Windows 7: A Fresh Start

Windows 7 has gone RTM and seems poised undo much of the damage Windows Vista has wrought. Is it time to start developing for Windows 7?

A bad reputation can be hard to live down. Just ask the executives at General Motors, who are trying to convince consumers to buy their cars after decades of turning out duds. Or ask the folks in Redmond, who gained a bad rap when they pushed Windows Vista-unfinished and unwelcome-onto the IT marketplace.

But Microsoft is reaching for something that GM still dreams about: a true shot at redemption. The Windows 7 operating system was released to manufacturing last month, and with it Microsoft hopes to finally move past the ill will generated by its troubled client OS. By all accounts, Windows 7 has the look of a winner. Stable, streamlined and even a little bit sexy, the OS casts a come-hither look to developers with its native support for multi-touch user interface and enhanced Task bar integration.

Will developers be compelled to build applications that tap into Windows 7's talents? Not right away, but that hardly matters. With .NET Framework, Microsoft long ago up-leveled its conversation with developers. The shiny stuff in Windows 7 has been banging around beta and release versions of .NET, Visual Studio and sundry tooling for some time. The fact that this stuff has surfaced in Microsoft's flagship consumer and business OS means that IT decision makers will start looking at, and wanting, these things.

For developers, the message of Windows 7 is clear. Microsoft has finally put the ghost of Vista firmly behind it. If you're developing rich client apps, it's time to consider shifting your focus from Windows XP to the enriched features set of Windows 7.

Is your dev shop setting its sights on 7, or are you among those in a holding pattern? We plan to take a closer look at Windows 7-based development in our October issue and welcome your comments. E-mail me at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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