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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 Springfield45 on 8/15/2008 11:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
It amuses me that people dismiss 64-bit XP. I have been running it for quite awhile now. It is true that in the beginning, there was little to no support for it, but now, it is doing quite well. Unfortunately, most people wrote it off before drivers started showing up. If you can find a copy lying around, give it a shot. You may be suprised.

RE: Not really bothered
By Runiteshark on 8/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not really bothered
By 306maxi on 8/15/2008 12:17:18 PM , Rating: 5
It isn't as good as Vista, it isn't quicker, it isn't more stable and best of all it uses less RAM so it launches your commonly used apps SLOWER than Vista.

Google Vista Prefetch and you'll see why Vista is supposedly so RAM hungry and why this isn't a bad thing.

RE: Not really bothered
By Dark Legion on 8/15/2008 12:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
The same can be said of Vista.

RE: Not really bothered
By Jimbo1234 on 8/15/2008 1:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Been there, done that. Benchmarked both XP64 and Vista64 for CAD workstations. Vista wins. Current versions of the software are now DX10 capable. The choice was easy.

RE: Not really bothered
By emboss on 8/15/2008 9:39:33 PM , Rating: 1
Ditto. I've changed my machine back to XP x64 from Vista x64 (which I had changed to from XP x64 in the first place) after about a year of struggling with Vista. I won't repeat my post about the problems I had with Vista (just look back at my previous messages), suffice it to say that compared to XP x64 it was slower (networking, UI response, too aggressive paging of active apps to disk), less stable (bluescreen about once a week, frequent Explorer crashes), and didn't really offer anything except DX10 (which was important for my work for a while, but now doesn't matter). Since changing back to XP x64, I haven't had a single bluescreen or Explorer crash, multiple desktops work properly again, and the only thing I miss is the new alt-tab functionality.

I should add that under low-concurrency conditions (including gaming), Vista was fine (though Explorer still crashed every so often). However, really pushing the system - 4 cores maxed out, 80+MB/sec over the network with multiple processes, GPU flat out doing GPGPU things, all at the same time - seemed to cause some problems. I might try Server 2008 sometime (yay for MS's trial system) to see if that's any better, but right now I've got more important things to do.

Finally, the OTHER 64-bit XP really is terrible ...

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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