Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Windows Vista is “Out” - Welcome to the world of Windows 7


With Windows Vista finally behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the next Windows client release, which is currently codenamed Windows "7", though Microsoft has used other code-names, like “Blackcomb”, "Vienna" and "Windows Seven" in the past.

The countdown clock of the next generation OS after Windows Vista has already started ticking officially. Microsoft is preparing for Windows 7, which is the next version of OS. Initially codenamed as “Blackcomb” and then renamed to "Vienna" and then to "Windows Seven" and now it is changed to “Windows 7”. As per sources the stage for Windows 7 is set to 2009. Searches in web reaches to information published even on first days of 2007. Guess… even I am a late informer in this area.

Windows Vista, the much delayed most recent release of Windows, shipped to businesses in November and to consumers in January after more than five years of development. Vista's gestation period was marked by shifting product details as internal priorities changed and problems arose with development.

Like Vista, Windows 7 will ship in consumer and business versions, and in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Company sources also confirmed that it is considering a subscription model to complement Windows, but did not provide specifics or a time frame.

As to words according to the representative, "Microsoft is scoping Windows 7 development to a three-year time frame, and then the specific release date will ultimately be determined by meeting the quality bar". Windows Vista was a major release, and it seems like Windows 7 will also be a major update. Microsoft is currently on a development path where every other Windows version is a major release, so it's possible that we'll see a minor OS update between Vista and Windows 7?

Features Overview:

Explicitly saying Microsoft hasn't publicly committed to any features for Windows 7 and the company is still deciding upon what this next Windows release will look like. I got only little information about Windows 7. Also It looks like many Microsoft consultants are now giving out a policy of not to give much hope to customers about the features which ends up in damaging the reputation of the company itself. Anyway I am giving some features that we can expect.

Internet Explorer 9:
We can expect a new version of Windows Explorer that is being built by the same team that designed the Ribbon user interface in Office 2007.

Thoughts for a new UI component:
When Microsoft first drew up plans for Windows 7 (back when it was codenamed Blackcomb), there were rumors that the current UI will be replaced with an entirely new one, with some reference to a sort of radial-dial. Where there are no chances for a complete overhaul of the current interface, Microsoft has been working on several new UI ideas, some of which may slip into Windows 7. Indeed, this might be a way to transition us from the current UI to the new one in future Windows releases.

Virtual Desktops:
Mac OSX already has it, and Linux had it for a long time, so it would only make sense that Microsoft will be implementing virtual desktops into Windows 7.

System Restore:
With OSX Leopard's Time Machine making such an impression with the general public, it can be expected that Windows 7 will improve upon its own backup tool.

Paint.NET:
So far this has been an independent project that was under the guidance of Microsoft, but Microsoft has always acknowledged that Paint.NET with one day replace the current 'Paint' application in Windows.

Windows Hypervisor:
It will likely include some form of the "Hypervisor" technologies that will ship shortly after Windows Server 2008. Microsoft is currently working on a new hypervisor system codenamed "Viridian" with OS integration at the lowest level, and already Windows Vista includes extensions to boost performance when running on top of the Viridian hypervisor. We can expect Windows 7 to have a higher level of interaction with Viridian.

File system:
It may also include the much expected but aborted file system in windows Vista, WinFS (Windows Future Storage) technologies, though they won't be packaged or branded as WinFS.

Licensing:
Microsoft says it might also make a subscription-based version of the OS available to consumers, but that's still in flux.

Better User Experience:
Windows 7 will make it easier for users to find and use information. Local, network and Internet search functionality will converge. Intuitive user experiences will be further advanced. Automated application provisioning and cross-application data transparency will be integrated.

Windows Security:
Windows 7 will include improved security and legislative compliance functionality. Data protection and management will be extended to peripheral devices. Windows 7 will advance role-based computing scenarios and user-account management, and bridge the inherent conflicts between data protection and robust collaboration. It will also enable enterprise-wide data protection and permissions.

Universal devices connectivity:
Windows 7 will further enable the mobile workforce. It may deliver anywhere, anytime, any device access to data and applications. Wireless connectivity, management and security functionality will be expanded. The performance and functionality of current and emerging mobile hardware will be optimized. The multiple device sync, management and data protection capabilities in Windows will be extended. Finally, Windows 7 will enable flexible computing infrastructures including rich, thin and network-centric models.

Versions:
Though I had expected Windows 7 to ship only in 64-bit versions(http://apcmag.com/6121/windows_server_gets_vista_version_itis), some Microsoft sources now says it will be the final Windows version to ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Conclusion:
There is also a slight possibility that Microsoft will be integrating Windows Live services much more strongly into Windows 7, although it might raise allegations of anti-competitive business strategies. But there might be certain unique Live services that make it into Windows 7, such as Live Drive. Other Microsoft services such as MSN Soapbox might also be a significant part of applications such as Windows Media Center.

It is still too early to tell what shape Windows 7 may take, but we can hope that the recent wave of innovations we have been seeing from Microsoft will carry on into the next two years.

Some references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7
http://news.com.com/2100-1016_3-6197943.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=592

1 comment:

Rama Iyer said...

Goodness!! Everything over my head!! But I can make out that it is certainly well researched and written. Will come back to learn more here

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