The scoop on Windows 7

Microsoft officials started talking publicly about the company's
next operating system in the works, code-named "Windows 7,"
revealing little information. The details were published in
an interview in which Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's
vice president for Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group,
answered questions from CNET's Ina Fried.


Sinofsky said that Windows 7 will not be a new kernel, but will
build on Vista and Windows Server 2008.


"The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server '08 is an
evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will
be a further evolution of that kernel as well," Sinofsky said.


The drivers in Windows 7 will work the same as in Vista as
"we're going to not introduce additional compatibilities,
particularly in the driver model," he added.


Windows 7 will be released in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Sinofsky said that a lot of the drivers for 64-bit systems haven't
been written as of yet, but that there's current interest among
enthusiasts and professionals that work with graphics to use a
64-bit OS.


The new OS is expected to appear "three years after the general
availability of Windows Vista," Sinofsky said, which translates to
approximately January 2010. Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates had
previously hinted that Windows 7 could appear in 2009, but it was
unclear if he was referring to a beta version. Gates also suggested
that a three-year release cycle would be the model for Microsoft's
new OS releases.


Sinofsky repeatedly said that Microsoft wanted to release
"accurate and reliable" information about Windows 7, citing
experience with Windows Vista as a reason for his caution in
providing more details.


"The reactions that we've had to some of the lessons learned in
Windows Vista are really playing into our strategy of getting
together a great plan for Windows 7, and working with all the
partners in the ecosystem in a very deliberate way, such that the
end result is a very positive experience for all of us," Sinofsky
stated.


The implication seems to be that Microsoft's partners were
either unready for Vista or misled by leaks about features that
weren't developed. Microsoft tracks its OS development progress in
six areas, according to blogger Chris Flores: "device compatibility,
application compatibility, reliability, performance, battery life
and security."


Many have speculated that Windows 7 will have a more modularized
design. A streamlined version of the core, "MinWin," was thought to
be key to the new OS, but it won't be part of Windows 7, according
to Sinofsky. There's also speculation on the use of virtualization
to handle backward compatibility issues for legacy applications, as
well as integration with Microsoft's online services via Windows
Live.

This article was originally publinsed May 27 at RedmondMag.com, an affilate Web site of GCN.com. RedmondMag.com and GCN.com are 1105 Media Inc. properties.

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