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 8 and 6 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • as a Linux user all i can say - God speed.  Hope you will deliver this time, not as with previous version when much was promised and no features i was interested in was delivered.

    And consider - one version fits all, and users can turn off features they do not need.

  • Great initiatife!

    THE question is of course: What it's gonna be?

    I prefer strongly Just An Operating System.

    If I want to use outlook, I will install it myself.

    If I want to use IE, I will install it myself.

    If I want to use Window MediaPlayer, I will install it myself.

    Etc etc.


    Regards ;-) (Knipoog)

  • I think it is a great idea to convey information that has been tilted towards finalization, rather than the "we could" and finally "we did" marketing campaign of Vista. I like Vista, even if it does have a few little quirks, but if you have a strong enough system, you get used to it and it works.

    If there is one thing I have found very annoying however, is how Pop-Ups are handled inside XP, Vista etc.

    Every program has its own Pop-up stopper nowadays. Google Toolbar, Antivirus Software, Webfilter Software, Internet Explorer, Yahoo Toolbar etc.

    If there is a webpage that you want to visit, that has a pop up you would actually like, it gets blocked and you spend hours going over every pop-up blocker to make sure it is switched off. The CTRL and Link version does not always work, especially if Google Toolbar is active. So my request is to have a standadized, central pop-up blocker in Control Panel. One that everyone has to be compatible with so that when you do switch it off, it switches all of them off.

    For Windows 7 that would actually be my only request. Apart from that, keep doing what you are doing. Your reputation might not always be the best, but you are good at what you do, so keep doing it! Look forward to updates and a respectful discussion round.

  • 1. I am using Windows Vista Ultimate right now, and I'm very happy about it. But it took some tweaks to get it look the way I wanted. Too many links in the start-menu, wrong color on the windows (black looks better to the taskbar). Mabye you should work a little bit more on that.

    2. There is so many built-in softwares that I don't need. Windows Mail, Sideshow, Calendar, and more. Could you mabye give us the option to choose which programs the operating system comes with? Like when you install it, you can check/un-check different softwares? That would be great!

    3. The look on the top border of open windows doesn't look good. Fix it. Also too much "glow" on the form/window title, when not maximized or minimized, but the middle-thing. (can't remember what it's called).

    4. When you click "Show desktop", in the quick launch menu, it shows the desktop, but also hides the sidebar. That's not good enough! THe sidebar should be more "integrated" in the desktop, and not a program running over it.

    Thank you.

    (if my english is bad; I'm from norway.)

  •  I would like to know if MS. is going to introduce DX11 with this OS.  If so will MS change the specs . Like they did in Vista for DX10. In the orginal specs DX10.1 was removed and add later by MS with sp1 for Vista.  I wouldn't want to see a repeat of that.  If the hardware companies aren't ready no need to change the specs as it henders progress. and Dx9 cards would have run just find until hardware cashes up. As it turned out removing Dx10.1, This allowed NV to Have a DX10 hardware only because Dx10.1 was removed from the orginal specs. This allowed the game makers not to use DX10.1 SO no games are made using it. Now I read that MS said DX10.1 really wasn't much.  

    In the one game that had DX10.1 ATI performance was greatly increased. But NV stepped in and forced the game company to patch it. Using its  . It would seem it was NV crying to MS but we can't do DX10.1 So MS redifined DX10 . BAD BAD MOVE.  I hope this doesn't happen with DX11.   Intels Larrabee is very interesting Now isn't. So now we have a gpu maker who really doesn't care what DX is used. As intel really can do as they please . Something MS isn't use to .

  • Oh googly moogly this will b fun

  • Since touch is a major feature in Windows 7 I could like to discuss it here.

    I believe the traditional window UI is not very apt for the new generation of touch or surface computing.  The current windows UI was developed keeping in mind the mouse as its pointing interface. But more wonder can be done in the context of multi touch. I believe Microsoft should make a more efficient and innovative UI to take full advantage of the multi touch.

    In this context Microsoft should not lose its compatibility with existing mouse and keyboard.

    My suggestions for the UI could be

    1 gesture

    2 redesign the context menu as an applications launcher or a menu that can handle multi touch

    3 great animations are a must!!!!!(Must kick the OSX out)

    This early concept of urs  “Future Technology - A Day In The Life Of Mike”  give a great picture of thing to come in windows 7 (Touch , voice and Cloud computing)

    One final word guys!!! “It’s time that we tame those Wild Cats “

  • Hello,

    thanks for starting this blog.

    My suggestion:

    integrate an central Metadata Database Infrastructure like(compatible)

    for all Apps. (KDE 4 did it ;-))

    sorry for my bad english.

    Best Regards,


  • I hope that Windows 7 will include Touch API that will provide coordinates for every touch. Not only gestures. This way developers could analyze them.

  • This is great news. Keep it coming. Things that are needed.

    We must do away with the old/current model of the file system and disk drives. They must become virtualized resources. The concept of Application orientation must also be removed. To process anything, simpler, faster and more integrated tools must evolve. For example we don't need Word Excel Email and Calendar as separate functions but all the functions that those applications have must be provided as object extensions to the operating system. That means the kernel gets smaller, the supporting resources become much more extensive but are only loaded when required. This of course means that the fundamental message handling within the operating system must be bullet proof, small and running as fast as possible. No we don't want a bloated Linux system, no we don't want a slow microkernel although academically they are favoured. Mac OS X does a lot of hiding but it is rapidly becoming bloated too and now requires heavy duty hardware for performance. Must forget the past i.e DOS and XP. Anyway those are some of my thoughts. Is anyone watching FreeBSD at all. Its fast.

  • I hope that Windows Seven will support more filesystems that NTFS and FAT ;) It would be a great improvement if we could have our system on WinFS(I hope that it will be good and not so fragmentation friendly) and our personal files on XFS/JFS.

    I am a WindowsNT6 SP1 x64 user + ArchLinux x64 user, so I know all good and bad stuff from both sides.

    Have a nice start and be openminded.

  • I have a wish for the Windows 7 setup, a checkbox labeled "Make Win7 look like Win95".

    The first thing I do after installing a new Windows release is to disable all effects, disable all services, turn things like the sidebar off and switch to the classic theme.

    I was quite disappointed about the ugly classic theme in Vista. Also by classic start menu I expect the classic start menu.

    I also couldn't get the XP explorer.exe to run on Vista, so I'm not gonna using Vista. Those favorite links are not my favorite links and I don't want this view you can't even turn it off (only minimize it).

    And I still miss the separate search window we had in Win95 when we pressed F3. And I surely don't want any indexing service.

    Of course I do want new features, but I don't want change just for the sake of change.

    P.S.: Before anyone replies "then stick with Win95", nope, I want Unicode and multiprocessor support etc. but also the minimalistic and clean look&feel of Win95.

  • @Andre : They can't go back and bring back Windows 95

    The best they could do is if they could add in all the windows and borders more menus for personal customisation.

  • Opps I'm late, over 80 posts already.

    Hi everyone, and thanks to the Dev's for setting this up. I'll be watching closely to see what happens, when I think I have something worth saying I'll post.

  • My idea exactly!


    Quote [Friday, August 15, 2008 5:40 AM by Mattmatthi ]


    2. There is so many built-in softwares that I don't need. Windows Mail, Sideshow, Calendar, and more. Could you mabye give us the option to choose which programs the operating system comes with? Like when you install it, you can check/un-check different softwares? That would be great!

    [end quote]

    But lets go one step further.

    Leave all build-in software out! And let us users decide wether we want them to install or not. Do not make any built-in softwares part of the operating system.

    (I'm from holland by teh way)


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