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PDC: Sinofsky's Mea Culpa

Steve Sinofsky, senior VP of Windows and the Windows Live Engineering Group, may be known as the guy who won't talk about his development projects, but during the keynote he produced some pretty powerful mea culpas regarding Windows Vista and some of the decisions in its development.

Talking about the transition from Vista, Sinofsky said, "We got lots of feedback. From reviews, the press, a few bloggers here and there. Oh, and commercials."

The comment, an obvious reference to the scathing Apple spots lampooning Vista, drew a round of laughter.

Sinofsky also offered a nod to the disruption caused by the User Access Control (UAC) security feature and Vista's poor initial hardware compatibility. "We really weren't ready at launch with the device coverage we needed," Sinofsky said, before noting that Windows 7 would present no such challenges to developers. The hard work, he said, is done.

Windows 7 seems to be solidly behind the burgeoning parallel computing effort at Microsoft. According to Sinofsky, Windows 7 will support up to 256 processors. The kernel is also being refined to improve system responsiveness, helping ensure immediate access to the Taskbar.

Also notable is that Windows 7 features updated versions of its aged applets, including WordPad and MS Paint, which will both sport the Office 2007-inspired Ribbon user interface. WordPad gains support for XML-based file formats, including (not surprisingly) Microsoft's Office Open XML file formats.

"We've also decided that once every 15 years or so we are going to update all the applets in Windows," Sinofsky joked. "Whether they need it or not."

Posted by Michael Desmond on 10/28/2008


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