Last week, after months of tight-lipped silence, Microsoft debuted Windows 7 to the press in a keynote at the Californian D6 conference. The new operating system was clearly explained not to be a new architecture from Windows Vista, but rather an iterative improvement on Windows Server 2008 and Vista code.
The new OS will heavily tout "multi-touch" capabilities, similar to the iPhone. In its current design, it also features an OS X-like dock, which marks a departure from the standard Windows start bar. Other changes seemed mainly cosmetic, but Windows is promising even with the rushed product delivery cycle, when Windows 7 is released in 2009, it will provide many new useful services.
As Microsoft's top leaders, Chairman and founder Bill Gates and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, have publicly committed to moving the release date up from 2010 to 2009, Microsoft has begun an early drive to urge hardware manufacturers to begin developing their drivers and testing them on upcoming beta versions of the OS.
By testing the beta versions of the OS, Microsoft hopes to avoid one of the major problems that plagued Windows Vista's early days, particularly those of the 64-bit version -- driver incompatibility. Microsoft is adopting a carrot and stick approach for driver testing. Hardware manufacturers who fail to heed Microsoft's bidding won't qualify for Microsoft's Windows Logo certified compatibility program for Windows 7 or Vista. In a bulletin (PDF) Microsoft states, "Beginning with the first beta of Windows 7 all Windows Vista submissions must include a complete CPK with tests logs from Windows 7."
When Microsoft mentions CPK, they are talking about the electronics testing process.
While the exact release date of the first beta has not been announced to the public, it is likely to land within a few months. This would allow hardware manufacturers forewarning to prepare to do Microsoft's bidding.
While Microsoft’s new stance on hardware may seem a bit harsh or dictatorial, it does promise to help ensure less compatibility issues. To date, issues persist in Vista. DailyTech previous reported how certain chipsets are incompatible with Windows Vista Service Pack 1, preventing users from receiving valuable security patches and bugfixes.
It seems clear, though, that while Microsoft doesn't want to toss out the Windows Vista base code, it has learned from some of Vista's most salient mistakes.
quote: C:\Program Files should not be a protected dir, MS should move system critical software out of this directory and leave it mainly as a "3rd party" applications directory.
quote: Actually quite the oppisite, microsoft is now trying to discourage the use of the system registry
quote: You do realize that nearly every program in Windows modifies the registry upon install right? Which by your definition should be done in administrator mode. So every installer has to run in administrator mode.
quote: Vista had an unprecedented Beta process. The manufacturers were given the most time to work on their drivers for any Windows release. I find it difficult to pin responsibility on Microsoft for 3rd party mistakes.
quote: LOL I love the spin from MS. Like its hardware companies fault for the crappy API they released for Vista ?
quote: Somehow these same hardware manufactures did a fine job, in most cases, on ever other OS coming down the pike. With most of them providing hardware for all three major OS's. But I guess on Vista they just decided to slack off ? Uhhh no, I don't think so.
quote: Exatly... Creative anyone??? They didn't want to make new drivers so all the customers got skrewed. They wanted to sell us new "vista compatible" cards. Good thing the people are letting them know what they think.
quote: Creative said on the matter, "The changes to the audio implementation and subsystem were quite major, requiring a fundamental rewrite of the driver model and features to take account of the lack of direct hardware support" and continued, "Additionally, removing DirectX 3DAudio hardware support required a work-around, in the form of Creative Alchemy, which was available before Vista hit the retail shelves to restore multi-channel EAX audio."
quote: Good thing the people are letting them know what they think.
quote: Microsoft decided to re invent the wheel for no reason and the burden of work was placed on Creatives lap. You realize they are running a business right ?
quote: Let's turn that around. Microsoft is running a business. Do you think they would invest all that money in re-writing the sound stack for no reason at all? Think about it... Better yet, read up on the new stack...
quote: And if you read about it, you'll realize one of the problems that Creative has with the Vista sound stack, which is that it moves a lot of functionality off of Creative's card and puts it right into the OS, in software, for "free." That makes it a lot harder for Creative to justify the value of "high-end" sound cards.
quote: Better yet, read up on the new stack...
quote: I don't know. Last time I checked Creative virtually stands alone on top of the sound card market. So does Windows in the OS market. But how are their Vista sales looking ?
quote: Oh of course. The anti capitalists conspiracy theory. Which probably has some truth to it, but could it be possible the project was larger and more complex to be finalized in the given time ?
quote: Actually I tried. Do you have a link ?
quote: Sounds like "my daddy can beat up your daddy," and I can't understand the logic behind that argument.
quote: Although I was not involved personally, I can just about guarantee that the folks who worked on that code had a lot more features and optimizations they wanted to include, but there was limited time and budget. This is COMPLETELY NORMAL for software development, engineering, and many other human endeavors. We all have great ideas that we don't have the resources to realize them to completion.
quote: I meant to illustrate the point that the whole " Creative sucks " crowd is a small minority of Vista users
quote: Microsoft held a meeting where they invited 3rd party companies to show up and talk about driver support. Microsoft told them that they would have their Windows engineers there to help them out and answer any questions they may have.Only one company sent anyone: Google. Everyone else blew it off.
quote: Most driver creation/support is the responsibility of the company that makes the driver, not MS .
quote: So, I don't see how people can go and blame Microsoft for what happened with Vista.
quote: In XP you barely EVER had to get a third party driver. In Vista you always have to use one.
quote: Eh??! My experience has been contradictory to this statement. Plug and play on Vista has worked much more reliably than all other MS OS's so far for me.
quote: If software developers had to get on a plane every time OS developers changed something, nothing would ever get done. Why didn't they show up ? Because thats not how its done in the real world. You release a good API, and the development gets done.
quote: I love how all you guys bashing the hardware manufacturer's driver support and leaving out the fact that plug n play driver support for Vista just plain sucked.
quote: In a world of perfect APIs, perfect implementation of those APIs, and perfect documentation, then what you say is right. But in reality, things fall short depite everyone's best efforts, and some hand-holding/help/Q&A/assisted debug sessions are needed.
quote: LOL, sounds like you speak from a wealth of experience there - NOT.
quote: I'm still ticked at Creative for the webcam I bought three months before Vista was released that doesn't have Vista drivers. Last Creative product I buy.
quote: Don't blame Creative if Plug and Play is broken in Vista.
quote: OK, FUD-dude, what are you talking about? PNP broken in Vista?!?
quote: hardware manufacturers forewarning to prepare to do Microsoft's bidding
quote: when Windows 7 is released in 2009, it will provide many new useful services.
quote: The new operating system was clearly explained not to be a new architecture from Windows Vista, but rather an iterative improvement on Windows Server 2008 and Vista code.
quote: Why is adding features and relabeling a bad thing? Isn't this what Mac OS X and most GNU/Linux distributions have been doing?
quote: I can install Vista on a computer bought last year and watch it come to a crippling slow crawl and seemingly random software, especially older stuff that i still use, no longer work at all, let alone on the 64bit version.
quote: Leopard won't run on a Mac from 3 years ago because 3 years ago they were still using PowerPC processors
quote: unlike XP, you need to purchase one per computer. If you own a laptop and a computer you can not install it on both
quote: The thing with this commercials is that Apple can throw cheap shots to PCs, but there isn't a single PC front to reply to them.
quote: why mac users want to pay more for hardware