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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  • Anoop Parwani... exactly  That was back when they were actually doing real cool stuff and talking about using WPF for the UI, WCF for the communications, P2P for data transfer, WinFS for filesystem and data API, etc.

    Someone killed it though and I don't know why.  Too cool?

  • Windows Team, please read take a minute to read the post below...

  • This blog is definitely a great idea and I -as a Windows developper and user- am looking forward to some interesting information about what we could be expecting from Windows 7. I hope this blog will become an efficient way to share ideas between Windows Team and developpers/users community.

    Keep us in touch and good luck with this :)

  • Kosher, there is a difference between "was developed in 93-95" and "has windows 3.1 under the covers".  You said the latter first, then changed it to the former.  NT was released in '93, and IS the rewrite of Windows 3.x that you act like they need to do.  There is not one thing OS X or Linux has (why don't people ever tell the linux people to rewrite their OS? It's just as old as Windows NT...) or can do that you could not add to the NT line of Windows OS's.  Ergo, MS doesn't need to rewrite their OS to 'catch up' to Mac or linux, if necessary they can just add or subtract things.  You don't seem really informed on this subject, I suggest you let it die.

  • I hope windows 7 fixes the inconsistencies that vista has in UI as well as in logic. has a very good compilation or UI inconsistencies.

  • It's really super that this site has started, and I congratulate Jon, Steven, and crew for the step forward.

  • In order for windows to get better a total rewrite is needed. Adding things will only make it worse....

  • Please, if there is anything that you should keep in mind when designing this new OS, is that no one wants ten zillion features that bogs down the machine it runs on.  This is my huge beef with Vista and the main reason I refuse to run it.

    Less is more.  Really, it is.  Microsoft went completely in the wrong direction with Vista.

    I personally think that, if you want a real hit on your hands, strip down the Vista OS to bare bones, optimize the heck out of the code, and tune the baby for speed.  And instead of loading it down with features, take a tip from Firefox and let everyone write "plug ins" for it instead.  Also like Firefox, put them in one central place and let people have them for free.

    That way we get only the features we really want, the OS stays speedy, and if we decide we don't need a feature anymore (or if a better version comes out) we unplug one and plug in the other.

    That, my techie friends, would sell me completely and totally on your new OS.  I can't stress this enough.

  • Steven and Jon,

    Thank you for setting up this blog. It will help me inform the people who come to me for Windows/PC advice how to prepare. It will help me separate the truth from the slanders of the hardcore Mac/Linux crowd. I wasn't able to participate in the Vista beta, but I will be ready for the Seven beta. Guys, I know you have a monumental challenge ahead, but the Vista users have got your back. Good luck and good coding.

  • You guys rule. Now tell us more about Win7.

  • "Steven and Jon", please consider not posting under an aggregate pseudonym like "e7blog", or even as vague shadowy personas who miraculously speak in a single voice whose only name is "we" (Borg-like, no?), but as full-named individual contributors.

    As it is, it's only two posts in and the blog risks turning into a syndicated PR feed; a stream of anaemic, shilling, anodyne and bland corporate-speak, whose bias is complete and thus totally untrustworthy. That's not something I'm interested in reading.

  • test

    my other post wont post?

  • tobor1: You'll find most of the features you're looking for in Windows Parental Controls and/or Windows Family Safety (online service). Whilst they're a little disjointed right now, the next release of Family Safety should be much more powerful, flexible, consistent and better integrated with Windows.


  • what the heck are you not wallowed to copy and past into the  comments of this blog i have a nice long list of stuff i typed in work and i copy the text and past it in the comments and  submit it an the page reloads and the post doesn't show up.???

  • I agree with your comment somewhat. Might work in a "Online OS" or what ever microsoft has plans for after 2010 But I think the main point here is only have 2 versions (home and Business) or better yet have ONE OS with every single feature. Vista has how many? 7? Go the mac OSX approach and have ONE OS with all the features. No need to confuse customers. But also make it easy for us to turn off features we dont use or even go in to different modes (Business mode will be a strip down mode, not much resources while entertainment mode will use the systems full resources since you will be gaming, watching movies etc)

    Thats really whats on my top list for windows 7 requests is create less versions. Eirther create two for home and professional users or just create one with ALL features..

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