Print 79 comment(s) - last by myhipsi.. on Aug 18 at 11:36 AM

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 therealnickdanger on 8/15/2008 11:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
Touch Screen Functionality

I believe it goes well beyond mere functionality. As I understand it, the OS is being built with touch being a centerpiece - it will be the primary interface. This excites me mostly because there really is a LOT that you can do much easier with your hands than you can do with a traditional mouse and keyboard. All perverted jokes aside, I can't wait to touch my computer.

But I can already see the problems. The majority of LCD/LED screens sold at present are not touch-enabled, so there will be a whole slew of touch screens with different degrees of touch "resolution" and response times, etc. Windows 7 will be blamed for any and all faults due to manufacturers not meeting proper touch standards. Like Vista being sold on 512MB machines, W7 will be blamed when vendors sell it with poor-performing touch screens.

RE: Not really bothered
By TomZ on 8/15/2008 11:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
I personally have no interest in touch for a desktop or laptop. You'll always need a mouse anyway, because touch is not that precise (think about finger size compared to mouse pointer size), and touching a screen will always lead to it being dirty.

For portable devices with canned user interfaces (e.g., big buttons), I do think that touch is worthwhile.

RE: Not really bothered
By skaaman on 8/15/2008 12:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I look forward to the day where I can replace my coffee table with a nice Surface PC... Lets pay attention to where this technology is heading.

RE: Not really bothered
By skaaman on 8/15/2008 12:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Not really bothered
By Jimbo1234 on 8/15/2008 2:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how will it react when Jr spill his kool-aid all over the table?

RE: Not really bothered
By skaaman on 8/15/2008 3:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... I would image they are fairly well sealed. I was pondering jow long it would tale someone to hack it and leave a less than desirable image on the desktop. "Mommy, whats that???" Mother faints...

RE: Not really bothered
By Icelight on 8/15/2008 12:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stick with mouse/keyboard thank you. The last thing I want to do is stretch my arm to reach a monitor constantly to touch it.

And who has room on their desk to put a big monitor on its side if that's the way things go?

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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