Abstract This report is dedicated to demonstrating and critically reviewing new features and developments happening in Microsofts new Operation System, i.e. Windows 7.

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Microsoft Windows 7


This report is dedicated to demonstrating and critically reviewing new features and developments happening in Microsoft’s new Operation System, i.e. Windows 7. The research team searches through various web resources and constructs this web site. Hopefully this web site will serve you as a one-destination date resources regarding what’s newly happening in Windows 7. The report is structured into six parts as following.

  1. Overview

The kernel of Windows 7 is largely unchanged from that of Vista. Only minor upgrade has been made. In fact, lots of Changes in Windows 7 are surface User Interface (UI) changes, which directly impact users [7].

Microsoft develops Windows 7 based on the principle of guaranteeing the compatibility of applications and devices from Vista. In this way, clients will not encounter the tortuous incompatibilities when using Vista [7]. Microsoft promises to “maximize application compatibility between Windows Vista and Window 7. The majority of applications that already work on Windows Vista will continue to work with little or no issues. [19]”

Microsoft refuses to give a timetable for Windows 7 development. However, Microsoft Professional Developers Conference indicates some phases as below [3]:

  • Pre-Beta (M3 or Milestone 3) release to developers (those that attended the PDC and / or Windows Hardware Engineering Conference)
  • Windows 7 Beta Program will begin (this possibly begins sometime in December despite Microsoft’s “fall back” date of “early next year”).
  • Open beta release (everyone who wants to try it out can do so at this phase).
  • Release Candidate phase
  • Release To Manufacturing (mid-2009 to “early 2010”)

  1. Hardware and Performance

  1. Hardware Requirement

Many people enquire whether their existing hardware will work with the new operating system. Microsoft doesn’t provide clients with specific details on hardware requirement for operating Windows 7. However, they do say “the requirements for Windows Vista and Windows 7 are similar.” Their goal is that computer running Vista well will “run Windows 7 as well, if not better [19]” with the hope of reducing upgrading expense and getting the most value from current hardware purchases.

  1. Device Management

Microsoft seems paying much more attention to the usability of device management in Windows 7. Windows 7 includes a collection of new features to improve how users discover and use devices connected to their PCs. These features are fulfilled with several new services and interfaces as following.

  1. Devices and Printers Folder

Windows 7 introduces a new folder that is named the Devices and Printers folder. Users can easily check all the devices that are connected to their PC with this service. Generally speaking, this service provides users with a device-centric experience in Windows 7 [23]. Users will benefit from the Devices and Printers folder which will “enable them to interact with hardware in a more natural, intuitive way. [18]”

  1. Device Stage

Device Stage is a visual interface and a central location for users to more easily interact with various devices, for example, cell phones, cameras, printers, and portable media players, etc [23]. According to additional information on Microsoft’s WinHEC site, “ for consumers to manage, explore, sync, print to, or do other common device-related tasks. [1]” (please see Figure 1.1)

Figure 1.1

  1. Device Containers

In today’s world, hardware and devices are changing to be more integrated and multifunctional, for example, multifunction printer, scanner, and copier products, cellular phones with media playing capabilities, and smart storage devices with integrated security, etc. Windows 7 provides improvements to the Windows Plug and Play infrastructure that support detecting and grouping various functions of a certain device.

Grouping one or more device functions into a single device container lets Windows 7 represent these functions as a single "piece of plastic." This closely aligns with the user's perception of the physical device.

For example, a printer with multifunction of printer, scanner, fax, copier, and storage functions can appear in the Devices and Printers folder as a single icon. Windows 7 users can use all applications and services related to various functions of this printer with only one interface, i.e. Device Stage [23].

  1. Driver Verifier

Driver Verifier is used to “monitors kernel-mode drivers to detect incorrect function calls or actions that might corrupt the system”. In Windows 7, Driver Verifier has several new features compared with earlier versions of Windows. It can “detect new classes of driver defects”, and “provide information for debugging these driver defects” [16]. Microsoft believes that the Driver Verifier will help to expose “additional classes of common driver bugs” which will be of help for driver developers in developing higher quality device drivers.

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  1. Windows Portable Devices Automation

Windows Portable Devices Automation is built on Windows Portable Devices (WPD), a technology that enables a computer to communicate with attached media and storage devices. WPD Automation takes use of COM Automation and provides programmatic access to WPD devices. This offers users with a “simpler and easier-to-use API for accessing WPD devices. [24]”

  1. Other Devices Improvement

Apart from above-mentioned new features of devices management, Windows 7 also includes many other device-related improvements, like supporting writing to Blu-Ray optical discs, network aware, and a new Sensors Platform which allow Windows 7 to interact with future ...

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