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Windows learns a thing or two from the world of blogging

As part of Microsoft’s efforts to promote its Windows projects, the Windows team is launching a new initiative -- a blog to promote its new upcoming Windows 7 operating system.  The new blog is titled Engineering Windows 7 and the first post went online August 14 at about 5 PM.  The blog is going to provide exclusive insight from Microsoft's development team about the progress of the OS.

The first blog, unsurprisingly, comes from Windows senior vice presidents Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky.  The pair has already stated that official engineering details will not be fully discussed until October 27 at the Professional Developers' Conference in Los Angeles.  However, they hope to drop a few hints in the blog, along with getting feedback from what people hope to see with Windows 7.

The pair writes:

The audience of enthusiasts, bloggers, and those that are the most passionate about Windows represent the folks we are dedicating this blog to. With this blog we’re opening up a two-way discussion about how we are making Windows 7. Windows has all the challenges of every large scale software project—picking features, designing them, developing them, and delivering them with high quality. Windows has an added challenge of doing so for an extraordinarily diverse set of customers. As a team and as individuals on the team we continue to be humbled by this responsibility.

They also announced that the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, a week after the Professional Developers' Conference, will feature more technical details on Windows 7.  Interestingly the team seemed to allude to the hype and moderate disappointment surrounding Windows Vista, stating, "We, as a team, definitely learned some lessons about “disclosure” and how we can all too easily get ahead of ourselves in talking about features before our understanding of them is solid. Our intent with Windows 7 and the pre-release communication is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about when we do talk."

Mr. Sinofsky and Mr. DeVaan believe revealing too many tentative technical hardware details too early can be very detrimental.  Not only does it waste resources, they say, but it also confuses partners.  This argument seems slightly more logical when you consider that Microsoft has to work with over 10,000 hardware partners, each with unique needs.

Both say they will post "regularly" to the blog, to provide behind the scenes info.  They also promise to try to respond to selected user comments.  Mr. Sinofsky encourages readers to send him emails to his corporate email suggesting topics and suggestions for Windows 7.

While blogging is no means new in the Microsoft community, the new Windows 7 blog seems to represent a more concerted effort to use a public dialog to help it create its new OS.  With the blog expected to run through 2009 when the OS is scheduled to release, it should be interesting to see what tidbits of information it offers.



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RE: just a part of it..
By 306maxi on 8/15/2008 10:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with Windows? The vast majority of people out there use Vista, XP or 2000 either at home or in the workplace. As long as hardware keeps on moving on at the rate it is these days there will always be demand for operating systems.

Microsoft is still on a good wicket with Windows and even though Apple is gaining ground they will never become dominant. Same with Linux.

Windows OS's just work and with the exception of Linux it's the cheapest way to get an OS for your PC. I'm not really a fan of paying for service packs as you do with OS X


RE: just a part of it..
By Pirks on 8/15/2008 2:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not really a fan of paying for service packs as you do with OS X
You sound like a Windows zealot :)

Fortunately, reality is pretty different from what you just said: Mac OS X service packs are free.

Apple releases them regularly, starting with 10.x.1 release, for example 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3 and so on.

Perhaps you should do a bit more research before posting here.


RE: just a part of it..
By 306maxi on 8/16/2008 2:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
What about Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and Leopard?

Lets say you have 2 computers in 2001. 1 Mac and a PC.

You start off with OSX 10.0 and XP.

Later that year you upgrade the Max to 10.1 free upgrade. This is good! I'm going to be able to upgrade for free just like Microsoft always does with service packs!

Then in 2002 you upgrade to 10.2. They bone you by making you pay. Oh crap! I didn't think they'd do this. Well perhaps they'll give me my next SP for free.
Microsoft gives you SP1 for free.

In 2003 Apple goes to 10.3 and bones you for some more money. Oh crap. No fair! But at least I look cool with my Mac! It doesn't get viruses you know!

In 2004 Microsoft gives you SP2 for free!

In 2005 Steve realises he hasn't boned you for what Microsoft would give you for free and decides it's time to give you 10.4. I had to pay for another SP but at least Apple is releasing ads that make fun of Windows users. That's soooooo cool!

It's the year 2007 and Steve is getting restless. You guessed it 10.5! And do you get it for free like you would with Microsoft? Nope. At least I'm not running Vista. Steve says Vista is evil and we shouldn't use it. I trust Steve.

2008? Yet another free service pack from Microsoft.

So in summary.... with all due respect you're the one who should do some research. Just because Apple call it another operating system doesn't mean it is. It simply annoys me that people have the balls to accuse Microsoft of overpricing Vista when you have to pay multiple times for OSX. If Microsoft did this they would be accused of being moneygrabbing b@stards yet Apple get away with it.


RE: just a part of it..
By Tamale on 8/15/2008 2:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
my point is that microsoft had to start a whole new campaign just to 'save vista'.. if windows 7 is expected to be anything as well-liked as XP, microsoft can't just make windows 7 "not suck", they need to really listen to what people are asking for execute it very well.


RE: just a part of it..
By TomZ on 8/15/2008 3:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Vista has a PR problem, not a product problem. Vista already "doesn't suck."

What Microsoft needs to "fix" for Windows 7 is to make sure it doesn't have another PR problem.


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