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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  • Watched the presentation and everything looked awesome! You are definatly heading in the right direction!

    On a side note though:

    You've made loads of great changes to the taskbar / startmenu, but I've yet to hear anything regarding the start menu being able to span across monitors. Will you guys work this feature into W7?

  • @yeehaamcgee

    Yes - it didn't worked initially because it was created after Vista was shipped. My point exactly. And until you connect your PC to the internet and wait enough for the update to be installed (assuming there IS an update available from Microsoft Update), you get the Vista Basic theme.

    If users were promted with driver installation upon Windows installation, their first experience with the OS will be better at the end of the installation (though you are indeed disturbing the flow a little by actually having this dialog). And if OEMs' crapware can be manipulated at that same point - all the better.

  • Hi Steven,

    In WinHEC can you urge the hardware partners responsible for shipping OEM Windows 7 to mass, to include a windows installation media? It really a pain to be in a situation where you have some part of OS corrupt and you do not have any way of restoring only OS (i mean upgrade installation if I have the media). Currently their restore disks restores the whole hard disk not just OS. No one can afford to loose 200+GB of data for the heck of correcting an OS file. Ultimately they would say "Windows Sucks.."

    Or ask your Windows marketing group to offer only Windows media (with out a license, which we can use with our OEM license) for a small price.

    I had an issue with Vista SP1 and MS Support suggested me to reinstall Windows, but I could not get a Windows Media. MS expected me to buy another license for 130$. I was not sure whom to blame because my laptop manufacturer said MS does allow them to ship media for OEM licenses, and MS said they can not provide a media for OEM licenses.

    Finally I solved my issue by searching for a legitimate copy of windows media in file sharing networks. I could find one and was able to install it with my OEM license.

  • I am shocked to see no classic Start menu in Windows 7. MS should not be so overconfident about Windows 7 and keep the classic Start menu and taskbar around. What other than Vista can best be a testimony to what happens when things change without giving users choice?

  • I love the new Taskbar, but i see a little problem with her: Szenario: A Desktop with a Web Browser 3 Explorer Window and the Windows Media Player open, and i need to put a file from the Desktop to the Explorer.

    1. What to do in Vista: Press Crtl + WindowsKey. Drag the file from the desktop and go with the Mouse to the App in the Taskbar, the Windows come up and you can drop the file into one of the Explorer windows.

    But im dont now how you do that with the Superbar. Its now very god if every of the 3 Eplorer windows come up if you move your Mouse with the file on the Explorer Window.

    I think that will be a good way:

    1. Show Desktop. Drag the File, move the Mouse on the Explorer window. The Previews will show up like you havent a file. Now you move your mouse on one of the Preview, the preview with mouse over will show up like it will do without a file, i will say, on the mouse. But now you dont klick on the Preview, you move your mouse on the window thats in the front. Now you can drop the file into the explorer window. now you have just open the one Explorer window and the file is inside of that.

    I hope you understand my idea...i dont know how to tell that to Microsoft on a other way...

  • I couldn`t see any updates with the "Windows Transfer/Copy Tool" and the "Windows Delete Tool". You know that all of us would be happy if we could "pause a file transfer, and resume it an hour later. Sometimes you have to use the PC while you are transfering files, and everything goes damn slow. Then we would love to take it on "pause".

    Also... The most irretating thing is when I cant delete a file. I just HATE it! "File is in use by another program".... No, it isn`t! But still its giving me the same message and I just cannot delete the file. Then I have to go downloading Killbox to do the work for me, but it should be easier than that shouldn`t it???

    If you want be better than Apple and Linux. I suppose that you will integrate these functions. These functions me and my friends (and the rest of the world) have missed in some years now....

    So, Microsoft. Don`t screw it up! good luck! ;)

  • Finally! I love the new Windows Explorer. It is clean, easy to use and works perfect!! Windows Explorer in Vista is "messy". The new one, is just perfect. Go on Microsoft and god luck!

  • You know, I hate iTunes, but I have to use it. Windows Media Player doesn`t work with iPhone. The iTunes interface sucks, so I was hoping for some iPhone integration in the "Device Stage" and "Windows Media Player"

  • @mvadu

    I have to say in favor of DELL, that when I bought my notebook I received the original Vista DVD

  • So I... acquired... the beta, and it turns out my old Vista Beta 2 key works! I've activated it and am dual booting it alongside Vista now. I have to say, VERY snappy and responsive. I'm gonna keep poking around more trying to break it now xD

  • Very good work windows 7 team!!


    I waiting for beta program!!

  • Why aren't my comments being posted?

    Ok, Windows 7's gonna look handsome :P and will be good in performance too.

    Aero is cool but not for business computers.

    What about 2D themes? Are you guys working on good looking 2D themes to replace that ugly Vista basic theme? We have Vista Business installed on your computers at work, and we have Aero turned off and Vista basic theme is so ugly and really feels unpleasant to our eyes and switching to class reminds us of the days of Windows 98.

    Why don't you guys replace that ugly Vista basic theme with the Aero like user interface (dialog box, buttons which are bitmaps) that we see when installing Vista? It looks much better than that ugly Vista basic theme. And do make many 2D themes for Windows 7. Vista was under development for about 5 years but there was only one 2D theme which is so ugly. SO PLEASE REPLACE THAT VISTA BASIC 2D THEME WITH SOME GOOD LOOKING ONES!!

  • What about good looking common controls (buttons, progress bar, tabs etc)? will Microsoft ever make a better looking common controls than OS X? Didn't see that happen in Vista and nor in Windows 7 build 6933 @PDC. Common guys if you wanna make windows look much prettier then you gotta make more sleek looking common controls.

    I was expecting ribbon UI explorer, but I was wrong. Why not integrate ribbon into explorer and give more options of the explorer via that ribbon? And please expose shadow copy and other cool features of Windows to start menu. I know so Vista Ultimate users and many don't know whether it exists or not. Even I didn't knew about this features until some one told me.

    And what about security enhancements in Windows 7 besides UAC improvements? Windows should check the non-installed applications' digital signature and if they are not digitally signed or if the digital signature is invalid, it should warn the user before executing that application. When will it do that? It can easily be done by using Cryptography APIs.


  • Sorry I had to break and post my comments since they were not being posted probably because of so many characters...

  • *switching to classic*


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