Windows 7: The information lockdown continues

When is Microsoft finally going to start sharing information on Windows 7?

After all, if the Redmondians stick to their own oft-quoted ship target of 2010 for the operating system, that is just two years away. For developers two years isn't a whole lot of time when trying to make decisions about whether or not to build a new product that will be designed specifically to take advantage of new features and functionality in a new Windows release. And for IT managers struggling with deployment plans (as in deploy Vista now or wait two more years for Windows 7), that window on the next version of Windows isn't overly wide, either.

When Microsoft customers and partners were seeking information about Vista Service Pack (SP) 1, some Microsoft officials defended the company's new "translucency" (vs. transparency) policy. By sharing too much information that was subject to change, Microsoft wasn't doing its customers and partners any favors, the translucency backers argued. But not everyone on the Windows team thought the new rules were good for Microsoft's constituents. Microsoft needed to dial back its translucency hard-line, they said (privately — since they didn't want to be seen bucking the powers-that-be).

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21 Comments

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I am glad that they are locking it down.
Programmers and Other IT people helped influence Vista (which i both use and like) to be what it is.
but the irony of this is that those are mostly the people who hate Vista.
go figure ...

IMO Windows should be broken into two markets... A) Home & Student use. Release a new operating system for these needs every two to four years. B) Business. Release a new operating system every four to eight years. Businesses can't afford to upgrade every so often... They need long term support for the OSes they use.

Just my opinion.

All the whining about the glitches in Vista SP1 and XP SP3 pretty much guarantees that Windows 7 will stay in beta for a full 24 months. Don't expect to see it before 2011. Windows 7 may be a minor upgrade, but Microsoft will take its time.

Microsoft, even talking about the next release, tells the story.

No doubt they will be looking at removing all those bits of Vista that are so hated, by people (who are anti Vista). Microsoft know they have nothing to loose - if companies are looking to skip Vista / 2008. Currently they are still selling O/S's, they just need to restore confidence, before people start trying Open Source! IE7 is in the same boat, with the soon to be released Firefox3 (let hope FF lives up to reports)

Can't remove bits of an OS just because 'people hate it' - to be removed, it should be malfucntioning and/or causing detrimental problems to the system, requiring more resources to repair/test/deploy than to replace/remove it.

People hate WGA, but thats still going strong

Why is it a surprise to you that Microsoft is talking about the next OS?

Windows 98 was released 3 years after Windows 95. You think because Windows 95 was not a success?

Windows ME was released only 2 years after Windows 98. Because Windows 98 was a failure?

Windows XP was released less than 2 years after Windows 2000. Because Windows 2000 was a flop?

I think the info lock down is good because of the disastrous effects too much info out there had on the Vista OS.

When is Microsoft finally going to start sharing information on Windows 7?

When they start.

I think that, hopefully, they are already in the process of development. I'm a happy Vista user but i'm interested in those new features buzzing around...

Microsoft can't win, can they? "Stop whining!"

I think Microsoft is doing the right there here. I'm sure Sinofsky is doing a brilliant job on Windows 7 as he did with Office 2007. I have faith that 7 will be just fine, a Windows XP if you will.

PDC is coming up and Microsoft will announce stuff there from what I've heard. People need to learn to be patient.

Going from one extreme to another though isn't the best move. If I were developing applications right now, I'd be seriously interested as to what Windows 7 can offer me as a software developer. Microsoft can hide what they want, and I'm not complaining, but as a developer Windows 7 may well slip by unnoticed (again) unless we know what it actually offers over an existing version of Windows.

If they start giving developers what they need at PDC (the Professional Developers Conference), wouldn't that be plenty of time to start working on applications that can take advantage of Windows 7 features?

PDC '08 is in October.

And a lot of these same developers and deployers are stalling development/deployment of Vista-targeted software (and Vista itself) because Windows 7 will be available at 201x (especially the deployers). Why should Microsoft give the bashers any extra ammunition it doesn't have to?

The later, the better. One of the Microsoft's biggest mistakes in the Vista cycle was announcing x, y, and z, only to then later reveal that actually, thinking about it, they wouldn't include those after all.

The later they start spreading Windows 7 hype, the more I shall believe that they have learned lessons from that travesty of a successful operating system - Windows Vista.

While I do agree with what you have said, the features (such as WinFS) that were pulled were announced what... 5 years before the release of the product. Within 2 years of release, MS should have a good idea of what is going into Windows 7 and be starting (if not already well into) the process of integrating these features into the OS.

(El Sid said @ #1.2)
While I do agree with what you have said, the features (such as WinFS) that were pulled were announced what... 5 years before the release of the product. Within 2 years of release, MS should have a good idea of what is going into Windows 7 and be starting (if not already well into) the process of integrating these features into the OS.

exactly. I also agree with what you said, but 24 months isn't a long time given the sheer size of the thing.

(Sharad. said @ #1.1)
x,y and z being?

To be honest, Microsoft did promise a lot of innovative features during the original focus of Longhorn (2002 to 2004):
1. WinFS - innovative way of finding and manipulating information in a rich way with a powerful way for third party developers to tie their applications into its data store.

2. Vectorized UI - I don't think it would be significantly innovative from the end user perspective, but I assume developers would better take advantage of technologies like Windows Presentation Foundation (which they are not) to create compelling UI's.

3. Domains for Homes (Castles) - This would have solved the problem of PC Syncing in multiple PC Homes and make it available in a richer way.

Apart from the above, Longhorn affected the Company in a major way IE 7 and Office 12 for instance were originally Longhorn only releases that I am sure were either going to have some major innovation. But, it seems the foundation on which it was originally being built (XP) affected its stability greatly. In addition to that the security nightmare that XP went through (2003 to 2004) caused the Windows Team to refocus. That isn't a problem now which makes me believe Windows 7 will get the time it needs to be developed properly with a compelling feature set and user experience.

(Mr. Dee said @ #1.5)
2. Vectorized UI - I don't think it would be significantly innovative from the end user perspective, but I assume developers would better take advantage of technologies like Windows Presentation Foundation (which they are not) to create compelling UI's.

Actually, open up the Magnifier, and look at the UI. Parts of it are scaled very nicely (not raster). For instance, glowy effects.

Also, any WPF application does vector scaling with the magnifier, which is really cool.