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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: Not really bothered
By Diesel Donkey on 8/15/2008 11:03:34 AM , Rating: 2
Most new low end PC's can run Vista happily with Aeroglass enabled.

I think you've captured the crux of the matter right there.

RE: Not really bothered
By therealnickdanger on 8/15/2008 11:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
Let's get to the root of the problem: any PC with 1GB RAM or more can run Vista w/Aero just fine. When Vista was released, the major complaints were due to vendors selling Vista on 512MB machines, thinking they could just sell XP SKUs with Vista loaded instead. Even Celeron 430s with Intel IGPs can run Vista just fine with 1GB RAM.


RE: Not really bothered
By 306maxi on 8/15/2008 12:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I've always argued all along that upgrading an old PC from XP to Vista is a stupid move. My argument is that there's no reason not to spec Vista on a new PC and that most new PC's will run it great. Plus anyone can afford 4gb of RAM these days and Vista will fly along as long provided you have a semi-decent CPU and GPU combination.

RE: Not really bothered
By Jimbo1234 on 8/15/2008 1:58:07 PM , Rating: 3
And why not even 8GB or more? RAM is dirt cheap. $80 for 4GB (2x2) on Newegg.

RE: Not really bothered
By 306maxi on 8/15/2008 2:28:34 PM , Rating: 1
True. But I prefer to buy decent RAM so getting 8gb of RAM for that much money is just a dream for me. I paid about that much for 2x1gb Dominator modules just last week. 4gb of RAM will be plenty for most people for a while to come yet. Not forever of course but for at least 18 months for most people

RE: Not really bothered
By therealnickdanger on 8/15/2008 6:53:24 PM , Rating: 5
LOL @ "decent RAM"

Unless you're in the upper echelon of over-clockers, you don't need anything beyond budget RAM. If you don't believe that, I have a $120 gold-plated Monster parallel cable to sell you.

RE: Not really bothered
By 306maxi on 8/16/2008 2:22:37 AM , Rating: 3
Wow! He quotes me and says I'd buy a monster cable and I get rated down and he gets a 4 for no reason. What I mean is RAM that is not ****. Yes you could go for budget RAM like Corsair Value Select or Kingston ValueRam but for a little bit more you could go for something like Corsair XMS2 which costs a little more and in my experience is more reliable. RAM doesn't need to overclock to be decent. Not breaking is something I also like in my components.

OMFG you'd buy a Monster Cable! Rate me up for my snappy remark lolz! *sigh*

RE: Not really bothered
By therealnickdanger on 8/16/2008 1:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
Even Kingston ValueRAM is too expensive! I'm talking A-DATA and every other brand that's at the bottom rung - with free shipping! :P You ought to reconsider paying the bare minimum sometime, you may be surprised at how good the stuff is. I haven't built a ton of systems in the past 5 years, but of the 10 I can remember, all of them used "bottom-rung" RAM and not one had memory problems. Just buy some and run MemTest on it to see if you should return it or not.

Seriously, don't take the rating system here so hard, opinions are like buttholes... yada yada yada.

RE: Not really bothered
By Maximalist on 8/16/2008 9:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
You need to understand what you are eluding to. Show me many desktop or laptop machines with 8GB RAM capability. I guess it did not cross your mind that most of the machines out there support only upto 4GB of RAM, and most of them can only make up to 3.2GB available to a 64-bit OS. Unless you're running server-class or workstation (trimmed down server-class) chipsets, the OS cannot utilize more than 3.2GB in most circumstances.

The huge problem with current desktop- and mobile-class chipsets is that they are really based on legacy 32-bit architectures. Hardware makers are lazy bums who found themselves out of step with the industry requirements. Only now they are coming around with new designs to address these needs.

Same situation continues to exist in most software development shops, who to a large degree are responsible for Vista's sabotaged launch and slow adoption. Not only the industry (hard- and software) failed Vista, many parties continue to actively create various obstacles.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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