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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 KingViper on 8/15/2008 1:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
No businesses will use Vista?

I work for a company that employs over 7500 associates and we're all running Vista, and we're all running on laptops. Was all the software compatible when Vista came out? No, but that's not necessarily Microsoft's fault. Our company worked with software vendors and Microsoft to get things working and now we're running Vista just fine.

I agree, Vista uses a ton of resources out of the box, but with a little tweaking, you can eliminate most of the resource intensive crap that is set by default.

RE: Not really bothered
By silversound on 8/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not really bothered
By ATC on 8/18/2008 2:14:04 AM , Rating: 4
I think that's unusual. I work for a company that has only 5000 employees and it was only last year that we upgraded to XP. Shocking, I know. But speaking to friends who work for similarly sized companies and it's the same story.

It's nothing against Vista, it's just that so many large companies wait for the product to mature enough before even begging internal testing on it which is then followed, rather slowly I might add, by the roll out and deployment.

Personally, I love Vista. I cannot go back to XP. I'd love to see what they have in store for 7.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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