end user as to which product they need.

    One product, one price, one OS - Windows 7, there can be only one!

  • I like and use the parental controls that you have under Windows Vista, but I would like for you to consider an “enhancement”.

    Currently I use the log in times and “games on” /  “games off” options to control my son’s PC usage.

    I would like to keep this functionality, but I would like to add another option so that I can enter the “total time” that he can use the computer (minutes per day) and the amount of time that he can do gaming.

    For example lets say that on Monday I let him use the computer from 2:00pm till 9:00pm, but I really do not want him on the computer the whole time because then his sister can not log in to do her homework, so I would like to put in that he can use the computer for 4 hours for anything that he wants but can only play games for 30 minutes, which would give hime 3.5 hours of homework time and 30 minutes of game time.  I may only allow gaming on the weekends if I find that he is not completing his homework.  At the moment I enable games and disable games on a daily bases and that is getting very old.  I have enabled the Customer Experience Feedback on my system and you will probably see this information in your data (If I did not mess up my setup).  :-)

  • Hi there, I hope you are listening to us users, I would like to know if you have been following this forum

    I just hope that one of the main issues people seem to have with the current version of Vista 32/64bit is the "winsxs" folder size and the fact that this folder cannot be moved. I would like to be able to decide during installation which partition or drive to place this folder in as it currently fills the c drive.

  • My gosh theres so many posts can anybody now keep up with them all?

    I would change a few security issues in windows 7, a NON executable stack - a decent IDS system, and an ability to list every port and click each one closed with a password lock, get rid of netstat nobody really understands netstat most users dont even know it exists, instead put an icon where they can find it make it a gui, and have it named My Internet - in that put there all the things about the internet - but in english or which ever language there using, half the problem is not everyone understand udp/tcp etc, make it much simpler:

    protect my computer with: windows firewall (or there own)

    protect what my computer sends and recieves with (windows defender or there own antivirus)

    and if they have no protection at all have "windows will connect to microsoft security page, where you can choose proper protection" microsoft can then make sure no computer is unprotected - which should stop about 70% of all the crap going round the internet.

  • The greatest thing about Windows 7 that I have found so far is hardware compatibility right out of the box. I installed it on my 2 year old Vaio, and it picked up and installed everything, except the camera, which worked after my first trip through WU. Stability is freakin' great, especially for being a pre-beta. Nice job MS...can't wait to get this RTM.

  • I'd like to participate in helping to create a better windows. As far as I am concerned I have really missed the usability-view in vista. Where can I get this pre-beta version blackrose is talking about?

  • Well, i write for ask you this ::

    1)In windows 7 , users should forget to make a defragmentation!!!!!

    So find a way so that the hard disk management in Windows 7, is very efficient , very fast and optimized!!!!

    No defrag for users, the user in Windows 7 must only work, not think about nothing else.

    Therefore find ways to optimize the management of records, and in performance with very low fragmentation !!!!!!!!!!

    That's very very important, windows 7 Team!!!!!!!!!!!

    Windows 7 will be easy , very very easy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just fragmentation, once and for all.

    The users are annoys to Defragment windows!!!!!!!!!!!

    Find a way to do this, maybe make an Api specific for this!!!!!

    2)Reduce enormously , the memory and cpu occupation and consuption and Aero interface consuption, because also this , is very very important, for the windows 7 success!!!!!

    otherwise you risk really being overtaken by competitors this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3) Multicore cpu consuption, will be balanced on each Core of quad-core and octa-core Cpu !!!!!!

    "And listen to the advice of a stupid user once every so often"


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