Product Planning for Windows…where does your feedback really go?


Ed. Note:  Allow me to introduce Mike Angiulo who leads the Windows PC Ecosystem and Planning team.  Mike’s team works closely with all of our hardware and software partners and leads the engineering team’s product planning and research efforts for each new version of Windows.  –Steven 


In Windows we have a wide variety of mechanisms to learn about our customers and marketplace which all play roles in helping us decide what we build.  From the individual questions that our engineers will answer at WinHEC and PDC to the millions of records in our telemetry systems we have tools for answering almost every kind of question around what you want us to build in Windows and how well it’s all working.  Listening to all of these voices together and building a coherent plan for an entire operating system release is quite a challenge – it can feel like taking a pizza order for a billion of your closest friends!


 


It should come as no surprise that in order to have a learning organization we need to have an organization that is dedicated to learning.  This is led by our Product Planning team, a group of a couple dozen engineers that is both organized and sits with the program managers, developers and testers in the feature teams.  They work throughout the product cycle to ensure that our vision is compelling and based on a deep understanding of our customer environment and is balanced with the business realities and competitive pressures that are in constant flux.  Over the last two years we’ve had a team of dozens of professional researchers fielding surveys, listening to focus groups, and analyzing telemetry and product usage data leading up to the vision and during the development of Windows 7 – and we’re not done yet.  From our independently run marketing research to reading your feedback on this blog we will continue to refine our product and the way we talk about it to customers and partners alike.  That doesn’t mean that every wish goes answered!  One of the hardest jobs of planning is in turning all of this data into actionable plans for development.  There are three tough tradeoffs that we have been making recently.


 


First there is what I think of as the ‘taste test challenge.’ Over thirty years ago this meme was introduced in a famous war between two colas.  Remember New Coke?  It was the result of overemphasizing the very initial response to a product versus longer term customer satisfaction.  We face this kind of challenge all the time with Windows – how do we balance the need for the product to be approachable with the need for the product to perform throughout its lifecycle?  Do you want something that just boots as fast as it can or something that helps you get started?  Of course we can take this to either extreme and you can say we have – we went from c:\ to Microsoft Bob in only a matter of a decade.  Finding the balance between a product that is fresh and clean out of the box and continues to perform over time is a continual balance.  We have ethnographers who gather research that in some cases starts even before the point of purchase and continues for months with periodic visits to learn how initial impressions morph into usage patterns over the entire lifecycle of our products.


 


Second we’re always looking out for missing the ‘trees for the forest.’ By this I mean finding the appropriate balance between aggregate and individual user data.  A classic argument around PCs has always been that a limited subset of actions comprises a large percentage of the use case.  The resulting argument is that a limited function device would be a simpler and more satisfying experience for a large percentage of customers!  Of course this can be shown to be flawed in both the short term and the long term.  Over the long term this ‘common use case’ has changed from typing & printing to consuming and burning CDs and gaming to browsing and will continue to evolve.  Even in the short term we have studied the usage of thousands of machines (from users who opt-in of course) and know that while many of the common usage patterns are in fact common, that nearly every single machine we’ve ever studied had one or more unique applications in use that other machines didn’t share!  This long tail phenomena is very important because if we designed for the “general case” we’d end up satisfying nobody.  This tradeoff between choice and complexity is one that benefits directly from a rigorous approach to studying usage of both the collective and individual and not losing sight of either.


 


Third is all about timing.  Timing is everything.  We have an ongoing process for learning in a very dynamic market – one that is directly influenced by what we build.  The ultimate goal is to deliver the ultimate in software & hardware experiences to customers – the right products at the right time.  We’ve seen what happens if we wait too long to release software support for a new category (we should have done a better job with an earlier Bluetooth pairing standard experience) and what also happens when we ship software that the rest of the ecosystem isn’t ready for yet.  This problem has the dimension of working to evangelize technologies that we know are coming, track competing standards, watch user scenarios evolve and try to coordinate our software support at the same time.  To call it a moving target isn’t saying enough!  It does though explain why we’re constantly taking feedback, even after any given version of Windows is done.


 


These three explicit tradeoffs always make for lively conversation – just look at the comments on this blog to date!  Of course being responsive to these articulated needs is a must in a market as dynamic and challenging as ours.  At the same time we have to make the biggest tradeoff of them all – balancing what you’re asking for today with what we think you’ll be asking for tomorrow.  That’s the challenge of defining unarticulated needs.  All technology industries face this tradeoff whether you call it the need to innovate vs. fix or subscribe to the S curve notion of discontinuities.  Why would two successful auto companies, both listening to the same market input, release the first commercial Hummer and first hybrid Prius in the same year?  It wasn’t that 1998 was that confusing, it was that the short term market demands and the long term market needs weren’t obviously aligned.  Both forces were visible but readily dismissed – the need for increased off road capacity to negotiate the crowded suburban mall parking lots and the impending environmental implosion being predicted on college campuses throughout the world.  We face balancing acts like this all the time.  How do we deliver backwards compatibility and future capability one release at a time?  Will the trend towards 64 bit be driven by application scenarios or by 4GB machines selling at retail?


 


We have input on key tradeoffs.  We have a position on future trends.  That’s usually enough to get started on the next version of the product and we stay connected with customers and partners during throughout development to keep our planning consistent with our initial direction but isn’t enough to know we’re ready to ship.   Really being done has always required some post engineering feedback phase whether it’s a Community Technical Preview, Technology Adoption Program or a traditional public Beta.  The origin of Beta testing and even the current definition of the term aren’t clear.  Some products now seem to be in Beta forever!  We work to find the best possible timing for sharing the product and gathering final feedback.  If we release it too early it’s usually not in any shape to evaluate, especially with respect to performance, security, compatibility and other critical fundamentals.  If we release too late we can’t actually take any of the feedback you give us, and I can’t think of a worse recipe for customer satisfaction than to ask for feedback which gets systematically ignored.  I was just looking at another software “feedback” site where a bunch of the comments just asked the company to “please read this site!”   For Windows 7 we’re going to deliver a Beta that is good enough to experience and leaves us enough time to address areas where we need more refinement.  This blog will be an important part of the process because it will provide enough explanation and content and guidance to help you understand the remaining degrees of freedom, some of the core assumptions that went into each area and will structure our dialogue so that we can listen and respond to as much feedback as you’re willing to give.  Some of this will result in bugs that get fixed, some will result in bugs in drivers or applications that we help our partners fix.  And of course sometimes we’ll just end up with healthy debate – but even in this case we will be talking, we will respond to constructive comments, bugs and ideas and we will both be starting that conversation with more context than ever.  So please do keep your comments coming.  Please participate in the Customer Experience Improvement program.  Give us feedback at WinHEC and PDC and in the newgroups and forums – we’re listening!  


 


Thanks,


– Mike


 

Comments (75)

  1. drjt87 says:

    I think one useful thing Microsoft could initiate is a bug forum, similar to many open source developments. It helps the public to submit problems, and also helps to check if there is a fix done.

  2. Kosher says:

    You guys kind of underestimate the influence you have on what the market does.  The market has been driven by many of the innovations and strategies that Microsoft has decided to implement.  Of course some credit goes to the people giving the feedback but you guys do push new ideas and sometimes they’re good ones 😉

    While you’re imagining a 64 bit world, you might also take a look at how you can leverage this backward compatibility issue to invent some new features.  Some of which I won’t even repeat because if you read the comments, you’ve seen them over and over.  Some from me, and lots from my family on here.

    Please listen closely to the requests for a unified and standardized UI.  Look at the great things that your competition (competition is great!) is doing.

    Keep supporting your partners in the effort and really look at their ideas.  Thanks for the reassurance that you’re actually listening =)

  3. ricardog says:

    What about the ‘Windows Early Feedback’ group on Microsoft Connect? The participants were told that the most voted feature requests would be considered for Windows 7. How is it going?

  4. PRab says:

    This blog alone proves to me that you (Microsoft) is listening. I applaud your efforts and your openness. What would take feedback to the next level would be a public bug tracker system. Showing people that you are actively working on resolving problems is almost more important than the resolution itself.

    Also, I find Microsoft’s beta products to be more like a trial than a true beta. When I was participating it took me over an hour to find a way to submit a bug. Have a something such as a desktop icon labeled "Submit Bug" in beta versions of Windows 7. You may receive more trivial issues, but in the end you will have a better chance of resolving issues that plague the most people.

    Finally, I hate to sound like a broken record, but pleasing everyone (the forest) comes down to being modular. For example, when XP came out burning CDs was not common. At the time it should have been an option that advanced users could enable. As time progresses and more people began burning CDs, it could have been enabled through a Windows update. This solution keeps the operating system as small and streamlined as possible while still allowing it to expand to meet the needs of Super Users.

  5. LCARS says:

    I would also like to add that a public bug submission website dedicated to Windows 7 would be wonderful. Something that is very streamlined and organized for users. Where they can log in with their Windows Live ID and search for a bug and submit it.

    I realize Microsoft Connect already exists but it is for private registered testers only.

    I would also like to say that I agree with PRab about making the feature set in Windows as modular as possible. Include a built in utility that lets people install/uninstall all of the modular features of Windows. I realize something like this already exists in Programs and Features but I am thinking on a much larger scale. This would allow users to optimize their system the way they wish. Also include a similar interface in the "advanced custom" setup screen for power users to tweak their windows install during setup.

  6. gkeramidas says:

    i think you put too much emphasis on the novice user and changed things in the ui that the professional or business client used. just one example, i have a lot more, removing the right click options from the network icon in the tray. it’s because of all of these ui changes and trying to perform every operation you could think of in the background for novices, every version of vista is "vista home edition".

    adding encryption as an option does not constitute a business edition.

  7. RotoSequence says:

    It makes me very glad to see what king of process Microsoft is going through to develop the next version of Windows. An eyes inward view is, in my opinion, always helpful when a new product is under development.

    Is it possible for us to have a list of features that Microsoft has under consideration at this time for Windows 7? I know you guys don’t want to drive too much speculation, but it would be nice to have an idea what is currently under consideration. At the very least, you can be sure it will generate an awful lot of discussion about what people do and do not want of the features set provided amongst readers of this blog.

  8. domenico says:

    in Connect? there is some registration somewhere to participate?

  9. anttikarhu says:

    I have seen a few questions for the authors for this blog, but I have not seen a single answer to one. Are you authors sure you are reading these comments? Where does this feedback go?

  10. Miek says:

    After reading this post I decided to participate in the "Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program". I followed the link provided. Lot of text, but no classic style link "Click here to participate" or "How to get the CEIP stuff going on your PC". Top left there is this install Silverlight link, so maybe the option will show after installing it. And I installed, no error message, only Installation Successful message, restarted the browser (IE7) as install stated, tried installing again,  rebooted, tried Firefox etc. but the install Silverlight option keep displaying and no error message and no link or hint on how to get CEIP or Silverlight going.

    MS must appoint some grannies to test features and pages, as a knowledgeable engineer will not ever realise the web page is fundamentally flawed (The engineer writing this post did not realise that he provided a useless link. And if he did, the CEIP page maintainer will probably arrogantly ignore his complaint)

  11. steven_sinofsky says:

    @anttikarhu — we are reading every single comment (and email I get).  I have subscribed to the RSS feeds for comments for each post, categorizing, and passing them along as well (even though many folks on the team also read the blog directly).  

    As I said, we can’t answer each question one at a time.  What is happening is a dialog–a dialog among the dev team, a dialog among the readers, and a dialog between us all.  For example, while we always thought we would post about performance we changed course and did that sooner because so many folks were commenting on perf issues.  Similarly, this post on planning is a result of all the emails/comments about "how do you reconcile the conflicting inputs" or "how do you pick features among many choices".  

    Rest assured we are invested in the dialog.

    @Miek — you can enable a PC participation via:

    control panel > problems reports and solutions, on the left pane, "see also" with a link to "Customer Experience Improvement Program"  Click that to change settings.  

    In Office 2007 it is in the "Trust Center" (such as File Word Options).

  12. anttikarhu says:

    @steven_sinofsky: Thank you :) It is critical to let the readers and commenters of the blog to understand the effort you are putting in, and now you convinced at least I-self.

  13. LCARS says:

    Wow. I have to say that I am impressed with the level of communication that has opened up with this blog. It gives me confidence that Windows 7 will be a level headed release and that Microsoft is actually interested in hearing everyone’s opinion.

    I just had a completely random thought. What if Microsoft made a public feature suggestion/bug reporting site for Windows 7 that functioned like Digg. One where users could log in and vote up or down feature suggestions. Just random late night food for thought.

  14. GRiNSER says:

    Finally a UI that is consistent (and not 3 hugely different Versions like Classic, Aero Basic, Aero Glass which causes only trouble to devs) and rich of extensible controls which developers can use to adopt a common UI standard (not to dev their own crap) would really be a leap forward.

    The little things are what counts, like a polished UI, subtle animations through the whole UI (that guide the user, not distract), controls that work the same everywhere, … and of course strict guidelines in how to do things (also promoting those guidelines)

    You have the technologies, now just use them and make compelling experiences (your own Media Center, the iPhone are good examples to follow)!

    Additionally: aerotaskforce.com should be one of the important pages you look at for UI problems that exist in Vista…

  15. owenw says:

    I’m impressed with all this sharing – you guys really seem onto it, I totally agree that a bug reporting site would be amazing, it would simplify the process so, so much more, and it would make it easier to bring important and critical bugs to Microsoft’s attention.

    Thanks for all the effort you guys are putting in – this blog has even inspired me to turn CEIP on!

  16. AndiG says:

    Will microsoft really listen ? I still hope, but I don’t believe. IMHO the role of an OS is to provide a good user experience and support the standards (there are a lot of them as pdf, openGL, openCL, the old posix thing…)

    All of this has been said before, but now you say ‘we’re listening’, so

    Windows XP is/was a great OS, but it had some problems the successor should fix:

    – software installation/deinstallation caused registry problems. Taking an Application folder and dragging it to the Trashcan should do.

    – Highly recommended is full Windows XP compatibility using a virtualization layer. This way you can change big portions of the OS and still keep the backwards compatibility.

    – clean up the ui design, create a better user experience

    – Small things, like ‘please put an eject button near an usb drive symbol’

    – Give the users a powerful shell. There is already ‘Unix Services for Windows’ just integrate it, or a least parts of it

    – And last, optimize performance so that people do not need new Hardware when they switch to the new OS.

    The other possibility is going back to windows xp. I really was excited while waiting for Vista. Now I’m using a Mac with a virtualized Windows XP. But I will take a look at Windows 7, when it is just Vista with a different name, this might be my (and many other peoples) last look at Windows…

  17. its.gir says:

    I think some of what AndiG says is a great idea.

    I find when logging in sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the quantity of installed items which I never use … and I’m an advanced user. I think during the install phase of Windows it should perhaps have a default set to install … on any SKU for that matter with the option of clicking "Custom" or "Advanced" or whatever and being able to unselect items one does not need.

    Example … being able to not install Windows DVD Maker, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and other items which are (and IMHO should not be) integrated into the OS itself. This makes the install smaller, faster and the core OS itself less dependant on other components which make unecessary security risks and dependancies. Classic example is why are some competitors web browser product installations so small while IE is so huge?

    I like the idea that was implemented with Core Server for Windows 2008 Server. Build on that to modularize the rest of the software.

    In addition, installation of software should be far less complex than it is now … it should install all its program files and dependancies into one folder … you delete the folder … the program is gone.

    Standardizing the UI is also a good idea. Personally the boot time doesnt really bother me much … Vista boots up quickly enough and I must applaud Microsoft for doing a fine job on making Vista more reliable out of the box. I’ve had little to no trouble with Vista at all!

    I’d say think Modular, Setup, Program Install/Uninstall and UI. Obviously I imagine some of these require major architectural changes but those can come for future versions if they cannot be done in 7.

    Tx.

  18. kizkoool says:

    I think the UI engineering has been misled for far too long. You have to face the truth: people don’t think in terms of menus, ribbons, trees, taskbar, balloons, etc…

    Whenever a user sits in front of a computer, it’s about having some actions to be done. The best way to achieve these is by decomposing the actions in elementary steps and provide assistance whenever possible in doing this. It’s kind of like what’s done with user’s manuals by the way. The manual describes actions in steps with indications about how to achieve each of them. So the user only has to follow the directives sequentially.

    My point is that a user interface should be exactly like an interactive user manual.

    Instead of UI gizmos, an application should focus in wizards.

    A wizard is the essence of usefulness. It decomposes an action into small achievable steps. So I envision a revolutionnary OS made of wizards or little assistants to get my stuff done.

    And you have the responsibility as the major actor in the industry to innovate and to supply this fundamentally different way to interact with the computer.

  19. justausr says:

    I think just about everyone outside Microsoft would consider the move for C: to Bob a step backwards.  Bob was a reviled product and deservedly so.  Having the person responsible for taking our feedback and making trade offs think Bob was a good thing worries me a lot!

    I found this entire post quite different from the others we’ve seen as it tried to rationalize Microsoft’s choices and basically said "making the choices is tough".  We all know that and while we like Vista and many of the choices made, too many bad choices were made in the process.  This post does nothing to reassure me that you have a clear set of guiding principles for Windows 7.  How about having a fee simple guiding principles:

    – Windows 7 will be faster than Vista on each and every meaningful performance measure, so long as security and reliability aren’t compromised

    – Windows 7 will work and every effort is made to isolate failure so that subsystems may fail but the system can still run and recover failed subsystems

    – Microsoft will redouble its efforts with hardware vendors to ensure that drivers work and deliver peak performance

    – Microsoft will continue to deliver an open and robust set of APIs and menu options that allow users and developers the ability to customize their Windows experience so that Windows is their operating system the way they want it

    – Security of the system and protecting users’ privacy and data are always top priorities

    – Using Windows 7 should be fun

  20. d_e says:

    What is the best way to apply as beta tester for Windows 7? Microsoft Connect?

    – All KB-articles describing how you have to reset COM+ permissions or re-register dll’s shouldn’t be there. Win7 should make it impossible to mess this stuff up.

    – Automatic updates should work reliably and automatically. Vista made a big step in the right direction. But sometimes some Vista computers still show me incomprehensible "Failed to update (0x29358734)" errors.

    – Track unresponsive applications and fix them or tell the developers.

    – Concentrate on details (fit & finish). That’s one of the reasons people like Apple’s products.

  21. d_e says:

    I posted a 4 page bug list (not rant!) on shellrevealed.com when Vista was in beta.

    Wonder where my feedback really went? It was deleted…

  22. AndiG says:

    Talking about user experience I want to focus on a few things. I don’t want to start a XY system is better than Windows or another system is better than XY system. But I getting old, too old for windows xp, here is why

    On my current system (not windows) I can

    – plug a second monitor or beamer in my laptop and continue to work, it automatically changes resolution so I’m able to present some power point notes or whatever. THIS IS WAHT CAUSES THE WOW EFFECT when other (windows) users look at me. I don’t need to invoke display settings, change resoltuion and monitor settings.

    When I’m done with the presentation, I unplug the monitor and continue to work- WOW.

    – When I want to remove an USB stick, I just click the little eject symbo near the drive – done (Remeber I’m too old to do right mouse, remove safely and so on …).

    – When I don’t like a software, I drag it to the trashcan. I can be sure its gone.

    – Since I paid for the software, I hear no ‘Windows thinks your software isn’t genuine’.

    – I don’t have to activate anything (remember I’ve paid for it).

    – When I want to reinstall my system, I can. When I want to change hardware of my system, I can (Yes we can, some US citizen said…)

    I don’t have to activate and activate and call by phone to activate.

    (remember I’m too old and I have no time for activating)

    So what will user experience look like in Windows 7 ? Is there anything fixed ?  USER EXPERIENCE would be a great title for the next blog entry !

  23. ttoastt says:

    I agree with the people above and thing that revealing as much information about bug fixing would be a huge plus.  There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing there’s an issue, leaving feedback on one of the company’s websites and never having visibility into whether anything is being done or not.  

    This blog is a great idea, as you can lead discussion and address feedback in a centralized way.  One of the issues that I can see is people are unaware of where the best place to give feedback is, given that there are so many Microsoft branded websites.  As long as you’re consistent and lead discussions in the same place, you won’t have to scour the web looking for that feedback.  

    I’ll admit that I do not know the way Microsoft develops its software, or what sort of guidelines are in place for third party suppliers, however some of the the comments about UI standardization above hit close to home.  If there aren’t a set of guidelines in terms of UI look and menu layout, there definitely should be.  Having watched my parents and grandparents use PCs, as long as programs function the same way, they’re good.  But many times, one supplier makes software function or look one way, and it’s completely different from everything else.  I’m sure this sounds like a broken record, but consistency is paramount.  

    One thing I think would be interesting to have addressed in a post would be what you’re planning in terms of business focused versions / features.  I work for a fairly large company (just over 100,000 full time employees), and I can tell you that switching from XP to a newer OS is not only a technically complicated shift, but also has the potential to negatively impact productivity due to retraining (an example would be the newest version of Office).  I’m just curious to know of any feedback you’ve received from large companies regarding your operating systems as a whole, if you’re able to share.

    As others have said, the openness is very much appreciated, and I, too, would like to know what the best way to get into any future beta would be.  

  24. anttikarhu says:

    I don’t know anything about the "Windows Logo" program for Windows PC OS’s, but in the Windows Mobile there are strict guidelines how the UI should look like in order to get the "Designed for Windows Mobile" logo in the products.

    Could tightening the Windows 7 Logo UI reguirements streamline the UI of commercial applications? I as a buyer see the logo as a mark of some degree of quality, and I think the SW vendors also see the logo as a benefit.

    But of course you’d have a new thing to balance with – making the guidelines too sloppy creates again "user incompliant" software, making them too strict scares away the SW developers.

  25. thecolonel says:

    It’s great you’re actually listening to your customers, but that’s only half the issue; acting on feedback is what you really need to start doing. Personally i am sceptical that a multi-billion dollar behemoth of a company is agile enough to react and move to what the market actually wants. it’s also pretty easy to see what the market doesn’t want from windows 7 – a Vista sp2

    i’ve read stories that you already have over 1000 programmers working on Win7, and from this information i get a horrible feeling that it’s already way too far into production to be anything other than another massive and slow lump of bloated code. please don’t let this happen!

    i really hope you guys get it right this time, and give the world the windows it actually wants to buy

  26. Emperor XLII says:

    One feature I would like to see in a future version of Windows is better control over how applications interact with my system.  What I’m thinking of is probably best described as a standardized version of how the registry and Program Files drectory is virtualized for applications in Vista.

    As far as I know, this virtualization is currently limited to those two locations.  When an app wants to save some settings, it goes to some mystery location in the user’s profile.  Want to spew a bunch of crap into Documents?  Sure, why not.  Want to "share" components with other apps?  Go ahead and pollute Common Files when you install.

    Now, as a user, what do I do to save app settings?  Install directory, user settings directory, registry keys, blah, blah, blah.  What if I want to temporarily disable an app without uninstalling it?  What if I want to stick an app on a USB key or share an app between my accont across multiple computers?  What if I want to virtualize Common Files or Documents for certain programs?

    I want to be able to manage my apps as fixed chunks that can be drag-and-dropped where I please, with all registry and file-based settings intact. I want a single target per-user that can be easily backed up or rolled back. I want to control which applications can write to Documents, and which just get their own private SomeApp/Documents virtual directory. I want to control which apps can talk to each other (i.e. install both Word and Excel to the same "My Office Apps" virtual space). I want to tear off a fresh sandbox and drag a new app to test it out, without worrying about all the cruft it will try to stick on my machine. I want control over what apps can do on my machine, rather than being at the mercy of the good graces of the app developer.

    I know there are problems with shell integration, applcation versioning/updates, making the interface intuitive and usable, etc, etc, but Windows has gone too long without a standard model for installing and managing applications.  I’m sure many users will just stick with the default all-apps-live-in-one-blob model, but a feature like this would be <em>tremendously</em> useful for both power users and domain managers.

  27. CDarklock says:

    I have always found Microsoft Bob to be a fascinating product, not from an end-user standpoint, but from a management and marketing standpoint. Here is a project that nearly everyone said was a Bad Idea, receiving nothing but ridicule from the press, that went all the way to store shelves and garnered positively vicious reviews and reactions.

    The one surviving piece of technology from that effort – the Office Assistant – figured in virtually every anti-Microsoft tirade for a decade. It’s become a common cultural metaphor for incompetence in popular media.

    But the Office Assistant was damned fine technology. I never got an opportunity to try Microsoft Bob itself, unfortunately… and I’m compelled to wonder if this wasn’t a great idea that simply arrived before its time.

    I think the story of Bob would make a great book.

  28. cbosdell says:

    I just signed up to say that it’s really great that you guys are actually participating with the technically savvy community and keeping us appraised of the development process of Windows 7.

    That being said there are a few features/suggestions I thought I would post.  Windows 7 definitely needs to be modular.  In fact I would go so far as to say it would be a good idea to get rid of the different versions and have a single ultimate version or at least bring it back to two versions like XP had.  As Windows continues to add programs and functionality more and more people would want modularity and an easy way to accomplish this would be to have the user be presented with three default install choices (Home, Business, Complete) and a custom install where nearly everything can be customized through check boxes allowing someone to have a machine that just has windows without security center, ie8, wmp, mail, media center, firewall, photo gallery, games, movie maker, defender, backup, defrag, calendar, etc so if they install their own third party applications and don’t want the functionality duplication or bloat.  Having the three default install options would allow basic users and oems choose an install that will cover all their needs easily while allowing power users to have the freedom to only install what they want be it nothing, everything or somewhere in-between.

    UI consistency should be worked on in Windows 7 especially in the control panel.  A good example is in the appearance section where some settings are still brought up using the old style dialog boxes instead of seamlessly appearing in the window like the new ones do.  Other examples are the Windows 3.11 era add font dialog and Windows 2000 era network dialog.

    Lastly, I think Windows 7 should be 64-bit only.  A large number of computers today already have 4GB or more of RAM and a year from now this will be standard making 32-bit computers obsolete.  Most people get their Windows licenses with their new computers so releasing a 32-bit Windows 7 would be counter-productive.  All computers today have 64-bit processors and my guess is just about any computer capable of running Windows 7 will have one.  Microsoft should be innovative here and force change for once instead of lagging behind to suit everyone.

  29. rdracxler says:

    seems like a coincidence, but, here in Brazil I was just discussing about machines hardware…

    many people here have lame machines, and I mean, REALLY LAME MACHINES like celeron 428 with 256 of RAM and 20GB HDD.

    these people complaint that XP is "bulky", so you can imagine what they say about vista…

    if someone can read portuguese, take a look at this…

    http://www.adrenaline.com.br/noticias/tecnologia/ie_8_consome_mais_que_o_dobro_de_memoria_que_o_firefox/

    <b>well, let me reply the topic;

    1) Only BOOT performance is not enough. most users want a (BIIIIGGGG) boost in overall performance, launching apps, gaming, rendering and etc.

    2) when i said the first time that W7 should be NIMBLE AND SIMPLE I didn´t mean that it shouldn´t have "cool stuff". The problems with the "cool stuffs" from VISTA is that it demands too much resourses and makes the system bulky and slow. "GADGETS", "EYE-CANDIES", "SUPERFETCH", UAC POPUPS, LACK OF UAC CUSTOMIZATION seems "JUST TOO MUCH".

        … It´s just like when you´re on a thanksgiving dinner and already ate everything on the menu but your grandma´ is pushing you up a desert… It just won´t fit!!!

    I already gave you guys an idea to "kill" this "VISTA GLASS" "genious" idea… sure, it looks really good, it´s a real "eye-candy", but it also needs a lot of RAM and videocard to work properly. maybe you guys could use an different interface, someting remembering those "SILICON WAFERS", OR "TEXTURES" like brushed iron, chromed steel… but please, DON´T USE RAY TRACING TO DO REFLEXES!!! make it simple!

    Another example: you set the system to update by itself, but, every once in a while, you get a POPUP saying that you need to update your computer… well… so do it! you don´t have to ask me again! </b>

  30. S.Umair says:

    i agree with the comments about having some bug/issue reporting feature. for example, daylight savings time in my country (pakistan) has changed and i wanted to report that to Microsoft but i couldnt really find anyway of doing it.

    lol and oh boy, you must have your work cut out with all these people wanting a personalized to each nut and bolt Rolls Royce

  31. magicalclick says:

    This does not address feature request. And not all the bugs can be reported through that useless automated program. A lot of bugs does not crash the system. Improper result/behavior, like the Vista Snipping Tool, the erase icon on toolbar is not working, I can’t report that, it didn’t cause crash.

  32. moflaherty says:

    AGAIN ABOUT BOOT is a hoax:

    http://winhlp.com/node/150

  33. marcinw says:

    Hi,

    I’m reading next and next answers (in form of next posts) from Microsoft people and with all respect I don’t see anything new here in this moment.

    We could read, how many things need to be done on system startup; we can read, that our feedback is important; etc. etc.

    But we still don’t have answers main answers:

    what will be done for making applications totally separated and separated from main system core ? (will be Registry part available for applications separated from main Registry available for core ? will be directories separated ? etc. etc.)

    what will be done for decreasing number of places, where startup processes (applications, services) are executed from ?

    what will be done for decreasing size of startup files/system core ?

    how DRM and non liked parts (which affect productivity and make system very slow) will be decreased in Windows 7 ?

    will be hidden data removed from filesystem ? (I think about alternative streams here)

    will be it possible to remove more system components from it ?

    If you collect feedback: please note, that without making some architecture changes you can’t provide full uninstalling applications from system (including Registry parts). And you can’t have for example two or more IE versions in the same system (without virtual machines or some other tricky solutions).

  34. Mr. Dee says:

    I personally believe that a lot of the problems with Vista, what trying to deliver new experiences that the Windows Team probably expected users were going to embrace. For instance, how well is Windows Meeting Space being used? Are there studies out there to show that people are using its ad-hoc capabilities? I also believe the Windows Team missed certain opportunities to reinvent the wheel to make the product more usable. Networking is an improvement and a curse, there are just too many network related explorers. Things like radio box links and changing certain dialogs like System Properties and TCP/IP Properties dialogs into actual explorer would improve the usability and productivity of Windows. Translucency and the beauty of Vista is one thing, but I believe more functionality and well thought out processes could have gone into the product to help give it that just right appeal.

  35. LorenHeiny says:

    I realize there’s lots of potential proprietary information that Microsoft collects about usage and doesn’t want to share for competitive reasons, but it sure would be interesting to share it publicly–maybe a top 100 list of things that people do on a couple of the different platforms–kind of like a Google Zeitgeist. If the business case can’t be made to give it away for free–depending on its implementation–it might be a nice addition to the a premium MSDN subscription. Something to think about.

  36. Fredledingue says:

    This blog is great and we thank you for that.

    Yet, I think we have read enough, at this point, about the structure of Microsft teams, that dozen of ethnographers are mapping Windows experience in the ecosystem,  that all of you are commited to meet the greatest chalenges and other nice letters of intention.

    All this is very beautiful, but we would like some more concrete, point by point answers on what will be considered (or not) and with precision, what are the good points in the material changes which we proposed in the +- 300 replies here.

    IT WAS FANTASTIC to read how you were *FINALY* talking "system performance". Please continue on this path: tell us concrete things about what you are doing and what you plan to do. (How Microsoft corp. is structured internaly is not the topic of this blog, is it?)

    Now just my 2ct about the last input:

    "balancing what you’re asking for today with what we think you’ll be asking for tomorrow."

    Please, ho, please, do not think about what we may ask in the future! Don’t try to invent stuffs we didn’t ask for while there are about a hundred of urgent requests here.

    (Except for new hardware integration like solid state HDD, touch screens etc of course – or was it that you were thinking about?).

    Computers will be pretty much the same in 5 years to what they are now and my 5 years old computer will still be running. Think about that in your W7 design.

    Regards,

    Fred

  37. markoweb says:

    3 little things that irritate me in Vista.

    1) First boot up and the welcome center is shown. But it’s not possible to set the welcome center to -> don’t show me this no more. The tick becomes visible after the second boot, but it would be nice if I could disable the welcome center immediately.

    2) Clean install of Vista and yet for some reason there are pointless folders under Program Files like "Visual Studio". Which, if I’m not mistaken, is empty anyway or had like 1 file in it…

    3) Why are there two "Windows Sidebar" folders (under both program files directories) in Vista x64? I assume that the Sidebar used in Vista x64 is only the 64-bit version, so there should be only one folder…

    1 suggestion for the future:

    Going from XP to Vista, a lot was changed in the UI. For instance explorer didn’t have a menu anymore and the breadcrumb bar was invented.

    Although Vista has a "Whats new in Vista" link under Welcome Center, it fails to teach the user about these new UI changes, how to use them, and how to get the old behaviour back (eg. press the "alt" key to show the menu in explorer).

    Currently the only way to learn about these changes if someone tells you about them or you read about them in a book or some Windows review…

  38. WindowsFanboy says:

    1. Updates to Windows Movie Maker:

    NEEDS to support FLV, DivX, AVCHD, and MOV file formats.

    Should be a "Publish to YouTube" option (then you could call it "Windows Live Movie Maker"!)

    When publishing to computer, you should be able to manually select resolution and bit-rate, not just presets.

    2. Update to taskbar:

    Some people have already suggested being able to manually rearrange taskbar programs by dragging their icon on the taskbar. I would go one step further than this. Not only should you be able to manually rearrange them, but Windows should automatically group them like IE 8 beta 2 groups tabs (i.e. all Windows explorer windows should be grouped together and be the same color).

    3. Start Menu updates:

    You should be able to put your own custom folders on the right side of the start menu (i.e. instead of "Games" you could put "Videos").

    Why don’t installed games (not Windows games) show up from Start Search?

    4. Explorer update:

    Why isn’t "Games" available as a drop down selection along with [Your User Name], Public, Computer, Network, Control Panel, and Recycle Bin in the address bar?

    5. Replace "Windows Mail" and "Windows Photo Gallery" with comparative Windows Live products.

    6. Update to Windows Live Photo Gallery:

    Should be able to fix Raw photos, not just stitch them into panoramas.

    I’ll think of more later,

    Thanks for listening,

    Theodore

  39. mmind says:

    Although I didn’t intend to write anything in this post, Fredledingue’s comment triggered it.

    He is absolutely right in his point: don’t try to invent stuff we *might* sometime in the not so distant future *perhaps* want or need.

    Better concentrate on the urgent needs and wishes we have at the moment. Take those and you have the tomorrow.

  40. domenico says:

    @WindowsFanboy

    hey , the Game work in Start search

    pls modify your indexing option

    😉

  41. rjohn08 says:

    I would like to have the ability:

    1. Drop an application into the trash to uninstall it.

    2. 3d desktop/explorer to make organizing files and documents easier.

    3. 15 second boot to my desktop

  42. rjohn08 says:

    Gesture technology would be a huge plus as well. The ability to sit at my screen and have Windows 7 look through my camera and allow me to pick up objects and move them between monitors.

  43. hardon says:

    It seems most people are happy with XP, so if you really care, dedicate someone to find out what people liked better in XP and change it back, maybe not as the default behavior, but at least provide an option to get it back.

    XP did this great, all Win2000 functionality could be brought back by optionsregistry tweaks.

    Bring back the old Windows Explorer

    Bring back the classic Win2000 look

    Bring back dragdrop into console windows

  44. Alliston says:

    Well, nothing better than give feedback about an product in the same time it’s developed. More test from comunnity will be a good thing.

    More betas released to the, much more feedback and more aceptance in the world

  45. domenico says:

    From Italian forum I attended showed another important fact.

    Most user uses Objectdock or Rocketdoock.

    I had created a new thread where explain how to get large icons on our traditional tray (available from windows 98)

    example

    http://i33.tinypic.com/t98qvp.jpg

    over 90% of windows user did not know this simple possibility, and all immediately have configured the new taskbar with large icons.

    I hope for a new taskbar ,perhaps with some eye candy, but the default windows 7 use large icons pls.and add to bar the software included in the system like  DVD maker, Movie Maker , etc.

    I can assure you that many people do not know the contents of Windows Vista, I do not like to fall in the same error in Windows 7

  46. hitman721 says:

    Feedback, glad you guys mention that. I’ve got something for you guys.

    I also work the blogs at Supersite for Windows by Paul Thurrott. During some of our rants and ravings, one useful complaint emerged from a Mac OS user who is a former Windows guy.

    Can we please for the love of all things Windows, have the Complete PC Backup available in ALL WINDOWS VERSIONS?!?!?!?

    The fact that Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise had it but none of the Home Editions didn’t was ridiculous. Every computer user regardless of technical skill, should be making a full backup incase the worse happens. Infact, I really think this is so important, that you guys should consider it for Vista SP2. Its great to make the incremental backups but we need the full blown version in every Windows. Thank God, I payed for the Ultimate edition.

    Also, I think the splitting of different SKU’s of Seven needs to be minimized down to three simple versions. Home, Business, Ultimate. Plain and simple. It would be even better if you could go up and down the different versions within Windows. No separate product keys. One of the features that should be switched by the users should be the Media Center. Also, for 3rd world markets, the Home version has a switch for the starter edition. That way if today you’re running Home but tomorrow you need Ultimate, you can just insert your Windows disk and switch on Ultimate.

    Can we please get these OEM’s to quit two most annoying things. Number one, CRAPWARE! This is single handedly the most annoying and system destroying junk ever devised. Now if they want to give us a trial DVD’s, I"m fine with that. Lets start Seven with a clean slate.

    Second, can we get them to include full Windows Installation disk and not those  Recovery disk? I’ve used recovery disk and they are useless. Sometimes its just better to have the good old fashion Windows Installation disk. This should be done across the board. Especially when you hard drive crashes, you just want to start over from scratch.

    Last thing, and this is a repeat. I.E., WMP, and everything else in Windows needs to be cleanly deleteable. It would be nice to slipstream third party apps right into the Windows installation. I’m suggesting this because it will eliminate DOJ concerns. Hopefully, they can let you get back to innovating. I sincerely hope that Windows Seven is the best Windows ever. The version of Windows that "lays the smackdown" on Apple, Linux, and everyone else. Good luck you guys. I know this is a hard act to balance. Trust me, if you guys deliver, the rewards will be worth the stress.

    Peace.

  47. PimpUigi says:

    As long as you guys give the OS the possibility to be like Windows XP, then it’s all good.

    XP is close to perfect, you can’t improve much upon it, which is why Vista isn’t selling well right now.

    It’s more of a downgrade, than an upgrade.

    It’s like Mac Alternative, when it should be the evolution of XP, like Longhorn was.

    Moving back towards XP, bring back the XP start menu, and bring back animated gif support for the picture viewer.

    Vista’s picture viewer was pretty good, nothing really wrong with it, except for the lack of

  48. anshu_10us says:

    this is heartening to see MS is finally listening(i hope)..

    I think the way you are trying to portray the pain and gain of developing windows 7 is actually leading somewhere. People will atleast know what is what. Bring this layer of communication will actually help removing the layer of abstraction between MS and the consumers.

    This entire thing was missing when Vista came out. People were not really aware what is there and what goes on through a SDLC. Forget about the SDLC, most of them were not even aware of what is there in the new OS. Classic example: "AndiG". With all due respect sir, what you were talking about is clearly Mac OS X. Connecting a secondary display with a different resolution is there in Vista. It works all by itself. I personally connect it to my TV for movies and stuff like that and it works smooth as silk. Moreover that little eject icon that appear at the bottom right corner to eject a removable drive is probably not that big a deal. I am sure MS has enuf technical proficiency to implement something like that. But once implemented it will be made a big deal by some people like you who wants everything to work like Macs. I am sorry but I believe MS has maintained its own identity and will do so in future. I completely trust the people and the brain behind windows. Great job guys and keep it up.

  49. davidhoush@live.com says:

    I think a 64 bit world would be great myself. Microsoft just needs to make sure they let people know that they are getting a 64 bit version so people are not spending money on something useless. Then again, they should just keep releasing 32 and 64 bit so people can upgrade.

    I hope that when Windows 7 comes out the upgrade will be a seamless one. Kind of like upgrading a Mac OS. I think some changes to they System Restore would be nice to.

    Keep up the work!

  50. AndiG says:

    @anshu_10us. Thanks for reading my comment. I was just trying to show some examples of usability.

    Maybe the second display works better, now, using Vista. It doesn’t with XP and I see it fail at least one time with Vista. But its hard to tell, cause no one uses it.

    And right, making some things simpler isn’t a hard job. So why don’t they do it ? They can do it the microsoft way, of course – whatever. People like you may say the WOW effect is the 3d window switching, I believe it lies in all the small things that make a system useable.

    And am I talking of OS X ? Really ? There are some nice Linux Desktops that are useable too. And I didn’t want you to stay away from using Vista 😉 If you like it, you’re welcome to use it. Why do you need Windows 7 ?

  51. Yert says:

    I really like posts like this that go into how the job was done. Much like how Google (oh noes! the G-word!) talked about how they tested Chrome (which I’m about to go to the IE blog and the Live Search blog and suggest to them that they go do the same thing; please, please help me convince them too) which was very interesting, and sounds genius, I would like to hear more of how you develop Windows.

    So how are the teams organized? How are features decided upon? How does the average Windows programmer code during their work day?

    (And so on, and so forth.)

    This, I’m sure, doesn’t ruin your preparations for WinHEC and PDC (which as I’ve said, this blog must have been planted in place with preparation for those events a major goal) and more importantly, is very interesting to the readers of this blog.

    So please; tell us more about how Microsoft is building Windows?

  52. brian.reed says:

    i have been reading the blog since it started, but decided i would join in now. i have a few comments that i would like the developers to consider (please bear with me if these are repeats, although i have read the blog posts, I haven’t read the comments):

    1. engineer Windows with just the classic look. then, allow people to install themes – much like firefox allows you to install them. give people access to the functions needed (APIs, right?) to develop themes so users can "pick and choose".

    2. do the same for login. i loved how XP’s logon screen looked (no, not the welcome screen, NT style one you got if you were joined to a domain or your pressed CTRL ALT DEL twice). business users are not really concerned about how fancy thier OS looks when they go to logon to the system.

    3. modular installation (yes, i know it has been mentioned). honestly, i use nlite (XP) to rip out messenger, msn, outlook express, games, and other features i just don’t need. let users choose what to install – instead of forcing them to have high end machines just to do internet/email (512MB minimum to run Vista, 1 or 2 GB to have it run well?!?!).

    4. get rid of UAC. no, i mean it. or at least think of something better. its the first thing i turn off if i use a vista machine. yes, microsoft, i really did want to install a program from the CD i just inserted into my cd drive.

    5. go back to classic control panel – and simplify it. i really wish i could remember what they were, but 2 or 3 of the same control panel applets take you to the same place. in XP, i knew where everything was (using the classic style). grouping things confused me (and all of my coworkers).

    6. along with modular installation (i know im jumping around, sorry), determine system requirements based on what users install. i know this is going to be hard to market, as you have no way of knowing that person A is a serious gamer (graphics, cpu, ram, hdd intensive) and that person B used it for casual email/internet (onboard graphics, less cpu, ram, and hdd intensive). maybe publish a chart on what certain categories would require.

    7. others may have said it, but why not publish a list of things you are considering for the next windows. make a notice that the feature list isnt complete, and that things can be added or removed at any time. it will (at the least) spark discussion among the technology community.

    8. stick with NTFS. you already know this, but the NTFS file system has been around since the early 90s, and over the years, microsoft improved it (NT3, NT4, NT5, NT5.1, NT6). just continue to make it more secure, instead of trying to build something completely new that we will have to learn (WinFS anybody?).

    9. and finally (until i think of more), do what you are already doing – posting these blogs and keeping us informed. thanks for putting my confidence back in microsoft.

  53. Kosher says:

    Along the lines of modularity in Windows.Future, I would love to see a utility like the XP Embedded builder UI.  It’s revolutionary…  So many people don’t even realize that it exists but it’s so powerful.  The ability to change every aspect of your operating system before it’s even installed and build an entire custom system.  This type of tool needs to be available to advanced users who want to create their own kernel and OS build with a minimal (I mean 500mb) footprint.

    If you have not experienced the XP embedded builder UI then you HAVE to give the trial a shot.  It’s an amazing tool that allows you to remove anything and everything and it’s very clear about what each component does.  It even shows the registry settings that removed, etc.

    This sort of "Advanced" configuration should be hidden away in the windows setup as perhaps a command line switch or some "Super Advanced" button.  This is exactly what the advanced users are talking about when they say they want the ability to uninstall "everything".  I remember getting my XP embedded boot times down to less than 5 seconds.

    Give it a shot!!!

  54. Kosher says:

    Along the lines of calculating boot times… There must be some equation for computing hardware specs to software to determine the boot time impact a specific installation has on the OS.  This sort of feature could be given a fancy UI that displays before installing the application. "This application will affect boot time by X amount".  Something the user optionally clicks before installing an application or feature.

  55. steven_sinofsky says:

    @anshu_10us

    You said exactly what I’m thinking which is that we are trying to share the context of building Windows 7.  This is the dialog we are trying to have.  it is like a dinner time discussion among friends–you don’t show up to dinner with a list of topics and get feedback, but let the conversation go where it does as we talk about our shared perspectives on many issues.  We listen and change course along the way.

    Thanks,

    Steven

  56. thecolonel says:

    hmm, the more comments i read from people making suggestions of what they want to see in Win7, the more it sounds like Windows XP…

  57. Prixsel says:

    Just make public or restricted forum with bugs,questions.development ,bugs and help sections so it would be easier for everyone when things are organized. ( Make the UI look like windows 7 not just a normal looking forum ).

    Make alpha versions for user testing with form to make account before you can get private copy so people would understand how risky and everything else is before they start using it.

    If development is slow or unclear and there isn’t time for forums and faster release versions then people should wait for betas what would be more stable for daily task users.

    Sooner is always better than later!

    Giving program more testing space will quicken the incompatibilities  and will help to quicken the bug findings and shouldn’t be a drawback at all if there is more time to work on them.

  58. TimOR says:

    I really like the openness of these blogs and the reassurance that the comments here are being taken account of by the Windows team.

    That said, I do hope that Microsoft management and developers don’t lose focus and forget what Windows attraction is for the vast majority of its users. By this I mean that…

    Windows is a general purpose operating system that controls a general purpose computer. The PC’s great attraction was and still is the independence it gives its user, who can use the PC for ANYTHING he or she can imagine.

    But it seems to me that MS increasingly seems to think of Windows as an consumer content delivery system and the Windows/PC combination as an appliance for marketing and selling stuff (entertainment/information/software/consumer goods) to users, who are seen as mere consumers.

    I would like some reassurance from the Windows 7 team that they will not take Windows further in the direction we have seen with Vista and its content DRM. Surely it must be clear, not least to a company like Microsoft with all its brainpower, that 1) DRM is largely ineffective in preventing piracy, that 2) the company is courting disaster by fitting DRM into Windows, not because of what DRM actually does, but because of the deadly reputation (based on fact or fiction) that Windows will get as a mutant OS that spies on, or restricts, or polices its users, and that 3) your customers (business and individuals, for different reasons) actually don’t want or need DRM in Windows.

    With Vista, I believe we are at a tipping point. Windows has already begun to get the reputation that it is no longer a general purpose OS, but *something else* compromised by Microsoft’s version of a mutant rootkit. Should the trend continue with 7, and with just a few widely reported stories of Windows users not being able to view a movie or record a football game, the mob will place the blame (justified or not) squarely on Windows. Then nothing on earth will be able to undo the damage and reverse the negative image Windows will have in the minds of Microsoft’s own customers. DRM is just not worth the risk to Microsoft.

    …a small plea for the future of Windows.

  59. stalepie says:

    I have some ideas that I want to talk about in front of the whole planet earth. I was thinking about how Google’s new web browser Chrome has a task manager in it. I commented on YouTube and elsewhere that this is a crazy idea. You only need a task manager at the operating system level. If Google Chrome has its own task manager, then it is acting like an operating system. Yet it isn’t an operating system, it is just a piece of software that runs other applications. But that is what an operating system is. So it’s clear that Google’s real interest, although perhaps they are unconscious of it, is to enter the operating system market, which is currently dominated by only three things, Windows and Linux and Apple, which is based off Unix, which is Linux is based off of also. Yet Google, I’m sure, has no intention of releasing a web browser / OS that runs on the desktop and doesn’t require an operating system underneath it. However perhaps in the future they intend on having it so that a user using a terminal-like device, like an EEEPC Asus, or some other cloud computing machine, that doesn’t have a hard drive, and you’re just supposed to connect to the web that way, like WebTV, and Google supplies both the gateway and the entertainment, and the method of using the applications, and so on. (Thereby effectively putting Microsoft and Apple out of business, and making Linux somewhat irrelevant if they stay open source). Whatever the case, though, I think they could be underestimating the importance of hardware. Intel seems to have reached a dead-end. You can only make microprocessors so small before it becomes more efficient to just make multiple cores and put them on one die and pretend that it’s all "one" system rather than multiple systems running in parallel. Well, the thing is, all operating systems, including Google’s apparently early attempts at entering this arena, are built upon the idea of monolithic or microkernel structure. One kernel, one operating system, regardless of how many processors or "cores" or "GPUs" you have in your system. It’s ridiculous. You should just make a new operating system that has multiple kernels and put a kernel on top of each core.

  60. stalepie says:

    Chrome uses Safari’s rendering engine, so if your page looks good in Safari, it should also look good in Chrome.

    Chrome is like a web operating system. It is the newest step in "cloud computing." It even comes with its own task manager. Why should a program other than an operating system need a task manager? It shouldn’t. Yet Chrome has one, which means that it is more than a web browser. Indeed, it describes itself as such: it is a program used to run other programs ("apps").

    That means it’s an operating system. It’s an operating system that is currently designed to run on top of the operating system you already got: Windows. It’s completely retarded.

    Except what may be the case is that Google is anticipating a future where people log into the web through terminal-like computing devices that don’t have a hard disk, or not much use for one, and so they need to do most of their work "inside a web browser" — but, as I said, this "web browser" comes with its own task manager. An operating system is a program whose primary function is to allow other applications to run properly. Perhaps in the future Google will release a super-sized version of Android, their mobile OS, and it will come with Chrome built in.

  61. stalepie says:

    You see, what has happened is that the tab bar has become the taskbar.

  62. consumer4beta@hotmail.com says:

    I appreciate Microsoft’s attitude in response to the comments on this blog and their willingness in having a genuine two way dialog for improving Windows 7. Since Windows XP was a super successful product release across the whole industry which was very well received by almost everyone (almost because it had its own weaknesses such as security and instability due to registry pile up), why not take into consideration how, where and what exactly did the MS dev ppl did different, or did wrong in Vista, what exactly was lost or removed while redesigning stuff and compare it to Windows XP? Huge parts of the Vista OS and especially UI shouldn’t have been changed at all in the first place. I say this knowing about the architectural and under the hood improvements in Vista. Please develop Windows 7 with the focus most on productivity and automation. Please do something to fix what makes Windows unstable after months of use. MS is currently acting as if there is no Registry and absolutely no clutter cleanup issues, Windows Installer isn’t a feasible solution since it’s overhead is quite large. After RTM too, Microsoft only advertised Vista’s end user features. It didn’t highlight the ones for IT pros and the ones for developers are little known even today. Some little known Vista’s native APIs are going unused in apps being built today.

  63. consumer4beta@hotmail.com says:

    As for UI consistency, the OS bundled apps are pretty consistent in comparison to ISV apps which always have their custom UI. The logo requirement should be made more stringent for apps that don’t follow the native UI or don’t implement clean buttons, colors and themes. Also, the Windows team should beef up the OS bundled ‘accessories’ to full-fledged apps.

  64. stalepie says:

    Google releases Chrome browser as a mini OS

    Software

    By Christian Zibreg  

    Tuesday, September 02, 2008 14:02

    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39147/140/

    eek! I am SO stupid!!!

  65. stalepie says:

    I really like that last one by Justausr,

    "Using Windows 7 should be fun"

  66. marklitt says:

    I think the biggest thing the Windows 7 bunch can do is kick off stalepie. I realise it may not make the OS any better but my online life will improve no end

  67. domenico says:

    Back talking WIndows 7..

    it would be nice to have the TAB on Notepad ,with the possibility to write Link.

    Another future that we can add to the already wonderful CAPTURE Windows Vista would write text, with perhaps some future more comic type etc..

  68. jipper says:

    Just a thought…

    Maby you could use the group policy editor to create somewhat different looking standard views for the ui.

    The home versions could use somewhat simplyfied ones, while the business and enterprice versions could be using other configurations aimed at their demands.

    Those profiles could then be changed by the system administrator if someone wanted a different "default look".

    In addition to having the system administrator creating individual profiles using gpedit, there could be some defaults like "simple interface", "advaned interface" etc…

    This miht solve the problem that different users have different computer experience and thus different demands for the ui, some prefer a clean and simple  looking one while others want a more feature filled.

  69. mikeangiulo says:

    @ S.Umair – thank you for your question about DST in Pakistan.  Sorry we made it hard to know how to get this request to us!  We do know about this one in particular and we will have the Pakistan DST change in the December 2008 DST/TZ Release.  We schedule 2 DST/TZ releases a year, one in August and an Annual cumulative package in December.  These changes go through a verification process with the governments of the regions to ensure accuracy/validity prior to filing a formal request for a DST/TZ change which is why it takes some time to get the change delivered.

  70. Eghost says:

    My only comment is actually listen, not to sound negative but with Vista Microsoft ignored a lot of what was asked and got downright smug with it. After seeing the Beta 2 of IE 8 it still seems like the same old Microsoft, you really need to drop the "We are Microsoft we know better"  

  71. graham.lv says:

    User Access Control

    Microsoft programmers way of saying "Hey we’re idiots – and don’t know how to secure the O/S".  Let mum and dad do it for us.

  72. cirurgia plastica says:

    I personally believe that a lot of the problems with Vista, what trying to deliver new experiences that the Windows Team probably expected users were going to embrace. For instance, how well is Windows Meeting Space being used? Are there studies out there to show that people are using its ad-hoc capabilities? I also believe the Windows Team missed certain opportunities to reinvent the wheel to make the product more usable. Networking is an improvement and a curse, there are just too many network related explorers. Things like radio box links and changing certain dialogs like System Properties and TCP/IP Properties dialogs into actual explorer would improve the usability and productivity of Windows.

  73. Pennsylvania Driver education says:

    Please develop Windows 7 with the focus most on productivity and automation. Please do something to fix what makes Windows unstable after months of use. MS is currently acting as if there is no Registry and absolutely no clutter cleanup issues, Windows Installer isn’t a feasible solution since it’s overhead is quite large.

  74. It makes me very glad to see what king of process Microsoft is going through to develop the next version of Windows. An eyes inward view is, in my opinion, always helpful when a new product is under development.

    Is it possible for us to have a list of features that Microsoft has under consideration at this time for Windows 7? I know you guys don’t want to drive too much speculation, but it would be nice to have an idea what is currently under consideration. At the very least, you can be sure it will generate an awful lot of discussion about what people do and do not want of the features set provided amongst readers of this blog.