Engineering Windows 7

Welcome to our blog dedicated to the engineering of Microsoft Windows 7

Back from the PDC…next up, WinHEC

Back from the PDC…next up, WinHEC

This has been an amazingly special week for the Windows 7 team.  We’re all incredibly appreciative of the reception of Windows 7 this week at the PDC.  Thank you!

All of us on the team have been closely watching the news reports and blogs of those who have been “kicking the tires” of the Windows 7 pre-beta.  The reception has been fantastic and we’re humbled by the excitement and enthusiasm for the release.  We know we have a ton of work ahead of us to get to beta and then the path to RTM, and the reception has definitely given us an extra special motivation (though we were already pretty motivated).

Next week is our conference dedicated to the hardware partners in the ecosystem we have talked about.  Called WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference), we’ll have another series of sessions and keynotes.  Jon DeVaan will be taking the lead as we dive into the details of “fundamentals” and the work we are doing with some of the many partners involved in Windows 7.  WinHEC also has a strong focus on Windows Server 2008 R2 (the server built off the Windows 7 kernel).  These sessions will all be available online as well.

So with all the shows we’re taking a short break from the blog as the folks that do the presenting are also the writers (myself included).

Below is a list of all the sessions on Windows 7 from the PDC.  Please take some time to have a look as the information is very detailed for sure.  How about using the comments on this post to ask questions of the sessions that you’d like to see more details on down the road?  That would be really helpful for us to target our posts.

Many of you have written asking about the beta and how to sign up or download it.  The best source for information on that will be the site which our product marketing team owns and will keep up to date as the beta information is available.  Also note that the Windows Vista blog which is where you will see announcements / news has been updated to reflect the inclusion of Windows 7.  This blog is now known as the Windows Blog.

One of the very fun moments for me at the PDC was an “Open Space” session on the floor of the “Big Room” which was an open-microphone discussion.  Channel9 captured this and might be a fun watch.  See

For those of you interested in the Windows 7 APIs and what’s new for developers there is an overview document that you might find valuable.  See Windows 7 Developer Guide on MSDN.

Thank you very much for all the emails you have sent.  I always share them with the team and really appreciate it.

Presentation URL
KYN02 Day Two #1 - Ray Ozzie, Steven Sinofsky, Scott Guthrie and David Treadwell (Windows 7 starts +17:00 minutes)
PC01 Windows 7: Web Services in Native Code
PC02 Windows 7: Extending Battery Life with Energy Efficient Applications
PC03 Windows 7: Developing Multi-touch Applications
PC04 Windows 7: Writing Your Application to Shine on Modern Graphics Hardware
PC13 Windows 7: Building Great Audio Communications Applications
PC14 Windows 7 Scenic Ribbon: The next generation user experience for presenting commands in Win32 applications.
PC15 Windows 7: Benefiting from Documents and Printing Convergence
PC16 Windows 7: Empower users to find, visualize and organize their data with Libraries and the Explorer
PC18 Windows 7: Introducing Direct2D and DirectWrite
PC19 Windows 7: Designing Efficient Background Processes
PC22 Windows 7: Design Principles for Windows 7
PC23 Windows 7: Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop
PC24 Windows 7: Welcome to the Windows 7 Desktop
PC25 Windows 7: The Sensor and Location Platform: Building Context-Aware Applications
PC42 Windows 7: Deploying Your Application with Windows Installer (MSI) and ClickOnce
PC43 Deep Dive: What's New with user32 and comctl32 in Win32
PC44 Windows 7: Programming Sync Providers That Work Great with Windows
PC50 Windows 7: Using Instrumentation and Diagnostics to Develop High Quality Software
PC51 Windows 7: Best Practices for Developing for Windows Standard User
PC52 Windows 7: Writing World-Ready Applications
ES20 Developing Applications for More Than 64 Logical Processors in Windows Server 2008 R2

See you on this blog soon enough!


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  • I've watched windows seven in the keynote, and you've done some pretty good work there, i specially like the new "taskbar"... anyway, i havent checked those presentations (the links you provided) yet but i will and get back to you...

    Thanks Steven!

  • I also enjoyed the Windows 7 presentation.  Very exciting!!  I'd also like to use this space to make a couple UI recommendations for W7.  Transparencies, you already use it but you should use it a little more.  For example the jump start list or the wireless network list that pops up from the taskbar.  Those would look better if there was a little transparency in them not a lot just a little maybe 20-25%.  Also I'm not much of a fan of the glass border around windows, it's fine on bigger windows but on small ones it looks funky.  Again the jump start list and the wireless network list would look better to me if it didn't have that glass border or if you made the glass border less prominent.  I just think it's too thick for such a small window.  


    Congratulation TEAM Congratulation Microsoft :D

    thanks for all your work

  • It does seem to be a bit of a trend that a lot of space is wasted with the newer UIs in the form of glassy effects, which is something I've noticed in the Windows Live beta. It looks nice, but too much space is wasted in the form of graphical niceties and, well, spacing. Windows 7 looks like it will be awesome, I just hope the engineers realize when they should concede aesthetics for functionality.

  • Thanks for the links!

    And congratulations, that's what I call CHANGE :) Can't wait to play with the new UI!

    Idea for the dockable thing: please make it so that you can choose how much of width you want your docked app to be; for example I like to have an explorer windows on my right with 1/4 or 1/3 of the screen width (half is too much). An option menu with a slider could make it easily.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Hi Steven and Windows 7 Team,

    Congratulations on the initial discussion and presentations at PDC - Windows 7 looks impressive, and more - the code, the team, the development process all feels "tighter" than before.

    You haven't discussed any virtualisation technologies such as App-V and whether Windows 7 brings any additional benefits here - might be a good one for a future blog entry?

  • Thanks for the update on where to find more info on becoming a beta tester - I've bookmarked the page and will keep an eye on it for updates ;)

    The presentations highlight some very positive changes, so I'm looking forward to trying it out once you're at the public beta stage.

    As with the above commenter, I'd also be interested to see more info on visualisation in W7 if there's a chance to cover it in a future blog post.

  • Finally! Windows Media Player has DivX built-in. That`s great Microsoft! But still i miss some codecs in WMP. You should add a codec support for OGG, FLAC, MKV and all the other common codecs. That would be super!

    Also I miss some functions in WMP. Both VLC and Media Player Classic can add subtitles to movies and stuff like that. QuickTime Pro can download streaming QuickTime videos.

    WMP should have all these functions. Then WMP will become the new hardcore media player!

  • I would really like to know more about the system requirements of Windows 7 and the different versions that will be on offer. I sure hope it will not be as complicated as the Vista offerings.

  • @Mr. Steven

    in this video  " Windows 7: Introducing Direct2D and DirectWrite "

    effect CD Cover is COOL

    In video 62 Min.

    this is WMP 12 ?

  • Good work! I watched the W7 keynote...I'm looking forward to the beta.

    Any chance of multi-monitor support for the taskbar? I know that you had a blog post which mentioned it so I'm assuming it'll be included in some release.

    What about something like 'Spaces' which OSX and Linux have?

  • Spaces?

    i remember power toys of XP Virtual Desktop Manager , and Desktops 1.0 for Vista

  • One thing that maybe won't change by default but would be nice to have it customizable. The window frames are too thick. 7 px frame width is too much on 3 side. Much worse 62px on top!

    Max 2 px on side and and lets say 30 on top would be enough.

    In general Windows 7 should be very careful with resources   whether it is memory or desktop space.

  • Windows 7 looking real good, even in pre-beta state:^).  Hopefully the performance is there when the final RTM is released.  I'm really interested in the Direct2D and DirectWrite interfaces.  Is there any place I can get more info on these additions to DirectX?

    Tbanks, Matt.

  • The new features in Windows 7 are very exciting.

    What is most impressive to me is that just about ALL of the features, components, and tools, that were the source of all the complaints in Windows Vista appear to have been addressed in Windows 7.

    This proves that Microsoft DOES listen to all of the feedback from it's customers.

    Good job, Steven!

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