Remarks by Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President of Windows and Windows Live and Jon DeVaan, Senior Vice President of the Core Operating System Division
Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008 (WinHEC) Nov. 5, 2008, Los Angeles, California
ANNOUNCER: Please welcome General Manager, Windows Planning and PC Ecosystem Team for Microsoft, Mike Angiulo. (Applause.)
MIKE ANGIULO: Good morning. I’m Mike Angiulo, I manage the Planning and PC Ecosystem Team for Windows, and that’s an engineering group who is committed to listening and learning from partners like you, and working with partners like you on future Windows releases. So I would like to start by welcoming you to our 14th WinHEC. We have over 200 Microsoft engineers here on site who will be delivering the technical sessions, over 100 technical sessions, and are here for you. So they’re here to take your questions, they’re here to connect with you, they’re here to give you some of the insight into what’s going to be coming with Windows 7. You’re going to be among some of the very first people to see Windows 7 live in action.
And for the first time, we’ve set up an information booth here at the conference, and you always see something that says information booth, usually it’s the place to tell you how to get to lunch, where is the next session. But what we have here is new. We have a list of every single engineer who is onsite and their specialty. And if you have a technical question that doesn’t get answered in one of your sessions, or you’re not able to go to a particular session, go to the information booth, register yourself, explain what you’re looking for, and we will make sure an engineer calls you back. And you’ll be able to get that personal connection. So hopefully this is a very valuable conference for you.
I do want to mention that tonight we have a party. The party is at Boulevard 3, and in your bags there’s a piece of paper that looks like this. This paper looks like a flyer that would find its way into your hotel trash can. And then you would show up at Boulevard 3, which is a super cool place, it’s old school Hollywood, and they would say where is your wristband? Your wristband is on this flyer. Okay, so note that. This is your wristband, it gets you into the party. You want to bring the wristband or you will not get into the party. We have casino games. We’re going to have a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. You can try to knock me out of the tournament. Jon tried to do that in our Giving Campaign Tournament. Ask him how that went. We will have craps, we’re going to have a raffle for an Xbox and a Zune, and some other cool giveaways. And there will be shuttles coming from all of the WinHEC hotels so you can easily get back and forth. So that’s tonight.
Tomorrow, that’s tomorrow. I’m getting off to a great start here. I do want to get this one right where I really want to thank our sponsors, and our sponsors have helped make this event possible, not only through their contributions to putting on the event, but also importantly through their engineering collaboration during the Windows 7 cycle, so most of the demos that we show you today are only going to be possible because these partners and others worked closely with us during the whole release cycle. So I would like to thank them. That’s a very important point here to start out with.
Also, the code that you’re getting today, in your bag you see that there’s the M3 build. The M3 build, these are the same bits that we gave out at PDC, is a pre-beta build for developers only. It’s API complete, but it doesn’t have the UI layers on it yet. So later you’ll see some demos, and in the sessions you’ll see newer builds that we’re using internally. I ran the build that you have in your bag every day for work. In fact, I’ve been running only Windows 7 builds at work for over a year now, and I’ve found it pretty stable. Go ahead and check it out, realizing, of course, that it’s not a build suitable for deployment. It’s not a build that you want to be trusting real working data to, of course. It’s an early developer preview code. And also in your bag related to the build is another piece of paper that you want to take a look at. This is your Golden Ticket to Connect. On the back there is a unique ID here. So they’ve all been printed with an invitation ID to get on Microsoft Connect. We haven’t given these out to a whole group like you in the past. This is the first time. You all have an invitation to join Microsoft Connect where we’re going to have a forum for taking input on the product, and working together on engineering issues. This is the same place that you’ll go to get new builds. This is where you’ll get the beta in a very early way. This is where you’ll get early drops of the various kits that we have in Windows 7, like the logo kit, and the driver development kit. So find that, that’s your ticket. It’s got one code, it will work just for you. And you can join Microsoft Connect.
This morning, we have two keynote presenters to present with me, Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky. Jon DeVaan is the Senior Vice President of the Core Operating System Division, and he is going to start with a tour through some of the fundamental improvements we’ve made in Windows 7. This is the work that accrues to both client and server. And together we’ll show you some demos of both engineering advances as well as the tools investments we’ve made. Then Steven Sinofsky will come out. Steven Sinofsky is the Senior Vice President of Windows and Windows Live, and he’ll show you how you can build unique experiences on the Windows platform. Experiences that differentiate you and your companies in a very crowded market, and we have some really exciting demos to show you of real live code that’s working today.
So, with that, we’re going to show a quick video, and then Jon DeVaan will be here to kick off the technical content. Thank you.
Jon DeVaan: Senior Vice President, Windows Core Operating System Division
JON DEVAAN: I’m a PC and I’m proud to be with you here today as we start our work together to deliver more great experiences on Windows 7. I love those ads because they do a great job of highlighting how everyone one of our mutual customers is unique. They have unique needs, and unique desires. And those unique needs drive the need for choice, and choice is really what we do. We bring all kinds of innovation, innovation created by every one of us in this room, and we deliver the capabilities that our customers choose. And that choice is really important, and it’s something that we can really be proud of.
So it’s important to start today in the context in which we are right now today. And that context is the transition from Windows Vista. When we shipped Vista, we immediately started getting quite a lot of feedback. And we took that feedback, whether it was from reviews, or bloggers, and yes, even some TV commercials, and as engineers we stepped back and tried to understand what it is that we should learn from that experience. We didn’t have a lot of time, because we had to immediately turn around and work on finishing Server 2008, and Vista Service Pack 1.
And so the immediate responses there around reliability improvements, and performance improvements were quite real and delivered through those releases, and also in terms of looking on the device support, and the compatibility of the ecosystem for Windows Vista, and we started on a journey over the next year to really raise the level of device support so that today over 95 percent of PCs have all the drivers that they need.
After we were able to accomplish that, we had to take back, step back again and reflect on what are the lessons that we need to learn as we move forward on Windows 7, and ecosystem readiness is a super important part of our lessons learned. We had to look at ourselves to understand what our contribution was to the ecosystem readiness when Vista released. We took a look at that, and one of the things that we knew that we needed to do was to be able to give you reliable, pre-release builds, builds that you could use to do your early work, and builds that would give you confidence that when we say we’re going to ship Windows 7 on a particular date, you’ll believe us. And so you have the build today. I hope the experience that you have with the M3 build is the build that starts to lay that foundation. You can use it to do your work, and you can see the quality in it, and know that you can have faith that we’re going to be able to deliver a high quality Windows 7 on time.
Another part of ecosystem readiness that’s really important in Windows Vista we changed a lot of our device driver models and other things at low levels of the system, and it really takes a long time for that support to get created across the broad ecosystem represented by all of us here. For Windows 7 we have the tenet that if something works on Vista, it really should work on Windows 7. So all the work that you’re doing on quality and support of Vista should transfer immediately to Windows 7, and that will make the first day of Windows 7 in the market be a lot smoother from an ecosystem readiness standpoint.
If you look at other parts of Windows 7, we’ve included support for the Open XML file format, and the Open Document format, in word Pad, and that’s just one more example of how support of standards is an important attribute across the entire Windows product. Lastly, one of our lessons learned is we really need to focus on the scenarios that are important to people. Steven Sinofsky is going to come out and show all kinds of exciting, new scenarios that are enabled by working together with you and Windows 7, and that’s going to be great to see that. I want to focus on what we call fundamental scenarios. These are the scenarios that every single user cares about every single day.
One of the first scenarios that people care about is reliability. One of our core tools to work on reliability is telemetry. We gather telemetry in a few ways, one way is when people click that send error report box we get to learn what crashes are happening across the broad ecosystem for real users every day. The other thing we get to see is machines contacting Windows Update looking for the latest fixes and updates for Windows, so we know how many people are doing that, and what system are they running. And third, we have a program we call the Customer Experience Improvement Program, which is an opt-in program where users agree to send us more information about what’s happening on their PCs.
One of the ways that we use this information is to build this chart here. Every month we calculate the number of crashes per unit time, and we look at that data to drive our effort to lower the crash rate over time. And this actually has worked, certainly we’ve made changes in Windows itself, in SP1, and updates in different months. but this is also work that happens in every single driver, and every single piece of software that runs on the computer. And together we’ve improved reliability on Vista a huge amount. And when you look at the compatibility tenet that we have for Windows 7, all of this work translates immediately to the reliability of Windows 7 on day one.
So another important scenario that people care a lot about is the time it takes their system to start up. Now, there are a lot of factors that go into boot times, there is certainly Windows code that’s on the machine, there’s a lot of code that comes in the form of device drivers and other products, and there’s the performance characteristics of the hardware itself. So this is an important scenario that we’re really all working on together. Our work together is what will deliver a superior experience for the person sitting in front of that computer.
So what we like to do is we like to measure the time from the end of bios initialization, or the end of post, through when the desktop is ready. What we’re going to show is a video of two identical machines, one running Vista, and one running Windows 7, let’s see how Windows 7 does. So you’re going to see that Windows 7 is going to start up several seconds faster than the Vista machine, and there are several things that we’ve done in Windows 7 to make this come true. A few examples are loading device drivers in parallel instead of serially, and another important one is that we’ve created a mechanism to start services truly on demand, which is something that everyone here will want to take advantage of, because by lowering the number of services that start during this scenario we can lower the memory pressure, we can lower the I/O pressure, and we can deliver a superior startup experience to customers.
So reliability and boot times are two of the fundamental scenarios that we care a lot about on Windows 7. I’d like to invite Mike Angiulo back up on stage, and we’ll show you some more of the fundamental scenarios that we’ve been working on, and also the tools that we can use together to deliver these great experiences to our mutual customers.
MIKE ANGIULO: Great. Thanks, Jon.
So it’s really awesome to see Windows 7 booting faster than Vista this early in the release cycle. Once we’re even booted we’ve done a lot to improve the memory usage, and the graphics performance. This graph that you see on the screen here shows how in Vista we scale linearly with the number of open windows, so that’s the amount of memory that’s consumed by the system as you open more Windows. In Windows 7 we used a small fixed set of memory that doesn’t grow as we open more Windows. So what I’d like to do here is get two machines here, side-by-side, and I’m going to show you a torture test script, it’s a simple script we wrote that just opens lots and lots of windows.
We’ve got Office windows, and shell windows, and IE Web pages. And when I run it on Vista what you’re going to see is we’re going to run out of memory. So at about 25 percent you sometimes see a warning that your computer is running slow, and then you get at 30 percent a message that you’ve lost Aero. So we’ve reverted to Windows basic, we’ve lost the glass effect, and we’ve done everything we can if the system is running out of memory. On Windows 7, so this machine is an identical hardware box, and you can see Windows 7 now running on the right, the same script results in no errors, it launches faster, and we actually still consume less memory on the system.
JON DEVAAN: Right, that’s great. And so we have a little over 70 windows on both systems, yet preserve the whole user experience on Windows 7, and it’s basically because we’re letting the video card do its job in managing the memory for those windows. We don’t have to manage it double in system memory.
MIKE ANGIULO: That’s right. We had some double buffering that was going on, and all of that has been eliminated. So even though we’re using less memory we actually have a faster graphics system going on Win 7. So let me show you on this machine, I’m going to close down all these Windows, which is actually pretty easy now with the new Windows 7 taskbar, you can close entire groups at a time.
JON DEVAAN: Isn’t that great.
MIKE ANGIULO: It’s neat. You probably saw the UI in the PDC demo that was publicized, and on the Web. And so now I’m going to launch a demo to show you Direct 2D. It’s a new set of graphics APIs that are fully hardware accelerated and unmanaged.
JON DEVAAN: That’s nice, show Clippy, you’re trying to embarrass me I think.
MIKE ANGIULO: People love Clippy. What I want to show you here, this is GDI rendering a 100 bezier spline, we’re getting about 40 frames per second out of it.
JON DEVAAN: That’s looking at the title bar up in the middle there?
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, so right here is our actual frame rate, 45 frames a second, and that’s up on the screen. Now, if I want to anti-alias this I can turn on anti-aliasing, but it doesn’t do anything in GDI, you’d have to go to GDI-plus in order to see nice, smooth curves. So here we’ve got 100 curves, anti-aliasing, this is really kind of going at full speed.
JON DEVAAN: It looks beautiful, but it’s quite a bit slower.
MIKE ANGIULO: It’s pretty slow, 10, 11, 12 frames a second. I’m going to turn on hardware acceleration, and you can see we’re at 60 to 70 frames a second. So here I’m hardware accelerated, anti-aliasing on, even faster than the low resolution version in GDI. If I turn anti-aliasing off you can see that we actually get four, maybe five times faster. So this is some of the power that we’re unlocking of the GPU in Windows 7 for graphics developers.
JON DEVAAN: Right. That’s great.
MIKE ANGIULO: So power is important, but when you look at laptop customers, for example, what they care a lot about is battery life. And of the of the best ways to simulate, and test for battery life is through DVD playback, it exercises a lot of components in the system, and what I’m going to show you here is this movie Forbidden Kingdom playing on two identical machines backstage. So if we go side-by-side we can see the same movie running on both PCs, and I’ve got a test application up here that shows that on the right the Windows 7 machine is draining 13.4 watts from the battery, the Vista machine 17.9.
JON DEVAAN: Almost 18 watts, and basically an hour more total runtime for the device.
MIKE ANGIULO: Same machine, same battery, same charge stage, an extra hour of DVD playback time on Windows 7. That makes a difference between cliffhanger of an ending, and actually getting to finish the movie. And this isn’t just one specific system, we ran this same test on a number of systems in our lab, because you know that these results are going to be very hardware dependent.
JON DEVAAN: Right.
MIKE ANGIULO: And when we compare the results, I have some data here that I can share I a moment, we saw a minimum of an 11 percent improvement between Vista and Windows 7, so a minimum of 20 minutes of improvement on any system that we had looked at in the lab.
JON DEVAAN: Right. That’s great. And I want to reiterate the point, any specific system takes a lot of work for all the different components involved, and this is really a thing that we need to work on together to drive this kind of improvement for the people sitting in front of the computer.
MIKE ANGIULO: So in order to work together it required investment in more tools. So let’s take a second and come back to these side-by-side machines, and let’s look at the xperf trace that was going on while these machines were running. So here we have side-by-side xperf traces, so the Windows performance analyzer that’s going to show us what was happening while we were running these movies. So if I highlight a region in the middle here.
JON DEVAAN: Say 12 to 16 seconds?
MIKE ANGIULO: About the same, and I pull up the summary table, my Windows Media Player was consuming about 12.6 percent of the CPU.
JON DEVAAN: Versus here it’s over 15 percent, 15.3.
MIKE ANGIULO: So right there you se that we’re using less CPU and even better, if I close that and scroll down, here’s a graph of my CPU frequency over time. We ran on Windows 7 the CPU with the slowest possible frequency.
JON DEVAAN: Almost the entire time. And you see across Vista the CPU was raised to higher power safe and frequencies pretty often during that period of time.
MIKE ANGIULO: The bottom graph here shows my GPU and we have, I think, different time scales, but mine averages about 5 percent cooler than yours.
JON DEVAAN: Right. Mine is just under 40. It looks like yours is just under 35.
MIKE ANGIULO: So this is one of the tools that’s shipping today, the Windows Performance Toolkit includes Xperf, it includes a lot of the tools that you can use to analyze your products, your drivers, your systems as they come together, and understand what’s going on so that we can achieve this better battery life.
JON DEVAAN: Right, an important tool to be using to drive this kind of system performance.
MIKE ANGIULO: There’s a new tool I would like to show you now that’s new in Windows 7. It’s the Power Config Tool.
JON DEVAAN: Okay.
MIKE ANGIULO: So this machine here on the right I’ve doctored up. It’s in the back. It’s running a whole bunch of things that we know are bad about battery life for a PC. So if look down at this system, I can see that I’m 98 percent charged, and I have two hours of battery life remaining. This system ought to be able to get four full hours of battery life. But I’ve simulated here some of the problems that we found in our velocity program on this machine to show you how the tools can help you discover those problems.
JON DEVAAN: So while Mike is typing in the power config command, I can talk a little bit about the things we’ve been doing in Windows 7 to work on saving power. As we went through the velocity learning, we saw a lot of things about just processes, sometimes drivers with other processes running that were just not letting the CPU do a very good job of getting to idle. That’s an important way that we want to help the system get to idle, and stay idle. It’s one of the principles we had for Windows 7. We did a lot of work in the kernel to better manage the system clock so that we can keep the CPU at the minimum power state for longer, unbroken periods of time.
MIKE ANGIULO: Speaking of a long, unbroken period of time, 20 seconds is about the minimum it takes to analyze this system performance, and then I can get the report here, and pull up what we found, so seven errors, nine warnings, 12 informational. Let’s see what this says. I’m going to zoom in so it’s a little bit easier for the audience to read, and we’ll scroll through and look at some of the power
JON DEVAAN: Interesting, so you have the 802.11 power policy. Windows 7 will do a much better job of managing the power in the wireless radio, so we don’t have to just prop it at 100 percent to guarantee good connectivity. We can save the power when the signal is strong, and if we need more power for reliability in the connection, we can adjust that dynamically.
MIKE ANGIULO: This machine is actually connected through this whole presenting system here. And this system is filled with USB devices that don’t enter selective suspend, which means, of course, that your root hub is not going to enter selective suspend, your CPU will never be able to get to a lower power stage.
JON DEVAAN: Right. Just devices there using power.
MIKE ANGIULO: Speaking of using power, CPU utilization at idle on that machine is at 51 percent.
JON DEVAAN: Right. That’s one of the common things that we saw. And we believe we can get 2 percent, even below 1 percent idle CPU utilization with Windows 7. And that’s another one of the things thaw ‘re all going to have to do that work together in scrutinizing every cycle that we’re using in the software that’s running as a base part of the system.
MIKE ANGIULO: And power config helps expose which applications are using the CPU at idle, so you can understand well I want this one, and this one maybe I can make a little bit quieter. Here’s a warning on a platform timer resolution. It’s set to 1 millisecond, which is the maximum resolution.
JON DEVAAN: Right. And this is a mistake I think we were making in the Vista timeframe. Again, our ability to elongate that timer allows us to have the CPU in its lowest power state for longer periods of time and consistent blocks of time, which is super important to get every ounce of battery life for the end customer.
MIKE ANGIULO: I’ve run a script now that turns off just the things that were found on that list. And we started this program because we went out and saw laptops at retail that weren’t performing as well as we knew they could. We sent engineers out to stores, we bought the machines just as a customers are buying them, and took them back to the lab to say, why are they taking so long to start up and shutdown, and why is this thing so hot, why is it not getting the battery life that it wants.
JON DEVAAN: Right. We all remember the fans.
MIKE ANGIULO: The fan running constantly. Here I have the same system now, now at only 95 percent charged, showing almost a full four hours of battery life. So that’s double the battery life just by turning off those things.
JON DEVAAN: Right, which is an amazing result. And this is something that increasingly, as more and more percent of the market are laptops, our mutual customers care about a lot.
MIKE ANGIULO: Oh, yes. Laptops are outselling desktops in the U.S. already. When we talk to customers that are going to buy a laptop battery life is one of the number one or number two things they’re looking for, and we know they’re willing to pay more money for more battery life. So that’s a sign that there’s value here. So if we do a better job on this, we’re going to make more opportunities to capture that.
JON DEVAAN: Right. That’s great. So we have a slide up now. This is another one of our telemetry readouts where we look at the time it takes to shutdown a system, and what kind of performance is happening in the market. Now, we’re able to actually do this. We can look at the in field results for some of these key fundamental scenarios for a particular system model, and this is prototypical one looking at shutdown. And you see something is really funny here. Like a lot of systems shutdown pretty quickly, but there are a block of systems that shutdown somewhat more slowly, and then some that are really stragglers. And so what’s up with that? What’s going on?
MIKE ANGIULO: Well, when you see a multi-modal distribution like this from telemetry, what you usually have is some kind of a timeout. Something is either non-responsive, or something is waiting for a timeout, and these are some of the easiest problems to solve, if you can identify them. So when we have telemetry like this, it tells us that there is some kind of an untied shoelace in there that we can go and fix and make a big improvement in performance. So here I’ve got two identical Windows Vista systems. Everything is the same about them. And what I would like to do is pull a performance analyzer and show you what I’ve done to the machines that simulate this problem. So as I expand this, you can see a lot of the data that performance analyzer gives you. And at the bottom I can see the traces that were run during shutdown, and I can see how long different services took to shutdown. So typically a five second shutdown is even kind of long. Here I have one that’s called long shutdown service stop. And the point is to just simulate an unresponsive service. And if you have a service like this
JON DEVAAN: Who wrote that service anyway?
MIKE ANGIULO: I wrote that service.
JON DEVAAN: Oh.
MIKE ANGIULO: To protect the names of the innocent, I am using a simulated poorly behaved service. But if I come and try to shut it down, and right click and say stop, of course, it’s not going to respond, it’s a non-responsive service. So I can force it to shutdown. And then, once I’m sure that it’s not running, I can show you side-by-side what the shutdown time effect is of just one non-responsive. So here we go, both powered, both of those systems are trying to shutdown, and any one piece of code that’s still on that’s being non-responsive will cause that kind of a delay.
JON DEVAAN: That’s an amazing difference.
MIKE ANGIULO: Well, it’s a big difference to customers. And so we’ve shown some of the impacts from boot to shutdown, and the performance scenarios in-between on the fundamentals work.
JON DEVAAN: That’s great. So when you think about reliability, performance, compatibility, power, and other fundamental scenarios that our mutual customers really care about, in Windows 7 we’re hoping to make progress on Windows itself, and arm the entire community with the tools that we need to deliver these superior experiences together. Thank you, Mike.
MIKE ANGIULO: Thanks, Jon. (Applause.)
JON DEVAAN: So those are some cool things that are going on that we’ve been working on, and we look forward to engaging with you on.
A few other things that are important to everybody here is talking about our quality and logo programs for Windows 7. We really have two levels of programs that we’re working on. One is what we call the Velocity Program, and its focus is on that person sitting in front of the computer, and what kind of fundamental experience are they having. Now, we know that when we started the Velocity program on Vista we did it through the OEMs exclusively, and we know that that caused pain for some people in the audience here as OEMs came with frantic requests to fix things, and look at other things. And for Windows 7 we want to improve that a lot, so that you have the common context, and the common tools, and the common expectations so that that can work much more smoothly.
And that really focuses us on our logo program, where we’ve listened to your feedback about the need to make it simpler, and more focused on the fundamental qualities that really matter. And so I think when you look at the logo program for Windows 7, you’ll see that feedback readily taken in. And you’ll also see our desire to use that as a basis to drive component quality for computer systems, and that component quality can flow to the system integration that we get the kind of results we want for that integrated system in front of the customer, which is a customer that we all share.
Another thing we’re doing with the logo program is we’ve taken out a lot of the detailed feature things out of the core logo program, but we have called out three specific scenarios. The scenario for Media Center PCs, for Windows touch displays, and for devices that have new device stage support, which is one of the things that you’ll see in a minute when Steven shows that to you. So we’ve really tried to take your feedback on the logo program, make it a lot simpler, get the logo program such that it aligns really well with what we’re trying to accomplish with OEMs on system integration, and providing great fundamental experiences to the end customers. We’re also looking to simplify the software logo program in a similar way, and also create that same kind of easy flow from the ecosystem up through system integration.
So a key trend that we see happening in the market right now, this is another part of our telemetry, is we get to see the adoption of 64-bit systems in the marketplace. So this data is from Windows Update, it’s U.S. only. Internationally we see the data as about half of this, but from our point of view we believe that we have accomplished the tipping point in terms of 64-bit adoption. Now, this happened to a large degree because memory prices are coming down, and another dynamic that we’ve seen in the United States is that the retail channel is looking to use RAM upgrades as a way to boost margin. So what that means is that 64-bit machine run rate is increasing rapidly, and that means our ability to support those 64-bit machines fully in the broad ecosystem is a really important thing. So I urge everyone here to make sure that you have the right 64-bit support, and in general 32-bit software runs fine on 64-bit Windows, but when it comes to drivers, that’s where the work is. And with this audience, it’s something that we’re all acutely aware.
As we move forward to preparing for Windows 7, we have a few resources that are available to you. The first one is the Windows Vista Compatibility Center. This is a place where customers can go and look up devices and programs and see what their compatibility is with Windows Vista. In particular, they can go here and look at 64-bit compatibility, and with the trend that we just saw this is a good place for communicating with your customers about your support for 64-bit, so that they can prefer your product if they have one of these 64-bit systems.
Another important resource is the Hardware Developers Central Web Site. This is your one-stop shop where you can get all the tools and information you need to do your work on developing drivers and software to support Windows 7. You’ve seen some of the tools here today with Xperf. There are other great tools up there. And there will be more tools over time as we get the feedback from you, and we deliver on that feedback to make your work as simple as we can make it so that we can deliver those great scenarios for our mutual customers.
The last resource we have is the Win Qual, or Windows Quality Site. This is the site where you can get that telemetry for your products, and your components, and you can see what’s happening with customers in the real world with regard to quality. And so I showed a few examples of the way that we use telemetry inside Microsoft. You can use the telemetry that exact same way by going to the Win Qual Site.
So it’s an exciting time. I hope everyone has a great experience with the pre-release build, the pre-beta build that we’re giving to you. Before I call Steven Sinofsky out to demo some of the new scenarios that are really cool, and rely on great integration between Microsoft and Windows 7 and your work on great hardware, I have a few calls to action. And those calls to action relate back to those resources that I just talked about. One is, please use Win Qual, talk to Win Qual, find your top key sets of problems, and fix them. You’ll be amazed at how the experience improves quite rapidly when you can just follow that pareto chart down from top issues. And it can really make a big difference for customers.
Use Hardware Developer Central. You saw Xperf demonstrated here, there are other key tools like App Verifier, and Driver Verifier that do static analysis and runtime analysis on your software that can really help find bugs, find bugs early in the development process, and before you have to learn about them through the telemetry. This avoids classes of problems altogether for our mutual customers. Another important thing in the Hardware Developer Central is OS Version Checking. And the top compatibility issue when a new version of Windows comes out is people checking for an explicit match on Windows versions. So we ask you to please trust us to do the compatibility work, and let your product run on newer versions of Windows. That’s not always possible. There are some times people are using really low level data structures, but in general trust us to do that compatibility, and our mutual customers will have a better experience as we go forward, particularly in a world where we have the tenet that everything that works on Vista should work seamlessly on Windows 7.
Use the Vista Compatibility Center. All the information will be available also to people running Windows 7, but it’s a good chance to have a conversation with your customers. As it turns out, they like having the answer, even if your support statement is no, you build trust with your customer when they have a place that they can go and understand this information in a seamless way. And, again, with the growth of 64-bit, people are really looking and going to the Vista Compatibility Center wondering what they can do to get compatible support for some of the devices that they own.
My last call to action is to focus on that power scenario, and we’re giving tools in Windows 7 to really focus on that. We believe that the quality of the laptop experience really depends a lot on superior power management in the product, and our ability to deliver on that together, which we are mutually dependent on each other to deliver that kind of an experience is really, really important.
So please consider all these actions. There’s a lot of work here to do on Vista, which means that you can get benefit in the market immediately. Use the pre-beta to try things out, and get work going early on Windows 7. We’d like to know any compatibility problems that you’re experiencing. And I think we can make a strong start on delivering great support for Windows 7.
So it’s my pleasure now to introduce to you Steven Sinofsky. Now Steven and I go way back. I was a developer on Excel, and Steven was the program manager working on what we know today as Visual Studio working on the Microsoft Foundation Classes. So we collaborated. I was one of the people doing one of the first major Windows apps, and he was designing the tools to broaden support for Windows at that incredible point in time in Windows’ history. And that started a friendship which then grew as we worked together on Office. We don’t remember now how Office used to a lot of different programs that really didn’t have a lot in common, and Steven and I worked together on how we organize engineering teams, how we reform engineering processes to turn all those independent products into the integrated products that you see today in Office. And we’re both working on Windows now, trying to apply our talents also to Windows, and I hope that when you use that pre-beta build, when you see the kind of tone that we set with you and the ecosystem as partners, you see that value that we bring together. So it’s my pleasure to introduce my friend and colleague Steven Sinofsky, the Senior Vice President of Windows and Windows Live. (Applause.)
Steven Sinofsky, the Senior Vice President of Windows and Windows Live
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Wow. Thanks, Jon.
It’s really terrific to have a chance to share the stage with my friend and partner Jon, and to share with you some of the work that we’re doing in the fundamentals, and then move forward and talk about some of the new work on the experience side, and hardware side of Windows 7. Jon has been super hard at work working on the fundamentals, and I hope that as you start to use the builds, and experience Windows 7, you’re going to start to see that work come to life. Of course, for us together to complete that work it’s really important that we take up Jon on his call to action, and that we work on all of these together to really deliver a great consumer experience for Windows 7.
What I would like to do is transition from fundamentals, and start to talk a little bit more about the broader picture, and the role of choice in the PC ecosystem of which we’re all a part of. And choice is an incredibly important part of everything that we do together to really bring opportunity for our customers and consumers, to really expand the role of PCs in their lives, and their work, and I think that with Windows 7 we’ve really, really focused on enabling you to deliver a great deal of experience and choice to our mutual customers.
It’s so important for us to deliver a unique customer-focused experience, and Windows 7 will help us to do that in new ways. I think there are two things in Windows 7 that are definitely new and unique in terms of helping customers express their own personalities, and help you express your brand, your value, and the opportunities that are opened up to you. One of them is helping you stand out as a PC. So Windows 7 will support unique types of PCs, whether different form factors, or different price points, or different scenario-based PCs. And, second, it’s the way consumers can choose based on the type of devices and the peripherals and the hardware that are all part of the ecosystems. I think when we set out to build Windows 7 we really wanted to make sure that we did a great job on defining the types of choice, and the types of capabilities that will enable the broadest variety of choice, and to allow you to be creative and to express the types of innovation and differentiation that you want to express through Windows 7.
The way that we found to do this is through three specific initiatives. First, we wanted to do a great job to enable an end-to-end device experience. This is the idea that when you take a device from the out-of-the-box experience, unboxing, all the way through plugging it in, getting the drivers, and then using the device in a routine way, that we should help consumers complete that experience. We don’t want to let them fall off a cliff, or have a difficult time figuring out how to integrate the different parts of Windows that might support that device. We want to really deliver end-to-end on the device experience.
Second, we want to have a great performance, and a full spectrum of choices. And so while Jon talked about the fundamentals, a key part of Windows 7 is to enable a full spectrum of choices from very low-cost computers all the way up to the most advanced PCs, whether they’re for gamers, for media enthusiasts, or for the workplace in design and CAD applications. But having this full spectrum is an incredible opportunity for all of us to really deliver that PC experience that’s tuned for each and every customer the way that they want to see their PCs for themselves.
And then, third, is providing a rich platform for new technologies. Of course, the history of Windows is all about providing an opportunity to express new hardware, new devices, new scenarios that come to life for a PC. With Windows 7, we want to make sure that we continue that tradition by offering new types of technologies. So today we’re going to show the specific hardware support in a broad range of technologies, such as the use of sensors or locations, but also one that we showed quite a bit at the PDC in touch. And I think touch is a very interesting one because it shows the long-term investments that we’ve made in different types of hardware support. Touch, of course, goes way back to our work on the tablet PC, which continues to be an extremely important opportunity for developers, and a great way to express new and unique scenarios, and a great way to have new types of applications and software. So we’re very excited to continue to bring forward the tablet PC, to continue and improve it. We actually have a whole bunch of new work in the recognizers, and expanding that around the world, but then building on opt of that we’ll expand it with the role of touch. So as you’ll see, this becomes a big opportunity for everybody across a whole different set of dimensions.
What I think we’d like to do now is really start to do some more demos. Now, this is going to set some world records. We’re actually going to have 21 different demos today, all done by Mike Angiulo, who hasn’t actually slept in three weeks, and so he’s going to come up here and give it a shot. So I would like to welcome Mike Angiulo back, and let him take it away with some demos.
MIKE ANGIULO: Thanks, Steven.
OK. So in Vista we’re going to talk about how devices have changed. In Vista there were lots of places you would go to to connect and discover a new device, and work with the device, get the software, and it wasn’t always that easy. In some cases, a multifunction device, like a multifunction paper device, would show up as a printer and a scanner.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: I have a multifunction printer that’s a printer, a scanner, a fax machine, and a card reader, and storage, and everything is just scattered all over the…
MIKE ANGIULO: It probably shows up with like nine drives.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Nine drives with no disks in them.
MIKE ANGIULO: Right. So we have that problem today. That creates a lot of work for you. You, when you’re making a new device that you want to expose functionality often have to replace part of the Windows UI, or rewrite some common task that’s already available in Windows just to integrate it with your product. So in Windows 7, we’ve brought all of this together into a new view called Devices and Printers. So when I pull up Devices and Printers, I get this new screen, and this screen shows me both a photo-realistic picture of the actual machine I’m working on, and the devices that are connected to it.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So that’s immediately, for the person at the end of this PC, they’re actually seeing these real pictures of the real devices that are really connected to their PC.
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes. Like see this mouse, this is a cool-looking Microsoft mouse. I’m going to plug it into my hub here, and as soon as I plug it in, it appears on the screen, and the picture looks like the mouse. Well, that’s kind of cool. Where that’s really useful is when you have a lot of devices connected to this machine that are all a little bit different, like I take these two different USBs, and if I plug them in you’ll see that they pop up right away, and I can open them up and I see my photo-realistic icon there.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: By the way, there’s one of the fundamentals at work, just doing that device insertion really quickly.
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, that’s super-fast, and now I can see the two different pictures of these. So when I want to go to eject one I don’t have to guess was that the K drive, or the J drive, I can actually see the one that I’m working on. And this actually works. The USB that’s in your bag that you get with the conference material will do this when you install the M3 build of Windows 7. So this is up and running today, so you can try this, and play with it, and see how it works.
Let me take a device that’s a little bit richer. I’m going to take this Logitech Web cam, and plug it in, and then clip it to the screen. It’s actually installed before I can even get it clipped to the screen. And with a device like this there’s additional software that the manufacturer provides to unlock some of the functions, like if I actually want to take some pictures I double click on this and I can see that the Logitech application just launches. I don’t have to go find it in a programs menu, or understand how to make that work. So if I click this guy here I can just say, hey, I’m a PC and I’m having a good hair day.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: No hair jokes.
MIKE ANGIULO: Sorry.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: And no laughing.
MIKE ANGIULO: So anyway, there’s access to software on wired devices, again, it makes it really easy to find all of the devices, and do the things that you’d want to do with them.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So let’s take a step back and think about this just from the consumer perspective. Now they go to this one place and they have access to all the software that’s customized, differentiated, and innovated for that particular device, without having to recognize a whole bunch of different places to go. So there’s an opportunity for us to work together to bring the software into one access point for consumers, while at the same time being able to innovate, and differentiate.
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, and I think it makes people want to buy more devices too.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Yes, once you can plug them all in and use them it’s super easy.
MIKE ANGIULO: Have you seen this one? This is a Bluetooth keyboard. This is a little Logitech Bluetooth keyboard, and I’m going to pair this guy up to show you the support that we have in the system for Bluetooth 2.1. Bluetooth 2.1 has faster discovery, better reliability, it’s more secure, and the stack is built natively into Windows 7. So here I’m going to go, click add a device, in this I not only see…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Every single mobile phone in the room.
MIKE ANGIULO: This is live code, these are your phones, so if I want to actually…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Hey, connect to this guy’s phone.
MIKE ANGIULO: That would be funny, no, not funny. I click Next, Windows is giving me a PIN number, so now I’m going to enter this into the device.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So when we talk about scenarios, this is a great example of really trying to complete the end-to-end scenarios. So we’ve taken what was a very complicated task, in terms of device pairing – where do you even start? – and brought it all together for the person at the end of the PC. And we’ve improved the device pairing, so that if it’s a device that doesn’t have a keyboard we won’t ask you for a PIN, and things like that.
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, that’s it. That was it. That was the one step. I said, find the device, I entered the PIN, and now I’m paired. And I think I entered the PIN wrong. So let me just show you that I can actually do that again, and that I was doing it for real. OK. So remember we said 20 demos.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: We said 21, but that didn’t include entering the PIN wrong.
MIKE ANGIULO: Actually, no, it’s working. Here’s me moving the mouse, it really works. Here’s me launching this, type Notepad, and enter, and Hello World. So that’s how easy it is. It really worked the first time, a little impatient on stage, but that’s Bluetooth 2.1 support that formerly took a whole bunch of software installation, took a lot of work from you. And the cool thing about this scenario is, it’s the pairing like you were talking about, we also have profile support built in. So if you have some Bluetooth wireless headphones that you use for listening to music, and then you get a phone call it can pipe it through the same headphones.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So not only do we have the audio profiles, but we’ve done a lot of work with the sound mixer so that you can make sure that you’re listening to the right speakers at the time, and using the right microphone at the right time.
MIKE ANGIULO: Another one of the places that we’ve done a lot of investment is around multifunction devices. So we have multifunction device here, this is the Epson Artisan 800. It’s a service-enabled device, and so one of the things that I know you all want to be able to do is have some kind of a service connection with a product that you sell. So in this case…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: That’s a really big point is that we really want to help to enable this connection to services, which allow you to do accessories, and up-sell, and work together with your Web site, and your services that you run. And so it’s a key integration point that, again, we bring together in this one device experience.
MIKE ANGIULO: So here you see the photo-realistic picture of the Epson Artisan 800, this is a product shipping today, this isn’t the prototype, or something that you can’t buy. When I double click it I get this feature called Device Stage. Now, Dennis Flanagan is going to have a session immediately following this one that’s going to go into great detail of all the things you can do with this window. This area up here is dynamic, so you don’t have to go kind of find the printer queue to see if a document is printing, and all of these links are what Epson has chosen to promote for the customer. So you can…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: As you said, the key is that the area up at the top is all branded by Epson, and it’s able to be programmed by Epson, and then there’s the important information that the consumer wants, like what’s in the print queue, and is the device ready, and things like that. Then all the area at the bottom is easily offered up as a customized experience for this device.
MIKE ANGIULO: And in some cases it can be links to Web pages, in this case it’s a link to the software that checks the ink level that has the all-important Buy New Ink button. So this is a way to pull together the functionality of the device, the places you go to every day, an opportunity for branding, and getting your own differentiated experience out there, and having a way to find that ubiquitous application that checks your link level that every machine wants to ship with today.
Another really popular multi-function device is, of course, the phone. So everyone is carrying a phone, but few have figured out how to unlock all of the computing power of it.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: All these multifunction phones are music players, they contain storage, they have cameras, and there are hundreds of millions of phones out there, and most people don’t know that they’re able to tap all that information from their PC.
MIKE ANGIULO: At best you connect it and it might look like a hard drive if you’re lucky and you can get to your pictures. Here’s a really cool example, this is a Nokia N95. It’s one of their F-60 series. It’s pretty popular in Europe, this is an 8 gigabyte phone, and I’m going to connect it here to Win 7 for the first time. The device driver installs, and I’m going to see one of these new device experiences that Nokia has programmed here.
So up top I can learn more about the phone, I can go and find the manual if I need to look at that. I can even, importantly, see some of the built-in Windows functionality, like downloading pictures, or managing media. These are things that now Nokia doesn’t have to rewrite, they can simply expose as part of their experience. Here I can click on going to the OVI Web, which is their Web service for learning about the phone, downloading games, downloading music, and the kicker is for Nokia to make this work it took no firmware update, it took no driver update. All they had to do is create an online metadata package that we associated with the hardware ID of the phone, and this started working today.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Excellent. (Applause.) So that’s a really, that’s a big deal. Dennis’ session is going to go into the details of how to work on that, and how to expose it, and we think this is a huge opportunity, because consumers really will benefit immensely from this ability to just see all the functionality of the devices. Just something as simple as finding the instructions turns out to be a huge win when we do tests of the device.
MIKE ANGIULO: And you can light hundreds of MTP devices that are already shipping today up in this new experience just by creating that metadata. So we’ve shown some of the wired devices, now I’m going to talk about a digital home scenario a little bit. And in a digital home you really want to have a high-functioning wireless network. You want to be able to share files, and printers, and we’ve done work in Windows 7 around Home Group, which you’ve probably already seen around file sharing. Now I’d like to show you home networking applied to devices.
So this is…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: For me?
MIKE ANGIULO: No. Actually, you’re the only kind of person I could give these to today. This is a wireless photo frame, and I’d like to be able to give this to family members, but today they would have to navigate a hexadecimal WAP key to connect it. These devices are really cool, but I’m showing you the actual, unboxing experience of one of these devices for the first time now, using Windows 7. So the hardest thing I have to do today is attach the stand, and you can see that the device is booting up.
Now, I’m going to go back into that same add a device wizard, and this one is just on my home network here, so it’s only going to see devices like this photo frame. I pick the Wi-Fi photo frame.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So it picked up a Wi-Fi device as well as the Bluetooth devices that we saw earlier.
MIKE ANGIULO: That’s right. And it’s the same place you just go to devices, add a device, and it shows up in the list here. I click next, now this one shows up with the PIN here, because of course I don’t have a keyboard. So I type the PIN in, hit enter, tell it to connect to my home network, and in one step I’ve created this pairing. The device is securely connected to the PC. The device is securely connected to my home network. And now I’m able to start using it. (Applause.)
I’ll show you what it can actually do. I’ll come in here to some pictures, select some photos, say right click, play to, there’s my driver installed successfully.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So this is using some of the new networking technology called Rally that we’re bringing all together into one experience.
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, and if you want to learn more about Rally, there are some sessions on vertical pairing, there are sessions on TMPX, and there are sessions on Windows Connect Now. Those are under the umbrella of Rally technologies. So in that one step the photo frame showed up. I said, play these photos to the frame, and you could see here that the photo frame is actually playing kind of a funny picture. I click next, and in a moment the player is going to push a picture of the beach out to the photo frame. And there it’s working.
So that was it. Add a device, enter the PIN, and it’s up and working. So you’re not running around your house with little SD cards. These things are really cool. Today they only make up about 4 percent of the digital photo-frame market, yet we know customers are willing to spend over $100 extra for Wi-Fi functionality. They’re just not buying them, because they’re just hard to set up. So the easier we can make setting these devices up, the more of these high-value, high-margin devices customers are going to be willing and able to buy.
I’d also like to show you over the same home network streaming some other media. So I come and pick a song out of my media catalogue, and now I can say play to my Sono ZonePlayer. So this is a device that’s just connected on my home network, and I can hit play. And it’s playing music out of these speakers all disconnected, and I could be streaming this media from any PC on my Home Group to any device anywhere in my home, using the same play to functionality.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So there are a couple of really important things here, in terms of bringing together the full scenario. We’re showing these all working together in one home-network scenario, which is using a new Windows 7 feature called Home Group, which enables all the PCs in a home network to share their music, to share their photos, to share their files, and to do so seamlessly with really easy context menus, and really easy set up and configuration. And it also works for all the multifunction devices, and printers, as well.
But, we also showed playing some audio, and that’s a good time to mention some of the new format support that we’ve added in Windows 7. One of the biggest points of feedback in terms of formats for Windows is to make sure that we include natively a lot more codecs. With Windows 7 we’re actually going to support Divx, and Xvid, and AAC audio, that’s unencrypted, H.264, and ADCHD, as well, for all the new camcorders that are out there, so a broad set of in-box codec support for Windows 7.
MIKE ANGIULO: And if you try to stream content to a device that doesn’t understand the native format, Windows 7 does the transcoding for you automatically.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: And here we’re going to talk bout a new technology called Shed Shift that will enable that transcoding to happen in hardware, as well, an opportunity to differentiate PCs.
MIKE ANGIULO: One of the sessions will show a demo of Shed Shift transcoding on a really tiny PC, and it’s wicked fast. So I encourage you to go check that out.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Cool. So what that showed is just a broad set of all the ways that a broad set of all the different kinds of device experience. I really wanted to call out one partnership that we have today, which is with Nokia. And they’ve been great partners to work with, and they’re really showing off some terrific support using the device stage, and the overall device experience. But, there’s a huge opportunity for all of us to work together to deliver a really rich end-to-end experience for peripherals within the ecosystem. And we’ve got a great many partners here today showing the work that they’ve done in the early stages, and we’re really excited about this opportunity. We know from consumers that this solves one of the biggest hurdles to acquiring new devices, to integrating new devices in the home, and to making these devices just much more fun, and easier to use, in an end-to-end kind of manner.
I think what we want to transition to now is our secondary. We’re going to start to show some of the full spectrum of choices that we can enable with Windows 7 with PCs. We showed at the PDC a very low-end machine, one of the “netbooks.” So we’re going to start of with that, but the key thing that we really want to emphasize today is the full range of possibilities that Windows 7 opens up for consumers, who are willing to decide on different types of PCs, different prices, both for direct markets, and for vertical markets, as well.
So let’s just keep showing some stuff.
MIKE ANGIULO: OK. Cool. So this is an EE PC. You’ve seen these before, they’re pretty popular, they’re selling like hotcakes. This one is a 1 gigabyte ram, 16 gig SSD, it’s got an Atom dual-core chip in it, 1.6 gigahertz, and it’s running full Windows. So you don’t have to go down-level, you don’t need anything stripped down, this is a full Windows experience on this PC.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: On that 16-gig SSD, as well.
MIKE ANGIULO: On the 16-gig SSD, with room to spare. Let me connect us up to the projector and I can show you the machine running live. So I connect it to the monitor, Windows 7 automatically finds the monitor, but if you want to go and try to connect it to a multi-mon display I can hit Windows P, and I have this new ability to connect laptops to monitors. It’s really cool. You can do that even before you’re logged into Windows, which is kind of nice if you connect a lot.
Now, I will take a camera, and take a picture, smile…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: It said smile, I missed that.
MIKE ANGIULO: So I’m going to take this camera, connect it by USB, and one of the things that we know is that Windows customers expect the full device compatibility experience no matter what kind of PC they’re using. So one of the benefits of being able to run fully Windows PC here is here’s my same device experience. I’ve connected this inexpensive point and click camera. I can click to download my pictures.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So this is a key part that we’re trying to show is that we’re running on this relatively low-end PC, but you’re doing a very, very common scenario that everybody wants to do, and we’re going to enable this very rich device experience through a device stage with this PC and running full Windows 7.
MIKE ANGIULO: Now I’ve got this little PC on the go, a common scenario will be to want maybe upload that picture to Flickr. This is not on the network. I’m going to connect it to the AT&T Wireless network using this Sierra Wireless data card, and here’s another demo without a net, because there are so many 3G phones on this room, we’ll see how this works. We automatically plug this in, it gets discovered, Windows 7 has a new stack for mobile broadband.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: We’re actually staring at the blinking light right now to see if it’s working.
MIKE ANGIULO: One light on, two lights on, I click on our new network icon, and you can see that we’ve automatically connected to AT&T. So if I come back here, and take a photo, and I say…
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So we’re now in the Windows Live Photo Gallery, which I do want to point out is another opportunity where people can integrate and show off the features that connect with photos, or with blogging, or with e-mail, and the like. And that’s a free add-on to Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
MIKE ANGIULO: Sure, and it would have been easy to show me publishing this just to live, but I’m publishing it to Flickr, just to show that you can publish to any service.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: You’re publishing that picture to Flickr?
MIKE ANGIULO: Yes, isn’t that great. You guys can all comment on it and rate it.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: This is Mike’s last demo he’ll be doing for us.
MIKE ANGIULO: So here we go, and that’s it. It’s published live. I’ve connected to a mobile broadband site, even in a bandwidth challenged room. I’ve taken that picture, I’ve uploaded it, and there it is, all on my little netbook.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So, again, it’s this end-to-end scenario. (Applause.)
MIKE ANGIULO: It works. Now here’s a machine that really warms my heart. It’s actually also warming my thigh. This is a gaming rig. This is a very, very powerful machine. I actually want to take it home. It’s running Intel’s most powerful desktop processor ever, it’s the Core I7. It’s a quad cross-processor, eight simultaneous threads of execution. It has a built-in turbo boost mode, which lets you over clock the CPU up to the limits of the thermals. I’m running a pair of NVIDIA 280 GTX discrete graphics cards here, and combined the graphics processing power of this machine is over 150 times the graphics power of this little netbook. So that’s an amazing range of performance that you can get on a Windows platform.
I have connected to it a Side Show device showing me some of my gaming auxiliary information, and I can feel my Xbox game controller here wiggling, because I’m in the middle of a very important game of Crisis Warhead. Crisis Warhead is a very demanding DX10 title that makes the most of the animation capabilities. Here you see it just running on 720P, because that’s what we have on our big screens. But, at home on my 1080P LCD it is much cooler.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So this is just an incredible amount of computational power that gamers would definitely cherish. And we also have the full spectrum, of course, this same type of power can be used in the workplace. Enough, Mike.
MIKE ANGIULO: Talking about the workplace, tomorrow you’re going to see Bill Lang show off some of the Windows improvements we’ve made that allow over 256 processors to be addressed by Windows 7, which is really very powerful. Another market that is super-demanding of PCs is the home theater market, and the home audio market. So here we have the AMD Live Home Cinema PC, and this PC is super-quiet, even with the drive. So you can put it right in your living room. It’s got a 100-watt Class D amplifier built into it. It’s driving this plasma display at 1080P. And it’s capable of all of the Media Center and Media Center Extender functionality.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Speaking of Media Center, this is something we haven’t had a chance to talk about too much yet, and we’re really excited about the work that we’ve done in the Media Center for Windows 7. Not only have we continued to expand the television tuner coverage all around the world, as we started with the TV pack for Windows Vista, but we also will touch-enable the Media Center user interface, and improve all of the Media Center functionality, and really bring it up to date. And I think we’re very excited about just completing that scenario, as well, as part of Windows 7.
MIKE ANGIULO: Another place where the fundamentals improvements are going to make a big difference, in terms of boot time, and what you would expect out of a consume home appliance. Now, switching to some of the most demanding customers that we have, they’re creative professionals. These are people who are using their PCs for photography and art, and for them there’s no better platform that Windows. This PC, for example, has a 17-inch monitor that’s displaying 100 percent of the Adobe RGB gamut. That’s the first time that that has ever been possible on a PC.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So that’s on any PC, or any computer, or any platform, right?
MIKE ANGIULO: Any brand PC, any brand platform, so for creative professionals you can’t get better color resolution than that. In fact, there are PCs that are made in every kind of a form factor for people who are, for example, photographers. I don’t mean the point and click photography I was showing on that little camera, I’m talking people who want things to be exactly precise. So this is the Think Pad W700 from Lenovo, it has a built-in WACOM digitizer that can get a tenth or a hundredth of a millimeter resolution and over 1,000 points of pressure sensitivity. And built into it right here in the center is a little sensor, it’s a spectrophotometer. There you can see it on the screen. And what this does is, when I close the lid and let it run for a minute calibrates the screen to exactly the right color. So here I can see the difference between my corrected color and my uncorrected color, and again if you’re a graphics arts professional or photographer, that’s a super important thing and again highlights some of the choice available on the Windows platform.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Cool.
I want to transition now and talk about our third area that we really wanted to invest in, which is the role of expanding the platform for new technologies. And so with Windows 7, we’re of course going to continue to expand the role of new hardware, and new types of scenarios. And so we’re going to now show some of the things that we’re going to be introducing today at the show, and also that are part of the Windows 7 platform, of course.
MIKE ANGIULO: So you might not be introducing a spectrophotometer into your new PC, but being able to work with sensors like light sensors is really important. So this little board here, Steven has one that’s in the package, we have 700 of these that we’re giving away at the pavilion. So you go to the Microsoft booth and get your own sensor development kit.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: So it’s officially WinHEC because we’re actually giving out a printed circuit board to each attendee, or the first 700, and it even has a loop for a key chain holder.
MIKE ANGIULO: You can be very stylish with it. This board actually has some capacitive touch sensors, it has a light sensor, it has a three-axis accelerometer, and some of the software development code and samples to help you get started understanding the signals that can come from these. So I’m going to put it here face down, and I’m going to watch this MSDN reader, which we’ve doctored up to take into account the input from the light sensor on the other side. So this would be the indoor mode, or in the dark. And if I flip this over and simulate that device in direct sunlight, you can see I’ve changed my contrast, I’ve changed the brightness of the screen, I’ve changed the font, I’ve even changed the color, and I’ve done that with sample code so that you can see how this device responses to different lighting states.
There’s another sample that I have here to show you how the accelerometer works. So this one is going to take the input from the three axis accelerometer, and bounce this ball around on the screen.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Oh, I did that at PDC, too.
MIKE ANGIULO: I know. So here we go, and it’s just another one of the sample apps that’s included in that sensor development kit.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Excellent.
MIKE ANGIULO: So, go get them, first 700 and then they’re gone.
One of the most popular sensors that’s starting to ship on new PCs is a touch sensor.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Actually the touch sensor is a really important one as well, and so this by the way, this board is great, it’s really designed for testing out all the different scenarios in terms of the accelerometer and the light, but let’s just take a look at this last touch display.
MIKE ANGIULO: So here I’m running, this is an HP Photo Smart PC, and I’m running the World Wide Telescope, which is an application that just takes in a tremendous, mind-boggling amount of data, and puts it into a form that you can easily navigate. And so as I’m scrolling around here, I can take this over to Saturn, and I can zoom across the galaxy. And one of the fun things about this is that we’re using the touch APIs to power mouse commands, and so this application is already shipping, and we’re lighting it up on the platform here. And so I can even click a button that says “Jupiter” and this device is connected to this neat telescope that I have in the background, and if all goes well it’s going to actually show the telescope tracking to go look at Jupiter. All right, so 20 for 21 demos.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: What you’re seeing is a whole I have to make this joke, I’m sorry, Mike a whole universe of devices.
MIKE ANGIULO: Oh, that’s bad. That’s bad. Thanks, Steven.
STEVEN SINOFSKY: Not even a little rumble from that one.
But this has been a whirlwind tour of all the different ways that we can connect up some of the new technologies, and so I think the last demo showed some of the innovation sin touch which I think is just going to be an incredibly important scenario in a lot of different markets, and a lot of different opportunities, and I think we’re going to start to see a lot of creativity in touch panels. You’ve seen here, once you have a very large screen, and you can mount it on a wall, or mount it on a desk, you can really change the whole way that you think about doing input and working with the machines.
The touch support that we have, we have a lot of people here today showing their support for Windows 7 touch and, again, they’re all in the partner pavilion showing off some of the great work.
So, as we start to transition to the sessions today, I wanted to remind everybody of our past RTMs, and how we’re going to take all the work together that we’re going to do to make Windows 7 great, and bring it to market for consumers so that there are great end-to-end experiences, great support for all the hardware peripherals, and really emphasizing the role of choice that consumers have on the Windows platform.
So, the first step, of course, starts with the pre-beta, and that is available to all of you as attendees, and we’re incredibly excited to be able to give you that.
Now, in term of our development process that Jon has been working super hard on, the pre-beta is really about bringing to you the milestone three build that we’ve had. So, we had three core development milestones, and then the next one will be the beta.
So, what you’re seeing is our internal build for m3, and it’s something that we all run internally and we’ve been very comfortable with, and I think that the reviews and first looks that the blogs have had based on the receipt of the PDC have shown some really positive comments, and we’re really, really happy to see that, because we worked super hard, and it’s great to see the focus that we put on the engineering system really pay off.
We’re obviously going to pick up content on our Engineering 7, our E7 blog that’s out on MSDN, so the blogs.msdn.com/e7.
And then the next step is really going to be our beta. The beta is going to be on that’s going to go out very broadly, and we’re going to get that done early in the next year, and that really will be feature complete. It will have everything in it that we showed today, and all of the new user interface, all the new interaction models with the Windows desktop and so on.
In terms of broadening the beta, we still want to make sure that many more people can participate, and I know that feedback from you in the past has been that you want — hey, you have your own customers that you want to get in the beta. So, we’re going to make that super easy, and so stay tuned on Microsoft.com/Windows for information about how the beta will be available broadly.
Then in terms of the feedback that Jon talked about on the two important things are that everybody using the beta has opted into the feedback mechanism, and that’s just part of using the beta, and that feedback is super important to how we monitor the quality and understand the real world behavior of Windows 7 during the course of the beta.
And, of course, we have within the product all the links on all the title bars and on the desktop to submit feedback that’s got semi-structured information with it, what programs were you running, what was the window, what was the hardware connected and so on, that really help us to do a great job of acting on the feedback from you.
And then we’re going to enter the release candidate to RTM phase. Now, as hardware partners, many of you will be receiving builds throughout the course of development, and what we want to talk about is really the public milestones just that are the release candidate and RTM. And those are really important for all of us to marshal together the work of our partners and our support and our staff organizations to really do a great job as we really get to the RTM of Windows 7.
So, we’re trying to be very methodical to work really carefully with you and to make sure that the entire process is built on a cycle of feedback and ever-improving software.
To wrap up, I just want to remind everybody of the call to action that we’re talking about today. So, Jon talked about the first four areas, and I wanted to add three more, because we’re sticking to the number seven and all the magic that comes with seven.
First, there was a lot of opportunity in all the software you write to integrate with the Windows 7 desktop. So, some of the things we showed at the PDC are things that are designed to replace the notification icons, for example, or to replace other desktop or sidebar icons, and do so with a really great context menu or what we call our jump list in Windows 7.
Today, we talked about device stage and all the opportunities to really differentiate and innovate within an end-to-end scenario, within a way that consumers really experience a coordinated and connected set of devices on their PC.
And then finally, there’s a chance to really evaluate all the new hardware and device support APIs across all of Windows.
One example that Mike showed on this just killer game machine is we have support for DirectX 11. Of course, all of your existing drivers will continue to work and all the investment that Intel and AMD and NVIDIA and they all have made in device drivers are great, and we still have new functionality in DirectX 11 that you can take advantage of, as just one example, and we’ll make that available down level on Windows Vista as well.
Across the board we’ve got a great set of things that you can really leave here today and start working on, so that we together can deliver great end-to-end PC experiences for consumers with Windows 7.
We’ve got over 40 booths in the expo hall and pavilion showing 30 different demo stations in the pavilion, all staffed by experts. We’ve got 200 members of the Windows 7 development team here today to both lead the sessions and to interact with you. Jon and, I, of course, will be wandering around, and we really just want to have a great deal of fun. I don’t encourage you to challenge Mike to the poker though at the casino night, but otherwise, I really want to thank everybody for taking the time to be here today, for joining us, and for all of us together to do a great job delivering great experiences for consumers.
I look forward to the rest of the week, and thank you very, very much.