Home / News / Software News / Windows 7 Unveiled & Released To Developers

Windows 7 Unveiled & Released To Developers

Gordon Kelly

by

Windows 7 Unveiled & Released To Developers

Despite my constant bashing of Windows Vista (mainly because, hell, it deserves it) I want Microsoft to do well. I think the Redmond giant puts up with a lot for trying to make an OS that works across hundreds of motherboard makes, GPU types and memory configurations not to mention backwards compatibility for older software, hardware and the like. So this is big news...

In short: a pre-beta release of Windows 7 was handed out to the developer community today as Microsoft at long last let the details spill on its next generation operating system. The spiel was predictable:

"We are bringing the best of the Web to Windows, and the best of Windows to the Web," said Ray Ozzie, Microsoftchief software architect. "From PC to the Web to the phone, and from the server to cloud, we are focused on enabling the creation of the next generation of user experiences that change the way we live, work and play."

What does this all mean however? Well for a start - while visually similar to Vista - Windows 7 is being touted as much more efficient, running faster on low powered systems (even netbooks with an Atom CPU and 1GB RAM) and cutting boot times dramatically by loading up only the basics users need to get started. Don't need Bluetooth everyday - it won't be loaded up unless you specifically need it. Logical stuff.

In terms of compatibility, refreshingly Microsoft believes everything that works on Vista should work on Windows 7 and a far wider array of codecs will be supported from the get go (including DivX, Xvid and AAC) while the love it/hate it (I actually love it) Ribbon menu structure used in Office 2007 will be the defacto layout for all Windows 7 programmes.

Other key benefits include far less user alerts - including the option to pick and choose what, if any, alerts are received, 'Jump Lists' which group most commonly used programmes and performed tasks, more unified applications, services and devices and integrated WiFi and 3G support. Naturally all that Windows 7 touchscreen functionality we're been prattling on about will be in there too with gesture controls (unsurprisingly reminiscent of Apple's commands) available to suitably equipped machines. What defines 'suitably equipped'? We'll probably find out in a few months.

In all then a simplistic way to describe Windows 7 is Vista done right - which three years on (a mid 2009 to early 2010 release is touted) it certainly should be. That may not sound great, but Vista promised a lot and with the sensible tweaks Windows 7 is promoting it may finally be the OS to get all those loyal XP users to make the jump.

Now time for all that developer feedback...

Link:

Windows 7 on MSDN

Helmore

October 29, 2008, 4:13 am

I think there is one slight mistake in the article, it reads:


"(a mid 2008 to early 2009 release is touted)"


Shouldn't that me mid 2009 to early 2010?





About Windows 7, all I have to say is; Bring it on!

Keldon

October 29, 2008, 4:29 am

I actually cant wait! I have every "home user" version of windows since 3.1 and while i dont mind vista (mainly thanks to SP1) having it run a little faster would be nice. Lets hope MS make good on there promises and XP-ify vista :)

Gordon394

October 29, 2008, 4:44 am

@Helmore - spot on, the terrors of working (very) late! Thanks and I agree :)

Runwaypimp

October 29, 2008, 5:15 am

With all that Money & personnel; why does it take them Sooooo long to develop so little.

rav

October 29, 2008, 11:16 am

I can never understand all the Vista bashing. I use it every day and am happy with it. This site also gave it a 9/10 on release but you'd never know from all the little digs.

gettinhigh

October 29, 2008, 12:25 pm

the previews look great, and hopefully MS can market it this time properly as well.

TL1210

October 29, 2008, 2:27 pm

woulnt it be nice is users of Vista got a better upgrade discount to those still using XPP.





We should be rewarded for upgrading to Vista in the first place, especially when its shelf life will be considerably shorter than XP.





I know I'll be upgrading as soon as W7 is released.

basicasic

October 29, 2008, 3:00 pm

Vista is just a joke. An insecure, bloated, DRM infested and annoying resource-hog which deserves every bit of derision it gets in the industry. I switched to Ubuntu over a year ago which is like a breath of fresh air. And Compiz Fusion makes Vista Aero look utterly pathetic.

Hallainzil

October 29, 2008, 3:15 pm

Runwaypimp: The simple answer is compatibility, both in terms of hardware and software. Above and beyond anything else, that is what makes Windows such a beast to develop. Not having to worry about this to anything like the same degree is what makes OS X so much more agile in terms of development timescales.

TheEvilGenius

October 29, 2008, 4:48 pm

TBH I'm quite happy with Vista, and like others, can't really see what all the bad mojo is about.





One thing I am hoping for is for Microsoft to sort out the audio issues Vista had with Creative products since they removed the HAL Layer.

Technology changes, and so sho

October 29, 2008, 4:56 pm

basicasic: I too switched to Ubuntu a while ago, but because my aging CF-T5 had an XP installation that had grown so flaky I couldn't run it anymore (and I didn't have the installation disks to correct it).


I would agree that Ubuntu is a breath of fresh air, and people should experiment with it, but I have had more than my fair share of frustrations and can understand why Microsoft has a 90% install base. They make software that works and has been tested and is eminently useable. If there is a problem, they will fix it quickly.


IF you can convince the Linux community that there is a problem with their software (difficult given their innate arrogance), then they MIGHT get around to doing something about it EVENTUALLY, but more often than not they'll just say that it was not the purpose of their software and they provide it as-is (so screw you, effectively: if you can do better then write it yourself - not an attitude that wins consumers' hearts).


I recently bought a second laptop with Vista installed because Ubuntu just does not support my important devices (TomTom Go 930 being a prime example).


Vista IS secure (perhaps a little too so given the number of questions it asks), it is not bloated if you uninstall everything you don't need and the DRM is needed to stop people pirating the often innovative ideas that Microsoft have that let them earn money over their competitors so they can develop more software.


The fact is that Linux will never become mainstream until it accepts that it must encourage the business sector by allowing them some proprietary code so they can differentiate themselves from their competitors, and working with them to keep their proprietary ideas safe rather than bashing them constantly. Proprietary ideas and IP are the life-blood of businesses and the reason that they can afford to employ so many people.


Microsoft work with businesses well, which is why XP was such a runaway success and so will be Windows 7.


Vista was simply too much change; but without Windows Millenium, we wouldn't have had XP.

baller86

October 29, 2008, 5:25 pm

Personally, I can't wait for Windows 7

ilovethemonkeyhead

October 29, 2008, 7:34 pm

baller86: are you steve ballmer?

Ironduke

October 29, 2008, 11:14 pm

M$ are gonna have to pull their socks up to stop the advance of the one the only STEVIE J

Andrew Gosling

October 30, 2008, 1:21 pm

looks a heck of a lot like KDE 4 to me

baller86

October 30, 2008, 1:55 pm

ilovethemonkeyhead: LOL, no I'm not, I wish earned his salary though

Gnormie

October 30, 2008, 9:14 pm

What's up with the date on those pics? 9/30/2010?

Gordon394

October 31, 2008, 4:47 pm

@Gnormie - no idea. They're straight to us from the MS Press Office...

Alexa08

October 31, 2008, 6:54 pm

It's easier to do press releases from the future.

Francesco Mastellone

November 1, 2008, 4:48 am

Huh. Yay for yet another Windows vs. Unix debate.





"IF you can convince the Linux community that there is a problem with their software (difficult given their innate arrogance), then they MIGHT get around to doing something about it EVENTUALLY, but more often than not they'll just say that it was not the purpose of their software and they provide it as-is (so screw you, effectively: if you can do better then write it yourself - not an attitude that wins consumers' hearts)."


That's pure idiocy. First of all, it is a generalization: only immature open source projects haven't yet found the right balance between accepting user feedback and keeping a solid code base. And second, it's actually the other way around: try having Microsoft change something after a request of yours. Isn't it _much_ easier to contact an open source programmer and ask him/her what s/he thinks about implementing something, or paying a programmer to plain implement that feature for you and send it to the project leaders?





"I recently bought a second laptop with Vista installed because Ubuntu just does not support my important devices (TomTom Go 930 being a prime example)."


As if it was Microsoft who produced the TomTom drivers. Simply, the device producers don't always provide Linux drivers(but the situation in that regard is improving lately), whereas they're almost obligated to provide Windows ones.





"Vista IS secure (perhaps a little too so given the number of questions it asks), it is not bloated if you uninstall everything you don't need and the DRM is needed to stop people pirating the often innovative ideas that Microsoft have that let them earn money over their competitors so they can develop more software."


...Are you saying Microsoft needs more money? Not to be unpolite, but what the hell is wrong with you? Also: the few innovations Microsoft made are hugely offset by the innovations it stole or killed with its politics.





"The fact is that Linux will never become mainstream until it accepts that it must encourage the business sector by allowing them some proprietary code so they can differentiate themselves from their competitors, and working with them to keep their proprietary ideas safe rather than bashing them constantly. Proprietary ideas and IP are the life-blood of businesses and the reason that they can afford to employ so many people."


First of all: there is no single Linux community, so Linux itself can't encourage closed-source software(nor would it). There are however Linux-centered companies such as Red Hat or Novell who make huge money based on proprietary solutions running on Linux. As a matter of fact, Linux wins over Microsoft in many business-related fields, the most relevant one being servers: the internet, simply put, runs on Linux.


Second: software houses can develop whatever proprietary software they want. It can work on Linux. For instance: Skype, Doom 3, Cedega...


Third: have a good day, I hope you'll understand my positions, and sorry for any harsh words.

comments powered by Disqus