For Microsoft, Vista is barely out of the box, and XP is still the operating system of choice for many, but a blog run by two of the computer giant?s senior engineering managers is already talking about Windows 7, even though is not scheduled for release until 2010.
Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky, plan to release in-depth technical specifications in October, first at the Professional Developers Conference and then at Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.
DeVaan and Sinofsky demonstrate that Microsoft has learned from the Vista experience.
“We, as a team, definitely learned some lessons about ‘disclosure’ and how we can all too easily get ahead of ourselves in talking about features before our understanding of them is solid. Related to disclosure is the idea of how we make sure not to set expectations around the release that end up disappointing you – features that don’t make it, claims that don’t stick, or support we don’t provide,” they wrote.
As anyone who was excited about Vista when the first details were emerging will understand, over-promising on features which are abandoned or discarded can?t happen with Windows 7.
Vista needed several significant investments in additional hardware to ensure its smooth running, and took up more system resources than many corporate IT shops had anticipated.
Windows 7 should address the remaining tech issues with Vista, Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft, an independent consulting firm, said.
“The worst problems with Vista had to do with hardware performance and capability,” he said. Those are being resolved or will be resolved over the next two to three years, he added.
“By the time Windows gets out of the door, the hardware universe will have caught up with the demands that Vista places on it,” he said.
Windows 7 is not the ambitious undertaking that Vista was, so it should be a smooth roll out for the product. “It is pretty clear it is supposed to be an incremental improvement to Windows Vista,” Helm said.
Areas that Microsoft has said it will improve in Windows 7 include graphics performance, power management and APIs (application programming interfaces) for developers.
The biggest change so far will be the introduction of touch-screen computing ? a feature that will again alienate anyone with a low spec PC.
Nonetheless, Helm said, Microsoft clearly hopes Windows 7 will be able to deliver what people had originally expected from Vista.