Even though I work at Microsoft I don't know most of what is going on. I can go and ask people and I can read the public sites. I do have the advantage that I can get better confirmation as to whether the stories on the public sites are rubbish or not though .
Anyway, this week I've seen lots of information about Windows 7. This version of Windows, like every other version of Windows starts life before it's predecessor is finished, changes several times before is released and solves some of the issues people have with Vista as well as taking the product in new directions. This is not new or news inside Microsoft and excitement because we are working on the next Windows should be tempered - we are always working on the next version of Windows, Office and every other product we do (well, perhaps not Bob v2). As people who were "in" early with Vista, the visual changes happen much later in the product lifecycle and under the hood changes can make a huge difference in things like performance, security and reliability while not being "seen" by anyone.
So, while this totally unsurprising work is going on (am I getting the emphasis across that this is not news yet), the rumour factory has been spinning up full speed:
Anonymous Microsoft Employee Blogging on Windows 7
January 14, 2008
As a crack into the iron curtain surrounding Windows 7, an anonymous blogger claiming to be a Microsoft employee working on the new operating system is now leaking non-sensitive information on a dedicated blog at shippingseven.blogspot.com. While no list of features is being made public, the blogger said that Microsoft uses a central repository for all the Windows 7 features, making the development centralized and well organized.
MinWin and Windows Vienna / 7
November 30, 2007
Almost two months ago Eric Traut gave a presentation on operating systems in which MinWin was brought to light for the first time. Although used for running a basic HTTP server, MinWin is a stripped down version of the Windows kernel that will be used as the foundation for Windows Vienna. MinWin is composed of approximately 100 files totalizing 25MB on disk and 40MB set up, in comparison with Vista which is made up of over 5000 files and approximatley 2500MB on disk.
Since MinWin is simply an effort from Microsoft to bring the kernel down to the smallest possible size in order to achieve the best efficiency for the upcoming versions of Windows, it will not be a kernel that is going to be distributed all by itself but merely a starting point for the next generation of operating systems built by Microsoft that break the legacy with the Vista operating system and its ancestors.
Update on Windows Vienna / 7
October 15, 2007
Julie Larson-Green, responsible for the user interface of Office 2007, and also the person behind the ribbon-like interface has been transferred to the Windows 7 team.
The current release date of the Windows 7 operating system is expected to be in late 2009, early 2010, returning to the 3-year pause between desktop operating system versions that was common at Microsoft for all Windows versions prior to Windows Vista.
The most common dilema about Windows 7 right now is whether or not to use backward compatibility. Strong rumours have suggested that the OS will be developed from scratch on top of the Windows NT kernel, given its maturity in both security and stability terms. The backward compatibility, however, is something that Microsoft developers would frown upon, since it prevents truly revolutional ideas to be implemented. Windows Vista, because of its backward compatibile, carries a large amount of code libraries with it, thus the large size of the operating system. However, many businesses that haven't upgraded their software in a decade or more would not purchase Windows 7 if it was not compatible with their applications. As a result, the current options that Microsoft has are to either make Windows 7 backward compatible, or to maintain a legacy version of Windows in parallel, for the business customers, one which will be kept alive by Microsoft though patches and updates.
- KezNews has several articles on it - windows - KezNews.com :
BREAKING: Windows 7 M1 Ultimate Edition Lives! - Video Proof!Windows 7 Milestone 1 Ultimate Edition is alive, kicking and as real as they get! Although it's but one year away from the moment Windows Vista hit the shelves, and despite being in the final stages of development of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3, Microsoft is also building Windows 7.
Windows 7: The Anti-Vista?Even with Windows Vista’s one-year anniversary launch just a week away, all that anyone in the tech-enthusiast community seems to want to talk about is Windows 7 (Except for those who are already sick of hearing about 7, as one Windows user characterized himself in a conversation I had yesterday.)
Leaked Screenshots of Windows 7 M1 Ultimate Edition is here!Well I guess it was only a matter of time. Microsoft has already shipped the first testing builds of Windows 7, the successor of Windows Vista, to key partners.
- The mentioned "anonymous blogger" can be found at Shipping Seven and I like his thinking - I'll post separate posts on some of his better ideas:
In almost every Windows OS release so far, we've changed something major in the OS subsystems, to improve the Windows infrastructure. And that generally screws up application or driver compatibility:
Long file names - Application developers had to fix their applications to support long file names. (A good thing, though: What is in 1NTINPRS.AVI?)
Driver developers had to write drivers for a new driver framework because of the hardware abstraction layer. Actually, most of them just stayed away, and supported Win9x only.
A major annoyance for driver developers, who could ignore the NT driver models up to this point. Win2k ran on NTFS, and had locked-down permissions - developers couldn't install their application's files in \windows\system anymore.
We were telling corporations to set up their users as non-admins on their machines, and for the first time, corporate users in were logging in without admin rights, breaking all sorts of enterprise apps.
Consumers just sailed past, on to:
At this point, I can't think of any subsystem in Windows that needs a major change. *
Of course, with every new Windows release, subsystems are tuned up and cleaned up, but as far as I can see, it does not seem like there is a major bit of architecture that we need to change radically (as far as you application and driver developers are concerned).
Well, that is just a taster of the Windows 7 hype curve that is already building out there. Join the RSS feeds for the pages and see what happens.
David (Running Windows Vista SP1 RC)
Sun, Jan 27 2008 2:16 PM