Today Microsoft pimped the upcoming Windows 7 to its hardware partners, rallying hardware engineers to begin development and testing
Attendees of today’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2008 got a big treat straight from Microsoft, as the company finally revealed not only the "new innovations" found in the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, but encouraged hardware engineers to begin developing for the platform by distributing the application programming interface (API) complete pre-beta. Microsoft also provided a pre-beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2 to WinHEC attendees as well.
Many features Microsoft demonstrated today included "Devices and Printers," an area within Windows 7 where consumers interact with all the devices connected to the PC, whether it’s a Bluetooth headset, a USB flash drive or a wireless network printer. "Device Stage" was a bit more complex, specializing in connected devices such as cell phones, digital cameras and multifunction printers that require interaction other than just a standard setup. Device Stage will provide customized device information that can be updated at any time, and will even give direct access to services such as photo printing, ring tones and more. Many companies have already jumped on board, including HP, Sony, Brother, Epson, Motorola, Nikon, SanDisk and Canon.
"Mobile Broadband" demonstrated how Windows 7 would connect to the Internet through a wireless modem. "Windows Touch" was probably the biggest feature showcased today, allowing attendees to move through the operating system by a simple touch of the screen. Apparently, Windows 7 will also incorporate multi-touch technology, giving consumers the ability to zoom in, zoom out, and rotate images with their fingers.
"We’ve done a great deal of work in Windows 7 to enable new scenarios with our hardware partners, and we are excited by the partner innovation we have shown today," said DeVaan, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System Division at Microsoft. "Windows 7 presents tremendous opportunities for hardware developers. This innovation will enable our hardware partners to provide customers with even greater choice in rich computing experiences."
Also shown at WinHEC was Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2. According to the company, it is working with developers, independent software vendors, and original equipment manufacturers to implement full use of the latest advancements in 64-bit technology as well as multicore and manycore processing and power management efficiencies.
Although no firm release date has been set, Microsoft plans to unleash Windows 7 to the unsuspecting public sometime between Q4 2009 and Q1 2010. A beta release is planned for early 2009. The release of Windows 7 will arrive twenty years after the launch of Windows 3.x back in 1990. As of Saturday, November 1, Microsoft officially stopped issuing licenses for the long-forgotten, dusty operating system.