Windows 7 Desktop Preview at PDC
Microsoft let the cat out of the bag today with a semi-public demo of Windows 7. While I not really about Microsoft’s new Windows Azure, Cloud computing, the new Desktop for Windows 7 is promising. Unfortunately, it also means folks will be forced to learn some new terminology and functionality. New “Jump Lists”, “Libraries” are both designed to make it easier to find your documents in your “Home Group”.
New Library based replacement for “My Documents” spans multiple locations.
Finding and opening documents just got easier.
Windows 7 Task Bar
The new system tray is completely configurable so it’s easier for you to decide which icons are displayed in your notification area. If you don’t like those notifications which slide up, you can decide which ones you want immediately and send others to a log that you can look through when you feel like it.
Windows 7 designed to manage and communicate with more device types.
Microsoft also showed us a new version of Windows Paint and promised upgrades of most of the standard Windows applications like Notepad, WordPad, Calculator, etc… Be prepared for all these applications to use a standard Ribbon Interface just like you love in Office 2007.
If you like multi-touch, Windows 7 has a touch layer that mimics mouse events so you can use a multi-touch interface even if the application isn’t touch aware.
As Marisa Tomei would say... There’s more!
Microsoft has finally found a use for Bitlocker by allowing you to use it on external portable USB drives. This is a must just in case someone else finds your lost thumb drive.
The biggest applause of the day came when it was announced that Virtual Disk Partitioning was native to Windows 7. Developers in particular need to have machines that can run multiple platforms.
For now Microsoft has succeeded in getting me excited but it wasn’t all the new desktop enhancements. It was their promise to increase speed, responsiveness, and scale, while decreasing memory, Input/Output and power consumption. If they keep this promise we’ll all be upgrading. The official release of Windows 7 isn’t going to be for well over a year so anything is possible.