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Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky helped lead the design of Windows 7 and get Microsoft out of a slump. As a reward, Microsoft is promoting him to Windows president.  (Source: Microsoft)
Windows' new boss looks to build on Windows 7's successes

You can have a rock-solid OS, but poor partner support and lack of polish can ruin its public perception. Steven Sinofsky realized that and he worked hard to transform Windows 7 into one of the most highly anticipated Microsoft operating systems to date.  As a reward for his exemplary work, Microsoft is promoting him to Windows President.

Mr. Sinofsky previously had been in charge of the development of Microsoft Office.  He also served as a former technical assistant to Microsoft's founder Bill Gates, a stepping stone position.  When Windows Vista turned into a sour experience in terms of PR and failed to outsell its predecessor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shuffled staff and brought Mr. Sinofsky aboard.  Internally, Microsoft blamed much of Vista's problems on two years of delays, which made it harder for software programmers and computer makers to plan for compatibility.

As senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group, Mr. Sinofsky indeed righted the ship, making sure that Windows 7 stayed ahead of schedule.  He also worked diligently to communicate with the public, as one of the two co-editors of the Windows 7 blog.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at the Kirkland, Washington-based research firm Directions on Microsoft praises, "He runs a tight ship.  He always did a good job getting Office out on time, and he appears to have done the same thing with Windows."

Mr. Sinofsky's former fellow Windows vice presidents -- Bill Veghte and Jon DeVaan -- will now report to Mr. Sinofsky, rather than to Steve Ballmer, the former arrangement.  Mr. Veghte will be assuming new responsibilities, while Tami Reller is being moved to the Windows team as the manager of sales and marketing.

Windows 7 is set to release on October 22 and should be one of the most polished software releases in some time, with thousands of bugs captured and fixed thanks to an extensive public testing period and a refocused Microsoft.

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A necessary Evil
By AnnihilatorX on 7/9/2009 8:44:19 AM , Rating: 5
In my opinion Windows Vista is a necessary evil. Windows 7 is built on top of Vista and the fact that Vista is a somewhat failure, is a necessary evil to bring about incompatibilities such as DirectX 10, core kernel changes and driver model revamp. 7 is what Vista should have become but can't because of the hardware requirement that was at a time mainstream computers were not ready.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Fireshade on 7/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: A necessary Evil
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2009 9:44:13 AM , Rating: 5
I hope you realize that 7 at its core is rather different than Vista. For one, you can run Windows 7 on standard netbooks quite acceptably.

That doesn't necessarily mean that it's much different at the core. For example, when WinXP came out many felt that it was bloated compared to 2000. But if you turned off the themes and lots of the extra add-ons you could speed it up. This doesn't mean that the core has changed, it just means that you stripped it down.

I'm not sure of all the changes they made to Windows 7 so I can't really comment on how much the core has changed. But saying that one is faster than another may just mean that they made minor changes that reduced overhead and not necessarily major core changes.

RE: A necessary Evil
By StevoLincolnite on 7/9/2009 10:53:32 AM , Rating: 4
But Windows 7 -is- faster, Windows Vista was pretty wasteful with it's resources in some circumstances, for instance in Windows Vista, every GDI application window accounts for two memory allocations which hold identical content, one in System Memory and one in Video memory, which is a waste.

To add to it, most systems are actually equipped with an IGP that uses system memory, so essentially Vista duplicated that information twice in system memory, Windows 7 doesn't do this.

That's just one of many examples.

RE: A necessary Evil
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2009 12:07:12 PM , Rating: 4
This conversation just went around in a circle and arrived at the starting point again.

Like I said, the fact that it's been made faster does NOT necessarily mean that the core of the OS has changed much. It may just mean that minor changes have been made to improve performance.

To quote Calin below:

"Just think that the same Linux kernel can be used from Damn Small Linux (installable on some 50MB) and the latest and greatest Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux or whatever (using 5+ GB of hard drive space). As for the memory use, Damn Small Linux is happy with 32MB, while RHEL would neet at least 16 times as much"

What he's saying is true. The core of the OS hasn't changed in his examples, but the appearance to the end user is very significant. Still doesn't mean the core has been changed.

RE: A necessary Evil
By StevoLincolnite on 7/9/2009 12:46:53 PM , Rating: 3
I never stated anything about the "Core of the Operating System", merely pointing out some of the inefficiencies of Vista in general.

RE: A necessary Evil
By waffle911 on 7/10/2009 9:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
This conversation actually was about the Core of the OS at the beginning with the comment made by Fireshade about Win 7 being very different at its core than Vista, and this core difference being the cause of the boost in efficiency. So what you were saying was somewhat irrelevant to the argument being made--that Windows 7 is largely based on Vista and is effectively a refinement of Vista with the core of the OS remaining largely unchanged while the rest of the OS around it was streamlined, as opposed to Fireshade saying that the boost in performance stems primarily from changing and streamlining the core of the OS and not its surrounding components. Both arguments agree that Vista was wasteful with resources and that 7 is all-around faster--they just disagree upon what changes must have actually taken place that would improve performance so drastically.

RE: A necessary Evil
By SiliconAddict on 7/11/2009 3:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 isn't any faster then Vista. Google some of the benchmarks out there. What is faster is the UI. MS realized that the way they loaded the UI and the OS in general simply took too long for the average user. That is what they have been focusing on. Putting priorities on certain aspects of the UI. Loading drivers in parallel on boot. Etc. For all intents and purposes Windows 7 is a minor upgrade to Vista. But its one that MS realized they needed to work on the user experience in a big way.

PS- And for the Mac users out there. I wouldn't scoff too much. You precious OS X had its 10.0 release that easily was worse then Vista ever was. And if you consider where MS went from Vista to Win 7 vs. 10.0 to 10.1 which still was a POS. They are currently kicking ass and taking names. I can't wait to see what Win 8 brings.

RE: A necessary Evil
By cserwin on 7/9/2009 9:46:18 AM , Rating: 1
Did MS really change the 'core' of the OS? Or did they leave the kernel interfaces intact, remove 'legacy' code from the API's, re-organize the UI, and make improvements to things that needed to be improved?

The kernel and api's aren't much different.

Snowleopard shed a whole architecture (PPC) from it's Kernel and interfaces and it appears the OS is facilitating use of the GPU for non-graphics processing. By comparison, 'at it's core', the Snowleopard changes are much more radical than what we see in Win 7 vs. Vista.

And we all know that Snowleopard is a service pack.

Don't get me wrong - Windows 7 is amazing. The Beta and RC release to the public was brilliant, both from a quality and a marketing standpoint. Win 7 is a must have. My pre-orders are in.

But at it's core it is still Vista.

RE: A necessary Evil
By dark matter on 7/9/2009 6:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Have they improved security yet on Snowleopard?

RE: A necessary Evil
By invidious on 7/9/2009 9:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think end user netbook performance is a valid criteria to judge an OS "at its core". Just because it runs better doesn't mean its different, if I bloated down an XP install could I call it a new OS?

Ulimately I don't know how similar they are at a code level, but I suspect that they have a lot in common.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Calin on 7/9/2009 10:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Windows 7 is much different at the core from Vista. Just think that the same Linux kernel can be used from Damn Small Linux (installable on some 50MB) and the latest and greatest Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux or whatever (using 5+ GB of hard drive space). As for the memory use, Damn Small Linux is happy with 32MB, while RHEL would neet at least 16 times as much.

RE: A necessary Evil
By teldar on 7/9/2009 11:11:15 AM , Rating: 1
If you weren't already voted down to -1 I would have voted you down further.
They're the same BASIC kernel.
It's just that 7 is implemented better.
Just because something is faster doesn't mean it isn't basically the same.

What a weak analysis.
It looks different so it's different.

"Hey, I got a new car."
"Really? It looks like your old one painted green."
"It is. It's a new car"

See how that doesn't work?

RE: A necessary Evil
By Shawn on 7/9/2009 2:22:04 PM , Rating: 1
I hope you realize that 7 at its core is rather different than Vista. For one, you can run Windows 7 on standard netbooks quite acceptably. Believe me, you don't want to try that with Vista.

Why not? I did and Vista ran just fine:

RE: A necessary Evil
By teldar on 7/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: A necessary Evil
By Justin Time on 7/9/2009 11:45:16 PM , Rating: 3
Vista was a necessary 'evil' mainly because it's the point at which MS finally bit the bullet on security, and dragged the developer community, kicking and screaming, away from the easy option of using 'administrator' to emulate single-user mode legacy, and finally started to coerce them into writing for the standard user mode. Nothing highlights this quicker than UAC.

However, that doesn't mean to say that the various short-comings were necessary... and Vista has plenty of those.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Indigo64 on 7/10/2009 11:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
Essentially Microsoft caught on to what Google does with its products - releases a public "beta" and makes everyone else gloss over it while they fix everything behind the scenes. Thus, say hello and goodbye to Vista, and "OMGCOMEHERE" Win7.

RE: A necessary Evil
By SiliconAddict on 7/11/2009 3:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
Replace Google with Apple and I would agree 100%.

By invidious on 7/9/2009 8:39:48 AM , Rating: 4
I am pretty suprised at how well Win7 is being recieved, considering it is essentially "Vista 2.0", and I like Vista. Though I think it has less to do with design and more to do with marketing types not pushing the OS to be released before its ready. The design team did a fine job polishing Vista eventually, they should have just given them the time they needed from the start.

I like a lot of the new features in Win7 but the jump from XP to Vista was a lot bigger than the jump from Vista to Win7.

RE: ehem
By h0kiez on 7/9/2009 9:10:59 AM , Rating: 3
Perception is reality...

RE: ehem
By TSS on 7/9/2009 9:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
i percieve that to be untrue.

hah, pandora's box ftw ^^

RE: ehem
By retrospooty on 7/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: ehem
By Spivonious on 7/9/2009 9:32:50 AM , Rating: 3
Nope. Vista has serious "under-the-hood" changes coming from XP. That's why it was such a nightmare at the start for driver compatibility; everyone had to rewrite their drivers to work in the new driver model.

7 is simply Vista with some more polish and some interface changes.

I'd liken Vista to Windows 2000 and 7 to Windows XP.

RE: ehem
By noirsoft on 7/9/2009 11:09:52 AM , Rating: 3
Given that Windows 2000 is NT 5.0, XP is 5.1, Vista is 6.0 and Windows 7 is 6.1, your comparison is accurate by kernel version numbering.

RE: ehem
By crystal clear on 7/9/2009 11:21:38 AM , Rating: 1
7 is simply Vista with some more polish and some interface changes

Slapping new labels on old products to lure in under-informed mainstream buyers is a actually a fairly common practice.

The attitude "its new so it has to be good" sells well in the marketplace.

RE: ehem
By Chaser on 7/9/2009 12:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Slapping new labels on old products to...

And thats simply not the case with Windows 7. Whereas the private sector blatantly rejected a prior "new product" Windows 7 is being received very warmly by the same people, organizations, corporations.

Clearly there's more to 7 than just new labels and boxes. You might want to look them both over. There are substantial differences.

RE: ehem
By crystal clear on 7/9/2009 8:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
CEO Steve Ballmer said a few months ago-

Windows 7 is VISTA just much better......

Clearly there's more to 7 its Vista just much better.

I have used both the O.S. & believe Win7 should have been sold as an upgrade pack like that of Apple's Snow leopard upgrade pack around $29 or so to existing Vista users.

Upgraders from XP to Win7 should ofcourse pay the full price.

Nvidia is famous for slapping new labels on old products,giving it a few tweaks etc & selling them as new.

I have examples & can give them if needed.

RE: ehem
By Chaser on 7/10/2009 9:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
Awesome! Glad we agree its more than a new box and labels.


RE: ehem
By Pudro on 7/9/2009 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
The attitude "its new so it has to be good" sells well in the marketplace.

Really? Care to explain Vista then?

RE: ehem
By crystal clear on 7/9/2009 8:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yes indeed thats what happened to under informed mainstream buyers when Vista was released/launched.

These buyers who bring in the bulk of revenues for Microsoft had the attitude "if its new it has to be good" .

They trusted Microsoft expecting Vista what it was promised to be...but Microsoft failed to deliver, neither meet their high expectations built up by hyper marketing campaigns launched by OEMs with Microsoft's Vista marketing funds.

The OEMs used the Vista opportunity to dump their hardware on these unsuspecting buyers as Vista capable.

The ultimate result was class action suites filed against Microsoft.

Mainstream buyers bring in 90% of the revenues & they are the least informed group of people as they lack the knowledge & experience of a computer professional.

Vista was a blessing in disguise for Apple as they increased their marketshare from the bad publicity/experience created by disgruntled buyers.

RE: ehem
By retrospooty on 7/9/2009 2:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
"7 is simply Vista with some more polish and some interface changes."

You are right that "under the hood" from a programming perspective Vista was a large jump from XP, and 7 is a small jump from Vista. B

However... 7 is far more than just polish and interface changes from Vista. 7 is HUGE improvement in bloat. Vista is too slow and bloated to run on an older system or a netbook. The fact that 7 can run on a netbook and Vista cannot speaks volumes for 7's performance improvements.

RE: ehem
By Sulphademus on 7/9/2009 9:22:33 AM , Rating: 3
Windows 7 has no driver compatability issues!!! (Because it uses the same model as Vista, but shhhhh, dont tell! Its "all new"!)

Really, this is the same as going from Windows 95 to 98 or from Windows 2000 to XP. Certainly an improvement but the foundation had already been laid.

By PontifexMaximus on 7/9/2009 8:46:58 AM , Rating: 3
To be fair, Windows 7 has been an easier product launch for Microsoft than Vista because they already had a platform to build on with Vista itself. Vista, on the other hand, was a complete rewrite of many components. Microsoft couldn't make up its mind for several years on what Longhorn was going to look like, scratching many of their Vista plans halfway through. It really had the makings for a 1-way donkey ride to disaster, so the fact Microsoft even released Vista when it did is somewhat amazing.
So, Sinofsky had a foot in the door from the start to succeed technically. PR-wise, though, he's had a lot of cleanup to do after the catastrophe, IMO, of Vista. The extra polish Windows 7 appears to have seems to really be winning over users of the beta and RC. Considering everything, I don't doubt one-bit he deserves this promotion as Windows 7 is one of the best Microsoft OS products I've tinkered with, and it isn't even RTM yet. But, isn't it a little early for this promotion? The product hasn't even launched yet. Perhaps Microsoft was being proactive so they don't lose this guy...

A refocused Microsoft
By crystal clear on 7/9/2009 9:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
Use Win 7 success even before its released to the mainstream buyers to bring in a refocused Microsoft.

How.... read this

"Students are in great position to solve some problems because they are untainted by the knowledge of what can't be done," according to Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect.

"They don't know how we have tried to solve problems in the past; and have new ideas and can take advantage of the latest technologies available. They think about things in a markedly different way and that gives them the opportunity to do things that people my age would not attempt."

"Students tend to have an unbounded amount of energy and have an idealistic view of what they can do to change the world. This combined with a fascination with technology lets them imagine what they can build."

"Those of us who have been in this industry for quite a while still generally believe we are at the dawn of what might be able to be done with computing and information technology. We have done many amazing things but we have only just began to scratch the surface in areas such as education, healthcare and how technology can be used to help in the environmental issues that face us."

By captchaos2 on 7/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Nice
By ice456789 on 7/9/2009 8:52:49 AM , Rating: 4
How about the ability to use and preview the software for free for a year? They didn't have to twist my arm.

RE: Nice
By smackababy on 7/9/2009 9:13:22 AM , Rating: 1
You mean, since I get to use the RC until July 2010, I dont' deserve some sort of compensation from MS? Well drat! Cheated by the big evil corporations of America again!

RE: Nice
By captchaos2 on 7/9/2009 4:25:45 PM , Rating: 1
How about we had to beta test vista until sp1 and do all that work for them?

RE: Nice
By crystal clear on 7/9/2009 11:00:27 AM , Rating: 5
Atleast you didnt have to pay for it.... to test their software/product like others do Apple.....

Vista - a derivative of Win7
By teldar on 7/9/09, Rating: -1
Vista - a derivative of Win7
By teldar on 7/9/09, Rating: -1
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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