The Windows 7 Team

Thanks to everyone who provided comments and sent me mail. I definitely appreciate the discussion we have kicked off. There’s also a ton of energy in our hallways as this blog started. It seems like a good thing to do to start off is sort of an introduction to the Windows development team. This post provides an overview of the team that is represented by this blog.

Before diving into the main topic, let’s talk a bit more about what to expect from this blog. First a few words on the comments and emails I’ve received. I’ve received a ton—most of the weekend was spent reading emails and comments. There are definitely some themes. I would say by and large the reception has been very warm and we definitely appreciate that. The most frequent request was to discuss Windows performance and/or just “make Windows faster”. There’s a lot to this topic so we expect to talk about this quite a bit over the next months. There are many specific requests—often representing all possible sides of an issue such as some folks saying “please get rid of (or don’t do) <x>” and then other folks saying “whatever you do it is really important to keep (or do) <x>”. A big part of this blog for me personally is having the discussion about the multiple facets of any given issue. Even something that sounds as binary as performance proves to have many subtle elements. For example, some folks suggested that the best thing for boot performance is to not start anything until idle time and others suggested that the delay loading feels like it slows them down and still others have suggested that the best approach is to provide a startup manager that pushes everyone to choose what to start up. All of these have merit worth discussing and also demonstrate the subtlety and complexity of even the most straight forward request.

Second, much to the surprise of both Jon and I a number of folks questioned the “authenticity” of the post. A few even suggested that the posts are being “ghost written” or that this blog is some sort of ploy. I am typing this directly in Windows Live Writer and hitting publish. This blog is the real deal—typos, mistakes, and all. There’s no intermediary or vetting of the posts. We have folks on the team who will be contributing, but we’re not having any posts written by anyone other than who signs it. We will us one user name for all the posts since that keeps the blog security and ownership clear, but posts will be signed by the person that hit publish. (If I participate in the comments I will use my msdn name, steven_sinofsky.)

And third, what frequency should folks expect and when do we get to the “features of Windows 7”. When we wrote that we would post “regularly” we meant that we don’t have a schedule or calendar of posts and we don’t want to commit to an artificial frequency which generally seems inconsistent with blogging. We do expect to follow a pattern similar to what you have become familiar with on the IEBlog. FWIW, on my internal blog no one has yet accused me of not contributing enough. 🙂

As we said in the introductory post we think it will be good to talk about the engineering of Windows 7 (the “how”) and the first step is establishing who the engineers are that do the engineering before we dive into the product itself (the “why” and “what”).

So let’s meet the team...

It is pretty easy to think of the Windows team as one group or one entity, and then occasionally one specific person comes to represent the team—perhaps she gave a talk at a conference, wrote a book or article folks become familiar with, or maybe he has a blog. Within Microsoft, the Windows product is really a product of the whole company with people across all the development groups contributing in some form or another. The Windows engineering team “proper” is jointly managed by Jon and me. Jon manages the core operating system, which is, among many things, the kernel, device infrastructure, networking, and the engineering tools and system (all of which are both client and server). I am part of the Windows client experience team which develops, among many things, the shell and desktop, graphics, and media support. One other significant part of the Windows product is the Windows Media Center which is a key contribution managed along with all of Microsoft’s TV support (IPTV, extenders, etc.).

There’s a lot to building an org structure for a large team, but the most important part is planning the work of the team. This planning is integral to realizing our goal of improving the overall consistency and “togetherness” for Windows 7. So rather than think of one big org, or two teams, we say that the Windows 7 engineering team is made up of about 25 different feature teams.

A feature team represents those that own a specific part of Windows 7—the code, features, quality, and overall development. The feature teams represent the locus of work and coordination across the team. This also provides a much more manageable size—feature teams fit in meeting spaces, can go to movies, and so on. On average a feature team is about 40 developers, but there are a variety of team sizes. There are two parts to a feature team: what the team works on and who makes up a team.

Windows 7’s feature teams sound a lot like parts of Windows with which you are familiar. Because of the platform elements of Windows we have many teams that have remained fairly constant over several releases, whereas some teams are brand new or represent relatively new areas composed of some new code and the code that formed the basis of the team. Some teams do lots of work for Server (such as the VM work) and some might have big deliverables outside of Windows 7 (such as Internet Explorer).

In general a feature team encompasses ownership of combination of architectural components and scenarios across Windows. “Feature” is always a tricky word since some folks think of feature as one element in the user-interface and others think of the feature as a traditional architectural component (say TCP/IP). Our approach is to balance across scenarios and architecture such that we have the right level of end-to-end coverage and the right parts of the architecture. One thing we do try to avoid is separating the “plumbing” from the “user interface” so that teams do have end-to-end ownership of work (as an example of that, “Find and Organize” builds both the indexer and the user interface for search). Some of the main feature teams for Windows 7 include (alphabetically):

  • Applets and Gadgets

  • Assistance and Support Technologies

  • Core User Experience

  • Customer Engineering and Telemetry

  • Deployment and Component Platform

  • Desktop Graphics

  • Devices and Media

  • Devices and Storage

  • Documents and Printing

  • Engineering System and Tools

  • File System

  • Find and Organize

  • Fundamentals

  • Internet Explorer (including IE 8 down-level)

  • International

  • Kernel & VM

  • Media Center

  • Networking - Core

  • Networking - Enterprise

  • Networking - Wireless

  • Security

  • User Interface Platform

  • Windows App Platform

I think most of these names are intuitive enough for the purposes of this post—as we post more the members of the team will identify which feature team they are on. This gives you an idea of the subsystems of Windows and how we break down a significant project into meaningful teams. Of course throughout the project we are coordinating and building features across teams. This is a matter of practice because you often want to engineer the code in one set of layers for efficiency and performance (say bottom up), but end-users might experience it across layers, and IT pros might want to manage a desktop from the top-down. I admit sometimes this is a little bit too much of an insider view as you can’t see where some interesting things “live”. For example, the tablet and inking functionality is in our User Interface Platform team along with speech recognition, multi-touch and accessibility. The reason for this is the architectural need to share the infrastructure for all mechanisms of “input” even if any one person might not cross all those layers. This way when we design the APIs for managing input, developers will see the benefits of all the modes of user interaction through one set of APIs.

The other aspect of our feature teams is the exact composition. A feature team represents three core engineering disciplines of software development engineers (sde or dev), software development engineers in test (sdet or test, sorry but I haven’t written a job description externally), and program managers (pm). Having all three of these engineering disciplines is a unique aspect of Microsoft that has even caught the attention of some researchers. In my old blog I described dev and pm which I linked to above (I still owe a similar post on SDET!).

The shortest version of these roles is dev is responsible for the architecture and code, pm is responsible for the feature set and specification, and test is responsible for validation and the ultimate advocate for the customer experience. Everyone is responsible for quality and performance, each bringing their perspective to the work. For any given feature, each of dev, test, and pm work as a team of peers (both literally and conceptually). This is a key “balance of power” in terms of how we work and makes sure that we take a balanced approach to developing Windows 7. Organizationally, we are structured such that devs work for devs, sdets work for sdets, and pm works for pm. That is we are organized by these “engineering functions”. This allows for two optimizations—the focus on expertise in both domain and discipline and also the ability to make sure we are not building the product in silos, but focused on the product as a whole.

We talk about these three disciplines together because we create feature teams with n developers, n testers, and 1/2n program managers. This ratio is pretty constant across the team. On average a feature team is about 40 developers across the Windows 7 project.

We also have core members of our engineering team that work across the entire product:

  • Content Development – the writers and editors that create the online assistance, web site, SDK documents, and deployment documents.

  • Product Planning – responsible for the customer research and learning that informs the selection of features. Product Planning also coordinates the work we do with partners across the ecosystem in terms of partnering through the design and development of the release.

  • Product Design – develops the overall interaction model, graphical language, and design language for Windows 7

  • Research and Usability – creates field and lab studies that show how existing products and proposed feature perform with customers

Some have said that the Windows team is just too big and that it has reached a size that causes engineering problems. At the same time, I might point out that just looking at the comments there is a pretty significant demand for a broad set of features and changes to Windows. It takes a set of people to build Windows and it is a big project. The way that I look at this is that our job is to have the Windows team be the right size—that sounds cliché but I mean by that is that the team is neither too large nor too small, but is effectively managed so that the work of the team reflects the size of the team and you see the project as having the benefits we articulate. I’m reminded of a scene from Amadeus where the Emperor suggests that the Marriage of Figaro contains “too many notes” to which Mozart proclaims “there are just as many notes, Majesty, as are required, neither more nor less.” Upon the Emperor suggesting that Mozart remove a few notes, Mozart simply asks “which few did you have in mind?” Of course the people on the team represent the way we get feature requests implemented and develop end to end scenarios, so the challenge is to have the right team and the right structure to maximize the ability to get those done—neither too many nor too few.

I promised myself no post would be longer than 4 pages and I am getting close. The comments are great and are helping us to shape future posts. I hope this post starts to develop some additional shared context.


Comments (165)
  1. dnr says:


    Thanks for the informative post and Mozart was correct.  Glenn Gould says he didn’t have enough notes, so it is all what you are looking for.

  2. Gerald Mann says:

    give use more informations 4 pages are not enought …

    Thanks for your work Steven

  3. AnubiS says:

    Now we are starting to see the complexity of Windows Development, all the Departments involved in the project and the complexity of the develop of a project like this, this maybe make understand some people how hard is to make a software that is both efficient and functional. I work as a Developer in Venezuela and know how hard is to please every petition and how hard is to make EVERYTHING work perfectly so for me this is a very good start for a new concept in make good software.

  4. Kosher says:

    Hi Steven,

    Great detail on the post.  I hope the recent news regarding 2008 is not reflective of a trend in the coming windows releases.

    I recently installed the latest Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and I have to say, the new XAML forms designer is very impressive.  I hope that your team gets to utilize these new tools to develop the new user experience.  There has been a huge push in the user experience and the number of people involved in it is insane.  I hope this talent and hard work is leveraged in this new release or future releases.  

    The new Entity Framework, WPF, and WCF are all technologies that will help Microsoft deliver the next "awesome thing".

    As Carly Fiorina once said ~"we have all of the resources we need, now we just have to execute on the vision".

  5. caywen says:

    This blog is great, Steven. Thanks for the openness and receptiveness to your users. I think we all hit these blogs and complain because we’re also passionate about Windows, and even the most critical of us want to see Windows rock everyone’s world.

    One thing I would like to know is what plans Microsoft has for netbooks. Is Microsoft’s strategy to wait for netbook hardware to beef up and then shoehorn Vista onto them? Or is there a more focused solution in the works?

    My coworker was showing me his new Acer Aspire, which runs Linux, and I must say I was really, really impressed. It does 95% of what people need at 1/10th the footprint. I’d love to see Microsoft match this.

  6. carl_j says:

    Very enlightening post on just how complex the Teams really are. I too look forward to more posts and hopefully some snippets or two on the new features for Windows 7.

    There really is a huge anticipation for Windows 7 so hopefully it will deliver on not only your goals but the millions of Windows users around the world.

  7. hardon says:

    A bit scary to see IE is parts of the OS project. Many non-os components are probably "hidden" in other teams as well. When can we expect to see Office here? 🙂

    If you made everything non-osish independent, with release cycles not necessarily matching the OS (delivered via Windows Update when done), maybe it wouldn’t take 5 years to get the "OS" done (and a positive side effect for us lean-and-meaners, we would off course not install those updates:-)

  8. says:

    Wow, what a nice way to describe how much ranting was done over the initial post (and hopefully prevent more in the future).  I can’t wait till we’re actually called for ideas and suggestions.

    I do have to say, I’m very impressed at microsoft’s willingness for open and non formal communictation as a part of their development life cycle.  It definitly seemed to be missing from previous released.  

    Windows can be a wild beast, and I can’t wait to tame the next release.

  9. kalem13 says:

    So, if my math are correct, there are 1000 developper on Windows 7. Quite a bit of people to manage. Well, I’m looking forward to your posts, I want to know why, among all the suggestion put forward, this one in particuliar isn’t really feasible and the other is actually a great idea. I sure hope we’ll have some details about what you may or may not plan to do in the next Windows.

    64 Bits only FTW!

  10. jrronimo says:

    Man, I do not envy those pm’s. I hated Project Management when I was taking it as classes!

    I also like the idea of teams at movies, haha. It’s nice to hear about the comraderie that can exist there.

  11. grilo says:

    wonderful! please post more details about it.

  12. gonzc900 says:

    Not everyone is a geek and not everyone wants to read a long blog post. break up these blog posts under different category.

  13. Kosher says:

    To the core DNS, Wins, IIS, AD, COM, Registry, teams, it would be great if it was written in managed code (LINQ, or Entity Framwork and Web Services) or even refactored native code (or even C++/CLI) so we didn’t have to call legacy stuff that with old programming quarks via WMI (*shiver).

    Looking forward to the deep integration with powershell.

    Thanks again!

  14. dxrdxr says:

    As anyone who reads Steven’s internal blogs knows very well, if it is 4 pages long it must be real! In fact 4 pages seems short! And what marketting person would allow a 4 page posting?! 🙂

  15. canadianmike says:

    Thanks for the great post Steven!  Personally I like long posts because some things just can’t be condensed into soundbytes.  I know whoever is tasked with reading the comments will have a lot of posts to read through so I will be brief.  The three most important things the Win7 must provide are speed, stability, and an entirely new GUI.  The GUI is primarily where my interest lies at this point and it should blow consumers away.  While Aero is nice, it still looks like nothing more than a glossy refresh of the traditional Windows look as it has been since ’95.  Win7 needs to bring us visually into the future.  I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the GUI.


  16. aristus says:

    I am curious about how new features get proposed and kicked around. How often does a developer put something in on their own time?

  17. Alf928 says:

    Hi Steven,

    Loving the posts, great content. It’s also finally good to see revealed the complexity of Windows, and that’s something Microsoft should have done ages ago. Being in software development, I know just how complex a project can be, but most people would not and assume doing is as easy as saying so.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work! 🙂

  18. bobharvey says:

    I’m very puzzled by the postings expressing surprise at the size of the team and the complexity of windows.  I’d have thought, from the outside, that was a given.  In fact, given how small the described numbers of engineers are the conclusion I would draw is ‘this is why versions are so similar to each other and it can take several versions for mistakes to get fixed’.

    In one of my earlier comments I proposed a formal split between kernel, session layer, and UI.  That seems more urgent than ever based on what is described here.

    And As for the comment by hardon, I agree entirely.  If IE8 is regarded as ‘part of the OS’ then we are in trouble.  Is this a legacy of the W2K days when the desktop was the explorer was IE?  I really do think that you need to make the desktop a separate ‘product’ that can run on any kernel.

    Imagine if ‘vista basic’ had consisted of the existing XP desktop running unaltered on a smaller, hardened, kernel.  And ‘vista gamer’ could have been completely separate?

  19. kfunk says:

    I do appreciate the effort to give us a peek into the development of Windows 7.  I only wish this had been part of the Vista development process.  Maybe we would not have such a disastrous user interface, among other things,  in Vista.

  20. Yert says:

    Honestly, my opinion of this blog being set up now is to prepare for PDC and WinHEC so that you guys with have the proper place to have your say.

    My suggestion would be to say how you guys are doing what you’re doing, and to start debunking rumors. These two are the best I can think of short of actual "feature" related news.

    One last request, I would love to see a pledge for better x64 support. I know you guys are working on getting multi-thread and core working, and some other neat stuff, but Microsoft needs to make a pledge, like they did for security back in 2003 (and that one paid off well) to moving to x64.

    I might just be saying this because I’m a x64 fanboy, but its important to me. Vista has a great deal of support for it, but there are still areas in which MS falls short. I’m holding you guys to the standard of quality I’m supposed to expect from Microsoft here (or whatever the apologist language was for Vista on a certain Microsoft page).

  21. PRab says:

    Having many teams is great, but there needs to be strong, decisive management to guide all these teams. In Vista, each team seems to have made a product and at the end they were strapped together. Just have a look at Not all of those are core operating system components, but all are made by Microsoft and lack consistency.

  22. Aberforth says:

    hey, thanks for the great Blog- I can’t wait to get my hands on Windows 7. I wonder if MS is planning add old features like Win FS 🙂

    And lastly I hope windows 7 has a productive UI. Because in my last 17 years of computing experience I haven’t seen much of an improvment in this area, every OS has a same generic UI but the situation has now changed, we have different class of users – developers, administrators, gamers, home users and so on, it would be great if the OS has UI optimizations for these different users. As a developer I’d have wanted UI to be more helpful to speed up my work.

    Anyway, this is just my opinion. Waiting for the next blog…bye

  23. RotoSequence says:

    This blog is a nice opportunity for some interaction between the developers of the next generation of Windows. While companies have (always?) had access to the dev teams, regular users have always had a more difficult time being heard. I’ll take this opportunity to share my views on what I would like the upcoming OS to be. I guess it comes off as a bit of a rant, but hey, don’t read it if you don’t want to. 😉

    What I want most out of Windows 7 is choice. I’ll acknowledge now that what I want to see is not something that will necessarily be easy, but I think it’s the best thing Microsoft, as an entity, could provide for it’s customers. Traditionally, the features set has been presented to users as a full set, whether it was needed, wanted, or not.

    I’d like to see a more granular approach to features and the user interface. If a user does not want to have things like free-cell, minesweeper, Windows Media Player, or even some major features like Gadgets, to be on their machine, they should be able to choose not to install them the first time the OS is loaded to the machine.

    Every user’s needs is different – a fact demonstrated by the wide range of requests and comments received in response to the first blog entry. If a user knows what features they need, or want, to be using, the power to disable them would be of great benefit in the performance front. A leaner, meaner operating system install that caters to the specific needs of the user means that the experience of using the operating system will be as close to ideal as is wanted.

    I don’t want to see Windows 7 as another pretty GUI. To me, an operating system is a tool; a gateway to using the applications installed on the computer in the most optimal way. It is the job of the operating system to cater to our wants and needs. A shiny GUI looks nice, but the novelty factor wears off – and goes even quicker if there is no substance behind the eye-candy.

    As a home user, I’ll surf the internet, listen to music, dabble with some 3D Modeling, and play games on my computer. I do not want to have to buy a new machine, or even upgrade beyond the barest necessities, to cater to those functions. For me to want Windows 7, the operating system needs to facilitate these activities BETTER than Windows XP currently does.

    While Moore’s law continues to commodify computing power, storage space, and memory density, I do not want to have to replace my computer, or upgrade my ram, to get the same experience I do with an older operating system from the point of view of performance. Around the year 2003, computing hit a wall that Microsoft as a commercial entity, needs to acknowledge; for the vast majority of users, computers are more than powerful enough for their needs. People will not always be able to afford a new computer to get access to that new and shiny operating system, and so the OS should not be designed and tweaked to get "just enough" performance out of the increasingly powerful hardware.

    I guess that’s all I really have to say for now. I’ve RSSed this blog, and am definitely looking forwards to seeing future entries about the development of the operating system, and the direction it’s taking. Good luck with the OS, because you guys need to get this one right on the money in the first shot. The alternatives are gaining quality every day.

  24. LorenHeiny says:

    kfunk and franklarson, I agree that this blog is a good idea; however, there was lots of openess with Longhorn/Vista too. Some have argued too much.

    I admire how Microsoft has integrated blogging, forums, and more recently its video channels (Channel9, etc) and so on into its culture. I don’t think there’s any other tech company that reaches out to its customers and the community as much. It’s highly welcome and something as a developer and an enduser that I’ve benefited from a lot.

  25. hitman721 says:

    There are several things that I hope will be addressed in Windows Seven.

    First, I’d like to see any percieved or actual advantages of Apple’s OS-X operating system. I’d like to see a really good answer to some of Apple’s products such as iLife, Garageband, and others to truely have parity.

    Second, I’d like to see some performance improvements over both XP and Vista. In my opinion as a user, the least amount of memory used should be the rule. The OS speed needs to be faster, noticeably faster. The bootup and shutdown needs to be quicker. PC gaming needs an overhaul. The equalizer in WMP could use a revamp.

    Third, I’d like to be able to have greater ability to remove applications in Seven. One of the big complaints of Vista was that you couldn’t easily remove Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player. We used to be able to do that in previous versions. I hope that is restored in Seven.

    Finally, I trust you guys to manage the size and scope of the Windows Team. I believe that part of the management is the least of your problems. The big issue is getting Seven to be the best product it can be.

    Good luck and God bless.

  26. Cartman05 says:

    I think that it is going to be great being able to follow along with the development of WIndows7 as closely as this. It reminds me of what Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai did with Super Smash Bros. Brawl if anyone here knows what I am talking about. Thank you for doing this and I hope you listen some of the user comments.

  27. says:

    When I read "One thing we do try to avoid is separating the ‘plumbing’ from the ‘user interface,’" I was extremely surprised. I had thought that Model-View-Controller has long been accepted as the desired architectural pattern. Why did you knowingly decide to develop with this anti-pattern?

    It seems to me MVC would be very desirable for an OS so that the functionality is not only exposed though the OS’s UI but also through 3rd party applications. If "Find and Organize" didn’t build the indexer but instead one team built a generic component and one team built the UI that was Find and Organize, the engine may be able to be used also for Help indexing, email indexing, picture indexing, etc.

    I think this would go a long way to improve both the developer and user experiences. If you had a core UI team, one would hope the API would be good enough to avoid the nightmare brought up by PRab. Instead, since each team does it end-to-end, it appears that each continues to reinvent the wheel because the APIs available aren’t designed or developed well enough.

    I am not a Windows developer. I’ve been too discouraged by the amount of work required by the API. Looking at NeXT’s API, now Cocoa and seen what Apple and their third party developers have been able to do with them, or at the modularity and robustness of Linux, I think, gives much empirical evidence for the advantages of these patterns.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like Microsoft is taking the ostrich approach to API evolution, largely keeping in line with 1980s development practices. I am sorry to be so pessimistic but I would like some insight on this, as it seems to be crippling Windows. Mac OS X has grown leaps and bounds, showing architecture makes a huge difference. Apple takes architecture so seriously they are using an entire release for refacotring and maintenance. While I think that’s a little unreasonable it does lie in stark contrast to Windows, which many people feel innovation has largely stagnated, which I think can be fairly easily linked to its weak, shallow and ancient API.

    For developers and investors (and end users since they’re directly impacted), I think a discussion on this kind of architectural reasoning is very necessary.

  28. steven_sinofsky says:

    You raise a super good point.  There is both an organizatinal aspect and an architectural aspect to the discussion.

    In terms of architecture it is absolutely the case that you want to define the right boundaries and have separations that always make sense.  The example used (indexer and user interface) actually provides a case study in the complexity of separating out the plumbing from the interface.  In the case of indexing and result sets, it is one of those things that starts of very clean of course and then you quickly hit real world issues such as size of result sets.  If you have thousands of music tracks or tens of thousands of photos/files it means you have to have an interface that handles cursors and result sets well.  Then you have the real-world aspects of dealing with an extremely interactive desktop user interface rather than a web browser — so the expectation is page down and scrolling are "instant" and we don’t have the benefit of showing 10 results and clicking next and reloading.  

    That doesn’t mean there is no separation, but it talks about the architectural challenges.  You can in fact see the indexer API we have today and it is cleanly separated.

    From an organizatinal perspective, having the plumbing and interface together means we are designing for an end-to-end scenario for customers and not designing the perfect plumbing and the perfect UI that might not meet in the middle.  This is really a statement about the product design and thinking about both the architecture and the experience an end-user would have.


    PS: This is really me 🙂

  29. bpaddock says:

    @Brian –

    I think Steven was referring to having the Windows *team* divided up along end-to-end scenario boundaries, not the architecture itself.

    In fact, within the Find & Organize team we do have separation.  We have smaller sub-teams including a couple focused pretty much solely on the indexer.

    And if you look at our API documentation and all the documentation we have around how the system actually works, you’d see that we do in fact have *many* levels of architectural separation (in fact, some may even think too many!) between the indexer and the Search UI components.

    I think there are very real advantages to organizing our feature teams as Steven described, though.  For example, having both the indexer and the search UI in the same team can help create a more coherent and consistent story for our development platform.  Very rarely is a third-party going to want to write JUST an indexer plug-in to return search results.  They probably also want to enable custom verbs for their results, along with custom icons, previews, etc.

    I believe having one point of leadership that is responsible for these end-to-end scenarios facilitates successful implentation of said scenarios, for both end-user AND developer customers.


  30. Anonymous says:

    Great and interesting post. You should also explain the development cycle a little, where Windows 7 is at, and what kind of suggestions made now have a chance of being included in Windows 7.

    It’s something that interests me quite a bit. Also, a lot of people are making suggestions that can never make it into Windows 7, even if it’s the best idea in the world, because RTM is getting close to just one year out.

  31. eliassorensen says:

    Exciting reading.

    I have created a wishlist together with members of several bulletin boards.

    Check it out at

    Thank you for this awesome blog 🙂

  32. jchung2007 says:

    What does "including IE 8 down-level" mean?

  33. bazzlad says:

    I’d like windows to be completely re-written. 0 legacy code. Include software that can run old programs written for older versions of windows, but have it install only if needed.

    I’d like IE NOT to be embedded into the OS. Same with Media player (although I think you were made to stop that practice anyway). I love my windows, but I use my own programs.

    Keep an option to remove whatever eye candy you choose to include. I don’t care about people with Macs or Vista who have big transitions when they swap a program. I just want it to swap instantly, as and when I say. My Vista Desktop is pretty much indistinguishable from my old Windows 2000 desktop. I like my PC to be well structured, clutter free and FAST.

    Please rethink the folder structures.

    I much prefer

    Richard > My Documents > My Music


    Richard > My Music

    Richard > My Documents

    – I hope I’m not alone in that.

    Make the OS run separately to programs. I never, ever want to see explorer restart because a program has crashed.


    The important part for me.


    When a program installs it adds files to the machine, and entries to the registry. When I remove the program often it leaves information behind. Make windows remove what files were added when I install a program, and get windows to remove them if left behind.


    Just my views, hope some of my thoughts help.


  34. eliassorensen says:

    bazzlad: This is already done in Vista?

  35. hardon says:

    I wonder: will you decide what features should be added, where we provide feedback on how the feature should be implemented? Or do we have something to say on which features should be added as well?

  36. Blueseed says:

    Hi, very good news that we can discuss the future Windows OS. Thanks for the blog and news released so far.

    I saw that many "pro" left comments about structure, performance and the companies expectations. In fact most of these expectation are the same for the average end user.

    The main purpose of my comment is the point of view of a random Windows user.

    First about the GUI : since XP, we saw more and more self starting, self opening, self informing things appearing in the GUI. Some of them are very handfull like the usb device plug/unplug notification, but i’m really crazy when i have to close 5 information popups in the systray or just after a windows installation.

    Second : The updaters – the view of "always online or get stuck"

    Please remember that in many countries we are not 24/24h on the net or have a connexion available. Most programs try to update while the computer is offline and all of them hang on making us loosing time.

    A good way should be to have windows "detect" if an Internet connexion is available (like a remote ping)and all 3rd party programs should bypass the update procedure if Internet is not available.

    Third and last : GAMES

    Yes, people likes games but :

    1) In xp (not checked vista) we still have the same games since WIN95

    2) Games use loads of CPU/GPU/RAM ressources, and when I heard vista would use directX 9 to run its desktop I just thought : "oh my… that OS will be so fat that my computer will never run my favorite games on it"

    3) Gamers, and even occasional gamers have their old favorite games and would be disapointed if they can’t run them on the new winodws 7

    just think of having E7 not running World of Warcraft or the Sims 2… would be incredible.

    Do you plan to integrate an emulator, some kind of unbuild/rebuild program or a compatible mode ?

    European User – Regards

  37. SRV says:

    Hi Steven,

    Great post to start the inning!

    Personally I’d like to see following changes in Windows 7.

    1. Performance improvments, I don’t mean Vista is slow in perticular but we can do better. I have 4GB RAM on a Dual Core Vista x64 notebook and it does not seem tobe as fast as it should.

    2. Can we have basic separation of Windows i.e. Consumers & Business. Both must use same core components, but the Businesses don’t need Media Center and Consumers don’t want other business only features i.e BitLocker. Ofcourse they can download and install these extra components if required. I think this will give good experience to both.

    3. Perhaps a special version of Windows (for x64 only) which does not have any backward compatability components. so we can start with a clean slate with lean and mean codebase.

    4. WinFS please!

    5. Hosted CLR inside the Windows so we can write managed shell extentions etc.

    6. Unified UI throughout, I recently bought an macbook to run Windows on it but I occasionally look at MAC OSX and what I like about it(amongst many I don’t like) is simple and consitent user interface. I know it is easier for Apple to adopt new platforms and UI thanks to tiny market share etc. but I’m greedy that’s all

    7. 64bit versions of all MS applications, how else will we developers feel confident about the platform. OK excluding Office 😉

    8. I know we are promised better integration with Windows Live with Windows 7, but can we host all of my ‘My documents’ up in SkyDrive or Mesh and see these online storage as a drive on Windows?

    9. To please the businesses who like to run Windows 3.11 apps on modern OS. Can we integrate a lean version of Hyper-V within windows which can run legacy apps on XP codebase via Emulation or something. and not spoil the nice clean Windows for the rest of us.

    Hope I’m making some sense.

  38. kozlow says:

    I think I understand the benefits of your "end-to-end ownership of work" organization. But is there a team responsible of global cohesion ?

    Everybody knows Windows terribly lacks of UI/UX consistency. For developers, even recent APIs are often difficult to connect. Take your "Find and Organize" example ; Windows Search API is great, Linq is an amazing tool, Linq for Windows Search is… missing.

    FXCop, StyleCop are late but good initiative for .Net. "Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines" is a great document but should has been written BEFORE Vista was implemented to avoid such amusing but afflicting incoherence : (scroll down to "incorrect" image example of Glass section)!

    Windows 7 should impress us by its consistency, its fit and finish.

    Mac OSX is not the plateform of choice for me as a developer. But dropping controls in Interface Builder immediately build a rich interface which conforms to system and Apple apps look and feel. WPF is really an amazing technology but drop a control in Blend and you’ll realize you have lot to do before your app looks like Office or maybe Expression or Vista… ?!

    As an independent developer, I want rules, standards to make my life easier, I want to be amazed by consistency and concern of details of my system to integrate my app in a global experience to improve my clients experience.

    Windows 7 should not be 25 well designed but different experiences.


  39. pippin1966 says:

    My suggestion:

    Throw all the DRM stuff. It will be the best to boost performance

  40. domenico says:

    I’m always more exciting.

    Great Steven 😀

  41. eliassorensen says:

    Wishlist from my blog (the list is still under development):



    o  Resizable. Let the user resize the taskbar’s width, so it doesn’t have to fill 100% of the screen.

    o  Improved multi-screen support. Currently, if you use a second- or third screen, there will be no     taskbars on those. Only the mainscreen. Add support for stretching the taskbar over several     screens.

    o  Split the taskbar into several colored sections to improve the overview. Also, increase the height of     the taskbar, so it’s 2 times normal height.


    o Icon spacing grid. A transparent grid should fade in when dragging an icon. When it’s dropped. The    grid should fade out again. Would help a lot when customizing the desktop.

    o Sidebar does currently run as a program in Vista. So when you e.g. use “Show Desktop” (Windows+D), the Sidebar is hidden. Therefore Microsoft should integrate Sidebar into Windows.

    o Make a Gadget-overlay, so if you press a defined shortcut, an overlay will fade in showing the users’ gadgets.

    o Move windows, even if they are parent to a dialogue etc.


    o Disable UAC as standard, but make an option to enable it for parents on the child’s account etc.

    o Run low-level processes (like viruses) in a closed sandbox, to prevent them destroy the partition/Windows 7 installation..


    o Improve Sidebar’s performance. Sidebar does currently take up a lot of memory, and decreases the computers’ startup time.

    o Computers which supports Vista should be able to run Windows 7 too. Don’t face the same problems as Windows XP vs. Windows Vista.

    o Improved boot- and startup-time. Should’t take 2-10 minutes from you start your computer, until you are able to use it.

    o Fewer restarts. For example when you have installed a program.

    o Better scheduling of updates. Maybe, Microsoft releases 2-3 or more updates every day, and you computer will download then and want’s to restart the computer to instal them. Schedule low priority updates to e.g. every Friday. High-priority (security leaks etc.) should be installed imideatly, but without interaction of the user.


    o MAXIMUM 4 packages. Vista’s Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise, Business, Ultimate etc. is TOO much.

  42. samrbrimble says:

    Just wondering, has the team structures always been this way, or have they changed for Windows 7??

  43. quentez says:

    I agree with Kosher, it would be very interesting to see more Windows software using .net technologies (which are amazing). For the moment, you (microsoft) are using them in professional products (Visual Studio/Sql Server/Accounting) but not much in personal ones (Windows Live/Media Player/Media Center are still in compiled code). Show the example to the developer community by using the .net technologies everywhere !

  44. Aetyr says:

    On the topic of the post, it’s really interesting to see how you guys are structured and what team divisions you have.

    I’m also enjoying reading these first few posts overall. It’s good that you’re taking some time to set the scene for us, introduce the players and get us familiarised with what’s already in place so that we can have more of an understanding when you start talking about the juicy stuff.

    I look forward to many more four-page posts!

    Off the topic of this post but on the overall topic of W7, I must say I agree with RotoSequence on the following point:

    "I’d like to see a more granular approach to features and the user interface. If a user does not want to have things […] on their machine, they should be able to choose not to install them the first time the OS is loaded to the machine.


    If a user knows what features they need, or want, to be using, the power to disable them would be of great benefit in the performance front."

    I know that a lot of users need/prefer the hand-holding approach when it comes to installing their OS, so you have to keep a version of the installer that just works by pressing Next > Next > Finish and installs the whole shebang, but if it is at all plausible for a little button or tick-box to be added at some stage which says "Advanced Install" or something like that, which provides those users who know what they want with the ability to cut out individual packages from the long list of those available on the disc (IE, WMP, Aero are just a couple of obvious examples, but the more modular it can realistically be the better) I’m sure it would make a lot of us customisation geeks or performance junkies who like our software just-so reeeally satisfied.

    Keep up the good work!

  45. Bruce Williams [MSFT] says:

    @jchung2007 – "including IE8 down-level" means IE8 running on a previous version of Windows; Vista for example.  It means that one team is responsible for all of IE8 – there aren’t separate teams for "IE8 on Win7" and "IE8 on earlier Windows".

  46. Xini says:

    First off, I’m so glad that you guys are being a little more approachable. Microsoft as a whole has always seemed a little aloof from it’s users, I’m hopeful that this will lead to a really great OS.

    Now I’ve got Vista, XP and loads of Linux and BSD OSs and I’ve tried them all (well the Linux and BSD stuff that’d work… or that I could get to work, I should say). What I concluded from the tests was that overall Windows is still the best. It’s the only one that really works reliably in all arenas (Well unless you can code in which case Linux is probably better but then aren’t you writing the OS to do what you want as you go?). Vista has some great improvements, I have plenty of RAM and find it vexing why I’m waiting whilst a ton of spare power is left unused, but it seems hampered by the amount of things it’s trying to be ready for.

    To my mind the next Windows release should be capable of all the things that Vista can do, the thing I’d change is to make it so that it’s not using up resources needlessly to try and be ready right now for everything. Make the install more replete with options to opt in and out of the various add ons. Also I’d like to see an improved version of Vista’s resource throttling so that the OS can eat huge amounts of resources when needed but also shrink back to nothing when it’s not doing anything.

    Anyhow I look forward to getting my hands on the new windows and making my mates howl as I once again break down my computer for a tinker 🙂

  47. apwb.dumbledore says:

    When I first read about Windows 7 in a computer magazine, the authors of the article were all about this new gadget, another new tool, one-click web publishing ect…

    And I said, oh dear, seems like Windows7 is going the same bad way as Vista.

    Vista has all kinds of features, 3D desktop and I don’t know what else. But an operating system has ONE core function, and that is to operate the system. And this function Vista fulfills most unsattisfyingly. It is slow, and instable.

    Now I certainly do understand that I am not Microsoft’s only customer, and that there are many people who want those tools. So here is my suggestion:

    I would love to see Windows7 being a pure operating system. That is, the only thing it does, should be: Manage the hardware, organize the files. That and nothing more. Nothing. no Paint, no Calculator, no windows messenger no internetexplorer, no mediacenter, no word pad, no one-click publishing, no adressbooks no 3D desktop, no windows zooming up from the taskbar (in terms of powerpoint animations: all windows should simply "appear" one second: no window, the other second: a window) no transperacy effects, no windows firewall, NOTHING. simply: run the hardware (that is configure networksettings, manage the totally encryptet harddrive (the one vista function I miss in XP)) and give me the most simple graphic user interface you can design to organize my files and my hardware.

    But this core function, the operating system has to fulfill FAST and STABLE. I want it to do nothing but that, but that I want it to do always, reliably and under whatsoever circumstances might come.

    If I want my computer to perform anything else but that, I can install some software designed specifically to do that one Job I want it to do.

    No as I said, I understand that many people do want these tools. So why not let the user choose during the installation of Windows what he wants to have installed and what not. And when I write not installed, I mean not even one single bit concernig this programm on the harddrive. Windows XP sure does allow you to "deactivate" Messenger, outlook express etc… but this does not mean that every BIT of the programm on the harddrive is erased.

    I want a computer with not one single bit that I don’t need on the harddrive and with no single unnecessary process running. Or in Terms of the ToyotaProductionSystem: a LEAN Computer

  48. apwb.dumbledore says:


    "and launch this software when I want the computer to the Job, and shut this software down again after it has done the Job"


    "If I want my computer to perform anything else but that, I can install some software designed specifically to do that one Job I want it to do."

  49. aemarques says:

    I do like Vista as it is right now, and I think Microsoft made Windows Server 2008 perhaps the best OS *ever*.

    That means 95% of the work is already done for Windows 7. Because of that I have both high and low expectations for the next release.

    High, because you already have a good foundation, so now you can concentrate in aspects of performance, usability, UI consistency, etc.

    Low, because I really can’t imagine such a greater leap to from Vista/2008 to Windows 7 that the one already made from XP/2003 to Vista.

  50. says:

    Is it Fully in Manage Code or not ?

  51. Zebb says:

    I am loving the blog so far, it’s a perfect amount of interaction with the community and comes directly from the source, hopefully it will clear up some mis-understandings.

    One thing I am tired of hearing when I read differnt blogs and such is the term (Win FS). I have heard so many different thoughts behind this term that no one really knows the correct answer.

    Please do an in dept post about Win FS and finally set the record straight about how much of it is included in Vista (if at all), explain exactly what it is and how it’s different, exactly what the state of it is, what the future holds, and anything else important to clear up the air.

    I’d really like a post dedicated to it, so next time someone comments on Win FS on some blog or forum I can paste the link to the blog post by you, to say, "this is actually what Win FS is".


  52. says:

    Please make Windows 7 the first version of Windows that doesn’t need antivirus, antispyware, or any of the other performance killers we absolutely have to install on previous versions of Windows.

    Be advised that I for one do not use any indexing service, and I do not know of anybody else who enjoy wasting precious CPU capacity on a feature I neither want nor need. Just to make everything perfect a lot of companies have bundled similar functionality with their products, so my files are thoroughly indexed, and it’s just about impossible to permanently disable them all. Search and organize sounds like a nightmare.

    This does not mean that indexing should be removed altogether, but repeatedly scanning and indexing everything on the disk isn’t what anybody really wants.

    I personally hate pathnames like the following:

    C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDocumentsRAD Studio5.0Bpl


    C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server80ToolsBinn

    My current PATH is nearly 1800 characters because everybody thinks that their product is so great that users couldn’t possibly require a slew of other tools installed on the computer.

    One possible solution would be to embed the required paths for a program in the shortcut used to invoke the program.

    WPF is a great step away from the legacy of Windows 3.0 (and earlier versions). Please let us access similar functionality from regular C and C++ programs. It’s just a scene graph so that shouldn’t be too hard.

    Install MSMQ by default – it’s so useful, but for some odd reason MS have in their infinite wisdom elected to make this part optional. RIAs would be ever so much easier to develop if we could assume that this functionality was available – even on mobile phones.

    The world is asynchronous and multithreaded – programmers who don’t know how to employ synchronization primitives should not be protected from their folly on the OS level. (Like the single threaded apartment model and the scripting APIs).

    It would be awfully nice if the windows message queue was redesigned to accept variable length messages. Memory should be managed by the queue and GetMessage should just return a pointer to a message header with a variable length buffer that was valid until for that thread alone until the next call to GetMessage. It should also be possible to service such a message queue from multiple threads. I know this can easily be achieved using other mechanisms, but the point is to significantly reduce the number of calls an application has to make to the kernel.

    A Window, or any other UI construct, should not belong to a thread. It should be the other way around where the programmer could accept the creating thread as the default execution context for the UI construct, or if he so chooses assign one or more threads to queue associated with the UI construct. The UI construct should in other words be associated with a queue, and a queue should be serviced by one or more threads, possibly from an OS level threadpool.

    Threads should have their own resource managers, so that exiting a thread would also perform cleanup of handles and memory allocations done purely in the context of that thread. Done right this could do wonders for server development. Something like:

    long WinMain(hResourceManger theDefaultResourceManger)


    hResourceManger theThreadResourceManger = CreateResourceManger(theDefaultResourceManger);

    hThread theThreadHandle= CreateThread(theDefaultResourceManger, theThreadResourceManger, &Function, etc…


    long Function(hResourceManger theThreadResourceManger, etc…)


    hMem buffer = AllocateMemory(theThreadResourceManger,4096);

    hFile f = OpenFile(theThreadResourceManger,”somefile.txt”,etc…);


    // Exiting the thread at this point will not cause any resource leakage


    Hopefully we will see some really programmer friendly improvements to Windows, they are much needed – both by the developer community and Microsoft. Eye candy is nice, but it is nothing more and nothing less. If Microsoft wants to sell loads of Windows 7 they have to provide something significant and useful. C and C++ is still king when it comes to serious development –.Net is nice enough but neither Microsoft, Oracle or IBM is developing core functionality of their enterprise level servers in managed code; they do support .Net which is nice, but C and C++ is still their primary development languages for large scale application development.

    Making the life of C and C++ developers easier, and introducing APIs that are so useful that migrating to Windows 7 makes economical sense all around could do far more for the success of the new OS than just about anything else I can think of.

  53. snaven says:

    If there is one thing that I really miss about Media Center and the Media Player is the support of codecs. I always need to install codec packs for viewing my videos. Several of my friends choose not to use media player/center and instead they download VLC Player. If you integrated the most common codecs in the Media Center/Player you will get more users. An integration of the codecs in the K-Lite Codec Pack would be a perfect choice!


  54. Mr. Dee says:

    Could you explain the interesting turn of events, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Server 7 will be a minor release, which is rather confusing to me. The NOS will beer a similar name to the now on the market Windows Server 2008 only with a slight addition ‘R2’. What was so hard in going with Windows Server 2009 or Windows Server 2010? The out of date naming scheme would to me reflect badly on the products marketing and significance to those interested in upgrading.

    I am confused to be honest with you, but as Microsoft continues to build this thing, it seems that there will be more confusing turns along the way.  My understanding and I hope this is it, but it seems the features in Windows 7, client and server will reflect version 7 not the core part of the ‘NT Kernel’. I want the next release of Windows to clearly reflect meaning to the end user, I just don’t want it to be some release that is edging on almost sounding like a glorified Service Pack.

    A very informative post that goes into the intricacies of building Microsoft Windows, Steven has really given a good perspective on the people who are responsible for delivering the features and building the platform that both end users/developers can use to build products and be productive from. Steve pointed the irony of what so many people seem to despise about Windows its size, its too big, too big to manage, yet the amount of comments and request seem to reflect the growing need based on customer demand for more to be added to Windows. Relevant issues the Windows 7 Team have discussed based on what users are asking about is to make Windows even faster, and it is indeed a challenge, but I am glad to see it become a priority in this release.

  55. bpaddock says:

    Emanon –

    When Steven mentioned the indexer, he was talking about the Windows Search service, not the old "indexing service" that is an optional install for legacy compatibility.

    The Windows Search service already integrates very tightly with the filesystem and does not "waste CPU cycles."  It mainly uses CPU and I/O time that would otherwise be *wasted* doing nothing.

    It also does not but "repeatedly scan and indexing everything on the disk" as you claimed.  It only indexes files when they are added or changed.

    We’ve also shipped the Windows Search 4.0 update, which contains a great many improvements to the indexer.  If you have problems with it, or feel it has a negative impact on your system performance, please post a comment on my blog or in the Windows Search support forum on MSDN.


  56. melandir says:

    I have just a request,

    I’m tired of programs like vlite to spoil the OS of all the unused features it preload, is it possible to have  similar tool during OS installation?


    Standard: typical installation average features installed

    Expert: let you choose wich macro features you want to install, like the basic personalization of Office (ex I want only word/excel)

    Super User: let you choose in depth every single component that you want to install and run (with a decent explanation of what that component do and for wich services it is usefoul)


  57. Cartman05 says:


    You sound like you are referring to an article that went around the internet about how nice and compact Mac OSX is because it contains no legacy code and what not. Paul Thurrott proved that article completely false and since Mac is based on UNIX, it is in fact older than the NT system. Plus, as he explained, what is the point of having a compact operating system with the abundance of large and cheap hard drives these days?

    Also, I love the fact that the folders no longer contain "My" this and that and are no longer all inside of the Documents folder. Music and videos are not documents, they are media and should be kept separate. That said, I think that there could be changes to the file structure made by incorporating WinFS.

    Finally I think that the registry should be removed altogether. It is a big weak point for Windows. Something similar to how Mac splits up the registries instead of having one central location would be nice.

  58. Carlos Hawes says:

    Actually, you can make an Amadeus analogy here, but MS is not Mozart, they are Salieri, recognizing their own mediocrity and fuming while the young wunderkind (Apple) keep creating inspired and elegant works of pure genius 🙂

  59. says:

    much of the problem as I see it is perceived delays in getting to our information.

    slow boot times are maddening.

    slow responses from explorer are equally maddening. why on each visit to the control panel do the icons not just appear. why do we have to search for what icons to display each time? surely this should be a fairly set area, so doesnt need to be checked off against a list each time?

    going to the explorer view is similar. each time is greeted with a check to see if the drives are the same!

    now since I spent money on a really fast pc this isnt as bad as on my laptop, but it could be so much better IMHO. My Macbook is of similar spec to my windows laptop, but the responsiveness is so much better. I coudl shut down the Macbook, add more memory and start it back up again in the time that windows was still shutting down!

    it’s the same with SQL I notice, not that this is part of the 7 development, but if you want to import data it spends an age working out what formats you might want to be able to import, which in reality are largely going to remain the same throughout the life of the pc!

    I have great hopes for 7, as I did with Vista until I got on the beta program!

  60. acquatile says:

    One question I’d like to see answered is "Why Windows 7"?  What problem are you trying to solve?

    Is to fix Vista?  Is it simply to have a new product on the market?

    I have to say that I’m distressed to see how large a team is working on the project, however.  How can it help but be complicated with so many cooks?

  61. CAGdorf says:

    Thanks for the posts. I think all of that makes sense.

    I do have a request though, and I read a similar one in the comments. Please bring back the ability to truly customize what gets installed as part of the OS. It seems like with every iteration there has been less customization. I remember with Windows 95 there was a compact mode (meant for portables) but there was also custom which allowed you a lot of freedom to choose. I think its good that there is a GPO for Vista disabling access to features (Movie Maker, etc) but as an admin I would love to not have it installed in the first place.

    Here’s to 7! Although I am still enjoying Vista.

  62. shannonlucas says:

    I just switched to Vista from a Mac, and while I’m really enjoying Vista, I’m very interested in seeing how 7 (and even 8) develops.

    A topic I’d be interested in is how you are managing user feedback from Vista and integrating it into the development process for 7.

  63. MSDNArchive says:


    Vista actually has that functionality today — the NLM APIs expose information gathered by Network Location Awareness and the Network Connectivity Status Indicator.  Components can query whether the system currently has Internet access (not just local network) and register for callbacks when something about the status changes.

    The issue isn’t that Windows doesn’t have the capability, it’s that updaters aren’t leveraging what we give them.  I sympathize and share your frustration.

  64. mbazzoni says:

    I am looking forward to seeing the File System. WinFS was showing promise and then it was just dumped into the abyss.

    I will be reading this blog a ton and look forward to a bunch of new FUNCTIONAL features in the new OS.

  65. Snake_99 says:


    My new Vista computer does not see the other XP computers or my printer. Sure there are 10,000 words on the web on how to make it happen, but WHY? Make 7 compatable, by nature, not by configuring to see all other $soft operating systems! I bought Vista for DX10, my teenager is a "Gamer", so please let 7 and XP be 10 friendly.

    I have been a $soft guy from DOS. So no, I would never defect to the "fruit" guys. I do not want you to change TV channels or start my car. Just be an OS like XP, only better and faster. Simple yes? Tell the marketing guys to "pound sand" build me a robust, fast system, PLEASE!



  66. Bengali says:

    May be it is all about the "New Coke" effect. I really like Vista more than XP (a security and registry hell) although the new security system seems to be the killer for most normal users. I understand that some don’t like it. Windows 7 should not be another Vista but generate real user value.

    To make a radical proposal: I just tried OpenSuse 11 with KDE 4.1 It is much great and the security system and installation is so much more simple. Why can’t Microsoft just drop its ideological issues against open source and open standards, buy Novell and port the Win32 API. For me that would be the perfect Windows 7 and the real productivity tools as Windows Media Center or IE8. Today no single party can afford to waste developer time and energy in basic hardware infrastructure that just generates no profit or user value.

    Apple did the right thing when it created MacOSX on the base of a Unix environment. Outsourcing to open source.

    What I miss the most with Vista is the lack of a console to "wget" (Windows get? A command line utility) a file from the internet. There was a time when I thought I wanted to get rid off the command line but it is also a matter of simplicity.

    With the Linux installation tools you can install system and third party applications with a single command line. That is so convenient and easy. I hate all these installers and popups and thousand messages you need to approve. It takes a lot of time and is inconvenient. Windows 7 should be the version that fixes that problem.

    Windows 7 should be as simple as DOS was or the IE Web.

  67. jgiambr says:

    In my opinion, Vista tried to be all things to all people. This was an impossible goal from the beginning. Stick to what you know for sure all people want.

    •Increase speed-is there anyone out there who wants a slow PC? Don’t make us speed up your OS buy purchasing more hardware.

    •Increase productivity-make everyday tasks easier. How can you do that? Innovate.

    •Backwards compatibility-if it works on XP now it should work on Windows 7 right after install. No downloading, no tweaking, no Googling a fix or workaround. Make it fast, stable and reliable.

    •Add no more then 5 new features. But make them all “gotta have” features. I know Microsoft thinks every feature they put in an OS is a gotta have feature but guess what, most are not. Think…… bloat is bad.

    •Resist the urge to sway us with eye candy. It didn’t work in Vista it won’t work with Windows 7.

    •Consider a base OS with component add-ons based on the type of user (ie developer package, consumer package, business package, etc). This is a great idea brought up by one of the other posters. Don’t dismiss it.

    •Have just one OS version. Sell it for $100. Then sell each package for $30-$90, that way people only pay for what they will actually use.

    Before we went to XP I occasionally had users ask me when we were going to move to XP. These days, I have not had one person, not one, ask me when we are we going to move to Vista.  They don’t even bring it up because that OS scares the crap out of people. Windows 7 needs to redeem Microsoft so users (consumers) will embrace the change.

    I know….. users embracing change….mission impossible?

    Good luck.

  68. midas79 says:

    With so many different teams, wouldn’t it make sense to have one that does nothing but explore integration between all of these areas and assure a seamless user experience (not just UI or interactivity, but even background things like sync, using the same data store/APIs, making sure the APIs are consistent, not reinventing the wheel, etc.)?

  69. egbvista says:

    Excellent description of the workings of the development team. Thank you!!

    With dev and test and pm all representing the product it seems customers are under represented. How do you determine who wins when a schedule is to be met versus a bug to be removed? You mentioned that test represents customers, but they also represent their own test completion schedules. Is that not a conflict of interest?

    When the schedule gets tight, do you just

    quick fixing bugs?

  70. spivonious says:

    Interesting to read about how such a large dev team is managed.

    I want to put in my vote for adding the "Custom" install option back in.  Maybe not as low-level as some Linux installs, but at least broad Media Center/IE/WMP/Aero/Windows Mail choices.

    I would also love to see Explorer.exe truly be a separate part of the OS.  If someone really wanted to make a new window manager, they should be able to.  I can’t stand Linux, but if I don’t like Gnome I can switch over to KDE extremely easily.

    WinFS would be nice to see, but I don’t know if users would react well to completely redoing how files are stored on the drive.  The breadcrumb bar in Vista is a start though.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Steve!  I love Office 2007’s UI changes.

  71. RVillafuerte says:

    Esteemed Sirs:

    Let me start expressing my utmost respect both for Windows as well as Microsoft, being an avid computer aficionado since the old days of the Atari 600XL, and having gone through DOS on an 8086.  I understand the term "legacy", and even though I’m not a computer "über-expert", I’m quite comfortable hacking the registry and windows services…

    As has been utterly demonstrated in many aspects of human experience, change comes in two flavors: Evolutionary and Revolutionary.

    The improvements from DOS 2.2 all the way to 5.2 we’re all evolutionary, same as from Windows 2.0 to Vista.  That is, improve upon the same concept, keeping what’s good, removing some problems, and generally making better something already good.  In the process, you do make compromises to earlier decisions that – with the experience time gives – might not have been the best looking back…

    HOWEVER, there comes a time when the pressure – be it social, economic or in this case technological – forces a quantum leap or revolutionary change, that will make and brake the landscape, in this case the personal computer industry.

    My personal feeling is we’ve reached said point, where we’re tying down further development out of fear of letting go of the past, breaking free and the intrinsic fear of jumping off the cliff.

    PEOPLE!… Time to think like a young man back in the early 80’s and the beginning of the PC revolution!: A NEW WINDOWS…

    A new Windows that states no legacy support, but designed from the ground-up to:

    1) Boot-up (at least the core part of the OS) from rewritable solid state devices embedded in motherboards.  Remember how fast the Commodore and Atari machines were able to get you up and running (seconds) !…

    2) Truly multi-core, multi-threaded OS, where you require at least 4 concurrent threads separated into 1x OS, 1x HW, 2x Applications.  From the design.

    3) Lightweight: No loading absurd amounts of services just to make sure you can run old software.  A light, clean and ultrafast OS.

    4) Support for SELECTED hardware at the most 3 years old.

    5) Concurrently – port Office to the new OS with same philosophy.

    6) EXTREMELY Gamer friendly, keeping the compatibility software layer philosophy (read DirectX streamlined with same philosophy).

    7) STOP trying to be everything to everyone – STOP trying to make it vanilla simple.

    8) Two GUI interfaces: One plain vanilla, non-configurable for business side, and another "expert" fully tweakable for home use.

    9) With so much computing power available, include as an add on system tools emulators – either for XP, NT, Win98, and even DOS.  Hardware now enables us to run faster on an emulator than the original stuff did directly to hardware!…

    In short, make it a fast, light OS that complies with 50% of users, and can expand according to needs with small programs and emulators for the 20% of the rest.  The other 30% – they will migrate!…

    See, most users like upgrading to something that feels faster, newer and more reliable – that is in fact NEW!… Problem is, Windows has gone through the it’s product curve…

    People, we’re using a legacy OS (Windows Vista) on top of a completely new generation of hardware stuck by the requirements of an OS, itself stuck by the perceived need of absolute backwards compatibility!…

    Think anew!… Think blank paper!…

    Think like Bill Gates back in 198X when creating the original Windows!…

  72. RicLewis says:

    Glad to see you taking the bull by the horns with this blog.  This is a unique approach and a wonderful opportunity to right the Windows ship, from both a product and a PR standpoint.

    I’m curious to hear more about the target hardware for Win7.  I understand system reqs will be the same as Vista, but what about latop/desktop/server/media center roles?  Laptops are slowly taking over desktops as the primary computer interface (I haven’t owned a desktop in 4 years now), and netbooks are starting to take off–where does windows fit in this world?

    Additionally, in the realm of feature requests, I’d love to see Win7 focus more on sleep than on boot time.  Reboot happens once every few weeks, if that, but sleep/wake/reconnect is a multiple-times-a-day scenario in my usage patterns.  I don’t care if boot takes 5+ minutes, just guarantee instant-wake from sleep across all hardware (I didn’t say it was a small request 🙂 ), and I’ll post my MacBook on craigslist immediately.

  73. thebitstreamer says:

    Really a good start for this blog.

    Know how is difficult to build such a complex architecture can be very useful to receive good feedback from the field

    Please, don’t care about page lenght….

  74. c00ld00d says:

    This is fun and funny to read. Steven, I do enjoy your discussion. What’s funny is seeing all the posts about what the OS should do. Some want a lot more, some a lot less. I tend to think that if MS would strip Windows down to the core, required areas that an OS really needs to be, and then sell it for $50, with additional products to add to those features (wow, sell Media Center as an add-on?), they’d make a ton more money, cut piracy as more people would be willing to shell out $50 for an OS versus $200+. The thing is, everyone has grown to have an expectation of what the OS should do, and for some that includes one-click-web-publishing (WHAT? WHY?), but for most, it doesn’t. OCWP should be part of a web-publishing product that MS markets separately.

    Just give us the file system, a semi-pretty interface, and a great way to install and CLEANLY uninstall software, make it lean, and we’d dump cash at your feet for any additional features that we need.



  75. pmaugust says:

    Interesting blog and comments… Might I be so bold as to try and summarize the preceding pages and pages of comments in one statment?

    Make Windows 7 installation like Server 2008 installation (from simple core services to multi-function servers) based on user needs and requirements, and make it bloody fast and solid.

    Oh… and don’t just make VistaV2… that will irritate everyone. 🙂

  76. Bengali says:

    As of the developer environement. I had a look at a program I found very useful to understand the inner workings of Windows UI: Microsoft ControlSpy. Unfortunately it is for XP and Vista is not mentioned. Is it safe to install it? I don’t know.

    Programs like ControlSpy are very important because they create more transparency and avoid bad workaround coding. In my opinion Windows 7 should have a fully documented API and more programmes like Microsoft ControlSpy provided for developers.

  77. Xepol says:

    I have to admit that behaviour is a huge problem for Windows.

    Considering that Win95 could not just run in 4mb of ram, but it could also DO memory intensive things like web browsing with graphics one has to wonder.  

    Sure, some will reply that "XP/Vista run on the NT kernel and that is totally different that Win95".  To this I say : BS! For 2 reasons:

    Firstly, NT4 has a lot more in common with Win95 than MS will admit.  They are not totally independant children – they share a lot in common.  True, they differ in many regards, but we are not talking the XP/Linux gap here, they aren’t even cousins, they are SIBLINGS from the same family.

    Secondly, NT4 could perform equally well (better in many cases) in a memory foot print only slightly larger, 32 MB for example.  While that might be 8x Win95’s 4mb, they are both a miniscule fraction of the required ram for Vista to work CORRECTLY (minimum 1gb, but 2gb is more realistic)

    So basically we have to ask : If memory, CPU, video and storage speed AND capacity have changed so dramatically since 1995, why does Windows seem to continue to drag its butt on the proverbial carpet?  

    Can Vista really, honestly be doing that much more than Win95 OR NT4 just to get basic day to day work done like logging in or viewing a PDF or word document? Or, as seems more likely to the rest of us: has something gone horribly, horribly wrong in the engineering of Windows?

  78. PLSin95 says:

    I’m just a small business Land Surveying.

    I use StartUpCop because all these damn programs I occasionally use want to load something at the start.  I hate that! I know it’s not MS fault.

    Please make it better/stable/etc… My IT guy who takes care of my 5 PC’s will not allow MS VISTA or he says he’ll fire me as a client.

    For me the important items are:

    IT guys comfortable with it.  May I suggest a massive, maybe 1 million or more IT geeks beta.

    Fast start up — I’ll wait for the occasional program I use to start up.

    Stability — Windows XP was a big improvement from my ’98.

    Get rid of the registry.  I pay thousands of dollars for specific surveying software and then they (support) take control of the PC and tell me other programs interfere and poke around the registry. Can all these programs just install everything they need in their own path?  Hard Drive memory is cheap now.

    Brian Plautz, PLS

  79. Shadow_Concept says:

    Hey, there was a comment I saw further up:

    "Perhaps a special version of Windows (for x64 only) which does not have any backward compatability components. so we can start with a clean slate with lean and mean codebase."

    This is something I’d be very interested to see, just make a version with ZERO backwards compatability, pure performence, I know this Idea wont take off straight away, at least not until windows 7 has been out for a bit and has a decent number of programs made natively for it, but i think a version of windows that just doesnt care about legacy stuff would be great. As a computing enthusiast, and like many other enthusiasts, there is support in windows for so many things i’ll never use (legacy mouse and keyboard ports, pata ports, many old programs etc), and i’m sure somewhere along the line removing all this support would have to speed things up. I know its not as simple as the dev team just going through and deleting chunks of code here and there, but I also cant see it being the most difficult thing to do in the world either. I think a version of windows like this would gain more and more adoption over time, especially as new games and high requirements software is release and users see the benefits, and pave the way for windows 8 to not need to support most of this legacy gear, or at least have its own version like this and have more serious adoption rates.

    Any comments back on this idea would be great 🙂

  80. Shadow_Concept says:

    Ohh yeah, and get rid of the registry already, its poop. Let programs use their own path to store all they need, and for all the config settings in the registry just have a file for those, that is easily edited, through a program more user friendly than the registry editor.

  81. lordy16 says:

    GUI wise… I think Windows could take a leaf out of the book of the iPhone and Linpus Linux on the Acer Aspire One mini-note.

    Tiled shortcuts to launch applications, nice and simple but still nice looking.

    I also understand that this is not totally up to Microsoft – but more collaboration with developers during the BETA process so there are plenty of compatible applications for the OS once it gets released, or at least updates for existing applications. eg. I had to wait more than 6 months AFTER Vista was released for a compatible version of the software to be released, their excuse was it was in BETA before that and they couldn’t develop software for it, which was complete bull.

  82. L33tMasta says:

    Awesome post guys! I can’t wait to see what you have lined up for us with the newest version of Windows. It’s nice to see that you want to get in touch with the community!

  83. siddarth88 says:

    Hey everything sounds good…

    But what abt the requirements for this?? Will it be same as Vista or are the reqs are gonna increase??

    And hope that microsoft beats the other OS’s in graphics this time…

  84. PimpUigi says:

    Which one of those will work on the Start Menu?????

    I hope to see an XP styled Start Menu in Windows 7

    And which team is going to work on the picture viewer????

    I really hope they bring back the ability to play animated Gif’s from Windows XP, and the great printing options from XP’s picture viewer wouldn’t be a bad addition I must say.

    Looking forward to Windows 7,


  85. viperiii says:

    My sincere ideas contribute to the MSN developers.

    Windows 7 Developers should not be segmentized during the Windows 7 Software Development.

    I would appreciate if the Windows Development Team should be more task specified in term of the Windows 7 software development.

    These are my ideas to contribute to the MS developers for their future development of the Windows 7.

    1.Windows 7 Gamer Edition. (Direct X SDK is preinstalled, with the update version of MS visual studio support, easy for the gamer to developing their own drivers for playing games. Easily game driver update… etc..

    2.Windows 7 Cinema Edition. (Enhance movies playback in the desktop, support the video hardware acceleration for quality visual display rather than what performance required for the gamer edition. In other other words, Windows 7 Cinema Edition including the tweaked driver for display quality, rather than solely depend on performance, this is for home- office video playback system. The SE (special edition) of Cinema Edition shall including viewing the internet TV and radio with ease.. with the support from the MS, of course in term of licensing it will be more expensive.

    3.Windows 7 Desktop Edition (for most desktop user) This including the 3D desktop enhancement. Ease Document saving and file sharing, etc..

    4.Windows 7 Laptop Edition (for most laptop user) Same with laptop edition, but it is bundled with drivers that support for most of the current laptop, as well as the native driver for old outdated laptop with simple memory upgrade, however, the native driver is without any guarantee of 100% working. In case of failure, MS might accept 1 to 1 exchange on Windows XP professional CD with the latest service pack.

    5.Windows 7 Lite Edition, like the windows vista SP2. (without the most updated windows 3D desktop enhancement, that planning to attack on lost cost PC) to prevent user moving into linux. These might also lead for the third party software developers to develop the Windows 3D enhancement interface from the license from the MS.

    From: Peter Chua (Malaysia)

  86. mbampo says:

    Hey Steven thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Since you have such loong posts (keep’em comin!), you might want to shrink the column width to facilitate reading (on my screen I have about 63278361 chars per line) :).

  87. says:

    I’ve seen a lot of comments about componentizing the OS. I remember seeing a bit about MinWin last year or so. Is this related to Windows 7 at all? If so, I’m sure we’d all like to see an article on that.


    I think there are a few reasons many of us prefer a compact operating system. A lot us still have pretty old machines around without big drives and would still like to run modern operating systems. Apple did pretty well supporting legacy hardware through Tiger, getting faster with each release on the same hardware. Anyway, the other reason is size contributes to perceived performance. If the install is huge I’m going to assume there’s code bloat and it’s going to be slow. If I assume that I’m going to see that. If it’s a small install, I’m going to assume it’s lean and mean and it’s going to feel faster to me.

    The rest kind of echos thoughts by kozlow.


    Thanks for your response. I apologize for forgetting about the trade offs; it is hard to appreciate the scale of Windows. After looking though the API (thanks for the link!) and considering different scenarios it does speak well to your approach.

    However, the obvious downside is the UI inconsistency. I hope in the next few iterations you augment this approach to ensure the UI is coherent throughout the entire product. I think that is one of Apple’s few credible claims, but that’s important since users exclusively deal with the UI.


    It has been my experience that while an individual feature works well individually, I have a hard time translating my experience from one to another. Almost everyone I’ve seen also has the same experience. My primary question now is what can be done about this? Office 2008 made a good attempt at reworking the UI. It’s not as deep as maybe it could be (i.e. there’s still a lot of the old modal dialogs that have been around forever without change) and could still use some revising but break from the traditional, I believe, increases usability.

  88. greatgrahambini says:

    For the love of all that is good and holy, would you please please please update the DOS terminal to include dynamic window resizing like every other window, and standard copy-paste functionality.  I realize that both of these can be done, but not without resorting to drop down menus or text boxes.  I feel like I’m back in 1995 when I use the terminal, and not just because its lack of window features, but also because of its appearance.  The scroll bar doesn’t use the Vista-theme, and it throws off the consistency of the look and feel of the OS.  Oh, and keyword-highlighting and transparency would be great too.


  89. iplusone says:

    All i want is a fast and stable OS to work on.  I don’t care about translucent anything, all i want is stability and speed.  Hmmm, and i agree with greatgrahambini, a resizable terminal window would be amazing, as would copy and paste functionality.  As long as it’s fast.  

  90. AndrewJennings says:


    "I am curious about how new features get proposed and kicked around. How often does a developer put something in on their own time?"

    That’s an interesting question. Answering it completely would require explaining the whole planning and design process. I’m sure Steven’s going to talk about that topic on this blog, so I’ll limit myself to smaller changes that are largely outside of the official design process. I should also point out that there’s no one answer to the question. Each team has their own dynamic. I’m only going to talk about how it works on my team, Core User Experience.

    There are countless small changes that developers drive independent of the regular design process. On one end of the spectrum are small changes that a developer will make to a feature that he owns. The CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER keyboard shortcut to run a start menu search result elevated in Windows Vista is a good example of this type of change. The previous start menu owner decided to do that after a hallway conversation with another developer about how to make it easy to run things elevated without using the mouse. He didn’t need to get sign off from the rest of the team. He just coded it up. Had someone look at his change and checked it in.

    Then there are changes to the plan that require larger consensus. Sometimes at the start of the project everyone signs off on a particular implementation only to find that when it’s coded up and checked in it just doesn’t feel right. In these cases the dev sometimes plays around with the feature and reworks it on the fly. A coworker just called me into his office the other day to show me one of these changes. He’d decided that the way users accessed his feature didn’t feel quite right to him. He spent an evening implementing a second option. Then he showed it to everyone who he could drag into his office. These kinds of changes are different from the first category in that more people have to sign off on the change before it goes in.

    Finally the hardest changes to get in are changes to a feature you don’t own or work on. Last week I was playing around with a new feature that’s owned by another team. I didn’t like a particular aspect of how it worked so I went in and created a modified version that I thought would be an improvement. Here like the second category I can’t just check this in. I showed everyone who would look, I listed the problems with the old design that led me to spend time changing it, and I wrote up an argument for why the change was an improvement. Right now I’m trying to sell the change to the people who own the feature.  They’re the ones who get the final say on whether or not it goes in.

    So that’s a long way to say yes to the original question. You can’t just say “here’s how things are.” It takes consensus building and other soft skills to get your ideas into Windows. But as a developer you’ve got a big advantage over the other disciplines. Whereas someone else can dream up a feature and mock up screenshots and describe how they want it to behave, if a developers passionate about something he can prototype work and really show people what he’s talking about.

  91. aaronsteers says:

    Couple of comments.

    First, kudo’s on the blog.  It’s a great initiative, and I hope it will prove an effective weapon against entrenched anti-MS (aka "anti-Goliath") biases.

    Secondly, I would like to voice my personal opinion of what the scope of an OS should be.  An OS should be centered around the management, preservation, and access to computer hardward (and network) resources.  I think the biggest reason why there is such disappointment with OS’s is that laypeople don’t know what an OS is or what it is supposed to do.  An OS is not a web browser, it’s not a filesharing app, and its not a movie-making application.  My own suggestion (and I know this is controversial) is that you make the OS as good as it can be, while letting the Windows Live team handle the movie makers, filesharing apps, and photo applications.  In short, give us an awesome OS, but don’t follow apples footsteps in marketing their OS as a video editing tool.

    Which brings me to my final point: that is, your real challenge in revolutionizing the core of the OS is that people just don’t want the OS to change.  People will complain if you change things and they will complain if you don’t.  The bigger and more revolutionary the change, the more people will complain.  All of the traditional core OS paradigms are so entrenched in our community psyche that I pity the person who is responsible for telling the world "Look, we fixed it! Look how much better it is now…"

    In closing, good luck!  You’ve got your work cut out for you.

    (Sorry for the long post.)

  92. Poi says:

    Where are the testers? Surely there should be a testing team.

  93. Kosher says:

    Steven and Brian,

    I think there has been an enormous amount of work on creating a standard UI platform that’s both easy for developers and very methodical.  It’s called WPF.  The problem is the fact that 99 percent of the applications created on windows are still using separate UI frameworks developed by separate teams.

    So why aren’t they using WPF?  I think the main reason is the number of developers still working on windows in native C++.  I think this is great when it comes to performance but at least work the methodologies and tools form WPF into the core native libraries.  WPF as a whole has created some very clean development paradigms but it looks like there might be some adoption issues (at least architecturally) inside MS.

    This is the differentiation between a clean, high performance user experience and one that is stuck in the old world.

    Apple has been able to create complete ux unification.

  94. says:

    What about the team that removes features in every release? 😛 (

    Jokes apart, Microsoft, please make Windows 7 fast and responsive, optimize Vista’s code, add back some much loved features (not everything in that list needs to be added back), make 64-bit a commitment, don’t end up with a UI like Vista and have compeitive feature parity with Apple’s OS. I would be delighted to see equivalents to Automator, Keychain, Quartz Composer, iChat, GarageBand etc. And of course better support for pro audio is long overdue.

    I’m scared after reading some of the comments and will be even more scared if MS starts listening to each one of them. Some of them seem to have absolutely no knowledge of NT’s architecture/internals after so many years of usage and some are requesting features which are well-implemented in Windows Vista.

  95. anonymuos says:

    Please improve the desktop publishing (DTP) support by including a more robust text engine such as

  96. Mem says:

    every time i install windows i install Winrar, copy handler and Avafind. this 3 tools are far better that what Windows gives us. hope Windows 7 can match all the above. Good luck steven

  97. Gerald Mann says:

    I am curious about how new features get proposed and kicked around. How often does a developer put something in on their own time?

  98. says:

    Hey! Big thanks for this blog, allowing users to put there two cents(and more) in.  I have  request for the DirectX technologies, PLEASE Un-depricate the main DirectX api’s: DirectDraw, DirectInput, DirectSound, etc.  Bring these all into the 9.0c version, 10.0 if your feeling generous.  DirectDraw? YES!, ask hardware venders to fill in missing features that have gone undone for so long.  Suggestions: rotation’s in one degree increments, ROP effects that actually work, hardware pixel perfect collision detection.

    Thanks for your time!

    Matt C.

  99. Jalf says:

    First, a very simple (but obvious) question.

    What exactly do our comments matter? That is, how much of 7 is set in stone? If we suggest a new feature, is it even *possible* that it’ll be implemented? What if we suggest a smaller tweak to how existing functionality works?

    Basically, how much of this is really two-way communication?

    Anyway, the one thing I hate more than anything in Windows is best described in one of the earliest Vista reviews.

    Where Mac OSX acts like a traditional british butler, staying in the background, getting you what you need without a word, Windows (Vista and XP alike) seem more like a hyperactive 4-year old soooo eager to show you what he just did in his potty.

    Yes, well done, but I don’t *want* to know that Windows has detected that I disconnected an USB stick. Or that I connected one. Or any of the dozens balloon tooltips we’re constantly assaulted with.

    I think you need to change your focus fundamentally. Vista was very much a "see how nice we can make Windows so that you *want* to use it" release.

    And that is completely besides the point. An OS should not be sometihng you "want to use". It should be something you don’t *have* to use. Something that churns away in the background, ensuring things work, and otherwise does not compete for the users attention.

    You are *always* going to lose that competition anyway.

    No matter what applications I’m running, I’m running them by choice, because I chose to run them right now, and presumably, that is what I want to do. That will *always* have a higher priority with the user than whatever the OS itself is doing in the background. Don’t bother trying to compete for the user’s attention. Let the applications have it. Trying to bring attention to the OS only frustrates the user.

    A good start would be to ditch the system tray balloon tips. They are constantly abused, making them useless. They are almost always used to show information that wasn’t actually that urgent in the first place, and certainly didn’t warrant popping up on top of whatever you were doing. Either give us an *easy* way to disable them (I know it can be done through the registry now, but it has to be straightforward so people *writing* these damn tooltips understands that it’s a bad idea too), or maybe move them to a less obtrusive place. Render them onto the desktop, perhaps. That way I can see them if I need to, but they won’t get in the way if I have windows on top.

    That’d be a start, but there are a lot of places where you need to stop trying to get the user’s attention.

    Another major frustration about Windows is how painfully hard it is to migrate your applications and data after a reinstall. And the chief offender here is the registry. I have no way to package everything application X installed/configured, and copy that to another machine. If settings were stored in application-specific files *somehow* and *somewhere*, I could just copy those, and I’d have a new machine set up in minutes.

    The registry is a huge binary blob, and the only sane approach to copying it is all-or-nothing. I can migrate the entire registry, in which case I might as well not bother reinstalling, or I can ditch it completely. I can’t grab the keys that application X needs to run.

    Please. I don’t care how much virtualization and magic redirection you have to create under the hood to make it work in a backwards compatible manner, change this to keep Windows-, user- and application settings separate. Windows settings one place, settings for each user in a separate location, and settings for each application in a separate location.

  100. stodge says:

    Let’s hope Windows 7 isn’t just Vista with a bunch of changes. It’s obvious that the current line of Windows products have reached the end of their life. They are insecure, bloated and blighted with backwards compatibility. I’d love to see MS bring new ideas to W7. Make the core OS lightweight, stable, secure and very fast. Get rid of the taskbar and start menu and try something more interesting. Oh and get rid of the registry – possibly the worst thing MS came up with. So MS, show us that your billions of dollars and hundreds/thousands of employees can make something decent for once, without buying a product from another company. Go on, I dare you!

    P.S. My employer is moving to open source – they got tired of licensing costs. 🙂

  101. snaven says:

    The Movie Maker is a joke. I am an amateur movie producer and Movie Maker is one of the worst edit tools there is. iMovie far much better and I hope in Windows 7. There will be a Movie Maker 4 that is worth using.

    The new Movie Maker should be easy to use, but have some advanced functions like: Chroma Key, Unlimited Tracks and support for many codecs (import and export).


  102. says:

    Some quick general blogging suggestions if i may:

    1) Include some simple images/diagrams to better illustrate some lengthy text points.

    2) A few titles and sections to long posts would help readability.

    3) Great work so far, hope to see some dev/code/software architecture related posts soon!

  103. bart.nicolotti says:

    I’m using ubuntu at work and use Windows at home only because of some drivers problem with linux. Will Windows 7 be open sourced? This doesn’t mean free! If I’ve a bug and I’m able to fix it or I want a feature not implemented what can I do without sources? It could also speed up development/improvement and understanding of the operating system.

  104. snaven says:

    Most people don’t know much about computers. The only thing they care of is that "IT IS WORKING". As long as they don’t face any problems with Windows and there files they are happy. One of the things they complain about is: "Media Player doesn’t read my files!" If had integrated many codecs in the Media Player, people would be happy. A normal person often don’t know about VLC Player and Codec packs, and when the files doesn’t work, they get angry about windows.

    Have you guys ever heard about GForce? GForce is a visualization addon for The Media Player. The visualization they have is far much better than the ones in Windows. They are high quality with many differt cool types. Cool visualizations built-in in WMP would be very cool.

    There is something that I (advanced user) miss about Media Player. QuickTime Pro can save streaming online videos and save them on your computer. That is just a genius ide!! When I see online movies often I want to store them on my computer to view for others.

    WMP Bugs:

    My Media Player often stop working and I get the message: Not Responding. This is not a good thing for a program and it is not positive. Many of my friends choose not to use WMP (because of all these thing I have been writing down) and instead they install VLC and iTunes.

    I hope you will think more about the WMP and WMC in Windows 7 than you did with the other versions of Windows.


  105. thecolonel says:

    a few of suggestions for windows 7:

    1. small small small! make it fly on a netbook. cut the deadwood and unnecessary features. 80% of vista is just plain bloat

    2. do things for the users, not the big corporations. we all loathe drm, so just get rid of it. bring windows back to the people and they will love you for it

    3. don’t make the ‘idiot mode’ the default; stop pandering to the lowest common denominator. do i really need a pop-up telling me my ethernet is running at 1gbit? of course not!

  106. ShaneA says:

    Great blog Steven, excellent information, and a great insight into the development of Windows 7.

    I’ll resist pointing out the errors, misinformation, inaccuracies, subjective views, and self absorbed statements made by some "commenters".  I want to read about the engineering and development of W7, not pages of %$£&!.

    Thankfully I’ve been on the "Windows Early Feedback Program" through the MS Connect site for nearly a year now.

    Naturally/hopefully MS will have an extensive beta program for W7 like it did with Vista; I look forward to being invited!  As one of the many official Vista beta testers on the program since early/mid 2005, I know that all of us made a positive difference to Vista.  (like some of you could have, as it was a public beta for the last 5 months before release!)

    Question… how much validity do peoples comments here have compared to the "Feedback Program"?  And any idea when the Windows 7 beta program may start?

  107. eibrahim says:

    Great blog.  Looking forward for more posts.

    How about just ONE version for windows?  Why should we have starter, basic, home, ultimate, business, enterprise… it’s ridiculous…  ONE VERSION…  Or maybe 2 one 32 and one 64.  That’s it.

    Also don’t add "Ultimate Extras" if you are not going to release any.

  108. Doubt.It says:

    I don’t thing the size of the team is necessarily a problem, but I would be concerned about leadership. Not to impugn your abilities, but to wonder aloud about how such a big team/enterprise can have a clear vision. Vista did seem a lot like the product of a committee, improved in almost every single detail over XP, yet somehow no better – arguably worse! – when taken as a whole.

    It disappointed us. Not because it failed to deliver the exciting bits that you promised and then withdrew, but because it failed to fix the one thing that we most wanted fixing in XP.

    I want Windows 7 to have a vision, and I want that vision to be one word long:


  109. RuslanUrban says:

    File management can be significantly improved. A great example is Total Commander (

    Key functionality:

    – Add ability to host multiple file manager windows within one window(tabbed, split view)

    – Add collapsible command line window to the main file manager window to execute command line/PowerShell commands. Assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle visibility of the window.

    – Keyboard shortcuts for all, at least most common, file management commands (e.g Create Folder, Copy to, Move to, etc)

    – Add ability to easily and intuitively manage keyboard shortcuts for context menu operations (e.g Send by Email, Create shortcut in target folder). User should be able to use only keyboard with the least amount of keystrokes and without the need to use a mouse to perform ALL essential file operations.

    – Copy/Move/Delete operations should NOT break if individual files in a batch operation (e.g. move folder) cannot be copied or moved. User should be prompted to skip/skip all, rename/override duplicates, override older files during file operations.

    – Batch progress dialog can have a collapsible details window with the log of the performed operations (e.g which files have been copied, skipped, renamed, deleted), and a notification check-box to to play a notification alert sound and to keep the progress dialog open upon completion of the operation. User should be able to save the log.

    – Copy/move files using templates or allow for third-party extensions to implement such functionality. The templates can use file attributes (e.g. file created/modified date) and file type dependent context data(EXIF) to organize files into folders for example, by date, artist, album, etc.

    – New: Link drive/folders. When copying to these folders, only shortcuts are created, but original files remain at the original locations. This is helpful when managing complex file storage systems, creating photo and music albums, etc. Also, this can be used to create backup and other batch processing lists (documents, e-mail storage, etc.)

    – RAM drive to work with temporary data that requires fast access and doesn’t require to be persisted to media. Useful for data/image/video processing, working with temporary files stored in a revision control system (e.g Visual Source Safe).

  110. lutes says:

    Hello!!!Microsoft!!Ding—Dong,,,one World–One system+++Microsoft.

    first thing first->the name Microsoft7 is not good it should be named "

    windows Centum", windows  Talis" talis =of such a kind. "windows  tales" = same as talis but tales is english but i preffered the latin  and finally "Microsoft Windows VR" this is my favorite in this one I think you should created this version of OS that will support Virtual reality technology and enhanced X-box 360 too,,,,,,,,,,

    next, preventing piracy…i have a solution but u have to pay for that one, but he is the free idea. cut the price of OS to the same price as xbox 360 games. or even cheaper…email me if u need to buy the solution…..

    last, windows XP is it stop bring so many stupid version of windows —ONE WORLD-ONE SYSTEM —MICROSOFT WINDOWS TALIS–

  111. MSDNArchive says:


    I totally agree that there needs to be an advanced user during installation. Personally, I always wait until someone with similar interests has taken the time to remove all the bloat. Why not encourage this? For instance; what if people could distribute a file that you could import into a Microsoft app and create your own install cd? This could even be a way to incorporate different packages (ultimate, enterprise, etc.)

    Finally, XP has a large customization scene. Why not outsource the GUI to open source (maybe not the default one). Many XP users hacked uxtheme.dll and implemented their own visual styles. Why not follow android’s model and offer a competition with a cash prize?

  112. scarz says:

    I just wanted to agree with what eibrahim said:

    Don’t let market screw things up and chop the product into 400 different versions.  It only confuses the customer, and makes the local nerds life a pain.

    Client Version.

    Server Version.

    THAT IS IT.  No basic, home, business, ultimate.  No add-ons.  

    Or is that TOO beautifully simplistic for a room full of market folks?

  113. Kannan Balasubramanian says:

    Oh my god it took me almost an hour to read all the comments just for this post alone !!

    Do you guys have enough time to read these comments and discuss about them for inclusion in development ?

    As most users have said, I would prefer Windows to be a modular or component based system where user can select what applications to be installed and what applications needs to be run.

    Just make sure Windows 7 has the basic minimum as OS and other features as separate applications.

    And yeah please give flexibility for UI. UI should be consistent across all applications, but that doesn’t mean if the theme changes I have to see a grey or coloured explorer background.

    Vista has innovative features some of them like typing an application name, bread crumb on top are good.

    Still it would be better if there was a configuration which allowed the old UI things were allowed to be used in New Windows.

    Since I use XP and Vista at work place side by side, sometimes I feel the Folder UP button missing in Vista is annoying and new Bread Crumb Vista feature not found in XP is annoying.

    Another request. Some of the features most of user discussed here are common and it would be better if you guys can give some status on these features about going for an internal discussion for later development or dropping off.

  114. David Peaslee says:

    I would like to see something about Assistive Technology changes, that is if there is a team working on new or inproving AT over the Vista’s OS.

    David Peaslee  IT/AT User Support

    Lane Community College

    4000 E 30th Ave

    Eugene, OR 97405

  115. jomy says:

    Pls dont forget the music/multimedia producers this time and stop to bloat and slow down windows with useless visual extras like sidebars and overwhelming security options etc … or more ppl will go MAC OSX 🙂

    in hope of a perfect windows 7


  116. MarcHermann says:

    Hi –

    I bought Windows Vista the day it was released here in germany. Here are the things I experienced and that have to be improved in 7:

    1) Compatibility of your own software

    I own Outlook XP and with vista it refused to save my password for my mail accounts. I know that you guys can´t do anything about problems with iTunes & Co, but pleeeeease – make your own software work, ok?

    2) Speed!

    My computer is an AMD 3500+ with 2 GB of Ram and nearly everything that had to do with my filesystem was slowed down by using vista instead of xp: copying files, opening folders etc. – please – speed it up. It is nice to have something like aero glass and transparency but in the end i am buying new software to make me more productive, to reduce the time i need for several tasks. But with vista everything took longer

    3) Stop treating my like a child with this UAC

    UAC is (sorry) hell on earth. Why can´t this Program be configured by choosing a user style ("experienced", "advanced", "novice") ???

    I don´t want to click "yes" everytime I want to delete a simple shortcut. I know what shortcuts are and I would really appreciate windows not to ask me everytime. This also has something to do with point 2: speed.

    4) Configuration

    I am a guy that loves to configure his desktop. With linux (I am currently trying kubuntu) I can configure my desktop in 3423423243234 ways 😉 … could you please give advenaced users more freedom about the look of their desktop.

    Well thats it … almost.

    I bought vista but 4 Month later I stopped using it for the reasons I wrote here (too slow, outlook xp not working, uac is hell on earth …)

    First I used XP, now I am trying kubuntu. And I am sad of having paid so much money for something that is preventing me of getting my work done.

    Please … keep that in mind when you design Windows 7

  117. m.schmidler says:

    I know this isnt actually a request for Windows 7 but also for Windows Mobile 7. Please, continue what you began with Vista´s MobileDecice-Center. Maybe include backup-features or a picture-viewer for photos sored on the device.

    Another thing is SideShow (or nowa sensors?) support, I already noticed that Microsoft is working on that. The community is really really waiting for something like this in general – using the computer without the computer turned on fully. SideShow is a step into the right direction, but look at Linux: Mini-OSes that are integrated into the BIOS – THATS useful.

    Besides I´m hoping for the same things as the rest of the world: Speed and more options to personalize Windows.

  118. LorenHeiny says:

    Steven and Jon,

    I’ve seen several people mention the .NET platform and along these lines, I wonder if you could at some point talk about the Windows API as you see it now (Windows 7) and where you see it going.

    As a developer I’ve pretty much set aside my 20+ years of C/C++ development on Windows/etc and migrated to C#/XAML. It’s not my first choice, but it’s where I see the most recent work being done, so I’ve migrated that direction. Now I realize that the .NET platform isn’t the Windows API, but effectively it’s like it becomes one. Reading the comments here, shows that.

    The layers of API models within Windows is getting to be a bit much and with C# having some unfortunate flaws I wonder how you see all this fitting together? Or are we on an evolutionary path where we’ll just have to see how it works out?

    And as an aside, with much of the external development focus on C# I can only imagine this must be impacting the size of the talent pool for those you might need for developing on future Windows proper.

  119. AaronMcLean says:

    I supported 250,000+ Windows XP workstations in my last job as the lead Windows Installer SME. Here’s my quick list of things that MS could do to help business customers, and in turn would help home users.

    1.) Win7 should have Linux/Unix like speed. Let admins/users pick the speed of the O/S by allowing them to add and remove modular components of the O/S.

    2.) Make everything modular, configurable, and ‘themed’.

    3.) All Win7 core Apps should be modular via the "Add/Remove Windows Components". This will allow Win7 to easily compete in the 7-9 second boot time relm. Legacy application support could be added or removed via this same means in order to enhance O/S speed.

    4.) User created themes and customizable toolbars should be able to be applied to Win7 and any Win7 application.

    5.) Never lock down a GUI like IE7 or Office 2007.

    6.) If you never want Linux or Mac to be a large competitor, beat them at their own game. Open Win7 up to the user development community. Allow someone to theme Win7 to look and feel like a Mac or Ubuntu. Looks go a long way.

  120. Surt says:

    So if you’re still listening for what needs fixing in windows:

    1) Notepad needs improvement.  As the default text editor, it should at least be able to cope with unix end lines.

    2) Paint needs improvement.  We need a built-in image editor with better image format coverage, and additional tools.

    3) The startup process needs a tool for managing it.  Every program I install these days is trying to sneak in a startup update manager.  I wind up with twenty or more of these eating up startup time.  But they may be shortcuts from the startup folder, or entries in the registry, or services …. a single tool that can identify all startup programs is needed.  Every startup program should be required to be registered in a way that gives a description of what it is for, otherwise windows should refuse to start it.

    4) unix friendliness in the cmd shell or an alternate shell.  If you want people to keep using windows, you need a default install shell that can run unix commands with the absolute minimum of differences in behavior.  Script processes are not going away, in enterprise computing they are becoming ever more vital pieces of infrastructure.

    5) IE needs an ad-blocking feature by default.  It should be easy to get a list of ads from microsoft or a 3rd party.  PNG support needs to be full featured.

    6) NTFS spec needs to be open for interoperability.

    7) I would largely not care about startup time if I didn’t have to do it so often.  Why do so many system updates require a reboot?  Shouldn’t that only be for a narrow list of kernel changes?  Shouldn’t everything else be hot swappable?

    8) Make 64bit the default, make 32bit a lower priority/higher price.  Force manufacturers to provide WHQL 64bit drivers for logo certification.

    If you were to fix that much, and of course provide a smooth user experience, I would consider switching back from linux for at least some uses.

  121. iLoki says:

    First of all, i want to thank you for listening to us. I really believe that Windows 7 will be a very good OS.

    Some things that could be improved in Windows 7:

    1) The network center was a big improvement, but some things could be better. It would be a good thing if we could manage IP-configurations for different networks.

    2) If ICS is enabled, the networking adapter’s IP is set to and DHCP is turned on, but the network can’t be identyfied. Why? I would prefer to choose for myself whether or not DHCP is active and I want to choose the IP.

    3) Tabs could be used in the Windows Explorer, maybe with the possibility to display several tabs in the same eplorer window.

    4) Tools like Notepad and Paint need improvements in functionality.

    5) The UAC really needs improvements. A good thing would be to make it configurable, maybe with different user styles. I don’t want to say that it is useless, because it isn’t. But for an experienced user, it is kind of annoying.

    I am sure that you do everything you can to create this OS.

    Best wishes and greetings from Austria.

  122. GarethThomas says:

    I have used Various flavours of Linux, (Fedora and Ubuntu most recently), I have two Macs and yet I cannot get away from Windows. There are many thing I do not like about windows that I love about my Mac/Linux box.

    A comprehensive list of things to do in Windows 7 would be many many pages. However, I hope most can agree on these.

    1) Task Manager, Task manager is a lovely piece of software that doesnt really exist on the Mac and only sometimes (graphically) in Linux. I use task manager for a lot of things, development (looking at how good my memory and performance is), stopping broken programs, finding viruses etc.

    I think it is important that this system becomes more robust. Windows has many processes on this list. It is important that we are able to see them. However, why are their so many? I think Windows 7 should take a page out of the book of simplicity. It is time Windows goes back to the drawing board and a simple, versatile version of Windows comes out of Microsoft. One that is fast and secure (two conflicting topics I know). How does this relate to the Task Manager, far less tasks. There should be a bare minimum of tasks in that list that Windows absolutely needs to run. And they should be clearly marked, a mark that only an operating system task can have.

    I guess my point is a much less complex operating system, which has been designed from the ground up to be, better. This is most likely out of reach currently, so I will move on.

    2) I agree with posts above, Notepad and Paint need an overhaul. Specifically, can you please implement a text editor that does not try to read multi hundred MB files into memory all at once. A far better solution in my opinion would be a constant amount of text is read, and updated as you move through files. Paint needs improvements on many fronts also, I am not asking for Photoshop, but at least something to get by on.

    3) Furthermore, I also want to see something other than MSDOS for a command line application. A shell with the SAME commands as unix based systems would be highly preferable. Shell’s while widely not used by average users are used by power ones, developers, admins etc etc etc. I think we represent a large enough proportion of your user base, and since we also represent key early adopter review power that we warrant some time/money put into this. Sorry about harshness.

    4) Startup programs are a problem (kind of links to taskbar). There is no way to solve this that accommodates everyone’s needs, this however does not mean you shouldn’t do anything. I think the general consensus of people is that a system needs to be made available that clearly identifies every program that wants to be a startup program and allows you to chose whether that program is allowed to run on startup. A facility is available now, but also includes every Windows program in that list, it doesn’t include application descriptions/purposes and uses the filename, which to take a prime example of something I have – MOM.exe. I realise you have no control over developers, but startup programs are important, they slow things down on reboots, and often should be disabled for being truly annoying.

    I think all startup programs that have come with programs installed by the user, should be made clearly available. Each with a description of its purposes and the application it was installed with. While this may require developers to recompile there programs with some extra variables, that should not be a factor in your decision. You need to do what is best for your users, not theirs. Sorry again for harshness 🙁

    5) 64Bit is the future of operating systems. Windows 7 should be a 64bit Operating System. This speaks to a greater need for Windows to stop huge amounts of backwards compatibility.

    6) Following from 5, Windows has always supplied backwards compatible operating systems. This is important for recent devices etc, however, there must be a limit. I maybe wrong, but the backwards compatibility bloats the operating system, increasing the amount of code you have to test, writer, deploy and fix in the future. It is harsh on the user, but cutting devices/programs etc from windows compatibility out of the box needs to happen. Companies can release updates to provide compatibility with Windows in the future, and this may annoy them. But in the end I think that having more time to make the new features/current features far far better as you can spend more time on them is a bigger plus.

    7) Stop trying to help me run my computer. The single reason I downgraded from Vista to XP for my windows box was because I could not uninstall windows media player, nor could I get it to stop running and occupying memory and cpu cycles. WMP is a nice piece of software, but I had to run iTunes for my iPhone/iPod and it was just annoying that memory and CPU was being used by a completely redundant program. While WMP wasn’t using a lot, it was using, and all I could think was, what else is running now for no reason what so ever. I would sacrifice start up times for programs any day of the week for a operating system that did not run completely unnecessary programs in the background decreasing performance of programs that I actual want running.

    8) UAC was a nice plan, it failed miserably, it was just annoying, especially at startup when HP updater and 3 other things all required permission to run. It speaks to a greater need I guess to rethink key extremely common tasks and make them as simple and as fast as possible. UAC can be turned off, but I want it off, I want it minimised, so that I can choose which programs can run, and can’t run. But I dont want to have to choose every time I run them, decisions should be saved. If a user wishes to change their mind, they should be able to do that, and the functionality should be clearly laid out and non-circumvent-able.  A task manager thing perhaps. Something that displays Windows Components Running, and All, Programs Running, and All.

    9) Many other things have been said previously, and I’m sure you have all heard copying shouldn’t break if one file is non accessible during the process etc many times before. Please fix them. These are common things that users experience every day, and it annoys the us A LOT.

    10) One final point, DRM/DVD Region Coding/Anything under this category. I have DVD’s I purchased from the USA and had shipped here (UK), I cannot watch them on Vista because my DVD – Rom drive is region coded. Why is it that windows cannot set the region code to 0? You make operating systems, you do not enforce stupid ridiculous copyright issues when all they do is hurt the real consumer. Windows should be a neutral party, it should not include DRM into its operating system or any restrictions on its users. This path of DRM first, user rights second is complete and utter stupidity. You supply to users, your job should be their satisfaction. If you include DVD playback, you should not be limiting it to what the MPAA or RIAA wants you to limit it to.

    I know you guys all work really hard, and do your best to produce what you believe is a good product. I know you get a lot of stick for it when things go badly. I hate being one of those people.

    Please, please release something that does the basics really well, and not everything mediocre at best.

  123. tom5 says:

    I’m waiting impatiently for WinFS (or sometning like this) in Windows 7 – the storage size is going into terabytes now and it is essential to have the right tools to manage files, to find files etc.

  124. Antoine Dubuc says:

    Hi Steven,

    Thank you for this blog as is it entertaining and informative.

    I am sadly skeptical however as to the impact all the posters have. As far as I know, and I do admit I don’t know a lot about your processes, I thought that there was a group within Microsoft that ran user studies and determine from *there* what was getting in the feature list for Windows 7.

    Hence my question is really what concrete action is your group mandated to take concerning the feature requests everybody post in this blog?

    I mean, you say its a discussion. Hence its a two way street. You post, we post, you reply, we reply, etc. This is entertaining and informative. I am happy with just that.

    In the end, does this blog has any impact on the feature list of Windows 7? Are you mandated to report to the user study group or whatever it is called what the people here say and want, and is it taken into consideration?

    I would presume not. For many good reasons. The first being its not how its done.

    Hence, I am seing this blog not as a feature request entry tool, as most people seem to believe it is, but more as a line of communication with the Windows 7 team, who essentially, is mandated to implement features decided mostly by others.

    Please tell us who gets to decide what feature goes in, how, and who writes them!

    I hope you can enlightened us on this issue, as I believe that it may create disapointment and even resentment in many posters (who write long feature request lists and even websites!) who seem to think this blog is a feature request entry tool where actually it may be nothing like that. You tell us 🙂

    Thanks again for this blog, as it is a step in the right direction I believe, and thanks for your time.


  125. jakobssystems says:

    as GarethThomas said in his good post:

    Windows should go back to the drawing board and bacome a simple, versatile Windows.

    I am afraid to say that i switched to Mac last year after facing the mess around Vista. I am still looking back in history where i worked with your full line of DOS, Windows, NT but finally i got annoyed.

    You told you are working in several teams in different groups, each concentratign on element parts of Windows. Please never forget the User Expercience you once claimed to reach. Compared to a Mac and the simplicity who to use iPhoto with Pages, Numbers or Keynote I never saw such intuitive experience at microsoft.

    Of course you have to make unpopular decisions to save backward compatibility, but what about creating a virtual machine for all old device drivers, programs and Win32 APIs and to create a flexible small and fast new operating system. Or do it like Nextstep did, take any Unix and develop your core technologies like DirectX, Dotnet etc. around the Kernel.

    Get rid of bloated applications and try to make more robust and smaller ones but dont lose the focus on user experience.

  126. phschmidt says:

    Nice thing that the development is broken between several  "independent" teams. In my opinion it would be a nice deal to capitalize that structure into a more modular approach. The following may be a bit long but allow me to develop:

    Any Operating System (OS) has the sole purpose of abstracting the hardware so as to allow developers to reach a wide range of different hardware with minimum effort. As a consequence the users can choose the most suitable hardware for their core programs while being able to use lots of different programs without additional investment. That being said, there is also the fact that most users around are, lets say, uninstructed about computer engineering, therefore they just buy some fancy stuff, it works, and they get satisfied. Since those users are a majority then it became usual to see more and more stuff being done for them by the OS. The issue is that this stuff is not within the main purpose of the OS. The downturn of such state of affairs is that while the default user will get satisfied those who have some sort of special need or that are more instructed will fell more and more bloated. Using Vista as an example, there are 5 different versions, however if someone needs/wants Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption but not Direct3D, them such person will find itself stuck with Ultimate, on the other hand if someone just wants a minimalist system which can run his/her programs will find them selfs bound to a truncated version (Starter/Home Basic). Consequently they will either pay for what they don’t really need or have an incomplete experience, both yielding in a being ripped off feeling.

    That doesn’t need to be the case. If you manage those teams modules in a more horizontal approach then it will be possible to customize the OS as if it was made of building blocks. Upon reaching such milestone the rest would be a lot easier, not only for management, but also for development. An example, there is some module your Public Relations (PR) is advertising for which is nice and has lots of public expectation but the OS itself can work fine without it, then all you would need to do is release such module independently.

    (Well, I know that as present it would be seriously bad and for quite a number of reasons, but it will make sense, just keep reading) You see, within this new approach it wold be possible to put a price tag on each module and the final OS would cost the sum, thou some sort of bundle discount/promotion could be though of, specially for those off the shelf discs, the issue is that for OEMs and for those with some sort of access to the internet that is easy to implement through a "customize your OS" portal pretty much like those customize your PC where it is possible to choose more or less RAM, a beefed up processor, a real graphics card and so on. Not only that but it would make sense to sell the module instead of just delivering it as an update (see, wasn’t it worth to keep reading).

    The net result would be nothing sort of extraordinary, you could sell only the core across the board from those with limited hardware (Intel Atom, Via Nano, etc) to enthusiasts and while the fist would stick to it the latter would keep buying more stuff like Direct3D instead of just direct draw, Aero, Internet Explorer, all of that media center stuff (which would also appease anti trust litigators) and so on. Not to mention that since the revenue from such modules will be incremental to your core revenue not only you could keep on innovating and capitalizing on it without major releases of the OS but also would allow you to rearrange your planning on the fly according to public/customer response (instead of some crazy juggling and rush if things don’t go as well as planned).

  127. gconnery says:

    File system support for ext3 would be very nice, allowing easier interoperability with Linux on the same box.  Yeah, I know it might not make the top of your priority list.

    Ditto support for interoperating with external linux systems for file transfer, i.e. a built-in scp command, and even ssh.  We run a lot of different systems in our shop here at Cisco, and it would be best if Windows was as flexible as possible in terms of interoperability.

    These things could both be in "business" versions of windows.

    I’m tired of waiting ages for video encode jobs to run, and while there are proprietary schemes for supporting the acceleration of this, I’m not sure there has been a concerted effort to standardize this.  I’d love to use the video editing/conversion product of my choice (Sony Vegas or Adobe or whatever) and have it work with the installed encode accelerator (probably part of the video card, like in AMD/ATI’s new All-In-Wonder card, but Dell’s Video Xcelerator is a different model).  Seems like the time has come for this.

    Fix the 2TB limitation on USB hard drive sizes please.  If that’s possible.

    Forget shared dlls.  Forget the registry.  Just put everything under the program directory, and make uninstalls easier.

    Enhance System Restore.  Tired of installing something and have it trash my system in some way and not being able to return it to where it was.  Everything, not just the registry.

    Faster file system please.  My linux file system copies of large files are so much faster than those on Windows.

    Agreed on the shell–bash or something equivalent please.  This is getting old.

    Copying should be reliable once launched.  It should not fail because there are too many files, or there is insufficient space–it should check this up front.  I have to use SyncToy to do reliable copies of large directories.  This shouldn’t be.

  128. dijuremo says:

    It would be nice to have:

    1. Secure remote access by means of a command line interface. The famous MONAD shell or whatever is called today never got the remote access. How good is a shell with no remote access? We should be able to script and automate anything we want to do in a Unix/Linux like fashion securely and easily.

    2. Please start using a package manager for software, I do not care if it is rpm like, debian like, yast like, just use something that allows software to be easily added and removed from the command line. Msi Installer does not cut it, it is highly complicated and then again third parties use other isntallers that make automation hard. If there was a unified package manager and everyone was forced to use it for any windows software, this would make life much easier.

    3. Stop forcing everyone to create an account with administrator rights on installation. At the same time, make the default permissions on the hard drives be read only by Everyone, Users and Authenticated Users. New version of windows, new way of making users change their way of using it. Every single machine I install since Windows 2000 and up to Vista gets the C: drive permissions changed so Everyone, Users and Authenticated users only have Read access. Then an account is created with *NO* administrator rights for every day use. These two very simple changes would stop 99% of the viruses and a lot of the spyware which always tries to copy files to the C: drive or the protected windows registry which only administrators can write to. UAC failed because everyone was and administrator but had to OK each frigging change. If you allow users to not be administrators, but at the time where they have to install something, prompt them for the administrator password, then this will be a lot better. Maybe even create a "sudoers" like behaviour in which only accounts on a certain group are able to run stuff as administrator to install or change settings, and if they are not part of that group, they simply do not get a prompt, but rather they are told only administrators can do this.

    4. Command line based and remote windows updates. Why does this still have to be GUI based?. It takes me about 5 seconds to start updating hundreds of machines running a Unix/Linux like OS’s and I do not even have to use third party tools. Windows should learn from that. With ssh and a package manager you can simultaneously ssh to all machines and run your update command forcing all your machines to update. Even if you do not like the package manager idea, at least make it so that you could do something like:

    a. Load encryption key or cert.

    b. Connect to all machines which accept that key or cert using the key or cert for authentication.

    c. Start update process.

    In a RHEL world it would be the equivalent of

    ssh-agent /bin/bash

    ssh-add /path/to/your/ssh/key

    ssh hostname yum -y update (no password required, maybe your passphrase to load the key)

    which can be wrapped in a script that ssh’s to each host in your network for easy management. Windows should be that easy.

    5. I agree with killing 32bit versions. Only 64 bit and at most two SKUs, home/business.

    6. Encrypted samba shares or something similar to AFS or NFS4 with kerberos encryption. Any additional file system support would be welcome (ext3, ext4, ufs, zfs, hfs+), but specially something like zfs.

    7. More tools to do simple stuff. A good example is an rsync like tool. I do not care if it has a GUI as long as it also can be run from the command line. These types of tools are really valuable.

    HTH you make a better product.

  129. bhavesh9586 says:

    Going straight..

    Some of my suggestions:-

    (A)about this blog:

    * I don’t know that only I am facing this problem.But I couldn’t login in this blog using my passport account.If I am not able to login in all microsoft sites with passport account then what is need of passport account..??

    (B)about OS issues:

    * OS installation size of Xp was around 1.5 to 2 GB. And it’s around 10 GB for vista which is nothing but a crap OS.

    * I don’t want each and every drivers of devices in the world and I don’t want to waste my HDD space. I have disks of drivers of my devices.Then why vista is installing all drivers and taking 10 GB of my HDD without reason.Please, give me choice if I want to install all drivers or not.

    * Why am I not able to uninstall Internet Explorer like crap application of microsoft.It is slow and I don’t want to use it, Please keep

    application and OS seperate and give me choice to uninstall any application like IE or WMP.

    * Please target the performance and speed instead of transparency and visual effects. It is human nature that people like these things initially for some days only..after daily use people don’t like it. so, It is OS performance and speed who attract people for longer time , not visual effects.

    * Instead of trying to keep hardware ompanies happy (with higher hardware requirements) try to keep users happy.

    Sorry for bad english.

    Thanks for reading.

  130. says:

    As previously mentioned in another comment, it would be great to enable supporting older games. I shifted to Vista Ultimate on my home machines (business computers still running XP for compatability reasons) and had some recently purchased Lucas Arts games that would not run.

    I have now shifted back to XP for most of my entertainment purposes. Hopefully Win7 will not have the same problems.

  131. eduardvalencia says:

    My Windows 7 suggestion guide.


    – Animated log-on screen

    – Show a clock on log-on screen

    – Ability for animated flip instant account switch (No log-on screen

    intermediate process)

    – Better file system (Better than NTFS) that won’t require defragmentation.

    – Internet Explorer : Full CSS 3.1 standards compliance,SVG support,HTTP

    Pipelining,Integrate multiple separate windows into tabs and viceversa,3D tab

    switching (optional,could work alongside Flip3d),spellchecker, in-line

    search, download manager,faster rendering engine,better add-on interface

    manager (similar to firefox).

    – Strict 3rd party driver hardware installation policies,automatic driver

    diagnostic tool to determine the quality of the written driver.

    – Option to restore default services running on memory configuration

    (services.msc )

    – Preload similar services and applicatios from different accounts before

    user logs in the Welcome screen,seems that Vista starts loading everything nly when user types it user name and password.

  132. eduardvalencia says:


    – Ability to undock playlist from Windows Media Player. (More compact

    interface),more skins.

    – Ability for synchornized work between perfomance features


    – Computarized service AI module,(this module will disable uneeded services

    based upon usability of the OS in time,add ability to switch off this feature upon request of power users).

    – Full modularity

    – Constant hardware analisis and reports,adding it to the windows error

    reporting tool function process.

    – Animated UAC prompt,less intrusive (fade effect?)

    – Root out old windows icons and interfaces and standarize for future relases like windows 7…see  (istartedsomething) by Zeng

    – Ability to switch to Internet Explorer 8..9? mode from exploring my pc and viceversa,add interoperability between these instances.

    – Expand Mojave Proyect further,open Microsoft demonstartion stores at mayor cities around the globe,in partership with mayor OEM builders, teach all the people how Windows vista works flawlessly,and teach where windows is going in build  7,great feedback you should recieve,and revive Windows image,apart from this microsoft products could be sold in the demosntration store,like keyboards mouses and different OEM computers.

    – When UAC prompts for authroization,the dialog box displays in Vista basic mode when aero is enabled.

    – Windows 7 must check and detect if the BIOS is compatible with the operating system.Add automatic in-built check tool.

  133. eduardvalencia says:


    – Add virtualization enviroment box natively ( Hyper – V or Microsoft Visrtual PC 2007) ,add MAC OSX support for god sake!

    – FTP locations support

    – Give more functionality to paint,update it.

    – Aero UI is perfect,leave it default for windows 7,polish it,microsoft should follow Apple OS guidline evolution,The same OS,more functionality,more stable,faster,robust,better usability interoperating functions etc.

    – Different maximize and minimize windows animations.

    – Add Microsoft Baseline Security Analizer integrated to the security center functionality

  134. Mr32bit says:

    I know that at least multi-touch and VT (virtualization) will be in Windows 7. I’m hoping that MS will focus on having 64bit only version.

    – A simple and quick navigation of desktop menu’s and applications would be a huge plus.

    – Able to use right click menu to easily uninstall any program on desktop. Upon uninstall, prompt password would be needed with accept and deny boxes.

  135. JensMarchewka says:

    More transparency would be great. Don’t hide the filesystem from the users! And if i want to turn off the user management because of annoying boxes for everything that i want to do don’t penetrate me on every startup! Please make a working (and plausible) SEARCH, did anyone of you guys ever tried to find something IN a file, without searching the name before, because u don’t know it.. ? And oh yeah make Windows 7 faster, something like no needed indexing just make it possible to turn it off (i know it is but who the heck will find this option?) there are so much things i don’t have the time to tell and probably not enough words (i am german).

  136. aamp says:

    Thanks for the introductory post. Very informative and although it was long I guess you couldn’t have made it any shorter (or longer) 🙂

    I’m looking forward to the new version but I’d like to know:

    1. What are the primary goals of the new OS? I’m hoping for these to be included:

    – Speed

    – Lower footprint (file and memory)

    – More manageable (so easier configuration for end users and also for the more technically inclined, so a big configuration screen like the Active Directory Privileged for normal configuration.

    – Better structured APIs. The .NET Framework is fantastic but I would’ve like to see a similar cleanup/restructure of the Windows API.

    2. What happens once the entire feature set has been implemented? Does a new team get created for the final UI integration work and then for bug fixes?

    3. Are you building on top of Vista or is the original goal of a complete re-write still there somewhere?

    4. Is it likely that you’ll end up with a single kernel that is used all the way from Windows Server down to Windows Mobile?

    Thanks again for the blog. I’m sure it’s going to give us a better insight into the development process and hopefully give you a better understanding of what your users really want!

  137. jack_daniels82 says:

    My customer wish no. 1 is independence.

    Since XP there is an alarming tendency to DRM.

    You should stop making your OS a gilded cage with a cable connection at home which dictates costumors what to do and what not.

    This is the only reason why linux is so successful and why people like me still stay at my Windows XP, even if we have to do it for a decade.

    A positive feature of Windows Vista which is definitively worth continuing is your HDD encryption.

  138. justausr says:

    Why is there no PERFORMANCE team?  Yes, it is everyone’s job, just like security, but just like security, not everyone seems to do a good job or be properly trained.

    It seems to me that before you do anything, you need to start with a base of code that addresses the key concerns about Vista.  We all (expect you folks at MS) seem to know that Vista is too slow and much slower than XP.  Understand this issue in each and every element of the system, fix it and set benchmarks so that you do not do anything to slow the system down.  Yes, CPUs get faster but a fast base just benefits from those improvements.  Make performance as much a mantra as security.  I would always give up some performance for improved security, but make these trade offs wisely.

    It also seems that the driver model changes have caused lots of issues.  I’m sure you think this is fixed, but I doubt if your users do.  You need to be MUCH more helpful and pro-active with drivers and help for writers.  I know you do a lot but the results from 3rd parties show it isn’t good enough.  Take developers out of developing features and get them to help fix this are of instability.  Write things that help create drivers.  Make user level driver shims for classes of devices that aren’t as performance critical, etc.

    In DOS days, a lot of the best ideas for what was needed came from the utility writers.  Look there for what is needed.  As an example, things like Start++ (by an MS employee), Executor and the like say that the "run" box needs to be better.  And look at XP for some ideas as not all the UI needed replacing:  the way that desktop search can live in the taskbar and do the fly out is much quicker and cleaner.

    I’d also suggest you spend more time giving exmaples for programming the system from languages other than VBscript and CSharp.  More folks know Javascript than either language.  What about making it a first class language and having examples of using Javascript for more than sys admin tasks.  Look at extjs and explain why there aren’t comparable Windows

    examples of using JScript.Net.  Let’s empower all of those Web developers to start being Windows devleopers!

    One also wonders if and how Microsoft employees actually use the OS.  Hibernate was WIDELY reported to be very buggy when Vista was released.  One couldn’t help wondering if anyone at Microsoft even used hibernate.  If they did it was hard to understand how the product could be allowed to ship at all.

    I advocate Vista becuase I am convinced it a a major step forward in security and other areas, but the push back from others is very strong.  The image of complexity and reality of bad performance is hard to overcome.

  139. sushio22 says:

    I would like to thank microsoft for making a really easy interface with windows xp i love the product. Vista is not to my liking tho it was never as user friendly as I had hoped it to be. The part where they did not add some system 32 files that allowed for backward compatibility to make so gameplay was not what i appreciated. Microsoft should have known this and really made it a project for them because if people cant play there old games especially for hardcore gamers then why be out there making a new operating system. backward compatibility is the most necessary thing for people to buy new operating systems. that goes more and more into bigger companies as well. Companies out there want backwards compatibility they dont want to redo there entire computer work areas with stuff that they need because they find out about compatibility with hardware and the sort. It made Microsoft look very unintelligent in my opinion.

    I know Vista was a huge step forward in operating systems for Microsoft. It had a huge amount of updates that made it revolutionary like for instance making a gamer folder for all games to be stored inside of (REALLY NICE).

    Music files stored in lists starting with letters of A all get stored in the catagory of A (Really NICE IDEA). Graphical Interface much more cleaner. I liked the idea of being able to go to the taskbar and a picture showing the what the window is that is in the taskbar. great features i really love, but the negatives drew me completely away. that is still why i do not recommend Vista. all of these things can be easily done Microsoft knows the correct .dll files and could make it an easy update for Vista.

    All i can say is even if Vista was 100mb bigger would not bother me at all as long as it was backward compatible considering the amount of storage we can put into a computer anyway.

    100mb isnt even a small 1% of a terabyte harddrive. So in the obvious part of all people make windows 7 backward compatible with all the operating systems. pls and thank you.

  140. tophness says:

    My Suggestions–


    Gotta agree with what everyone here has been saying about performance.

    There are smart people out there that don’t need the dumb-proofing and security.

    Give us options and automated logic to cancel all the unneeded overhead from even starting.

    Some of us know not to download/run things from unknown sources. We don’t need a dozen security scanners protecting our legit files.

    We don’t need a whole bunch of startup apps and services that we don’t use.

    I can sorta see why you do it. You have to cover defaults for the people who aren’t so smart..

    But put some effort into redesigning the way that works. don’t load our resources with stuff we don’t need to run until those options are selected by our options in the OS.

    e.g. Run the readyboost service when someone has inserted a USB/SD Card and selects to make it a readyboost drive. Is it really that hard?

    Have an option to turn all OS auto-updates off by default. You always have it automatic by default.

    It’s so annoying to have to manually find and turn off automatic updates in each windows program on a new OS install.

    I’m smart enough to do manually check when I’m not running any apps that need my resources.

    We shouldn’t need to read optimization guides for everything.

    Throw us a bone and put some logic into the os to do it for us.

    Turning on things like UAC by default in the OS without even asking us.. come onnnn guys.

    Get a performance team or ‘optional features’ team. It’s been needed since XP.

    Obviously the improved kernel, WinFS etc. is going to improve performance too. just don’t back out or negate your performance savings with more security.

    The average user cares about functionality and performance. Security, gui niceties and such are the secondary priority. you guys have gone the other way around with vista in most areas.

  141. tophness says:



    I know I was pretty much just talking about that but, options in general.

    The more options asked combined with logic, the less work for the user and the more it will make windows work how he wants it.

    Let’s have a more ‘universal’ windows rather than what microsoft predefines it to be.

    Options to control which options are going to be shown if it gets too much.

    Whenever there’s an option you can add for something that is only going to be effected by the extra logic of adding the extra option one time (thus only effecting app startup time not system performance), chuck an option in there so you don’t annoy 50% of the people with the options you guys end up going with.


    Run command, and shutdown button on start menu by default.

    Add Videos along with Music/Pictures on there too.

    Network connections takes too long to get to and that’s what i mainly use network-wise.

    Add ‘lock desktop icon positions’ so they’re locked to that res (for installing drivers etc.)

  142. tophness says:



    Explorer –

    Hide files option on right click menu with something to view user-hidden files.

    Ability to rename multiple files/folders in a folder, and with wildchars.

    Screensavers –

    ‘Real blanking’ ontop of the fake blanking method for the blank screensaver.

    Give us a button or something we can press to initiate the screensaver.

    Notepad –

    Allow fixing up improperly formatted line breaks.

    Allow syntax highlighting with optional plugins.

    Paint –

    An option for antialiasing fonts / drawing / resizing.

    Selecting the way the fill by color tool works and allow adjusting the tolerance of them.

  143. tophness says:

    wow sorry that was a bit rushed.

    a few words out of place when i was copy&pasting.

    and by ‘real blanking’ i meant turn the monitor off because just having the black image ghosts my lcd overnight.

  144. bart.nicolotti says:

    # re: The Windows 7 Team

    Where are the testers? Surely there should be a testing team.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:49 AM by Poi

    YOU are the tester! 🙂

    Why not a wiki?

    PS Office 2007 has a terrible NEW interface! Is there a way to get the previous interface back?

  145. says:

    Steven, your surname sounds polish, I wonder if you have polish ancestors.

    Best regards from Poland

  146. lenalfred says:

    I noticed on the internet that 1/3 of those who buy a computer with Vista, downgrades to XP. This is an indication that W7 needs to be out no later than 4Q 2009, before the holidays. I would advise more teams to get the product PERFECT, without the need of SPs and out sooner. MS has the resources. This may be the only way to change your image – Beef up R&D and not hire Sienfield as your spokes person.

  147. says:

    The upgrade path to Vista is for the MME/MMS Microsoft MultiMedia System broken! Please provide the exact SAME functionality as given with Windows XP! With Vista all developers have to migrate using the new WASAPI interface what requires a rewrite of all audio applications! For DAW DigitalAudioWorkstations a default applied dithering using Vista MME/MMS is not exceptable!

  148. nbm_mk says:

    One of the things that badly need an upgrade is windows update. Inernet based updates seemed like a great idea when they first came along, but they have reached insane proportions now. When Windows, then office, then Itunes, then anti virus, then acrobat all want to dump mega bytes on a machine all in the name of security. People would actually like to use their machine. 30 Seconds after login is never a good time for an update. Who ever thought it was ?

    An improved update services would have some of these features

    1) Needs to be a subscription so that all software vendors updates come through the one channel.

    2)The software updates from different vendors should be prioritizable by the user/administrator

    3) It really does work in the background and does not just take over the machine or tells the user that it needs to take over and allows you to schedule for a long lunch!

    4) It needs to have decent quality of information, just saying "security" is just not good enough, specific information indicating exactly which files will be changed is required

    5)The updating process should not mess with configuration for exmple windows update always messes with the screen configuration on Vista, plain unacceptable

    5)A half decent user interface

    6)More cooperation for machines on a single domain needing the same patches (Without a update server)

    7)A Harmonizing facility – e.g. make the following machines patched to exactly the same level. (Synch with each other where possible and get the best configuration possible)

    I could go on, the bottom line is the current process sucks very badly.

  149. babakrezai says:

    As many have said that you for opening up to the public the inner workings of how MS works on OS’s.

    An important part of an operating system is the hardware the system is working on, how is MS pushing hardware manufactures and vendors to develop and expand on the availability of hardware that supports muti-touch on both Desktops and laptops and portables?  

    I would be nice to see an on screen keyboard for multi-touch that is transparent to translucent which overlays over the screen allowing users to type directly on the screen.

    I would also like to see 3rd party software vendors supply updates through windows updates in addition to hardware drivers through Windows Update.

    Please bring back the option to switch back to the expanding style menu’s from XP, not knowing what programs are available it makes it hard to search for the one you want, and you shouldn’t have to click open the folders.

  150. burgesjl says:

    I think this just shows the difficulty of placing all of Windows under one umbrella team. I think this points to a major, major issue. I think Windows is trying to be too many things to too many audiences. Its not tenable that an OS can really work well and be designed to fit all the usage scenarios from enterprise servers to web servers to file servers to media servers to corporate desktops to consumer desktops. Its just not possible, so the best thing is not to try. There are some core components that could be shared: the kernel, VM, and networking stacks are probably the base. Then on top of that is layered the file system. But after that, things diverge wildly. Even some aspects of the kernel might be different if your coming up with something that fundamentally is driven by the graphics (consumer desktops, gaming, media) or have no graphics at all (headless servers). The fundamental hardware base is different, and so by definition, the OS has to be different as well. Windows 7 cannot work, it can’t be all things to all men. Its time to split it up and only share what has to be shared, and its a very small part of the above list of teams.

    BTW, from an architecture perspective, you need a 64-bit only kernel and then layer on top of that. Find a way to layer on OS personalities and non-core end-user drivers using VM technology. If a corporation wants to use Win 2000 or XP, they should have that as an option on top of the base kernel. It should work just like XP and look just like XP to apps. Same for Vista, and then whatever new ‘shell’ you want to add.

    The other thing that needs to fundamentally change is modality and user focus. Multi-input is needed. Its bloody ridiculous that if I am in Excel and editing a cell in a spreadsheet, I can’t open a second Excel document. Its ridiculous that notifications in the bottom corner grab focus away from what I’m typing and redirect what I type. This is a fundamental architectural limitation on Windows.

    Oh and BTW, don’t let your marketing people get control of this. Too many decisions are made by marketing guys who have no idea what users actually need. We don’t need 27 Windows SKUs of Shiny, Super-Shiny, and Extra-Super-Shiny. You need one for Corporate Users and one for Non-Corporate (Home) users, and one for servers. Thats it. If I’ve bought hardware, I expect to be able to use it without having some marketing guy decide he wants to hobble the amount of RAM I can access or how many processors I can use or charge me more for it when I know full well there’s no fundamental difference in the underlying code, its just a shakedown.

  151. Bengali says:

    > Notepad needs improvement.  As the default text editor, it should at least be able to cope with unix end lines.

    A non-issue. Just install Notepad2 (freeware) or Textpad (cheap shareware).

    This what I like about Microsoft very much, they don’t destroy the market for third party applications.

    Yet "rar" support would be a feature very much needed. My girl friend had r00, r01 etc. files and was totally surprised when I suggested her to install WinRar. How could she know?

  152. hugo.slabbert says:

    To all the folks requesting a modular OS with backwards-compatibility brought in through some emulation layer, and also to those commenting on Windows being at the end of its usefulness and asking for a rewrite:

    Sorry folks, but my guess is that Windows7 is not that operating system. If Windows7 Server is going to be Windows Server 2008 R2, that should give us an indication of how much difference there will be architecturally. And I just don’t see MS releasing radically different client and server operating systems, so Windows7’s client OS is looking pretty much like Vista R2.

    But Microsoft isn’t stupid. Any product comes to the end of its useful life at some point and needs to be overhauled, and they know that Windows is not immune…could you see us still working on a DOS-based system today? Anyway, Microsoft *is* thinking ahead, but are (wisely) keeping expectations limited at this point. The keyword here is MIDORI. To be honest, I’m actually pretty surprised that nobody has mentioned it yet. Do some searches (I’ll get you started:; it’s worth a look.

  153. World says:

    This blog has been created to share useful information. Thanks and greetings!

  154. philipsu says:

    This blog is an awesome idea.

    There’s always going to be an Anything-But-Microsoft / Slashdot element to these things, especially when they start up.  "Puppet of the marketers, etc."  But those folks will lose interest soon enough, then the real dialog with real customers can continue.

    This level of openness between MS execs and real customers is great to see.  I think the discussion will benefit everyone, and provide  those both inside and outside the company with perspectives they might not have otherwise considered.

    I look forward to reading more of this open discussion with real customers.

  155. Surt says:

    #  re: The Windows 7 Team

    >> Notepad needs improvement.  As the default text editor, it should at least be able to cope with unix end lines.

    >A non-issue. Just install Notepad2 (freeware) or Textpad (cheap shareware).

    I don’t have that kind of power over my IT organization.  I need this to just work in the base install of the system, or it does me no good.

  156. wsDK_II says:


    I know everyone loves to complain about Vista, but really, its a great OS, and compared to the MAC os(s) compatibility is laughable.

    I was disapointed with all that was left out of Vista, i think that with Windows 7 – not being out for a while, the devolopers should try and aim to cram as much content in, i would not, nor do i know anyone who would, care if the OS completed size went over 20GB.

    hard drives are so cheap these days, and with the rapid acceptance of SSDs, speed of access is not going to be a problem, i do admit that the Windows team should always strive to achieve the most efficient OS, but i’m running an AMD 64bit processor, with only 2GB of RAM and my system gets up and ready to go in only 20 seconds, or less.

    So perhaps if windows 7 allowed a customizable installation – like openSUSE (or other Linux distros) then users could choose what they wished to install, which could decrease load times and overall OS speed.

    What im trying to say is, dont aim for the lowest denominator, maybe make a PC and a Laptop (and also maybe a Netbook, PDA, SmartPhone) version, but keep the innovation and ammount of software that comes with a Windows OS, and extend it!



  157. cquirke says:

    It would be good to apply some quality target standards across the OS teams – e.g. so that all content-containing dialogs are resizable, and that all settings dialogs include an import/export option to manage the same settings via .REG

    Also, get back to the "big picture" stuff, i.e. collect all the loose settings and so on into templates that fit the overall sense of what the user is trying to do – in keeping with the "abstract details to users’ understanding of tasks" concept.

    For example; let’s say I want everything to get out of the way because I’m playing a game.  That shouldn’t require visits to multiple UIs to shut down background stuff etc.; I should be able to select "games mode", and perhaps collect my own settings into my own defined modes.  

    Similarly, if I’m chasing down malware, I want the UI to show me everything and lie about nothing; shut down 3rd-party integrations, show all files, stop groping content ahead of my intent, don’t let files define their own icons, impose strong file type discipline, etc.

    One of Vista’s best features is the Reliability monitor – which may just be a matter of better exposing what was buried in the Event Viewer, in ways more relevant to what one is trying to do.  

    I’m sure we could get similar usability improvements by collecting what already exists in the feature set, and also applying a consistent UI across features so that finding, setting, saving and restoring settings would be more intuitive than it is at present.

  158. ting says:

    not sure if this has been requested or even if my post is in the right part of this blog but i’d like to see file explorer returned to the original format of two panes one for source and the other for destination

  159. xpforever says:

    I run a 2core Duo, 2gig ram and PentiumM with 2gig ram, both 2.3Mhz, I had vista for 1yr and recently put xp back on both and omg the thing just purred, please please make Win 7 as smooth as XP, no 1000 processes running sure candy is nice but at what expense?? i cannot afford to keep buying hardware, perhaps make Aero all that optional.

  160. kindbudken says:

    I have been beta testing windows 7 and so far, I am extremely impressed. However, will their be an option to mount images as virtual drives?  All current software is incompatible and I can’t find anyone to help me with this one.  I like to make images and use them instead of having to keep using the volatile cd/dvd format.

  161. cirurgia plastica says:

    Hello!!!Microsoft!!Ding—Dong,,,one World–One system+++Microsoft.

    first thing first->the name Microsoft7 is not good it should be named "

    windows Centum", windows  Talis" talis =of such a kind. "windows  tales" = same as talis but tales is english but i preffered the latin  and finally "Microsoft Windows VR" this is my favorite in this one I think you should created this version of OS that will support Virtual reality technology and enhanced X-box 360 too,,,,,,,,,,

    next, preventing piracy…i have a solution but u have to pay for that one, but he is the free idea. cut the price of OS to the same price as xbox 360 games. or even cheaper…email me if u need to buy the solution…..

  162. rupert says:

    hi! i would just like to ask your help in activating my windows 7 ultimate. i upgraded by to windows 7 ultimate from windows 7 starter. but later, i was asked to provide the product key. i think i am now in the grace period before my windows 7 ultimate will be shut down. my windows 7 ultimate product id is: 00426-OEM-8992662-00497. i hope u can provide me with the product key. my email address:

    thank you very much

  163. Pleaseaddthisfeatureinwin7 says:

    A larger bar for precise volume control is needed.

    Thank you.

  164. Pastor Johnny Maistry says:

    Hi Windows Team

    I am having a continuous problem in that the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (KB976932)fails every time I try to install it.

    I dont know why this is happening .

    Please can you and the team help me in sorting out this problem.

    God Bless

    Pastor Johnny Maistry

    Installation date: ‎2014/‎10/‎07 08:11 AM

    Installation status: Failed

    Error details: Code 800B0100

    Update type: Important

    Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is a recommended collection of updates and improvements to Windows that are combined into a single installable update. The service pack can help make your computer safer and more reliable. A typical installation will take about 30 minutes to complete, and you will have to restart your computer about halfway through the process.

    More information:

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