updated 08:15 am EDT, Mon October 27, 2008
Windows 7 Pre-Beta Leak
Microsoft's formal unveiling of Windows 7 at the Professional Developer Conference on Tuesday will show several key infrastructure changes, journalist Mary Jo Foley has revealed ahead of the event. The replacement for Vista aims to solve a common Windows problem of integrating with peripherals through Device Stage, a central repository for external devices; users will have a central location to manage and sync cameras, cellphones, media players and other hardware supported by the platform.
The software should also have multiple architectural changes. In addition to expanding use of the ribbon interface, multi-touch support and a tighter integration of the taskbar with the Windows shell through unknown means, Windows 7 should also receive a new animation framework for customizing animation in the operating system. It's unclear whether this is a parallel to CoreAnimation in Mac OS X or relates to the Avalon presentation layer first shown for Vista.
More features should also be shown on stage that won't be immediately available to developers, Foley adds.
The reporter further supports claims that the operating system will quickly become public. A public beta version of the platform will allegedly be available in mid-December and represents a relatively quick turnaround for the operating system, which has been rumored to be finalized as early as mid-2009 and so could ship slightly ahead of its publicly stated early 2010 goal.
Separately, the platform is also expected to solve issues with performance for netbooks. The company has until now been forced to use Windows XP on most of the low-budget systems due to their reduced hardware and in many cases has lost sales altogether to Linux, which is both free and consumes less resources than Windows.