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!


Leave a Comment
  • Please add 4 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • can we change default encoding in notepad of windows 7 ?

  • I had hoped that the OS was going to work on older machines with out the non-sense of Vista,

    Great OS but it will flop unless you get rid of performance ratings totally and allow user rating of the performance level to what the user wants, I can not even use the sidebar gadgets that I have written over the past several years, feels like I wasted a trip to LA. I had a lot more hopes for the operating system.

  • >>I love the new Windows Explorer.

    I'm curious to see how it performs in it's final state. Vista's Explorer is brought to it's knees grouping ~3,000 MP3s by Album Artist, ~1,000 JPGs by tag, or ~100 WMVs by tag on a modest (E2200 @ 2.5GHz) processor.


    1. Select Explorer Window

    2. Shake


    As for PDC, it was quite the show, Steven. I'll admit I was quite impressed with some of the things I saw. Some of the new features (shake and peek) seem particular un-Microsoft-like, which, in this area is a good thing. Running on a low power netbook intrigued me as well but I'm curious is Windows 7 RTM will match that memory footprint in an unconstrained environment. Either way, you need better clickers next PDC.

    "Let's see if the clicker works..." :P

  • Suggestion:

    1).- Quick Launch Icons Grouping in taskbar.

    2).- Some way to hide Gadgets easylly on desktop.

    I wait to see Spaces, UAC tweaks like "I trust this programs..", better preview for explorer, webcams utils...

  • I just read about this topic on an Norwegian news site ( In the comment bar (on the site) people is VERY happy about this. A guy said this: "Microsoft are beginning to understand the users." I totally agree! Built-in codecs in WMP is great news, but there are many complains about no Matroska Support. It is really important that you will integrate it. many people have use for it. Listen to us Microsoft! Doing this will make Windows 7 even more better! Good luck guys and nice work so far!

  • locolorenzo: Windows 7 = Desktop Gadgets, forget sidebar gadgets

  • @Domenico,

    Yes, even Microsoft Support mentioned that only Dell and Gateway laptops ship with a Windows Media. Unfortunately I got a Toshiba laptop.

    So Steven should push for Ecosystem providing a common assistance. (Steven, you are Microsoft, you can change the World!!).

    However MS should also provide a way to purchase the media if a customer already got a license. I was ready to pay up to 50$ if MS was ready to provide me an option.

  • Another Suggestion:

    3).- Better Logon Screen please, like longhorn concept video, vista logon is so ugly and has no improvement since XP.

  • @Vistaline: No...i mean something can i move a file from a open explorer window to a minimized window?

  • From what I have seen so far, Windows 7 looks like an excellent release. I am very happy with my existing Vista x64 PC, but if you fulfill your promises with Win 7, I will be happy to upgrade right away. I have one wish, though - please make sure that an upgrade install of Win 7 works effortlessly and flawlessly. I know that it is always better to go for a full installation, but I would certainly welcome an easy upgrade path.

  • Another suggestion:

    4).- Unify Mesh, Skydrive, Office workspaces (i m user of all of them and is confuse) and make more integrated with windows 7 and windows live suite (mail, gallery,  movie maker)

  • Great preview! Worth the wait!

  • Hi, I haven't been checking into these blogs until recently.  However, from what I have seen, it really looks like Windows 7 is progressing well and it's exciting.

    One suggestion if it hasn't been mentioned already -

    The new task bar could be like a "flip address book."  The foreground would have 'set focus' while the background would show numerous "cards" spanning the width of the window as if you're flipping the address book. The cards that aren't in focus but shown in the background would be more opaque the further the distance. The address book effect would only appear if more than the amount of available space is used up by opened applications.  This could also be used in conjunction with a spannable taskbar over several monitors but would be limited to scrolling within the monitor showing the mouse pointer.

    It could be used by using the mouse wheel forward or background to change direction while being cursored over the taskbar. Users without a mouse wheel could position their mouse over the taskbar and hold down a key to toggle through the cards.

    As one who doesn't like using more than row for the scrollbar realestate, this would be a great feature to integrate.  The height of the opaque background cards could max out a user's choice of 30-50 pixels per se.

  • @Asesh ...You should look before you think, and there is a sidebar in Program Files/Sidebar/sidebar.exe!!!!The sidebar runs in explorer, and they are still the same, I have never written a sidbar gadget, all my workings are and have been desktop gadgets. I hated the look of the sidebar since it's inception.

    Now back to reality.

    The Operation is very good through out, but MS has to start listening to people who do not buy new computers because they do not work for the job applications that a lot of the real world uses.

    The security issue with IE8 is a pain in the kester.

    I have not entered Product Code yet, because I am sure that I will have to format a couple of time before I even start to test software compatability.

    Visual Studio 2008 does not like this environment, do I have to throw my rather expensive set of microsoft products out and wait untill 2010 before programming again, it worked well in 2 other builds of Windows 7...

    Please get back on track again and stop doing this unified Taskbar thing, It is just to complex and the system has a lot of bugs to iron out...good Attempt, the OS is beautiful to look at, nice graphics but look at simplifying rather than glossing over, I am applying programs that do not work well, start looking at AutoCad compatability before you go further.

    MSSQL does this weird thing to the desktop where it looses the path to anything, you have to uninstall MSSQL and reinstall with Advanced SQL to get OS environment correct again, and get the gadget/widget thing ironed out, things might be  a little more user usefull.


  • @locolorenzo: yes man I know. I said that because Windows 7 will kill siderbar and introduce desktop gadgets instead!

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