PDC 2008: Mike Nash answers your questions about Windows 7

Yesterday we asked you to tell us what you wanted to know about Windows 7. We posed many of these questions to Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management. Read on for the answers.

Note: Not all of the questions were answered, so we will post a follow-up later this week with more details on icons, SSD drives, security, file copy speed, Aero and more.

Question: Will the new User Account Control (UAC) options in Windows 7 also be brought to Windows Vista?

Answer: No.

Question: Will system requirements change for Windows 7? Is it faster than Vista, or more bulky?

Answer: Specific hardware requirements have not yet been established. However, Windows 7 will run just as fast as Vista on the same hardware, if not faster. Considering Windows 7's new capabilities, this amounts to improved performance.

Question: Is HomeGroup (the new networking technology in Windows 7) based on the Castle technology from Longhorn, or is it completely different?

Answer: We learned quite a bit from the Castle experience and there are elements of that design incorporated into Homegroup; however, the design is new for Windows 7.

Question: Is the new Windows Media DLNA compliant?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does Media Player/Center need to be running on a remote system to "Play To" it? Or will Windows automatically launch WMP?

Answer: Our design requires that (1) the application is running and (2) the person who logged on and launched the application picked the option in Media Player that allows remote control from another application.

We chose this design because it allows people who want to set a PC up as a media player to decide to do that and because it prevents other PCs on the HomeGroup from playing to my machine if I don't want them to. In our concept value testing, we determined that "be in control of my desktop" was a really important thing for people, which is why we chose this design.

Question: Does Device Stage work over Bluetooth or is it USB only?

Answer: Device Stage is totally independent of the transport type. It can work over USB, Bluetooth, and WiFi today and it can theoretically work over any transport in the future. It's really important to remember that Device Stage is independent of the driver layer. Most of the devices that support Device Stage work with Windows Vista today. Devices don't have to have driver or firmware changes to work with Device Stage. This is why it's so attractive to hardware companies. We will explain a lot more about this design next week at WinHEC, so please attend.

Question: When I used Windows Explorer in XP, I could look at the status bar and see the total amount of space the files in that folder were using. For some reason, that's missing in Vista and I really miss it. Will this return in Windows 7?

Answer: This is not going to be added back into Windows 7, because it is too much of a performance hit to calculate the space. With digital music and photos, customers have more data on their hard drives than ever before, making this calculation more expensive than it ever was. In Windows Vista and Windows 7 customers can right-click on a folder and choose "Properties."

Question: Will Windows 7 have the same number of SKUs as Windows Vista? It is confusing to have so many different versions.

Answer: No decisions have been made on SKUs yet. However, with the increase in PC performance, even at the base level, most retailers simply sell Vista Home Premium now.

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