Windows 7 FAQ

Windows 7 FAQ

What is Windows 7?
The upcoming Windows desktop operating system following Windows Vista. It is currently in development at Microsoft.

When will Windows 7 ship?
Originally, a Microsoft VP confirmed that Windows 7 is expected to be released in January 2010, which puts it in the three-year period after the general availability of Windows Vista (which took place in January 2007.) However, more recent news claim to have Windows 7 released 6 months earlier, in June 3, 2009.

Why the name 'Windows 7'?
If the history of naming products at Microsoft has thought us anything, it's that until very soon before the release of the product, we will be dealing with a code-name. This means that Windows 7 is not the final name of the product. The reason behind the name is that Windows Vista is using NT Kernel version 6, and Windows 7 will presumably be labeled with NT Kernel version 7.

Is Windows 7 the same as Windows Vienna?
Yes; Windows 7 was previously named Windows Vienna (hence the name of this website) and before that, Windows Blackcomb. They are the same operating systems only with different names.

Is Windows 7 a major operating system release?
Since "major" is a relative term, and it can mean different things to different people, there is no straight answer to this one. Windows 7 will not break all compatibility with previous applications and hardware supported by Windows Vista for the sake of starting from scratch, despite original reports that claimed so. All the security hardening introduced in Vista will be found in Windows 7. Windows Vista serves as a foundation for upcoming Windows operating systems (such as Windows 7 and the already released Windows Server 2008.)

Are there any distinguished features of Windows 7?
While Microsoft is being careful at releasing details on the features of Windows 7, the released videos and screen shots show an improved Windows Explorer, WinFS storage technology (but under a different name), improved search functions (for the local system, networks and the Internet) and a revamped GUI designed by Julie Larson-Green and other members of the team responsible for the Office 2007 ribbon interface.

Will Windows 7 be released exclusively for 64-bit processors?
No, but it will be the last one to ship for 32-bit processors.

How many people are working on Windows 7?
According to Microsoft, over 2000 developers and 500 managers.

Codename Change Is Official

"The codename for Blackcomb has changed to 'Vienna'. This does not reflect a big change for us; we have used city code names in the past," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "These code names are derived from cities/locations in the world known for great 'vistas'. The kinds of places we all want to see, experience and that capture the imagination. Vienna fits with this concept."

Why The Name Change?
Many were wondering why Microsoft decided to change the codename of the future version of Windows from Blackcomb to Vienna. Bruce Morgan from Microsoft, expresses his personal opinion:
"Blackcomb was the code name for some other project driven by other people, started many years ago. The people who chose that name and started that have moved around quite a bit since then, and different people have the leadership roles now. The vision for the product is quite a bit different, I'd imagine, than in the late 90s. So many things are different now that it's been many years since Blackcomb was the "next version of Windows after Whistler."

Windows Fiji, Then Windows Vienna
Windows codename Fiji, or Vista R2 is now scheduled to deliver before Windows Vienna. Windows Fiji is planned to be released in 2008, while Windows Vienna had its estimated release date in 2010. Due to the recent Windows Vista delay the domino effect could cause these other two versions of Windows to also be delayed, however the schedule disruption will not be significant.

Windows Vienna - Opening A New Generation Of Operating Systems
In the past 20 years, the Microsoft Windows operating system has accumulated old code libraries that brought it to the size it has today, 2.5 GB and about 50 million lines of code (Windows Vista). These old code libraries consume resources and are often the targets of security exploits. The best way to avoid such problems, is to start from scratch, which is close to what Microsoft plans to do with Windows Vienna. Windows Vienna will represent the start of a different generation of operating systems, bringing in new concepts and support for new types of hardware, along with a better security and a modular approach, which will allow future versions of Windows to be built more easily on Windows Vienna's engine.
It is also likely that the future success of Microsoft's products will be strongly decided by the success of the new generation operating system.

Windows Vienna - Two And A Half Years From Now
Now that Vista is on the shelves, Microsoft is focusing on its next major operating system release, Windows Vienna. Even though Windows Vienna is going to be a major release with a totally revised GUI, Microsoft made a bold statement: by the end of 2009 Vienna will hit the shelves.
However, Microsoft needs to keep the buzz on Windows Vista for now and so they are not releasing any Windows Vienna official information to the public yet, expect for the fact that they are working on it.

Windows Vienna Is Now Windows 7
Microsoft revealed a new name for the upcoming operating system: "Windows 7" - as it is built upon the 7.0 version of the NT Kernel. The name, however, is similar to what "Longhorn" was for the Vista operating system - a codename that will be changed soon before the release of the final version.

Bill Gates On Windows Vista
In a recent interview for MSNBC, Bill Gates said Vista will be "more user-centric" to an extent at which "even if you drop by a kiosk or somebody else's PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and those things." The Tablet PC will also continue to be pushed on the market as a version of Windows 7 accommodating Tablet PCs will be released, one where the digital ink and speech will play a much bigger role.

Update On Windows Vienna / 7
Julie Larson-Green, responsible for the user interface of Office 2007, and also the person behind the ribbon-like interface has been transferred to the Windows 7 team.

The current release date of the Windows 7 operating system is expected to be in late 2009, early 2010, returning to the 3-year pause between desktop operating system versions that was common at Microsoft for all Windows versions prior to Windows Vista.

The most common dilema about Windows 7 right now is whether or not to use backward compatibility. Strong rumours have suggested that the OS will be developed from scratch on top of the Windows NT kernel, given its maturity in both security and stability terms. The backward compatibility, however, is something that Microsoft developers would frown upon, since it prevents truly revolutional ideas to be implemented. Windows Vista, because of its backward compatibile, carries a large amount of code libraries with it, thus the large size of the operating system. However, many businesses that haven't upgraded their software in a decade or more would not purchase Windows 7 if it was not compatible with their applications. As a result, the current options that Microsoft has are to either make Windows 7 backward compatible, or to maintain a legacy version of Windows in parallel, for the business customers, one which will be kept alive by Microsoft though patches and updates.

MinWin And Windows Vienna / 7
Almost two months ago Eric Traut gave a presentation on operating systems in which MinWin was brought to light for the first time. Although used for running a basic HTTP server, MinWin is a stripped down version of the Windows kernel that will be used as the foundation for Windows Vienna. MinWin is composed of approximately 100 files totalizing 25MB on disk and 40MB set up, in comparison with Vista which is made up of over 5000 files and approximatley 2500MB on disk.

Since MinWin is simply an effort from Microsoft to bring the kernel down to the smallest possible size in order to achieve the best efficiency for the upcoming versions of Windows, it will not be a kernel that is going to be distributed all by itself but merely a starting point for the next generation of operating systems built by Microsoft that break the legacy with the Vista operating system and its ancestors.

Anonymous Microsoft Employee Blogging On Windows 7
As a crack into the iron curtain surrounding Windows 7, an anonymous blogger claiming to be a Microsoft employee working on the new operating system is now leaking non-sensitive information on a dedicated blog at While no list of features is being made public, the blogger said that Microsoft uses a central repository for all the Windows 7 features, making the development centralized and well organized.

3 Years To Windows 7
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed for and that the development of Windows 7 will take approximately 3 years from the general availability of Windows Vista, which would put the release date somewhere in 2011: We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and development is scoped to three years from Windows Vista Consumer GA. The specific release date will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release.

Gates Speaks Of "Green" Windows 7
At the Windows Digital Lifestyle Conference in Tokyo, Bill Gates unveiled a few more details regarding the upcoming operating system. According to the transcript, Gates said the key aspects of Windows 7 will be "the ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone."

Bill Gates is expected to release more information on Windows 7 during his farewell tour before his departure as full-time chief software architect from Microsoft this July.

First Official Windows 7 Video

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