Tomorrow at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, Microsoft will be distributing the first copies of its new operating system, Windows 7. Details have been leaking out of Microsoft for a little while about what it’ll include, but a big dump of info has appeared in the last few hours as people close to the project start revealing its secrets.
First of all, there’s the multitouch features, that will allow developers and users to use trackpads and touchscreens in more inventive ways. Then there’s the Device Stage, which will provide a central location for interacting with pretty much anything you plug into the computer – MP3 players, cameras, mobile phones, etc.
Next up is Action Centre – a self-diagnosis tool for the OS, which will help users troubleshoot issues.There’s StreamOn too – which is “a way to control audio/video content on PCs and devices”. Presumably that’ll link in to Live Mesh and Media Centre, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Lastly, in terms of UI, things aren’t dramatically different, but there’s a new task bar and shell integration, as well as Office 2007-style “ribbons” replacing the previous sets of icons. Lastly, Windows 7 will boast “Improved Bluetooth Support”, whatever that means, and “a new animation framework”. Awesome.
A few more bits and bobs will emerge about this tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled as Microsoft make their announcements in LA. The word on the grapevine is that Microsoft will deliver a public beta of the OS in mid-December, with a release perhaps as soon as the middle of next year – way ahead of the 2010 schedule.
In the meantime, what happens to Vista? Microsoft’s much-maligned, but actually really good, current operating system is seeing flat growth rates as businesses hold off upgrading due to the imminency of Windows 7. A pity for Microsoft, and a pity for consumers who’ve made the upgrade, as software developers still often fail to add Vista support to products.
Related posts: Microsoft revealing “technical information” regarding Windows 7 in October, says W7 dev blog | Windows 7 arriving “sometime in the next year” says Gates, “The hell it is” says the rest of Microsoft