Microsoft: We ain't gonna tell you about Windows 7

What a hoot. CNET interviewed Steven Sinofsky (the guy who runs the Windows 7 teams at Microsoft) and asked him dozens of different ways about what will be in the next version of Windows. Sinofsky answers with thousands of words that say nothing useful. The comments on the article are pretty funny, too. The comments from bloggers on TechMeme are pretty funny, too.

Can someone wake me up when it’s shipping? Thanks.

In the meantime, I have a Dell Tablet PC here, a Lenovo thin laptop, and a Macintosh.

The Macintosh consistently comes out of sleep within three seconds. The other ones? Well, no.

So, why should we care about Windows 7 again? And how long are we going to have to wait for it? Based on Steven’s answers: at least another year.

It makes me really sad. The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features. Yet it keeps making me wonder what would happen if that machine could run OSX cause then it wouldn’t do weird things upon lifting its lid up (like turning off Wifi).

Can someone wake me up in 2010? Thanks.

Oh, and to CNET: thanks for trying, but Steven isn’t a guy who’ll go off message, as you found out. Your article was a service, though, because I won’t even bother visiting the Windows team on my trip to Redmond/Seattle on June 10th. Thanks!

Comments

  1. Agree. I have a G4 from 1999 with MacOS 10.2 booting in 2 minutes compared to my Toshiba Tablet with Windows XP taking 2 minutes from standby, 5 minutes from off, and 30 minutes from hibernate. Sorry, I am not willing to reinstall from scratch every 3 months. That would help, Microsoft Helpdesk told me … http://www.felgner.ch/2008/01/windows_7.html

  2. Even with Linux this trend is true. My trusty thinkpad X31 has almsot completely lost usable suspend / hibernate / docking features using the new Ubuntu 8.04. They used to work with the old ubuntu.

    It makes me very sad indeed.

  3. Even with Linux this trend is true. My trusty thinkpad X31 has almsot completely lost usable suspend / hibernate / docking features using the new Ubuntu 8.04. They used to work with the old ubuntu.

    It makes me very sad indeed.

  4. “what would happen if that machine could run OSX”
    OSX would have the market that Windows has; people always forget that, Windows runs on whatever crap or new stuff you throw at it, Mac doesn’t, Mac is hardware specific so they can do all the optimizations they want

  5. “what would happen if that machine could run OSX”
    OSX would have the market that Windows has; people always forget that, Windows runs on whatever crap or new stuff you throw at it, Mac doesn’t, Mac is hardware specific so they can do all the optimizations they want

  6. I really think this is the way to go for them. For me if a company talks about the next “big” version of something just after they have launched the new product it makes me think that what they currently offer is not good enough.

  7. I really think this is the way to go for them. For me if a company talks about the next “big” version of something just after they have launched the new product it makes me think that what they currently offer is not good enough.

  8. I went to sleep halfway through the article. I have just started using Vista alot lately and the biggest problem to me is that the UI is full of little pieces of eyecandy that are hard to distinguish and click on from a laptop screen.

    The Vista OS may be good but trying to click on a 2 x 2 pixel drop down arrow is not a lot of fun for most users.

    Maybe Sinofsky should be looking at UI design yet again instead of wasting time trying to say nothing in an interview.

  9. I went to sleep halfway through the article. I have just started using Vista alot lately and the biggest problem to me is that the UI is full of little pieces of eyecandy that are hard to distinguish and click on from a laptop screen.

    The Vista OS may be good but trying to click on a 2 x 2 pixel drop down arrow is not a lot of fun for most users.

    Maybe Sinofsky should be looking at UI design yet again instead of wasting time trying to say nothing in an interview.

  10. If the Lenovo could run OSX then it would have the same issues – because it’s the drivers causing the problems. My Sony Vaio is working fine on Vista, after a few driver updates.

  11. If the Lenovo could run OSX then it would have the same issues – because it’s the drivers causing the problems. My Sony Vaio is working fine on Vista, after a few driver updates.

  12. Windows bashing is fun isn’t it?

    Yet people ALWAYS forget the fact that Windows (XP on solid ground, Vista getting better everyday) runs on ninety five percent (95%) of all PCs out there in the whole wide world.

    That means that it has the largest bullseye of all OS’s ever made for people with less than honorable intentions. I contend if you Linux-Heads and MacHeads get your heads out of your asses and actually consider the numbers Microsoft is dealing with, you would have to admit that M$ doing a good job at managing the thousands of head aches that are related to having that size of the market share.

    By no means am I a M$ lover as they have some dumb things over the years, but give credit where credit is due.

    Jobs understands the head aches of a truely “Open Platform.” That’s why he’s so insistant on keeping the Apple ecosystem in a very tightly controlled environment.

  13. Windows bashing is fun isn’t it?

    Yet people ALWAYS forget the fact that Windows (XP on solid ground, Vista getting better everyday) runs on ninety five percent (95%) of all PCs out there in the whole wide world.

    That means that it has the largest bullseye of all OS’s ever made for people with less than honorable intentions. I contend if you Linux-Heads and MacHeads get your heads out of your asses and actually consider the numbers Microsoft is dealing with, you would have to admit that M$ doing a good job at managing the thousands of head aches that are related to having that size of the market share.

    By no means am I a M$ lover as they have some dumb things over the years, but give credit where credit is due.

    Jobs understands the head aches of a truely “Open Platform.” That’s why he’s so insistant on keeping the Apple ecosystem in a very tightly controlled environment.

  14. Sinofsky is simply employing the same paranoid tactics from when he ran Office. He was always of the opinion that if he talked about features coming out, OpenOffice would have them tomorrow. Given the OSX comparisons to Vista when Vista was being shown pre-release, he’s likely experiencing the same paranoia.

  15. Sinofsky is simply employing the same paranoid tactics from when he ran Office. He was always of the opinion that if he talked about features coming out, OpenOffice would have them tomorrow. Given the OSX comparisons to Vista when Vista was being shown pre-release, he’s likely experiencing the same paranoia.

  16. MS Office 2007 is a pretty damn good product — so while you may disagree with his communication approach he actually delivers really good products and delivers them on schedule.

  17. MS Office 2007 is a pretty damn good product — so while you may disagree with his communication approach he actually delivers really good products and delivers them on schedule.

  18. I don’t think that WINDOWS 7 is going to be all that great. They have already took a stab at changing the core with vista. So no more changing major windows code.

    It’s just going to be a huge patch, bundled in a pretty shiny package, like vista. But there’s a twist, this patch can get them some cash.

  19. I don’t think that WINDOWS 7 is going to be all that great. They have already took a stab at changing the core with vista. So no more changing major windows code.

    It’s just going to be a huge patch, bundled in a pretty shiny package, like vista. But there’s a twist, this patch can get them some cash.

  20. > “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware
    > design and features.”

    I am not familiar with the Lenovo hardware. What about them make them “far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features”? are they lighter? do they have better components (video, disk drive, memory, etc), are they less breakable? Are they substantially different from the thinkpads of yore or is this saying that the thinkpads were also “far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features”? Not trying to cause a fanboy argument. Just curious what your reasons are on this.

  21. > “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware
    > design and features.”

    I am not familiar with the Lenovo hardware. What about them make them “far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features”? are they lighter? do they have better components (video, disk drive, memory, etc), are they less breakable? Are they substantially different from the thinkpads of yore or is this saying that the thinkpads were also “far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features”? Not trying to cause a fanboy argument. Just curious what your reasons are on this.

  22. Oh boy!! A Mac vs Windows debate..boy, what a surprise. Can we please move past this debate? It’s like comparing a square tip screw driver to a phillips screwdriver – arguing about which one is better doesn’t change the fact that on of them works with 99% of every screw on the planet.

  23. Oh boy!! A Mac vs Windows debate..boy, what a surprise. Can we please move past this debate? It’s like comparing a square tip screw driver to a phillips screwdriver – arguing about which one is better doesn’t change the fact that on of them works with 99% of every screw on the planet.

  24. “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware
    design and features.”

    Hmm, computerworld, not exactly a mac fan site, just had a glowing review of the 17″ macbook pro.

  25. “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware
    design and features.”

    Hmm, computerworld, not exactly a mac fan site, just had a glowing review of the 17″ macbook pro.

  26. I have been settings up a lot of HP machines. Both desktops and Laptops resume in between 3-4 seconds. Not sure what your problem is.

  27. I have been settings up a lot of HP machines. Both desktops and Laptops resume in between 3-4 seconds. Not sure what your problem is.

  28. Stiv, the MacBook Pros (and even MacPros on the desktop side) are all very good machines. However, you ought to check out one of the thin laptops like the Lenovo X300 or even the X61. If you move about a lot, compare the battery life of the machines. And if you go on more than one day business trips, what about the total carry wieght? Now if you’re sitting in one place, plugged in most of the time, which is the case for many, then by all means the MacBook Pro is a great choice. I’ve recommended it to many.

  29. Stiv, the MacBook Pros (and even MacPros on the desktop side) are all very good machines. However, you ought to check out one of the thin laptops like the Lenovo X300 or even the X61. If you move about a lot, compare the battery life of the machines. And if you go on more than one day business trips, what about the total carry wieght? Now if you’re sitting in one place, plugged in most of the time, which is the case for many, then by all means the MacBook Pro is a great choice. I’ve recommended it to many.

  30. JoeM, sleep times definitely vary between machines. My Toshiba M700 now boots from sleep to login screen in about 2 seconds when on battery. There’s probably a 4 to 5 second delay after signing in before I can actually doing anything, but not bad. My 8-core Mac Pro with 10GB memory and a fast drive wakes up in Vista almost instantaneously. It’s the way that I think most people would like to see things. We can dream, can’t we? :-)

  31. JoeM, sleep times definitely vary between machines. My Toshiba M700 now boots from sleep to login screen in about 2 seconds when on battery. There’s probably a 4 to 5 second delay after signing in before I can actually doing anything, but not bad. My 8-core Mac Pro with 10GB memory and a fast drive wakes up in Vista almost instantaneously. It’s the way that I think most people would like to see things. We can dream, can’t we? :-)

  32. I ain’t no dummy,
    “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features.”

    It would be nice if he tightened up his writing.
    Macbook air = any macintosh????

  33. I ain’t no dummy,
    “The Lenovo machine is far far better than any Macintosh in terms of hardware design and features.”

    It would be nice if he tightened up his writing.
    Macbook air = any macintosh????

  34. Well, I am biased toward lightweight machines. I have a Mac Book Pro 17-inch that I rarely use anymore. Why? Too big to travel with. Battery doesn’t last very long. For my needs the Lenovo is a much better machine than anything Apple makes. Hardware wise.

  35. Well, I am biased toward lightweight machines. I have a Mac Book Pro 17-inch that I rarely use anymore. Why? Too big to travel with. Battery doesn’t last very long. For my needs the Lenovo is a much better machine than anything Apple makes. Hardware wise.

  36. Why do you (or CNET, for that matter) feel so entitled to know about something the company is not ready to release information on?

    And why does not releasing this information count as a bad thing? It’s their freakin’ prerogative!

    Also, to pile on the anecdotal evidence, my laptop resumes pretty quick (2-3 seconds). How does this anecdote weigh against yours? And does it change the way you feel about Vista? Didn’t think so.

  37. Why do you (or CNET, for that matter) feel so entitled to know about something the company is not ready to release information on?

    And why does not releasing this information count as a bad thing? It’s their freakin’ prerogative!

    Also, to pile on the anecdotal evidence, my laptop resumes pretty quick (2-3 seconds). How does this anecdote weigh against yours? And does it change the way you feel about Vista? Didn’t think so.

  38. The Lenovo X300 is fat and industrial ugly. More importantly, it’s half the CPU speed and costs $1500 more than a MacBook Air, $2000 more than a MacBook. Apple won’t sell you a machine as crippled as the X300, because it wouldn’t be of any use.

  39. The Lenovo X300 is fat and industrial ugly. More importantly, it’s half the CPU speed and costs $1500 more than a MacBook Air, $2000 more than a MacBook. Apple won’t sell you a machine as crippled as the X300, because it wouldn’t be of any use.

  40. I am thinking the sleep/standby hibernate issue is more dependent on the hardware manufacturer rather than Windows. Getting it to work right probably requires more tweaking of the hardware/power components than the board manufacturers want to do. For instance, I have a HP laptop running Vista that goes to sleep and wakes up everytime in a few seconds, so I would guess that HP got it right in this case.

  41. I am thinking the sleep/standby hibernate issue is more dependent on the hardware manufacturer rather than Windows. Getting it to work right probably requires more tweaking of the hardware/power components than the board manufacturers want to do. For instance, I have a HP laptop running Vista that goes to sleep and wakes up everytime in a few seconds, so I would guess that HP got it right in this case.

  42. Mark, you ought to check out the X300. You’d be surprised. It’s a shade lighter than the Air (fat is lighter than muscle after all :-) ), and yes, since it has an SSD as standard it’s base unit is more expensive. But then again upgrade the Air with an SSD drive and the costs are about the same. In terms of crippling, the X300 has a DVD plus more ports. So I don’t get that part.

  43. Mark, you ought to check out the X300. You’d be surprised. It’s a shade lighter than the Air (fat is lighter than muscle after all :-) ), and yes, since it has an SSD as standard it’s base unit is more expensive. But then again upgrade the Air with an SSD drive and the costs are about the same. In terms of crippling, the X300 has a DVD plus more ports. So I don’t get that part.

  44. Not talking about Windows 7 shows Microsoft has smartened up. Look what happened with Longhorn (Vista).

  45. Not talking about Windows 7 shows Microsoft has smartened up. Look what happened with Longhorn (Vista).

  46. My Dell Latitude D800 gone from Burj Al Arab to Cape and back via Building 21 at Cisco HQ in SJ. Its coming up to its 3rd birthday and been running XP.. It comes out of suspend fine and gets a really reboot maybe once a week or maybe 2 weeks.

    Iam running Coldfusion, lot of Cisco stuff and Office 12.

    It really comes down to drivers and hardware, would not blame windows… If the people in my company had laptops with that many problem the IT team would be in Sh*t for buying stuff that does not work.

    Dell Latitude D800 WORKS!!!* you can image 1000’s of them with no problem.

    * Does not inc Dell Tablet PC, they still new to that and still need a few years.

  47. My Dell Latitude D800 gone from Burj Al Arab to Cape and back via Building 21 at Cisco HQ in SJ. Its coming up to its 3rd birthday and been running XP.. It comes out of suspend fine and gets a really reboot maybe once a week or maybe 2 weeks.

    Iam running Coldfusion, lot of Cisco stuff and Office 12.

    It really comes down to drivers and hardware, would not blame windows… If the people in my company had laptops with that many problem the IT team would be in Sh*t for buying stuff that does not work.

    Dell Latitude D800 WORKS!!!* you can image 1000’s of them with no problem.

    * Does not inc Dell Tablet PC, they still new to that and still need a few years.

  48. Vista disappoints, Mac OS X was a let down, no three hundred new features just a point release and buggy as hell.

    We need Linux everywhere.

  49. Vista disappoints, Mac OS X was a let down, no three hundred new features just a point release and buggy as hell.

    We need Linux everywhere.

  50. Jim Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 9:52 am
    Oh boy!! A Mac vs Windows debate..boy, what a surprise. Can we please move past this debate? It’s like comparing a square tip screw driver to a phillips screwdriver – arguing about which one is better doesn’t change the fact that on of them works with 99% of every screw on the planet.

    Are you kidding me, it’s human nature to fall into this kind of garbage, it’s ether the catholics Vs the Jews or the Muslims.

    Chevy vs Ford or Honda vs Toyota, totally worthless arguments that really only seem to find traction in the world of the Fan boy.

    It’s wonderful being an adolescent and fueling these subjects.

  51. Jim Says:

    May 27th, 2008 at 9:52 am
    Oh boy!! A Mac vs Windows debate..boy, what a surprise. Can we please move past this debate? It’s like comparing a square tip screw driver to a phillips screwdriver – arguing about which one is better doesn’t change the fact that on of them works with 99% of every screw on the planet.

    Are you kidding me, it’s human nature to fall into this kind of garbage, it’s ether the catholics Vs the Jews or the Muslims.

    Chevy vs Ford or Honda vs Toyota, totally worthless arguments that really only seem to find traction in the world of the Fan boy.

    It’s wonderful being an adolescent and fueling these subjects.

  52. My HP Notebook comes out of sleep in 3 seconds flat. Every Single Time. And it runs Vista Home Premium.

    If you are having problems with Vista or XP, I suggest that you wipe out your current _factory_ installation, do a fresh install of the OS and in case of Vista, let Windows Update install all the drivers for you. Your computer will then work as you expect it to.

    I hope Microsoft makes a huge effort towards getting the OEMs to not install all the crap that they bundle with new computers. That is ruining the experience for everyone.

  53. My HP Notebook comes out of sleep in 3 seconds flat. Every Single Time. And it runs Vista Home Premium.

    If you are having problems with Vista or XP, I suggest that you wipe out your current _factory_ installation, do a fresh install of the OS and in case of Vista, let Windows Update install all the drivers for you. Your computer will then work as you expect it to.

    I hope Microsoft makes a huge effort towards getting the OEMs to not install all the crap that they bundle with new computers. That is ruining the experience for everyone.

  54. Two things:

    1) by 2010 Apple will have further improved OSX… so I am not sure how Windows will catch up… unless Apple really screws it up. Which btw is something they have done in the past… anyone remember when Jobs got sacked?

    2) Apple proofs that tight control and integration of both software and hardware mixed with a good sense of what works and what doesn’t will result in great products. They won’t do everything for everyone but what they do they do well (most of the time):

    I have started to use a Mac with the release of Leopard… I would consider myself a power user and have been a Windows guy since way back… (Win 3.1). The thing is, with Windows I always ended up overcomplicating my thought process. One thing that has really struck me with Mac OSX is that a lot of the complex thinking isn’t required because the machine won’t let me get into the situation in first place.

    It’s difficult to explain. It’s almost as if the software designer had thought of the problem before me and actually did everything to shield me from it. Or perhaps they simply designed everything so the problem wouldn’t appear in first place. Don’t get me wrong I still use Windows in Parallels every day. Mainly as a necessity because all my clients have Windows. But I had never loved my Windows computers as much as I love my Mac now. It’s simply fun to use.

    FYI, I am sitting in an airport lounch at Frankfurt international airport while writing this. Behind me are a couple of Microsoft dudes who obviously love to brag about their Windows Car as they made sure their conversation about whether or not to send their windows car to a trade show in Moscow was loud enough so everyone could hear it… apparently “Steve is very keen to send something just to show it off… are we ready by August. Well, we’ll have something to show on a big screen with multi-touch. We don’t have a lot of applications but it will be impressive either way.” This is roughly the conversation…

    … see that’s the problem. Microsoft seems to always over promise and then under deliver. Windows Vista anyone?

  55. Two things:

    1) by 2010 Apple will have further improved OSX… so I am not sure how Windows will catch up… unless Apple really screws it up. Which btw is something they have done in the past… anyone remember when Jobs got sacked?

    2) Apple proofs that tight control and integration of both software and hardware mixed with a good sense of what works and what doesn’t will result in great products. They won’t do everything for everyone but what they do they do well (most of the time):

    I have started to use a Mac with the release of Leopard… I would consider myself a power user and have been a Windows guy since way back… (Win 3.1). The thing is, with Windows I always ended up overcomplicating my thought process. One thing that has really struck me with Mac OSX is that a lot of the complex thinking isn’t required because the machine won’t let me get into the situation in first place.

    It’s difficult to explain. It’s almost as if the software designer had thought of the problem before me and actually did everything to shield me from it. Or perhaps they simply designed everything so the problem wouldn’t appear in first place. Don’t get me wrong I still use Windows in Parallels every day. Mainly as a necessity because all my clients have Windows. But I had never loved my Windows computers as much as I love my Mac now. It’s simply fun to use.

    FYI, I am sitting in an airport lounch at Frankfurt international airport while writing this. Behind me are a couple of Microsoft dudes who obviously love to brag about their Windows Car as they made sure their conversation about whether or not to send their windows car to a trade show in Moscow was loud enough so everyone could hear it… apparently “Steve is very keen to send something just to show it off… are we ready by August. Well, we’ll have something to show on a big screen with multi-touch. We don’t have a lot of applications but it will be impressive either way.” This is roughly the conversation…

    … see that’s the problem. Microsoft seems to always over promise and then under deliver. Windows Vista anyone?

  56. “El-Hassan Wanas Says:
    May 27th, 2008 at 9:33 am
    I don’t think that WINDOWS 7 is going to be all that great. They have already took a stab at changing the core with vista. So no more changing major windows code.”

    I don’t think MS changed the core at all. They built vista on top of Windows Serve 2003. Big right up about it almost 3 years ago in the WSJ. added some drm and
    other things but no new core.

  57. “El-Hassan Wanas Says:
    May 27th, 2008 at 9:33 am
    I don’t think that WINDOWS 7 is going to be all that great. They have already took a stab at changing the core with vista. So no more changing major windows code.”

    I don’t think MS changed the core at all. They built vista on top of Windows Serve 2003. Big right up about it almost 3 years ago in the WSJ. added some drm and
    other things but no new core.