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 4 and 8 and type the answer here:
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  • I don't the internals of vista. But, I use Vista Ultimate edition and it is clean installation instead of purchasing a PC having vista installed.

    The difference I observed is, clean installation performs better than the one we got from vendor. I think what we get from a vendor is a demonized version of windows vista. May be Microsoft can suggest ( or plead with) their vendors not to bloat their OS with unnecessary crap. It's ultimately Microsoft who gets the bashing. I also run Ubuntu 8.0.4 on my PC and except for difference in boot time, I don't see any difference in performance. FYI... I just have 1.5 GB RAM on my laptop and I am not a pet user...


  • I have a wish for the next Windows version. I think that Windows Vista is way too slow. It takes ages to boot when not using the sleep function and it has loads of tasks running in the background. Even with faster multitasking, applications use too much time to load.

    I use Vista on both my primary computers. The people developing Linux have understood this. They make their os both fast and good looking.

    Microsoft and Apple seems to head the same way in this matter.

    People have been spoiled with Windows XP for so many years. Since this is an old os now, it is fast compared to the hardware today.

  • Is it possible join any Alfa/Beta W7 programs? :)

  • Of course u should clean install on every pc u buy.Pcs with vista already install usually have trimmed-down installations or stupid configuration s like 2 same partitions.

    As far for the suggestions... I would love to see a steady core that uses the power of quad processors be modular ( what ms did in windows server 2008 and vista was a good move so keep it that way ) . Me ( like alot of people i guess ) i have the leaked build installed on a test pc  and i think that the new interface is a good move. Of course is still in early stages so some bugs and hangs are expected. But i honestly believe that if u can keep tha core in  low size and make it modular and able to use the power of cpu more efficiently it will improve overall perfomance dramaticaly.

  • As said in an earlier post

    I know some of this is in Vista but this so much better!

    MS take note that impressions count for a lot and with your capabilities you could make this happen.

    Apple folks are happy to pay 20% over the odds for something that "looks good" and has a great user experience


    The Youtbe video is exactly the type of advertising that is required - no cheesy US voiceover banging on about user productivity etc

    Just show the product and it should sell itself

    Less is more and that is why for years BMW didn't even show a person talking in their adverts they just displayed the car.

    I bet if you put a market research survey out there of the best advert you have today for Windows Vista and this the feedback would be clear

  • Windows needs to make a strong comeback. Not in numbers, but in the minds of people. Let's see what Microsoft can do with W7!

  • When you create a blogg with these intentions in mind, it is important that you do follow the visitor's visions over time. Note what has been said multiple times, and do not refrain from integrating it into the next version of Windows.

    Here are some features that I know everyone would like:

    1) A dock on the "top" of the screen. Download the program Rocketdock and see how it works!

    2) A search-field which is part of the task bar. You should not have to open the menu, since then, nobody is bothered to use it.

    3) A fresh interface. I've personally grown tired of black (Win), brown (Lin) and gray (Mac) as the colors on my desk. Windows XP did it well with a blue color which was nice to look at.

    4) Better hierachy. You should have a menu on the left where you could choose folders. Then when you open a folder, another menu should be added to the right of it, displaying the maps/files in the map you just clicked on. This allows the user to access all their maps much quicker.

    5) Better performance. When I try to open Firefox now, it usually takes about 5 seconds. With XP, this took a standalone second. The responsiveness must be improved a lot.

  • When using touch screen can you build in a simple utility that allows you to open programs without having to fiddle with the start bar / quick launch and without the need to have numerous icons on the desktop..

    similar to this picture here I have made

    It may already be done but I haven't seen it on a touch screen.

  • I agree with the blog posting from a developer that was referenced to the windows team earlier.

    I have Vista at home on a new machine and it runs well. I have put Vista on a 1.5 year old high spec Toshiba Tablet (M400) with 2GB ram and it runs like a dog.

    The disk is always thrashing and holds up the whole experieince. After suffering with it for 6 months I just rebuilt it with XP and it flies.

    I am a Technology Architect at our company of over 16,000 staff and I am tasked with recommending our roadmaps. I can't justify Vista on current laptops and can't justify the $35million spend to refresh our whole fleet when it runs XP very well.

    The consequential impact is that we have also not been able to recommend Office 2007. The seed of doubt was planted with Vista (i.e. what are the benefits) and our users with two upgrades (Office 2007 first - new UI) and then Vista later did not stack up to reasoning.

    So the company may wait for Windows 7 and Wave 14 for Office

    The most I can recommend is Vista on new laptops only (once we have a confirmed high spec model that performs well) and office 2007 across the board. Then wait for Windows 7 once it has been available for 2 years.

    However by then we may be thin client across the board with Citrix at the backend apart from our small mobile workforce.

    Now make Windows 7 run on our current hardware and we would install without a hesitation as the productivity gains make any minor software impact worth it. However expect me to recommend across the board hardware upgrades for an OS which is percieved as bringing little TANGIBLE benefit to the workforce and they will spend their money on a Mainframe upgrade and keep the change.

  • Again based on the earlier external blog

    Somehow you must stop the retail OEM versions of software being b@stardized with utilities which are buggy, duplicate functions that already exist in the OS, provide little/no value, devalue the user experience by creating confusion.

    Isn't the huge effort MS developers put into the user experience worth defending in some way?

    Perhaps in OEM versions of the OS you should put in a default check for apps and drivers that are not shipped in the OEM version that are not written by MS and deny installation ro atleast flag them as "not preferred" and give the user the option to uninstall them when he first boots up.

    Also in OEM versions a warning should pop up when the user looks to install a driver that is not from MS

    You may piss off your partner eco system but the damage they are doing will hurt you more than them

  • Considering integrating the services offered by Microsoft Live division more tightly into Windows. There is no reason why should have Windows Photo Gallery AND Windows Live Photo Gallery. There's too much duplication of functionality.

    Windows 7 should be a strictly x64 release. Most of the common hardware have x64 drivers already, and it'll force the rest (I'm especially looking at you printer/scanner manufacturers) to move on too.

    Also, could we try to resurrect WinFS? ;)

  • Hello,

    thanks for starting this blog. At least, it induces a feeling of being able to contribute to the development. My suggestions are:

    1) You should make all components standalone and uninstallable, i.e. if I want to use Firefox why should I have IE installed. And this is also important for smaller applications: Why do I need the built-in firewall if I install another one; or why do I need Paint, MovieMaker, a defrag and so on if I want to use tools from other developers. It should be possible to choose what I need when installing Windows (something similar to the package management on Linux).

    2) You should change the way applications and their installations are handled. This means the registry and such components shouldn't be needed anymore. I should have one folder where every part of my application is inside and when I delete it, it is gone. Or when I sync it with another computer, all settings are the same.

    3) Is it possible to improve Microsoft Update so that it becomes an update application for more programs. It is also something like the package manager we know from Linux I mentioned before, i.e. applications that are often used like Firefox, CorelDraw, Photoshop, ... should be updated automatically and perhaps smaller applications should be able to put themselves on the list. That would also improve security as all programs would always be up-to-date.

    4) Something like WinFS would be great.

    Best wishes from Germany.

  • we need more control of our sound cards. i read one post that said "why we can't install 3 sounds cards in the computer, and unite them to form a 5.1 system?" or convert a 5.1 system into a 7.1 by installing another sound card. redistribute the sound channels to whatever sound card you may find fit. that would be possible if windows would have that option native. because you may have the ability to do so, but only work in a single media player. if not in native support, drivers should have the option to add plug-ins into them, for the changes to affect the computer sound in general.

  • I'm looking forward to read some good news on my next workstation system. As a first step i would like to see the basics of your work displayed here. What about the research and interviews done for your new operating system? It would be nice to see what's the foundation of your work. That will help us to make connections between your assumptions and our understanding.

    Best Regards,


  • Just a quick question before Hell breaks lose, and comments hit the 1000's mark :)

    I know that every product's success is ultimately measured in how much money it made, and with Windows that figure is mostly affected by the corporate/enterprise partners/buyers. However, the overall image of anything MS related these days are determined virtually by the whole Internet, by the voices of the blogosphere, forums and word of mouth.

    The first part isn't too hard to achieve, just make W7 very friendly to sysadmins. Easy to maintain, remote install, massive automatization, self-healing, space for customization, et cetera.

    The second is tricky. That's the sum of all the little annoyances, bugs and the experience&feel of the product. If the users experience it slow, then they won't care that in the showcase videos it was running with 120 FPS. If they have trouble installing a device/driver, they won't care, that you've a new framework for drivers. They won't be interested in any of that dot-net-thing if they have to sit and wait for 43 minutes just to install the .net framework. They won't care about new technology if they can't experience and feel the fruits of that new technology voodoo-something.

    And for that I think the best is to let the "power user base", the developers, add their ideas, addons and useful bits to W7. It can be done via brainstorming a'la ubuntu. It can be done through wishlists, bugreports, open betas. But bottom line, it can be done.

    Plus MS has the possibility to influence things that the linux crowd can't. Like device manufacturers, drivers, and such critical components to the overall Windows system.

    Well, my €0.02s hope it'll make a real fortune for the users :)

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