I was fortunate to be able to attend the Microsoft Launch Developer Preview meeting in NYC. Microsoft is holding these all over the country to prepare IT and developers for the upcoming launch. Overall it was a good meeting and Microsoft is delivering a great product. More importantly they have a really good chance of overcoming the bad taste of vista and emerge as a innovation leader. These are my notes taken during the meeting with some of my insights.
windows mail, movie maker now separate downloadable install
ribbon interface now part of the os and available to all developers.
windows 7′s official version number isn’t 7, it’s 6.1. it seems like it’s vista.1 with a reboot of the branding.
For the first time in the history of windows we have a new version that takes less resources than the prior version.
new troubleshooting feature. powered by the power shell which is now part of the os.
new feature. libraries. it’s a collection of folders. don’t have to share a physical root. really like a group of symlinks.
available to all developers. under the covers a library is just an XML file. though it’s simple it actually seems really useful. can view entire library in one window. can search in a library.
New windows taksbar is the biggest visual difference in 7. seems like a blend of the windows launcher and the mac dock. actually seems much more useful than the dock.
With snow leopard and win 7 it really seems like operating systems have matured. look for much more iterative releases to come. more frequent smaller releases with more refinement.
Windows 7 Interaction and Interface
win7 window manager uses 3d card consumes 50% less per window.
Windows 7 has contextual fonts through direct write.
Certain fonts characters appear differently based on context. Garamond is one of these fonts. when two “L” characters are next to each other rendered differently. really cool stuff.
Sensor platform is really a standard unified API for all sensor devices including motion ( think wiimote ), location ( gps, network ), tempature, light, etc.
xna framework for .net or c++ permits you to develop for windows 7 and xbox both using the sensor platform. demo is a racing game.also demoed a 3d pacman like game “chomp”
location sensor is really important. gps, wifi, cell tower triangulation, ip resolver, default location. all acceptable through sensor location.we can really build location aware apps, just like theiPhone.
widgets are location aware. weather, places ( similar to yelp, searches on bing )
Now separating business logic from presentation for the code. Ribbon now crafted via XML.
windows key + or – zooms in in windows 7… just like mac has with cmd and mouse.
Big deal is the multitouch functionalty in windows 7. Called windows touch. Multitouch great for conuning content, not so much for creating content. given all I do with my iPhone, not sure I agree, though I do agree that multitouch works very well when onsuming content.
Word 2010 version ( and windows 7 in general ) has gestures built in.
with supporting hardware it’s very similar to iPhone gestures. pinch to zoom. swipe to scroll. right clck events on second click, rotate. definitely not as smooth as apples implementation. Though available on laptops and tablets, so a leg up until apple releases their fabled tablet. Basic gestures available to developers via the WM_GESTURE message.custom touch available also through a WM_TOUCH message.
Basic tenants of Microsoft is every 15 years thy update the applications bundles with the os whether they need it or not. Now demoing multitouch aware MS paint. Paint also has the ribbon interface now.
Demos Microsoft surface collage. This interaction is very smooth and nice. he is playing with photos on a table as if it was real.
new interface reproduces a real desktop. Uses all five fingers for input. Seems really interesting, but makes me wonder how it works with the hundreds of thousands of files and hundreds of programs.