Windows 7: click here to know more

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Microsoft talks more about Windows 7 and its release date, despite promising not to say much yet. Not to mention really long method names...

Gregg Keizer reports:

Microsoft today broke its silence about the next edition of its flagship operating system ... Microsoft executives said they would have little to say about Windows 7, at least for now ... saying that public disclosures were, not surprisingly, taken at face value by users and customers -- something that could present problems ... That's a change from the approach it has taken in the past, particularly during the development of Vista ... Microsoft was roundly criticized during the long run toward Vista for announcing several features -- among them a new storage subsystem, WinFS, that was dumped in 2004. more

Preston Gralla is his usual curmudgeonly self -- that's why we love him so:

Microsoft has learned from its Vista release fiasco: It now says that Windows 7 will run on Vista hardware --- and that all peripherals and devices that run on Vista will also work with Windows 7. Probably Vista's biggest problem at launch and beyond were hardware-related. Vista wouldn't run on much hardware that ran Windows XP, and driver woes meant that many peripherals couldn't be used with Vista ... [It's] clear that the information blackout Microsoft has imposed around Windows 7 will continue. Microsoft in the past has been quite open about features it planned to develop for future Windows releases. No more. Details about Windows 7 are few and far between, and will stay that way. more

But, wait! What's this from Mitchell Ashley?

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are taking the stage at this week's Wall Street Journal D: All Things Digital (#6) conference. Rumor is Windows 7 will also be making its first public debut at the conference ... likely, Windows 7 will be a reconstituted Vista OS, removing a lot of the bloat needed to support heavy applications. Windows 7 needs to begin isolating applications from the operating system through an application virtualization layer. Think what Windows would be like if every application didn't muck with the registry, leaving behind telltale entries and changes that can create havoc on other applications. The same is true for application DLLs which can cause incompatibilities, at best, and an unstable Windows OS, which happens more frequently than most of us wish. Will we see Windows 7? ... I hope we do get a look. more

Your wish is John Paczkowski's command:

Ballmer says what we’re about to see is “just a snippet” of Windows 7. Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green takes the stage to conduct the demo. She says Microsoft is using some of the multi-touch technology from Surface (which debuted at D5 last year) to enhance Windows 7. And there it is … well, damn if it doesn’t look pretty slick. Clearly the Windows dev team’s been busy with more than just Vista service packs. Quick side note: Windows 7, like other Microsoft OS’s before it, seems to have borrowed a thing or two from Mac OS X. This time it’s Apple’s Dock, which Microsoft appears to have borrowed. Multi-touch and a Dock. In Windows. Steve Jobs must be so proud ... Windows 7 is apparently months away, due late in 2009. more

But Owen Thomas scoffs:

Gates, Paczkowski writes, will demonstrate an "all new user interface." Which speaks to Microsoft's problems. Users are not demanding new interfaces; corporations are uninterested in retraining their staffs, and consumers are unmotivated to learn the quirks of a new operating system. Gates would have been better served by simply improving the operating system's reliability and performance — but that does not make for an interesting show. more

And Christopher Null is not a dev.: [You're fired -Ed.]

Sad to say it folks, but everyone holding out for an update to Windows Vista that will be worth buying is likely to be in for a world of frustration ... One might even say it looks like warmed-over Vista, a big bottle of ketchup for last year's OS. Nonetheless, Microsoft will surely attempt to gouge another $400 from you for the privilege of installing it ... Honestly, in trotting out Surface again, I have no idea what Microsoft is hoping to accomplish except to disguise the fact that this is merely Vista given a little cosmetic pop (multi-touch piano, woo!). Average users may find this stuff, like photo resizing and organization, kind of cool... if they have the right hardware (tablet PC and 4GB of RAM, anyone?), but I can already hear the reaction from corporate America starting to rumble. Do parlor tricks and hocus pocus like this really impress anyone?. more

Ryan Block liveblogged it, too:

They worked with the Surface team on the multi-touch stuff. Microsoft is re-thinking the whole user interface to better accommodate multi-touch for day to day use ... Ballmer: "There's a lot in Windows 7, and our goal's got to be, with our hardware partners, to produce fantastic PCs. ... We'll sell 270m PCs a year, and Apple will sell 10m. Apple is fantastically successful, and so are we" ... Ballmer's talking about Microsoft's "real opportunity" to improve things in the future -- which is another way of saying that things could be better, but there's no real specific commitment to making the Windows experience better.. more

Paul Thurrott, perhaps cranky from rewriting his Vista book, has a dig:

Mary Jo Foley has made a career lately writing stories that say absolutely nothing about Windows 7 ... which isn't her fault, obviously ... When it comes to rolling out a version of Windows, Microsoft typically follows a very predictable path, and this suggests to me that the current "cone of silence" isn't really all that atypical though it may feel so after the maybe-too-open days of Jim Allchin. The first step is to get device developers on board ... Step two usually occurs at a PDC, where Microsoft engages with traditional software developers. This year's PDC is happening in October. Next, Microsoft ships an IT-oriented beta release (Beta 1 or 2). And then a consumer-oriented beta (Beta 2 or RC). And then it ships the final product. Put in this light ... I'm not honestly sure there's been any huge information lock down on Windows 7. Whatever. The information deluge is about to begin. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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