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Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky helped lead the design of Windows 7 and get Microsoft out of a slump. As a reward, Microsoft is promoting him to Windows president.  (Source: Microsoft)
Windows' new boss looks to build on Windows 7's successes

You can have a rock-solid OS, but poor partner support and lack of polish can ruin its public perception. Steven Sinofsky realized that and he worked hard to transform Windows 7 into one of the most highly anticipated Microsoft operating systems to date.  As a reward for his exemplary work, Microsoft is promoting him to Windows President.

Mr. Sinofsky previously had been in charge of the development of Microsoft Office.  He also served as a former technical assistant to Microsoft's founder Bill Gates, a stepping stone position.  When Windows Vista turned into a sour experience in terms of PR and failed to outsell its predecessor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shuffled staff and brought Mr. Sinofsky aboard.  Internally, Microsoft blamed much of Vista's problems on two years of delays, which made it harder for software programmers and computer makers to plan for compatibility.

As senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group, Mr. Sinofsky indeed righted the ship, making sure that Windows 7 stayed ahead of schedule.  He also worked diligently to communicate with the public, as one of the two co-editors of the Windows 7 blog.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at the Kirkland, Washington-based research firm Directions on Microsoft praises, "He runs a tight ship.  He always did a good job getting Office out on time, and he appears to have done the same thing with Windows."

Mr. Sinofsky's former fellow Windows vice presidents -- Bill Veghte and Jon DeVaan -- will now report to Mr. Sinofsky, rather than to Steve Ballmer, the former arrangement.  Mr. Veghte will be assuming new responsibilities, while Tami Reller is being moved to the Windows team as the manager of sales and marketing.

Windows 7 is set to release on October 22 and should be one of the most polished software releases in some time, with thousands of bugs captured and fixed thanks to an extensive public testing period and a refocused Microsoft.

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A necessary Evil
By AnnihilatorX on 7/9/2009 8:44:19 AM , Rating: 5
In my opinion Windows Vista is a necessary evil. Windows 7 is built on top of Vista and the fact that Vista is a somewhat failure, is a necessary evil to bring about incompatibilities such as DirectX 10, core kernel changes and driver model revamp. 7 is what Vista should have become but can't because of the hardware requirement that was at a time mainstream computers were not ready.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Fireshade on 7/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: A necessary Evil
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2009 9:44:13 AM , Rating: 5
I hope you realize that 7 at its core is rather different than Vista. For one, you can run Windows 7 on standard netbooks quite acceptably.

That doesn't necessarily mean that it's much different at the core. For example, when WinXP came out many felt that it was bloated compared to 2000. But if you turned off the themes and lots of the extra add-ons you could speed it up. This doesn't mean that the core has changed, it just means that you stripped it down.

I'm not sure of all the changes they made to Windows 7 so I can't really comment on how much the core has changed. But saying that one is faster than another may just mean that they made minor changes that reduced overhead and not necessarily major core changes.

RE: A necessary Evil
By StevoLincolnite on 7/9/2009 10:53:32 AM , Rating: 4
But Windows 7 -is- faster, Windows Vista was pretty wasteful with it's resources in some circumstances, for instance in Windows Vista, every GDI application window accounts for two memory allocations which hold identical content, one in System Memory and one in Video memory, which is a waste.

To add to it, most systems are actually equipped with an IGP that uses system memory, so essentially Vista duplicated that information twice in system memory, Windows 7 doesn't do this.

That's just one of many examples.

RE: A necessary Evil
By 91TTZ on 7/9/2009 12:07:12 PM , Rating: 4
This conversation just went around in a circle and arrived at the starting point again.

Like I said, the fact that it's been made faster does NOT necessarily mean that the core of the OS has changed much. It may just mean that minor changes have been made to improve performance.

To quote Calin below:

"Just think that the same Linux kernel can be used from Damn Small Linux (installable on some 50MB) and the latest and greatest Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux or whatever (using 5+ GB of hard drive space). As for the memory use, Damn Small Linux is happy with 32MB, while RHEL would neet at least 16 times as much"

What he's saying is true. The core of the OS hasn't changed in his examples, but the appearance to the end user is very significant. Still doesn't mean the core has been changed.

RE: A necessary Evil
By StevoLincolnite on 7/9/2009 12:46:53 PM , Rating: 3
I never stated anything about the "Core of the Operating System", merely pointing out some of the inefficiencies of Vista in general.

RE: A necessary Evil
By waffle911 on 7/10/2009 9:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
This conversation actually was about the Core of the OS at the beginning with the comment made by Fireshade about Win 7 being very different at its core than Vista, and this core difference being the cause of the boost in efficiency. So what you were saying was somewhat irrelevant to the argument being made--that Windows 7 is largely based on Vista and is effectively a refinement of Vista with the core of the OS remaining largely unchanged while the rest of the OS around it was streamlined, as opposed to Fireshade saying that the boost in performance stems primarily from changing and streamlining the core of the OS and not its surrounding components. Both arguments agree that Vista was wasteful with resources and that 7 is all-around faster--they just disagree upon what changes must have actually taken place that would improve performance so drastically.

RE: A necessary Evil
By SiliconAddict on 7/11/2009 3:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 isn't any faster then Vista. Google some of the benchmarks out there. What is faster is the UI. MS realized that the way they loaded the UI and the OS in general simply took too long for the average user. That is what they have been focusing on. Putting priorities on certain aspects of the UI. Loading drivers in parallel on boot. Etc. For all intents and purposes Windows 7 is a minor upgrade to Vista. But its one that MS realized they needed to work on the user experience in a big way.

PS- And for the Mac users out there. I wouldn't scoff too much. You precious OS X had its 10.0 release that easily was worse then Vista ever was. And if you consider where MS went from Vista to Win 7 vs. 10.0 to 10.1 which still was a POS. They are currently kicking ass and taking names. I can't wait to see what Win 8 brings.

RE: A necessary Evil
By cserwin on 7/9/2009 9:46:18 AM , Rating: 1
Did MS really change the 'core' of the OS? Or did they leave the kernel interfaces intact, remove 'legacy' code from the API's, re-organize the UI, and make improvements to things that needed to be improved?

The kernel and api's aren't much different.

Snowleopard shed a whole architecture (PPC) from it's Kernel and interfaces and it appears the OS is facilitating use of the GPU for non-graphics processing. By comparison, 'at it's core', the Snowleopard changes are much more radical than what we see in Win 7 vs. Vista.

And we all know that Snowleopard is a service pack.

Don't get me wrong - Windows 7 is amazing. The Beta and RC release to the public was brilliant, both from a quality and a marketing standpoint. Win 7 is a must have. My pre-orders are in.

But at it's core it is still Vista.

RE: A necessary Evil
By dark matter on 7/9/2009 6:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Have they improved security yet on Snowleopard?

RE: A necessary Evil
By invidious on 7/9/2009 9:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think end user netbook performance is a valid criteria to judge an OS "at its core". Just because it runs better doesn't mean its different, if I bloated down an XP install could I call it a new OS?

Ulimately I don't know how similar they are at a code level, but I suspect that they have a lot in common.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Calin on 7/9/2009 10:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Windows 7 is much different at the core from Vista. Just think that the same Linux kernel can be used from Damn Small Linux (installable on some 50MB) and the latest and greatest Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux or whatever (using 5+ GB of hard drive space). As for the memory use, Damn Small Linux is happy with 32MB, while RHEL would neet at least 16 times as much.

RE: A necessary Evil
By teldar on 7/9/2009 11:11:15 AM , Rating: 1
If you weren't already voted down to -1 I would have voted you down further.
They're the same BASIC kernel.
It's just that 7 is implemented better.
Just because something is faster doesn't mean it isn't basically the same.

What a weak analysis.
It looks different so it's different.

"Hey, I got a new car."
"Really? It looks like your old one painted green."
"It is. It's a new car"

See how that doesn't work?

RE: A necessary Evil
By Shawn on 7/9/2009 2:22:04 PM , Rating: 1
I hope you realize that 7 at its core is rather different than Vista. For one, you can run Windows 7 on standard netbooks quite acceptably. Believe me, you don't want to try that with Vista.

Why not? I did and Vista ran just fine:

RE: A necessary Evil
By teldar on 7/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: A necessary Evil
By Justin Time on 7/9/2009 11:45:16 PM , Rating: 3
Vista was a necessary 'evil' mainly because it's the point at which MS finally bit the bullet on security, and dragged the developer community, kicking and screaming, away from the easy option of using 'administrator' to emulate single-user mode legacy, and finally started to coerce them into writing for the standard user mode. Nothing highlights this quicker than UAC.

However, that doesn't mean to say that the various short-comings were necessary... and Vista has plenty of those.

RE: A necessary Evil
By Indigo64 on 7/10/2009 11:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
Essentially Microsoft caught on to what Google does with its products - releases a public "beta" and makes everyone else gloss over it while they fix everything behind the scenes. Thus, say hello and goodbye to Vista, and "OMGCOMEHERE" Win7.

RE: A necessary Evil
By SiliconAddict on 7/11/2009 3:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
Replace Google with Apple and I would agree 100%.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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