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Microsoft Opens Up "Two-Way Discussion" with Developers About Windows 7

"We strongly believe that success for Windows 7 includes an open and honest, and two-way, discussion"

"The Professional Developers Conference on October 27 and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference the following week represent the first venues where we will provide in-depth technical information about Windows 7," announced Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky, two very senior Windows 7 development engineers, on a new Microsoft blog which has just gone live.

The blog, called Engineering Windows 7, is being looked after by DeVaan and Sinofsky since they're active bloggers on Microsoft’s intranet. Now their role will be to face outwards:

"We are both looking forward to turning our attention and blogging energies towards the community outside Microsoft," they note, adding:

"Our intent is to post “regularly”. We’ll watch the comments and we will definitely participate both in comments and potentially in follow-up posts as required. We will make sure that members of the Windows 7 development team represent themselves as such as well. While we want to keep the dialog out in the open, please feel free to use email to [email protected] should you wish to. In particular, email is a good way to suggest topics we might have a chance to discuss on the blog."

The blog is being made available in French, Japanese, and Chinese.

Jon DeVaan (pictured above left) is Senior Vice President, Windows Core Operating System Division, and Steven Sinofsky (pictured above right) is Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group.

The tone of the E7 blog is refeshingly open:

"The audience of enthusiasts, bloggers, and those that are the most passionate about Windows represent the folks we are dedicating this blog to. With this blog we’re opening up a two-way discussion about how we are making Windows 7. Windows has all the challenges of every large scale software project—picking features, designing them, developing them, and delivering them with high quality. Windows has an added challenge of doing so for an extraordinarily diverse set of customers. As a team and as individuals on the team we continue to be humbled by this responsibility.

We strongly believe that success for Windows 7 includes an open and honest, and two-way, discussion about how we balance all of these interests and deliver software on the scale of Windows. We promise and will deliver such a dialog with this blog.

Planning a product like Windows involves systematic learning from customers of all types. In terms of planning the release we’ve been working with a wide variety of customers and partners (PC makers, hardware developers, enterprise customers, developers, and more) since the start of the project. We also continue our broad consumer learning through telemetry (Customer Experience Improvement Program), usability studies, and more. One area this blog will soon explore is all the different ways we learn from customers and the marketplace that inform the release.

We have two significant events for developers and the overall ecosystem around Windows this fall. The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) on October 27 and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) the following week both represent the first venues where we will provide in-depth technical information about Windows 7. This blog will provide context over the next 2+ months with regular posts about the behind the scenes development of the release and continue through the release of the product."

The inaugural posting even includes an admission:

"In leading up to this blog we have seen a lot of discussion in blogs about what Microsoft might be trying to accomplish by maintaining a little bit more control over the communication around Windows 7 (some might say that this is a significant understatement). 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. Our intent with Windows 7 and the pre-release communication is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about when we do talk. Again, top of mind for us is the responsibility we feel to make sure we are not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of partners and customers who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows.

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. Starting from the first days of developing Windows 7, we have committed as a team to “promise and deliver”. That’s our goal—share with you what we’re going to get done, why we’re doing it, and deliver it with high quality and on time."

The E7 blog will undoubtedly be watched by the world of developers with interest.


More Stories By .NETDJ News Desk

.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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