PDC 2008: Live blog of the Windows 7 keynote

Day two of PDC 2008 begins this morning with a keynote address featuring Ray Ozzie, Steven Sinofsky, Scott Guthrie and David Treadwell. The focus of today will be Windows 7 and the introduction of new user experiences in Windows. The next release of Windows Server 2008 will also be discussed.

We will be live-blogging the keynote as it takes place. Refresh this page for updates.


11:03am PT: The keynote has ended.

11:01am PT: Ray Ozzie has returned on stage to close out the keynote. He says Microsoft has waited to put Office on the Web, because it wanted to do more than just stick a document or spreadsheet on the Web.

10:59am PT: Microsoft will share more about Office 14 later. No release information was offered.

10:57am PT: Charts from Excel can be embedded into other sites, such as a blog. It uses a REST API to pull various information from the spreadsheet -- so if the data changes, the chart will be updated as well.

10:56am PT: Excel on the Web looks very similar to Excel in Office 14. Very impressive.

10:55am PT: Multiple users can edit a Word document simultaneously on the Web and in Office 14. The Word Web application even has a Ribbon, although it's more basic.

10:50am PT: Microsoft is announcing Office Web Applications, which will be delivered as part of Office 14.

Office Web Applications are lightweight versions of the productivity applications that let users view and edit documents from the browser. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will be the initially supported applications.

10:48am PT: Takeshi Numoto has taken the stage to discuss Microsoft's plans for Office 14.

10:48am PT: Windows Mobile 6 and Macs are now supported by Live Mesh. Everyone can sign up from: http://mesh.com

10:44am PT: The BBC is doing a demonstration of integrating the Live Framework with the BBC iPlayer. Users can see what their friends are watching, and see the most popular programs.

10:35am PT: Microsoft today is announcing the "Live Framework" -- the way to get at Live Services. Developers can use this to enhance a Windows application.

10:33am PT: Treadwell is discussing Live Mesh, saying the beta launch was just the tip of the iceberg. "This week we're starting to talk about Mesh as a key component of Live Services."

"By adding these Mesh services to the Live Services, we're rounding out the Live Services as a platform" blending what you can do best on the client with the best of what you can do on the cloud.

10:30am PT: Scott Guthrie has invited David Treadwell on stage to discuss developing with Windows Live. He's recapping what people can do with Live ID and by integrating Live services onto any website.

460 million people use Microsoft's Live Services, which amounts to 11% of total Internet minutes, says Treadwell.

10:22am PT: Guthrie: Today, Microsoft is shipping the Silverlight Toolkit, which introduces new charting tools for the first time. All of the controls are available for free, under the MSPL license, which gives developers the source code.

10:21am PT: Netflix has turned on their Instant-On experience with Silverlight.

10:02am PT: Visual Studio 2010 will be built with WPF. This brings new features to the IDE, including multi-monitor support, richer code editing support, refactoring support. It also makes VS prettier.

9:53am PT: Guthrie is showing how to add the Ribbon Control to an application. Visual Studio 2010 will be the primary development platform for Windows 7.

9:46am PT: Sinofsky has invited Scott Guthrie on stage to discuss the tools and platforms for developing on Windows 7.

9:44am PT: Sinofsky: "There will be a Release Candidate of Windows 7...We'll know when the release candidate will be, once we finish the beta... I don't have any new information when we'll release the product."

"3 years from the general release of Windows Vista" is still the target for the final launch, Sinofsky says. That puts Windows 7 at early 2010.

9:43am PT: Windows 7 will include a feedback link on all Windows for getting direct responses from users. Additionally, Sinofsky says the Customer Experience Program will send anonymous data to Microsoft and is "insanely important" to improving the quality of Windows 7.

"If you use those two things, you really are an A1 participant of our beta."

9:41am PT: The pre-beta build of Windows 7 is Milestone 3 (M3). This is the version that will be distributed at PDC 2008.

Sinofsky: Next up is the beta. It won't be perfect, "but it will be the complete product." No benchmark testing.

Beta 1 of Windows 7 will arrive early next year. Eventually it will be opened up to the public.

9:36am PT: High-DPI has become much more important as screens have gotten bigger. Windows 7 has addressed many issues with high-DPI and enables users to select a custom DPI.

Multi-monitor support has also been enhanced. By pressing Windows-P, users can select which display to use, such as a projector, or to extend their desktop onto a separate screen.

Windows 7 can also zoom in with the mouse and holding + or -, very similar to zooming in Mac OS X.

9:32am PT: Microsoft is working to deliver Windows 7 on netbooks, or sub-laptops, that don't have a lot of power. Vista has not been able to run well on these devices, so companies have used XP. Microsoft wants to change that with Windows 7.

9:31am PT: Sinofsky says Microsoft has sped up the Taskbar and Start Menu. The Windows kernel can now handle up to 256 processors now.

9:29am PT: Sinofsky: We've reduced the memory footprint of the Windows 7 installation. We worked hard to reduce the disk I/O substantially when reading from the registry and using the indexer.

9:27am PT:

9:22am PT: For developers, there are a lot of things in Windows 7:

- Ribbon User Interface
- Jump Lists
- Libraries
- Multi-touch, Ink, Speech
- DirectX family

9:20am PT: Sinofsky says UAC was a challenge. "We had all the best intentions with helping to secure the PC."

"We probably went too far," Sinofsky admitted. "On the other hand, the PC with Windows Vista is more secure now. And we see the vast majority of software is able to run perfectly fine in Standard User mode."

Essentially, UAC won't be a headache with Windows 7, because it was already a headache with Vista and people have adapted.

9:18am PT: "We certainly got a lot of feedback about Windows Vista at RTM," Sinofsky joked, mentioning they got feedback from "some commercials."

Sinofsky says Microsoft did a lot to improve Windows Vista over the first year with SP1. "Today when we see customers, we know that the product is one they can use and deploy."

"There were some key lessons we learned when we developed Windows Vista." These were put into practice with Windows 7. The drivers weren't ready with Vista, but because Windows 7 is built on the same kernel as Vista, everything will work the same.

9:14am PT: Windows Live Essentials is in beta, available to download today.

"Over the coming months we'll be showing the new Windows Live Services as well," Sinofksy said.

9:13am PT: Sinofsky is now discussing how Windows Live integrates Windows with software and services.

"Windows Live Essentials is a set of applications that lets you extend the PC experience with Web services...We've brought them together into one suite of software. It's an optional download," Sinofsky says.

9:12am PT: That's the end of the demo of Windows 7. Overall, not very much was shown.

Sinofsky: "We hope that was an exciting first look for you."

9:10am PT: MS Paint now has the Ribbon like in Office 2007. WordPad now supports OpenDocument and Open XML.

Sinofsky joked that "every 15 years" Microsoft will update the applets in Windows.

9:09am PT: Sinofsky and Larson-Green are demoing how you can use your finger as a mouse with Windows 7 when running on a touch screen. Menus now have 20% more space so using your fingers is easier.

"We have re-powered all of the mouse commands with touch," so an application doesn't need to know about touch. "If your program understands more about touch, you can do more things." You can navigate in Internet Explorer using flicks of the finger.

Explorer has been tuned for touch as well.

9:07am PT: Users now have full control of the System Tray in Windows 7. They can control how they are displayed, and select to change or hide certain notifications in the tray.

The "Action Center" is one place to go to maintain the security and look at your PC's performance in Windows 7.

9:05am PT: Windows 7 has new themes, but it looks very similar to Vista. Over 95% of users customize their desktop, Larson-Green says.

9:04am PT: Gadgets are no longer confined to a bar, they can be put anywhere on the desktop.

9:03am PT: A new "Device Stage" in Windows 7 shows all of the devices connected to the PC or a networked PC. Phones, printers, and other computers are all displayed.

When you come home, Windows 7 automatically changes to the home printer, and switches to the office printer when connected at the office.

9:02am PT: A new lightweight version of Windows Media Player in Windows 7 allows for quickly viewing videos.

Windows 7 can playback music or pictures to another PC in the house.

9:00am PT: "Home Group" enables all Windows 7 computers to find each other and share documents. You connect to the rest of the Home Group with a PIN. You can control what's visible to others in the home -- by default it's pictures, music, documents, videos.

Home Group appears to be an updated version of network browsing, with added functionality similar to Apple's Bonjour.

8:58am PT: In Windows Explorer in Windows 7, there is a new feature called Libraries. Library locations can be different storage devices (other computer, USB drive, etc.) and Explorer displays them all together.

Searching in Explorer can quickly jump to file types (like Word documents).

8:56am PT: You can manage windows from inside of the taskbar. Hovering over an icon's application in the taskbar shows the open windows, which can be closed from the pop-up.

Right clicking an application icon shows the "Jump list" which lets users quickly reach a specific document.

8:54am PT: Sinofsky has asked Julie Larson-Green to demonstrate Windows 7 for the first time.

Windows 7 will have a new taskbar. It operates very much like the Mac OS X Dock.

8:52am PT: Sinosfky: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 share the same kernel, but "today we're going to talk about the client."

8:51am PT: Ozzie has invited Steven Sinofsky on stage to discuss Windows 7 and Windows Live Wave 3.

8:46am PT: Ozzie says the Windows PC's most central value will be how it enables someone to richly create and consume. "It's an unparalleled high performance and time saving personal management device."

"The power of the Web is that it lets us access the world," Ozzie says. It's every company's front door. "The browser is really useful, but it's not the core of its uniqueness, which is in bringing people together."

Phone software is very close to the PC software, but Ozzie says the real advantage is that it's always with you. "The phone's most unique value is in how it enables an app's spontaneity."

"An app that spans all three can deliver the best editing, the best sharing, the best notification," Ozzie says.

8:41am PT: Ozzie: The PC is adapting to be more relevant on the Web. But the Net and the PC are still two worlds apart. "It's our objective to make the PC, phone and Web more valuable to our customers than just the sum of their parts."

8:38am PT: Ozzie: Yesterday we introduced Windows Azure, Windows in the cloud.

"If yesterday's keynote was about the back-end tier, today will take more of an outside-in view. A view with the perspective of the user....You'll get a sense of our take on personal computing in an era that's not just about the PC anymore, but has grown to be about the PC, phone and Web."

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